Halloween 2012

Last year I didn’t do much for Halloween. This year, I was determined to find something to create a costume out of. As I wandered the neighborhood night market I spied a wonderful headdress, collar, and cuff from Bali. I tried them on and then asked the price. Yikes, they were asking more than 10,000NT (325 USD). Tai gui (too expensive)! Thinking they were quoting me the “rich foreigner” price I had a local friend go in to inquire about the price. The same. Maybe a trip to Indonesia was in order. Found one, including airfare, for around 9000NT but the kicker: the headdress and accessories are still expensive to purchase. What to do? I waited until the evening of the 30th and then went to talk with the shop owner. After some spirited negotiations, I walked out with all of the items + a stand for the headdress + extra cuff + gold earrings for 8000NT.

Next, I studied Balinese dancer make up and movements, painted some “witchy” nails gold, selected some sandals, and ironed one of my sarees. The result?

Bali Dancer


Needless to say the costume caused quite a stir both to and from work, and in the office.  Success!

Christmas in Taipei

I finally got all my packages and cards mailed out last week; lord, I hope they make it safely to their intended recipients!  People here are so trusting. I have no doubt the packages will make it across the water. I am, however, worried about what happens to them once they land stateside (that’s a sad state of affairs, isn’t it). The postage was outrageous, but then again, the packages are travelling 10,000 miles and I had them insured. I carefully selected the gifts – all made in Taiwan. The Taiwanese pride themselves on their workmanship. And their pride is well-placed; it’s amazing to see how much care goes into even the simplest of items. I was invited to a co-worker’s house for a Christmas Eve party and to Yingge for Christmas day. It’ll definitely be a different celebration this year…

I found a live Christmas tree, all bundled up in the florist shop across from the bus stop. I wrapped my arms around it and breathed its smell in. Ah, such a lovely scent! I made the mistake of asking the price….are you ready for this? 20,000NT, the shoplady said with a straight face. That translates into nearly 700USD – for one 6’tree that won’t last one month. Yikes! Instead, I went to the “everything” store and purchased a  small fake white tree and some LED lights (both made in Taiwan). Total cost: less then 500 NT (18USD)! I can still smell the spendy pine when I turn the LEDs on…

Merry Christmas 2011

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