Thursday, February 23, 2006
So what do I do in the mornings? Well, most days I wake up and head down to my local breakfast shop for some Pagen Dun Bing (Not sure if there's an English name for that) which is basically an egg and herb mixture, and a rasher of bacon all wrappped up in a kind of savoury pancake thing. This is the breakfast treat all Brittons wish they had invented. To get me out of my early morning stupor, I drink some Oolong tea (which probably has as much caffiene in it as coffee) and to occupy my mind I listen to a daily Bible study podcast on my iPod.
One of the things I'll always remember about Taiwan is the amount of LEDs on this island. One good use for all of them is the animated pedestrian crossing lights found in most major cities. When you can walk, there's an animated green walking man with an orange countdown timer, and when your time is running out, he starts to run. A very cool Taiwanese (I think...) invention.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Lantern festival at Taichung's main park was one of the best experiences I've had in Taiwan. There was such a great vibe, the moon was out and those lanterns are just awesome. If you ever get a chance to write new year's wishes on a lantern and watch it sail away, go for it.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
During Chinese New Year, almost everything shuts down, including school, so everyone has a week's holiday. Today we planned to go to the beach, but everyone else in the whole of Taichung was also keen on heading North, so we cancelled that idea when we saw the traffic. We did end up spending the afternoon at Taichung's science park though, and there was a really cute little girl who took a liking to our soccer ball. Let's hope her parents give her more opportunities to play sports than most Taiwanese kids get.
We were lucky enough to be put up for free in a Church in the town of Taroko, by a very friendly and interesting Minister there. The story of how the church started is quite amazing involving secret meetings in caves to avoid the Japanese authorities. Currently there are over 300 mountain churches scattered throughout Taiwan serving the 12 or so indigenous tribes that live here. Oh, the photo is simply light reflected off coloured windows in the church.
And here's the beginning of the 'tunnel of nine turns' which is the most spectacular part of the absolutely huge gorge. I'm not sure if the natural scenery or the fact that there is a decent road to see it by is more impressive. Taiwan has some amazing engineering and has put roads in places that other countries wouldn't even attempt.
After seeng a friend's pictures of Taiwan's central mountain range, I decided that I was going to see it myself by scooter. So 2 friends of mine set off on a trip from Taichung in the West to Hualien in the east across Taiwan's formidible mountian range. All was good until the weather turned sour on us! We then put our scooters and ourselves on a train from Hualien back to Taichung. So here are some photos of my adventure. Pity about the mist...