One of the coffee houses we've started haunting is Han's, right across the street from the night market in my neighborhood. Here are Alice, Clara and Nicole on Ai San Road, during our walk there after work. This was the night before nationwide elections took place. For the past month Taiwan has been inundated with campaign flyers, banners, text messages to your cell phone, and these horrible little trucks with loudspeakers that drive around very slowly and blare a constant stream of propaganda and catchy little jingles promoting their candidate's views. Say what you will about American politics - at least they don't do this! And, as if that wasn't bad enough, during the week leading up to the elections fireworks went off all the time. Suddenly Taiwan was a very loud place to be, and I was very glad of my fourth-story cave that didn't have any windows. But on the other hand, the atmosphere has been celebratory too. Dennis told me later on that on this same night there was a presentation of traditional Chinese dancing going on in front of the cultural center, which he went and watched. He said it reminded him of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. In this picture, my three friends had stopped in the middle of the street to watch giant fireworks going off over the City Hall building. I tried to catch them in their moment of wonder, but my camera was too slow and they had time to pose for me.
There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.
- Robert Louis Stevenson