And the crazy signs continue…

Everywhere you look in Taiwan, there are signs. Some of them in Chinese only, some of them accurately (more or less) translated, and my favorite: those with a few language gaffes.

A new lounge, off of Dunhua S. Rd.

A new lounge, off of Dunhua S. Rd.

I wonder what a mam moth is? A new winged night creature? Or did they mean mammoth? As in big and extinct? If I owned a lounge, I’m not sure I’d want to advertise “dead” whiskey. Does it kill you? Does it contain inert matter?

At the unloading zone of the National Palace Museum

At the unloading zone of the National Palace Museum

Uh, so is this the bus for overweight foreigners?

At a food stand on Fuxing, near Xinyi

At a food stand on Fuxing, near Xinyi

Wow, this must be really old rice! Are the leaves from the paleolithic age as well?

It always amazes me that folks don’t verify their translated messages with a native English speaker…

Yingge redux

One of my favorite little towns near Taipei City is the pottery town, Yingge. This time, instead of meeting up with friends at Taipei Main Station (it’s always a bit nervewracking to figure out where to go – there are at least 4 different levels with crowds of people scurrying to and fro on each), we decided to meet at Songshan TRA (train) station and ride the express train to Yingge. Ahhhh, so much easier. I took a taxi to the station and when I told the driver “Wo qu Songshan huochizhan” (I go Songshan train station) he just looked at me. I repeated the phrase several times, adding in the name of the street. Apparently my “accent” was off but eventually, after getting out Google maps he understood. Songshan wasn’t crowded on a Sunday morning. I bought my ticket, asked an attendant which track goes to Yingge and soon we had a nice seat and a quick, pleasant journey. At Yingge station, there are two exits, each leading to a different street. This time we took the street we thought lead to the Pottery Museum and after a few turns down narrow lanes, found ourselves in the middle of a field of giant pottery pieces that looked as if it had been dropped from the sky and had become embedded in the ground.

Look out for falling plates!

Look out for falling plates!

What a cool concept!

What a cool concept!

Back in Taiwan

Dad and I

Dad and I

I missed both NYE and any New Year celebration; I was in-flight, on my way back from the US (my flight left at 2:30pm on the 31st and arrived in TPE at 9:15 pm on the 1st). I heard that the 101 fireworks show this year was lovely. Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mP39wS_FxQ .

After the stress and family drama of my Mom’s death, vigil, and funeral, it was a relief to be able to spend some alone time with my Dad, who is working his way through the grieving process. Many thanks to everyone who expressed condolences, both on- and offline. Mom always made the holiday season special for the family so it was understandable when Dad didn’t want to spend it in their home. Instead, we went north to visit his sister and having a relaxing, if somewhat subdued, Christmas. I really have to admire my Dad for hanging in there, especially since he’s also dealing with his own health issues.

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As for me, I will take the road less travelled…