Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bum Motel

Sunday 31 August 2008

This ad is near our house, and we often drive by it on our way to work. I'm not really sure what kind of services are offered there, but if you look closely, it is a Hotel and a Motel, so it must have its bases covered.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ryan loves dumplings!

Saturday 30 August 2008

And so do I!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Man guo bing!!!

Friday 29 August 2008

Well, we couldn't get into my favorite place, because it's a hot and muggy Friday night and it's my favorite place for the same reasons it's the favorite place of pretty much everyone in the neighborhood, but we went somewhere else and I still got my mango ice! Shaved ice, mango, and sweetened condensed milk (and this one had a few scoops of ice cream, too!) and you really can't go wrong! Ryan's, in the background, is shaved peanut ice with chocolate sauce. Hmmm, I love Taiwan!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My little frog

Thursday 28 August 2008

This is Cherry, my cutest and most troublesome student, taking a nap. She sleeps like a frog - isn't she adorable? (Now if only she would stay that calm in class!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Wednesday 27 August 2008

Veggie dumplings from one of our favorite places. I'm sorry if it seems that an awful lot of food is being featured on the blog lately, but it's a big part of our experience here in Taiwan, and a huge part of the Taiwanese culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Tuesday 26 August 2008

The World Games are coming to Kaohsiung in 2009, and the signs are going up everywhere advertising the games and the various sports that will be featured. This is my favorite one so far: korfball. Ah, that noble sport. Ryan and I like to giggle that the World Games is all the stuff that couldn't get into the Olympics.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Night view

Monday 25 August 2008

The view from our laundry balcony at night.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Sunday 24 August 2008

Reason I Love Taiwan #573: cheap sushi!! All this sushi (which is very good and probably at least somewhat authentic) cost us 5 bucks! Wowee! This is likely due to the fact that Taiwan briefly belonged to Japan just before WWII - there is a very noticeable Japanese influence, and many older people learned Japanese in school.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

An outdoor play

Saturday 23 August 2008

You can see these plays outside of temples now and then, but there are an awful lot more during Ghost Month. This one sounded like it was in Taiwanese, although sometimes it's hard to tell because they speak in a very whiney, nasal style that would make it hard to understand in English! It was neat to see all the scooters outside of it, though. People driving past who decided to just stop and watch for a bit!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hair salon

Friday 22 August 2008

I just liked this picture, don't know why. I think the Sharks may go here to get their hair cut.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ghost money

Thursday 21 August 2008

A giant fire for burning ghost money, or fake money for your ancestors to spend in the afterlife. It was windy today, making this fire a bit of a driving hazard - it was blowing waaaaay out into the scooter lane! Luckily, people here expect this sort of thing, and drive around it without a second thought.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Random festival

Wednesday 20 August 2008

Ryan and I went to dinner at all old favorite stand today, and stumbled upon a huge festival at a local temple. There were all kinds of people playing drums, doing processions, and gathering around these giant lit-up . . . things. Altars? I don't know what they were, but each had an amazingly huge pigskin stretched across the center. Here is a man in a procession, stopping to play the drum in front of each one. There were fireworks and cymbals and drums and various sacrificed animals, and all kinds of other noises and lights and offering tables and hundreds of people pressing around. We only stayed about 20 minutes because it was all rather overwhelming, and we feared for our hearing. But man, what a show!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Tuesday 19 August 2008

Just a shot up at all the balconies as we zip by on the scooter. I love having a balcony.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Monday 18 August 2008

This is the 85-Story Building, a major landmark in Kaohsiung. I took this picture from about 3 blocks away from it - notice how smoggy it is? I love the people and the food here in Kaohsiung, but the air quality absolutely appalls me sometimes.

