Posts Tagged ‘Hualien

21
Apr
09

Caterpillar in Hualien

My students thought I was weird for stopping to take a picture of this caterpillar munching on a flower.   Caterpillars in Taiwan tend to be quite exciting and fairly common.  Butterflies flit about in many varieties and colors on the mountain trails.   Someone once told me that Taiwan was the empire of the butterflies or something like that.   Of course, gardeners like my aunt aren’t overly fond of caterpillars.

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21
Apr
09

Roadside Scenery around Hualien

Sorry I’ve been dreadful about posting and responding to comments recently.

Here are some photos of the countryside of Hualien from the vantage point of a tour bus full of children…

Many of the riverbeds in Taiwan are dry as this one is.  Often the water is diverted into rice paddies.

There tend to be a lot of tour buses that frequent Hualien.

It’s a good thing I never had to drive around Hualien– the clouds and mountains are far too distracting.  I’d never figure out proper directions.

The lamppost looks like an odd sort of tree…

Sitting on the bus, watching the scenery flow past the windows, I relaxed with the view of all that green and blue.  My kids and I all ended up dozing off at some point or another.  The nice thing about a bus is that I didn’t feel compelled to count heads every five minutes to make sure that I hadn’t lost any children on our field trip!

11
Feb
08

Back from frolicking…

I’m cheerful and bubbly again after being feasted far too much and taking quite a few train rides.  Photos to come after I fulfill some ancient Lunar New Year’s resolutions to clean out my hard drive, back up my photographs and video (which I happened to accidentally look through a bit ago and considered posting, but that would require some editing.  I forgot a few times that video doesn’t work like photographs and turning the camera on its side to achieve a better shot is kind of… stupid.  That, and my cartoon voice shouldn’t be exposed to general hilarity.), and figure out more photoshoppy things to play with after my computer gets faster again.

It’s the year of the Mouse, right, so if I’m a packrat…  it’s kind of fitting, no?

No, probably not.

Anyway, I headed down to Tainan and got to hang out with a chunk of the family that’s a bit further-flung from the chill of Taipei.  My two cousins who long ago impressed me with their awesomeness when I first came to visit are still immensely awesome and I was treated to scooter-rides (Look, ma, I’m still alive!) even though no one was willing to cross the maternal dictum that I refrain from being a scooter-zooter myself.

I set off the fireworks at midnight– vastly exciting and somewhat scary.  (My cousin checked to make sure I still had both eyes and no burns when the sparks faded.)

I popped pomegranate seeds all over the kitchen, and a spot of oil on my wrist in my forty-seconds of trying to be domestic as I helped by flipping the loa boa or gam ke,  radish-rice cake (I may have forgotten the correct Taiwanese/Chinese already, tut tut.).

We caught up on silly stories and slightly spontaneously skipped off to Hualien where I listened to the rush of the sea under the popping of fireworks, and ate really yummy salt-encrusted steamed fish.  The apartment we stayed in let us sleep on the floor on futons (the real kind that are not plumpy-thick, but could actually be rolled up and put away), behind Japanese sliding doors, where we were warmly welcomed by mosquitos in spite of hiding underneath masses of covers.  There was a very early morning mosquito massacre when my uncle hit the lights and my cousin and I got up and extracted revenge by slapping all the mosquitos attached to the walls and being rewarded with blood-splats– eeww, but revenge is kind of satisfying, considering it was probably, well, our blood.  Got back on the train which was standing room only, with people lining the aisles two-by-two, and children munching on bien dang lunch boxes in the stairwells by the doors.

The train ride was a vacation in itself (not the standing bit, necessarily, but the views!!!  Oh, the views!!!  I shall go into more articulate raptures with photographic documentation soon, promise).

Got back to Tainan for more feasting and then zipped through Taiwan on the bullet-train back to Taipei too early in the morning.

Right, going to really do laundry and clean…

I hope all of your Lunar New Year festivities were sparkling with yummy happiness!




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