Friday, September 30, 2005

Two years... and counting

I just realized that I left Canada exactly 2 years ago, plus four days. 19 months of that time has been here in Taiwan, but I did head to India for 4 months, Malaysia for a month, and the Philippines for about ten days.

On Sept 26, 2003 at about 630 am, after about 24 hours in transit, I landed at CKS in Taiwan, and by about 1000 am, I was sitting in Ilan train station. From there I called Tom and he picked me up and drove me to his house.

Memories from that day are something like this... I remember smelling everything like I had just discovered my sense of smell for the first time. As you drive down the street in here you are hit with wave after wave of smell, usually food. From smell to smell I could probably navigate most of the way through Ilan and Luodong... I remember seeing my first 70 year old farmer working, bare backed no shoes wearing a rice hat, working a rice paddy with a hoe - My exact thoughts were probably something like "Holy s--- I can't believe I'm in China" (no political connotations intended, I would say Taiwan now).

Then Tom and I bought a bottle of Taiwan beer (brown bottle for those interested) and headed up Fo Guang Mountain to sit talk drink and enjoy the view. I remember I headed behind a nearby irrigation tank, for the tea field below, to piss, and came face to face with a spider as big as my hand sitting in his web (you know the big shiny black kind with two yellow stripes on it's back).

I remember being tired and heading to bed early, and waking up the next morning at 600 am to the screams of some kind of massacre outside in which local village people were killing others (maybe foreigners?)... but it turned out only to be feeding time at the pig barn next door.

Anyway, that's that. These are some photos I dug up from years past here in Taiwan. Those first few months in Taiwan...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sunday ride in Northern Taiwan - 130 Km

Ok, last Sunday, Sept 25, I went with the Ilan Ironman Bike club for a great ride around north eastern Taiwan here. We started early at about 730 am and finished up around 4. It was a nice ride, not too crazy like... I was stopping every 10 or 15 minutes to take pictures, and here is a sample... We went from Ilan to DaXi along the coast highway, and then went up into the mountains from there, across a pass to ShuangXi, and then back out to the coast near FuLong, and back down the coast highway to Ilan. The greatest part was on highway #1 from DaXi to ShuangXi. Beautiful temples, old traditional stone houses, and rice paddies surrounded by jungle.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Blog this

So, I thought I would set this thing up after talking to Tom about it on the phone the other day. I feel this is a more polite way of communicating on a large scale than mass emails. Plus, this way, only the truly interested will be informed! And hey, if that only leaves me, that's cool. I feel I will mostly post photos here, but I may also include what will certainly be random and opinionated thoughts on life, travel, culture, Taiwan, Canada, goals, dreams, ethics, morals, and love. Bring it on! Ok, maybe that's bullshit. Most of what I write here will probably concern the peculiarities of Chinese grammar. Did you ever wonder why native Mandarin speakers often say, in English, "I have ever been to Canada".... or for that matter, what that sentence even means? I did once. More to come later. OH what a cliffhanger!