Monday, August 06, 2007


So it was off to Taichung this weekend for a bit of relaxin, chillaxin and a whole lot of sleep. For the most part, I did sleep, a lot, but I'm still tired. I am beginning to think this tiredness is never going to leave me.

We arrived on Friday around 6pm. After walking a while we discovered that we weren't going to get a hotel in the area we wanted to without paying a crap load of money so we decided to go back to the tried and true hotel we always go to near the train station (Fuh Chun Hotel if anyone is interested) Not the most extravagant hotel in the world but it is clean and cheap. It also has air conditioning and tv, which is really what I needed. We had a quite evening on Friday. We went out and got pizza and then just hung around, I went to bed around 10:30. Can you believe that??

On Saturday we decided we wanted to go and see the Golden Buddha and since it was a nice day and we had nothing else to do, we figured we could walk it. But then we hit this....

I'm not sure if you can really tell from those pictures, but it was absolutely pissing down with rain, and it started really fast. We were lucky enough to be passing a large building with a large eves at the time so we didn't get too wet, however we were stuck there for over an hour before we decided that the nice thunder storm we were stuck in just wasn't going to stop, so we went to the movie instead. The movie that I fell asleep in. Yes, I fell asleep in Die Hard 4.0. I don't think I missed too much because I still saw quite a bit of it, either that or it's a ridiculously long movie. What I saw of it was pretty good though.

So back to the hotel we went, and another nap for me. Yes, I slept again. This time for a really long time and I had huge problems waking up. We went out to meet people after that and it was fun and really a typical night out. But remember, if in Taichung, don't try and tell people street names, just reference everything from Sogo, it just makes life so much easier.

Our friend tried to tell us the street the restaurant was on, which was fine, but it got lost in translation somehow and after the taxi dropped us off in some random place, we called and said friend said, go to Sogo and turn right. Um, well all the taxi's know Sogo so surely that should have just been the starting point rather than the street names. I mean, really.

After staying up way too late and everyone being rather hungover (I have to admit, I wasn't too bad since I didn't really drink a lot, I was just still really tired) we decided Sunday was the day for the Golden Buddha. I have never experienced a hotter day to do something in. Well, this would be a lie since I was out in Taipei in the hottest day since 1920 or something stupid like that, but it was hot on Sunday. Even though we only stayed long enough to take pictures, the Buddha was definitely worth it.

It is the largest smiling (or laughing, I'm not sure what they call in) Buddha in Taiwan.

After that we got on the Ho-Hsin and came home...still tired. But hey, it was a weekend away, well worth it.

Friday, June 29, 2007

green island adventure #2

So with everything going on, I just realized I didn't share pictures of my latest trip. A couple of weeks ago it was Dragon Boat festival here in Taiwan. Since it landed on a Tuesday, the government was nice enough to let everyone have Monday off as well, of course, provided you make it up the following Saturday. So since I had a four day weekend, I went to Green Island. By I, I mean, me and 11 other people. I trucked off on my own little adventure without T&J or even C for that matter and went on my own with people from Keelung. It's not like I don't hang out with any of them, but they are more weekend people since we live in different towns.

The trip over was so much better than the last one. While we only had trains for part of the journey, we caught the fast train so most people were without seats for only 2 hours while others just sat in what was available. Then the boat ride. You might remember on my first trip to Green Island, this was a trip not worth repeating, and yes, I was dreading it.** It was totally different though, the sea was much calmer and I totally just fell asleep. Piper got a bit ill, but more nausea rather than right out throwing up. So chalk one up to that being a much better experience.

Once we got on the Island, we got our scooters and went to the place we were staying. The rooms were clean, and quite nice and frankly, it had air was great! We traveled the island that evening to get a feel for what was around (well for everyone else to anyway. Johnny and I have both been there before.) and we stopped at a great little Taiwanese restaurant where they had great sashimi. After we went back to the hotel, some people went to the natural salt water hot springs while others stayed behind. I stayed behind with everyone and after playing cards with Gerdus and Piper was finally harassed enough by those outside to join them. It was decided that Claire needed to learn how to play mah jong so Piper had a big lesson. It was great because I've never played before and I got to learn too! So now I can say I know how to play! Or at least I can pretend. It's pretty easy once you figure out what you are doing and remember the symbols for the Chinese numbers. I totally know them but being under pressure like that makes you easily forget.

The next day we went to the beach for some snorkeling. It was absolutely amazing at the first beach but the second beach I didn't get in because I kept getting knocked over by the waves and my arms and legs got ravaged by the coral so I said screw it and went back to the beach. I'm not really sure if that was a good idea or not because by the end I came out with a sunburn that went from the top of my head to the top of my feet. Seriously, it was bad. I did use sunscreen but I don't think I put it on early enough and that tropical sun is strong.

We left the next day after bbq, more sashimi goodness and going up the ancient trail. It was so much more relaxing than I would have thought it could be and as much as I was really dreading going, I did enjoy it. I'm really glad I went back, if anyone ever comes to Taiwan, it is highly recommended you go there, even with the crazy boat ride.

** I thought I had posted about Green Island before, I believe it was a group email instead...sorry, needless to say the last time we went over, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE on the boat had massive seasickness and were throwing up all around was horrible.