I do like this picture, though, because it has the lightning bowling sign in the foreground.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dried foods market

Sunday 17 August 2008

This is the dried foods market, where you can buy tea, dried fruits, veggies, fish, or mushrooms, candy, herbs, medicine, and all kinds of other stuff. Ryan and I stopped in today to get some apple chips, and found that the whole market was making offerings to their ancestors today. (As I mentioned earlier, it is Ghost Month.) There was a group of devotees walking up and down singing (in a wailing, whining sort of style), an altar set up for the main ceremony, a stage where three more scantily-clad girls danced to pop music, and of course all of these personal offering tables. It was quite the afternoon!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Stupid Ice Tea

Saturday 16 August 2008

This is a very popular tea stand chain here in Kaohsiung. I don't know who advised them to choose this name, but I think they were having a laugh. (The tea is very good, though.)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Niu Pai

Friday 15 August 2008

We've been going around finding all our old favorite restaurants and food stands here in Kaohsiung, and this is one of Ryan's old standards. It is noodles, an egg, a "steak" (after Argentina, it was more like a piece of beef, not really a steak), and two different kids of gravy. Ryan calls it "a heart attack on a plate." The beef may have been lower quality than we have been eating for the past two years, but oh, gravy!!!! To have sauce on our food again, to have spices and flavor, oh heaven!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bai Bai

Thursday 14 August 2008

Right now we are in the middle of "Ghost month," a month in the Chinese lunar calendar in which the ghost world is more present in our world. There are a million superstitions to be followed this month (you cannot get married, be buried, go swimming, all kinds of stuff) and it is also a good time to make offerings to your ancestors. People burn fake money for them to spend in the afterlife, and set up tables full of food and drink. Here is a woman setting up just such a table. It looks like one of her ancestors was fond of Taiwan Beer!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A street in Kaohsiung

Wednesday 13 August 2008

Yep, just a street in Kaohsiung.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pursuing Sports and Sporty

Tuesday August 12 2008

A lot of the older scooters here have odd little Chinglish sayings on the sides. It's always fun to walk around a parking lot and find the strangest. I like this one: Quick Response Advanced Footwork and Good Driving Pursuing Sports and Sporty. Ah, wisdom for the road.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The elephant game!

Monday 11 August 2008

Well, I started teaching again today. I have tiny little two-year-olds who don't speak a word of English and have trouble keeping their various bodily fluids to themselves (mostly drool, vomit, and tears today, although I'm sure there is more to come!). But they're adorable and there are only 6 of them, a welcome change from the 25 I usually had at my last kindergarten!

Here is the result of our little "elephant game" - you roll the die to add a body part, and the game is done when the elephant has at least one of each kind. (We're learning numbers 1-5, yah!) As you can see, the tail was rolled last.

P.S. Happy Birthday, Nat!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Nice view

Sunday 10 August 2008

We started looking for apartments today. This one had a fantastic view, but was unfortunately pretty dingy inside.

Friday, August 08, 2008

In the saddle again

Friday 8 August 2008

Back on a scooter, reflected in Ryan's helmet. It feels so good to have instant mobility again. As nice as Buenos Aires's public transport was, it's so nice not to have to plan an hour to an hour and a half travel time into just about any trip out of my house!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Back in K-town

Thursday 7 August 2008

Okay, technically Thursday practically didn't exist for me, because I was flying backwards over the International Date Line, so I decided to just put up a "hey, I'm back in Kaohsiung!" picture. Yep, this is the city I know and love!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

On my way again

Wednesday 6 August 2008

Well, I left for Taiwan today. I am on my way again.

This is a fountain in the Detroit airport.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Margarita night

Tuesday 5 August 2008

Beth Ann really enjoys Mexican village . . .

Monday, August 04, 2008

Nighttime Valentine

Monday 4 August 2008

Just playing around with a flashlight and a tripod . . .

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Sunday 3 August 2008

I spent a lot of the day in the kitchen and cooking today, so I thought this picture seemed appropriate. It is a great big juicy yummy tomato locally grown on a family farm. What could be better than that?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Little Wolcott man

Saturday 2 August 2008

My dad and I went around to different wedding venues today, trying to get an idea of different atmospheres and price ranges. This was as Wolcott Mill, an historic old flour mill where they sometimes host weddings on the grounds nearby.

Friday, August 01, 2008


Friday 1 August 2008

I had never had a manicure or pedicure before today, but there was a special on at a local salon, so my mom took Beth and I for a girl's day out. The manicure kinda hurt (and fell apart a few days later), but the pedicure was heaven! I sat in a massage chair with one foot in a warm whirlpool, while the other foot was being massaged and lotioned and prettified by the salon woman. Now I can understand why women get those!

But this was how they sent me out of the salon, to preserve my pedicure while it finished drying. The height of fashion, let me tell you!