About Me

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Yilan, Taiwan
I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Weekend in Lukang

I was supposed to meet Sherry around Changua High Speed train station, but somehow we ended up in Yunlin. She and her brother Michael picked us up and we had hot pot for lunch then drove to their friends home in the country. It was a beautiful home, a real house, as opposed to apartment buildings, condos, triplexes, etc. The owner a friend of Michael's and his wife retired there and are turning it into a cafe. The owner who spoke excellent English, studied in San Fran, was full of pompous, patronizing comments the whole time. He was overcompensating for something. His wife was kind. Since we were his guests I just politely bit my tongue and tried to just be with Z.

There wasnt much to do that first day we just walked around the carnation and veg farms. We went out for dinner, the home had no kitchen or food. I dared a bit of Michael's pig brain soup. It actually was tasty and buttery, melted in my mouth, but it seemed kind of dangerous, mad cow, mad pig, there is some mad goat disease happening here at the moment. I didnt sleep very well that night. Michael and his friend talked loudly til midnight. Z and I slept on some hard wood furniture and she peed in our sleeping bag.

The next day after some much needed cup of coffee we were off to explore and ended up in the living museum of Lukang. Michael's friend made a comment how fast I drank my cappuccino which really annoyed me. I felt like saying, "dude if you would of made it hot the way its supposed to be and not lukewarm, then I could drink it properly." He really prided himself on his coffee, so I just said I drank it fast for medicinal purposes,(I didnt sleep.) I was happy to leave there and start seeing some new parts of Lukang.

Lukang reminds me of Tainan; west coast harbor town, old Matsu temple, the oldest Qing dynasty (and best preserved) Longshan temple. There were Western style buildings from the Japanese occupation I am guessing. Michael dropped us off near the Matsu temple and a street that reminded us of Tamshui, had a Ripley's Believe It or Not museum, lots of touristy trinket stands, etc. There was so much action at the Matsu temple, so much commotion that Michael got stuck in traffic and we were walking around in the hot sun, melting for a while. We got a chance to see some more folk rituals. Apparently some local gods from a nearby temple paid Matsu a visit. The doll like gods are carried by men in sedan chairs, and there is a lot of firecrackers and Chinese instruments, loads of people. I was carrying Z on my back the whole day, one hand around under her bum and the other hand taking photos and videos. This Matsu temple is a pilgrimage site every 3rd lunar month. Devotees follow her around, as she is carried out of her temple and to the surrounding 50 towns for a week long.

We walked around the old market, looking for a place to eat lunch. We went to the infamous "breast touching lane". A lane so narrow a person can pass only one at a time. A true gentleman waits for the lady to pass first. Michael was keen to get his photo taken under the sign for this lane and Sherry wanted to go back the lane and actually see what would happen. I walked back to the car. It was a fun day. They dropped us off at the train station and we had to wait over an hour for the next train and 2 hour slow, ride back to Tainan.

I always love connecting with Sherry, and with Michael we always eat well and in abundance.

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