Some pictures for you to enjoy...

sleeping beauty and pekingese dog

green island with the dawn/dusk setting on my camera

the ancient trail

My driver for the weekend

Sunday, May 27, 2007

out and about...or is it oot and aboot

No, I don't really say oot and aboot.

The one thing I love about Taiwan is how something is always happening, whether I know it or not. Yesterday proves this point. We had nothing to do so we went for coffee to come up with ideas for something interesting. We sat there longer than was necessary (mostly because it took so long to get our coffee and food) and we finally decided to go to the multicultural centre to look at the pictures they had on display. The cultural centre never really shows a lot, but the exhibits are always changing. One of the first things we noticed was this...

It is indeed a statue of Chang Kai Shek, which is totally rare right now because the government is in the process of moving all the statues of him onto some remote mountain.

The second was this..
One of the pictures on exhibit. It was on one of the silk banners that they do a lot of the Chinese art was really freaking cool. This isn't the greatest picture because the panel was behind glass.

As we were leaving, this was going on...(notice the a band. Click on the picture for a larger image)

So we wandered over to take a look. Of course being the only foreigners, we stood out and the MC's started talking to us and actually translating what was going on into English (we think they were university students and putting this event on was some sort of final project...we think) anyway, they actually came over and thanked us for coming, so of course, we stayed. I mean, they went out of their way to give us all the programs and everything and they all just kept staring at us and smiling. We stayed 3 hours (of course, drinking beer, we needed something to keep sane in the hot weather of Keelung) and listened to all the different bands. Some songs were in English, some in Mandarin, but it was a great time. Some bands were better than others, but it proved to us that that the Taiwan music scene is really growing and is getting pretty decent. It was a great day...until some weird guy sat beside Jacqui and started rubbing her arm. Then, we left.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

another friday night

From these pictures you can probably gather what sort of a weekend I had. Friday was great, Saturday...well, not so much. Hurray for nice weather and being able to go to the roof-top bar again. Officially the cheapest place to get beer in Keelung, which is probably not actually a good discovery.

The elections for Keelung Mayor were on Saturday. We went "campaigning" for #2 because he loves Keelung...and he saluted T&J from his truck during a parade. I don't think he benefited from our drunken wanderings through Keelung at 4am with his cut-out. He lost to #3 (the thumbs down from the first picture)

This is my new friend, found in the lucky star!

These are my other friends..they don't look nearly as exciting as my new friend. Too bad.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

random photos

I was looking through the photos of my computer today and found some shots that I haven't posted on here. I have been using Flickr a lot lately (so much so that I'm even considering paying to go "pro" for better organization of my pictures) and even joined a random group to try and make me experiment with photography more. I just figured it would give me something cool to do and actually try and get better and more creative with taking pictures. This is one I found...

It's the corner of either the National Theatre or the National Concert hall. I'm not sure which side I was on (apparently I have posted this on my flickr and it is the Concert Hall). I am going to miss all the cool buildings that I can take pictures of here.

On a side note, yay for random days off! We don't have to teach kindy today because it's Labour Day. Since not many of the kids are going to be at school, we didn't have to go in, and since I only have kindy on Tuesdays, I have the whole day off (because you know, the whole 2 1/2 hours I work on Tuesdays is just so stressful ^_^) Of course I have completely and totally wasted it, but was a day off!

Monday, April 30, 2007

sunday meanderings...

It was Jacqui's birthday yesterday and since we were all fairly hungover from the night before (we doing birthday parties right here in Taiwan) we went to Taipei for a movie and some food. We found a new restaurant that specialized in British food and Tom and Jacqui were in heaven with Bangers and mash and chicken pies. I was in heaven with the salmon eggs benedict that I found. Yeah, that's right, they had eggs benedict.

On our walk from the restaurant to Taipei 101, we went down the side street and found the furniture shops in Taipei. It was the most amazing stuff I have seen in this country. It was at least 4 blocks of stores dedicated strictly to furniture of all sorts. There was some of the most beautiful wood furniture I have ever seen and if I was going to live in Taiwan forever, I would have bought it all. But I'm not, so I didn't. I think I have a thing for furniture though. If only it wouldn't be a bloody fortune to ship it back to Canada.

We went to see Wild Hogs. I had never seen any previews for this and I didn't even know who was in it. Imagine how excited I was when I found out John Travolta was in it. Yeah, I was bloody excited. Jacqui made Tom sit beside me though. Apparently she doesn't like it when I laugh at stupid things in the movie no one else laughs at. (yes, Jacqui I know you are going to read this :) ) For a silly movie, it was actually pretty good. I enjoyed it, but then it had John Travolta in it and I love anything that he's in and I always have. Because you know, he's a god.

Monday, April 16, 2007

welcome to punk

I shouldn't have gone out on Saturday night. We ended up going for breakfast when we were done. Darn water in my ears anyway! Went to see NOFX last night with Consider the Meek. I went for the support band (Consider the Meek) I had actually never heard of NOFX before. My friends couldn't believe it, but the most punk I got into was Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Yeah, NOFX was great, now I'm all into punk music. It was a really good show and even though it was on a Sunday and I'm really, really tired now, I'm really glad I went.