Posts Tagged ‘photo


Bamboo in the garden

Bamboo in the familial garden.


Valentine’s Day

Taiwan celebrates the idea of love three times a year by including the Valentine’s Day of February 14th and the Japanese White Day in addition to the traditional seventh day of the seventh month when singletons go to temples to burn incense and pray to meet a lovely significant other.   On the February 14th Valentine’s Day, Taipei 101 lights up a heart and malls everywhere are dotted with sales for your sweetie (Really, the US should be so inclusive– we could have tried stimulating the economy with Lunar New Year withdrawals to give each other money in red envelopes).  Taiwan has also adopted White Day from Japan.

The traditional 7-7 day is the once-a-year meeting of the weaving maid and the cowherd across a bridge of magpies.  It always rains on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, since the couple are said to be crying at their reunion.  This past summer I got to visit a temple to observe the dances and sniff the incense celebrating 7-7 day.

In spite of all these modern celebrations of love, traditional Chinese love stories as far as my limited knowledge allows are rather grim.  My aunt and I spent a good chunk of the summer watching old period movies from Hong Kong that my mom and her sisters watched long ago.  The love stories all end unhappily.   An emperor falls for a mistress-spy from one of his conquered kingdoms, who costs him the empire.  A fairy falls for a human and ends up forced to return to heaven alone.  The one happy story was based on a real-life artist-poet who infiltrated a household so he could woo one of the daughters and make her his wife (in real life she was his ninth wife.)  My aunt said the abundance of  sad stories is because people there love to cry at a good tragedy.

So people in Taiwan have three days to either feel bitter, depressed, and lonely, or nervous, warm and fuzzy.

Whether you’re in a cosy couple or single and free, I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day with chocolate on top.

7-7 day Chinese poem (scroll down for the English translation).


Rainbow on a Rainy Day in Taipei

That’s the Grand Hotel and the Taipei Story House in the background, with the Taipei Fine Arts Museum invisible on the side.  Catching this image made me quite happy on that particular rainy day.  That, the exhibits at TFAM, and the pleasant company of my cousinlet were all really lovely.  I really enjoyed the watercolors by Ma Pai Sui (this link’s examples aren’t quite as cool as the work I saw in the museum) and Yang Cheng-Yuan there .  There were also some funky-fun exhibits in the basement– one freaky dark sound installation that had speakers lining a dark room, each playing something different–a classical choral piece, radio static, interviews in Spanish or Portuguese, soundscapes, etc.  There was also a large exhibit that had lots of fun things in it which allowed the viewers to be a bit more interactive– scrawling messages, signatures, pictures and cartoons into a huge blank book, taking a post-it that says “the sky is not big enough for two suns” and other things that were more clearly don’t touch…

I was disappointed that they aren’t publishing a book based on their exhibit of modern ink painting last spring.  It had some incredible work in it.

Anyway, I approve of cheery umbrellas on rainy days.


Who needs a limo?

Taken at Tai Da.


Next to the bike path by the river in Gongguan

There is a little village behind industrial green fencing which says not to go there.  It hugs the mountainside and is conspicuously empty.  This shot took full advantage of my zoom lens.

There would be a full post full of photos about An-Ping if my computer didn’t decide to be naughty.  It has been spontaneously giving me the black abyss screen quite a lot lately, so I’ve crossed into paranoid mode and am a bit nervous about photo-ing with it until it gets happy again.  Things have been a bit nutty lately, so if you’ve left me e-mail or comments that I have yet to respond to, I’m sorry I will probably be better by mid-May.  (Um, ditto for any more people who happened to try to call me that chunk of week I neglected to notice my cell phone was dead.)

Till I achieve non-flakiness, smell the flowers, hug a tree, and do some swirly May dancing!

Free Rice

June 2019
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