My aunt sent the poodle away last weekend. It's strange not having him greet me when I come home and sit with me while I eat breakfast. Not that they're anywhere the same, but it makes me wish Trang, my roomate's adorable two year old, around. It's nice to come home to someone small and adorable who's unabashedly happy to see you.
7/18/2010 Public Spaces
Sun yat-sen Memorial Hall:
I've had a lot of trouble keeping Taiwan's history straight. It's so complicated! Of course, I say this as someone terrible with names, dates, and places. Sun Yat-sen is an interesting figure in history as he is both respected in Taiwan and Mainland China.
There were over a hundred dancers and people doing partial arts on the 'porch' around the building. The park out front was completely empty. The sun here is rather hot. Everytime I've had to do some landscaping in my projects I look at all the places without shade and wonder if anybody will use them. I guess I've never been around for Taiwan's winter.
I don't think I'd ever see item two on this sign in the US, or at least not anywhere I've lived. It's hard to answer questions some people ask about the US and which make it into one homogeneous place. They ask me about climate and I think of Pennsylvanian weather versus Maine, California, Texas, Michigan, Florida, or... Alaska. So what's the American winter like? I remember someone in Ghana reminding us not to talk about Africa as if it were one same thing. It's hard not to with places you are not familiar.
Sign outside the mall:
This was probably my most introverted moment of the whole trip. I took the subway to the Maokong Gondola (Cable Car) to go to the tea plantations out in the mountains and drank tea by myself for a couple hours while journaling. It was pleasant.
They taught me the proper three step way to make tea. Always wondered what those tiny terracotta teapots were good for other than decoration.
Check out the tray. Apparently drinking tea the right way requires spilling a lot of tea out. Four years ago, I went to some really wealthy friend of my grandmother's resort. I remember drinking tea in her tea room. There was a stone table made for the catching of "spilled tea and in memory it seems like just as much tea was spilled out as drank. I asked the owner of this teahouse about it. His explanation had to do with keeping the outside of the terra-cotta or stone teaware warm and also watching the evaporating liquid as a natural timer.
Taiwanese standards for "handicap accessible" seem quite low. Many of the ramps I have seen require assistance to be used. When I first saw the one at my office I wondered what it was for until I saw someone push a wheelchair up it. "Holy crap, that's a ramp?". This ramp might not be meant for the handicapped, but still, 'holy crap, steep ramp'.