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Posts Tagged ‘Taipei’

Chickens

Shying away from the camera...

I went for a little walk this morning to run errands and what should I see but chickens in the park!  Not my park, but Dalong Park a little way up the street.  My park is the frog park, although I’ve never seen the little guys; I’m guessing Dalong Park is the chicken park!

They were hilarious, scratching and squawking in the leaves.  I gobbled at them a few times, but they weren’t having it and just bounced away quickly.  I had more luck whistling to the caged bird hanging by the mechanics’ near the shoe store.  At least he cawed back.

All in all, a fun, animal-filled jaunt, all in less than an hour.

It wasn't hard to catch up with them, though!

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I went to see a movie with a friend from work today, and it was the most unique movie-going experience I’ve ever had.  Jenny found a budget theater called the Dynasty, and it was amazingly close to my house.  We met up after work and found a little place to have dinner that I’m definitely going back to, and showed up a few minutes late to the show.

Sucker Punch was the first movie, and let me tell you, that movie is not improved by missing the first few minutes.  Honestly, it’s probably only improved by not watching, but we had paid our 100元 and were set on having a good time.  I’m not sure how dark the palette of the film was in its original release, but it was probably not as dark and muffled as the print we saw.  However, something about the utter sleaziness of the movie and the squalor of the theater combined to make a perfect experience for my first legal double feature.

Because this theater doesn’t “clean out” between screenings (Jenny and I couldn’t think of the best way to translate this because neither of us has enough experience with sketchy second-run theaters), we finished Sucker Punch, horrified and in dire need of cheering up and just scooted into better seats to await the next movie.  It turned out to be an animated animal movie that put me in mind of Shark Tale: a lot of names and not a lot else.  It was formulaic but still funny, and much needed after the bizarre yet intriguing mess that was the first movie.

I want to try this theater again: it’s so convenient and atmospheric!  Perhaps too atmospheric, though: now I feel all itchy.  I hope it’s just the heat…

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Voyage of re-discovery

I went walking tonight to buy sundries, and I re-discovered how close I am to a really cute area near the Confucius and Bao-an Temples.  Less than 15 minutes walking put me in the midst of a mini-night market with a decent selection of street food!  I’ll have to go back with an empty stomach sometime.

I also discovered how much I need black clothes here, because I wore a navy blue shirt out and it was black when I got home.  I can’t put antiperspirant everywhere, so I’m thinking black is the only good choice.  Good thing I look nice in it!

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The forest park

I’ve missed the park since the weather changed.  When I first started classes at the end of April, I only knew one route to school and it required me to walk across the biggest park in Taipei: Da’an Forest Park.  It’s a wonderful oblong close to the center of the city, and passing through it made my commute just that much better.  There were many paths to choose through the trees and fields, and people were always doing something.

Of course there were the standard stretchers and muscle-pounders and tai-chi-ers, but the most amusing was an old man in a wheelchair.  His carer must have stepped away for a moment because he was sitting alone facing a bench.  However, slightly atypically for a wheelchair-bound person, his feet were propped up on the bench, and atypically for anyone, his pants were down around his ankles.  He was wearing boxers, 謝天謝地, but his spindly old legs were just basking in the breeze for all and sundry to gawk at.

Most of the sights are much more refreshing and pastoral: birds and squirrels, shaded and root-riddled spaces under groves of slender but wide-spreading trees.  There is a man-made hill that really adds to the texture of the park and some spreading grass that’s lovely to see.  There’s also a pond up in the north corner, but I don’t usually get over there unless I have a lot of time.  It’s fenced, and that takes away from the magic.  Anyway, my own little Lanzhou Park has a great pond with the loudest frogs I have ever encountered.

In addition to the weather, I discovered a bus stop right in front of school that saves me walking in the sun and humidity, but I’ll give up the convenience as soon as fall comes again just for the pleasure of spending time in the park.

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Heat

It’s so oppressive.  I itch all the time.  I went to toast some bread and cheese in the kitchen, and in the room with the tallest ceilings in the house, I could still feel sweat dripping everywhere.  I have taken to wearing the decorative sarong I bought in college as real clothing.  It’s probably time to resort to the air conditioner… that or spend all my time in public buildings.

I’m so happy I don’t live in Gaoxiong!

 

Update: I think Taipei is hotter?!

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The past few days have been hellish.  The temperature’s been above 30°C and the humidity has been ridiculous, so when the rain woke me up the other night, I was overjoyed.  In the morning, however, the weather hadn’t really changed, and even though I took my umbrella to school, I didn’t need it until later in the afternoon (at which point I had lost it in Da’an Park).

That rain was surprising yet nice, but the good stuff didn’t really start until sometime during my evening classes.  As I was leaving, Jenny told me in was raining and let me know about the “lovely umbrellas.”  In Chinese, things done for the benefit of other people are all called “love.”  Perhaps charity is the best translation?

On the way home, the rain was really heavy and there was lightning every three or four minutes!  When I got off the bus, I couldn’t help but grin at every flash… until I remembered I’d left laundry in my window box.  Luckily, most of the big items were actually quite dry, but my underwear hanger wasn’t under the awning and in my haste to pull it inside, I lost two pairs on the roof below!  I grabbed my hanger-stick and threaded it and my arm through the window grating, painstakingly twisting the underwear onto the reaching-stick (not actually designed for hooking onto things).  Truly a ridiculous situation.

Now I’m looking forward to falling asleep to the pounding of rain on my neighbors’ tin window cages.  It’s a wonderful sound!

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Sending flowers

A bouquet (courtesy of the Taipei Flora Expo) for my mother on Mother’s Day.

Simple flowers to start.

Add in some peppers for surprise and spice.

Throw in some lily-lookin' things!

Top it all off with a charming bush, with the pinkest wax apples I've ever seen.

One more amaryllis or what-have-you for good measure...

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