Yingge take 2

I met up with 3 friends at Taipei Main train station, headed to Yingge. I have been wanting to see the Ceramics Museum; Yingge is famous for it’s pottery. One 30 minutes train ride later, we were walking with our hostess (my Melaleuca upline) to the museum. NOTE: despite the fact that rain was predicted, it was a balmy day. Not a cloud in sight, slight breeze, mildly warm. The museum is a gorgeous, modern glass-and-cement building housing a beautiful display of Asian celedon ware.

Admission is FREE, as are the guided tour headsets. We started on the top (3rd) floor and made our way down the sloping ramp, looking at gorgeous and amazing anatique vessels in every shape and size glazed in colors ranging from a delicate robin’s egg blue to a deep jade green.

Old Street map painted on ceramic

No trip to Yingge would be complete without a visit to Old Street, a pottery buyer’s dream come true! On the way from the museum to Old Street, we passed a street merchant selling his paintings. (Hadn’t we seen the old white man with the long beard on the train from Taipei?)  After looking through his art work, I selected three modern-style paintings – and began bargaining! I ended up with all three  for 1500NT (50USD). I asked to have them signed by the artist (who had gone walkabout) and was asked to come back for the signed paintings “later”. Okay, so here’s one big difference between Taiwan and the US: in the States, the artist and his helper would have been long gone (with the art AND my money) by the time I returned a few hours later. Not here. My art was signed and rolled up, ready for me to take home, have framed, and hang!

Day 21

I’ve been in-country for three weeks and it should only be another few weeks before I get my ARC (Taiwan version of a green card).  It’s amazing how quickly the government entities here respond! It’s also amazing how I haven’t missed not having a phone (go Skype). lol

At breakfast today I talked with a friendly native who is in Taipei with his wife and daughter on business, looking to buy some property here. I gave him the business card of my real estate broker and raved about my experience at the National Art Museum. Turns out he’s the CEO of a high tech company based in Taichung (the city I visited last weekend).  We discuss art for a while and he invited me to stay with them the next time I’m in Taichung! Nice, huh?

At lunch time today I had my first scheduled Chinese lesson. The  teacher started off with pages xeroxed from a children’s book! Hah! It’s humbling being considered an expert in one language only to be a rank beginner in another – and the one I can’t speak is the one I need most for everyday life! I am starting to put some sounds and words together. I think the spoken language will come long before the written one.

This weekend I’m doing some final comparison shopping (for household items) at Costco (go figure) and on Sunday I’m heading to Yingge (ing-guh) just outside Taipei to see the Ceramics Museum and to find some unique plates. Next week: moving day!

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