August 13, 2006
Hi, everyone out there –
How is life finding you? I’m doing pretty well here. We’re in the middle of our busy summer season, so there hasn’t been much time for day hikes or trips anywhere, so I’m afraid this installment won’t be as interesting as the others. You’ve probably heard about the “super typhoon” which has wreaked havoc on China’s southeastern coast, killing a lot of people and flattening a lot of buildings. That typhoon passed us by, though we did get its residual rains. At some point last week they were predicting three typhoons headed for Taiwan at the same time. Whether those three merged into this one super typhoon or two of them died off, I don’t know. People around here were eagerly awaiting the government’s announcement on Wednesday night that schools and businesses would be closed on Thursday, but alas, no such announcement came. And no typhoon came, either. We got rain and a little wind, and life went on as usual.
Last Sunday I was bitten by the shopping bug – which is a very foreign bug to me – and went to the Gongguan district of Taipei to wander through the shops. Actually, I think it was more that I felt like being in Gongguan than actually shopping, but the result was the same. The shopping district borders National Taiwan University, and there’s a good-sized park there with benches, so my plan was to look for a couple more shirts for work, then buy some food and go sit in the park. However, when I got there, we were surprised by a sudden thunderstorm, with a hard downpour and lightning hitting the ground, so I had to activate Plan B, which was….shopping. For me, shopping is like paying bills or going to the doctor: you do it because you have to, and as little as possible. It took me about twenty minutes to buy two shirts (checking in three stores), and after that I hopped on the MRT and went to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. I’ve been here a number of times, but each time was in bad weather, so I think these are the first pictures I’ve taken of it. (Remember, you can click on any picture to enlarge it.)
There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.
- Robert Louis Stevenson