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.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Monkeying around

Sherry and her brother drove down to Tainan from Taipei. Michael had to look at a property in Kaohsiung for a client. It was great seeing them both but by the end of it I was exhausted! Mostly wiped out from Z's tantrums and she being just plain mean to dear old mom. I don't think she likes sharing my attention from anyone other than her.

Saturday we spent in Tainan. They arrived at lunch time and I took them to a local restaurant that is popular with the Anping locals. Sherry wanted to see the famous Tree House, but after going there didnt want to pay to see a real old and big banyan tree, so we went to the old East Gate and Michael fell asleep under the Banyan tree there. It was Z's naptime so we headed back to mine and for dinner Sherry wanted to find some local fish place that was reccomended in a Taiwanese travel magazine she brought. We didnt exactly find that one but we found a decent fish place and ate eel with noodles, loads of fish, clams, soups, cooked every which way and all washed down with Heinekin. Then we went to a bustling night market and it being 10 or so headed home for another beer and sleep.

The next day we headed down to Kaohsiung and arrived around lunchtime. We had eaten a late brunch on our drive down and I wasnt so hungry, but Michael's client insisted on taking us to lunch, promising it would be small and quick (I was heading for the local Caves Book store). She had made reservations so I relented. Little did I know it was going to be one of those 10 course lunches in a very nice Japanese restaurant. The food was great and I ate as much as I could and drank beer with it and was ready to take a well deserved nap when we somehow headed to Chaishan Nature Reserve for a stroll.

A stroll for Z and I turned into an all out hike and once we broke our first sweat (which doesn't take long) we were itching to climb this thing. Z did great; better than I thought, I didnt have to carry her and she kept up with my fast pace. I occasionally stopped when she needed a breather but she is a natural hiker. Our first encounter with the monkeys  (really they are macaques) scared the crap out of her. I told her before the old,  "leave them alone and they will leave you alone" speech, but she moved too fast too close and one of the monkeys bared its canines at her and some mentally disabled worker, blocked the animal and yelled "NO!" which scared both Z, me and the monkey. She cried, I comforted her, we moved on. About 30 minutes from the top (prob takes 1 1/2 hour to the top, not too big), we got a text to come back, the old lady couldnt walk further, so much to Z and I 's disappointment turned around and headed down.

My foot was bleeding, as I was wearing backless pumps. I wasnt planning on hiking. I can hike in anything but I definitely had the wrong shoes (reminds me of hiking a volcano outside Antigua, Guatemala and the young dude from BC hiking  in flip-flops with zero visibility and the volcanic sand cutting into his toes.) I will go back with Z and do that walk right, to the top and wait to watch the sunset over the sea.

Afterward we drove to the Hsitzuwan beach near the Sun Yat-Sen University and parked to see some of the sunset. Some monkeys were there doing the same thing and some local Taiwanese were feeding them french fries.

It was around 4 and I was ready to go back to Tainan but Michael wanted to eat "bing" (shaved ice sweetened with condensed milk and topped with flavors like red bean, mung bean, cooked barley, fruit) at some famous bing dien near the ferry to  Cijin Island. The place was packed upstairs and down with clients spilling onto the streets. The place is covered in grafiti and we waited for a table. It was nothing special, just huge bowls of shaved ice with fresh fruit served on sticky tables.

And then we made our way home taking the longest, traffic infested way and somehow ended back in Tainan around 830  and it was time to get Z ready for bed and us ready for the following Monday.


Madison said...

Your blog is absolutely amazing. I stumbled upon it when trying to do more research on Taiwan (I'm applying to be a Fulbright scholar... and also have what you called "Destination Disease"). I admire your relationship with your daughter, and applaud your courage to be a single mother in a foreign country! It reminds me of the dynamic my Dad, brother, and I shared early in my life :-).

Stay Blessed. Sincerely,

Madison Williams

Kathy (杜 言 艷) said...

Madison thanks so much! I just read your comments 2 years after the fact, dont know what happened. You must be all but done with your Fullbright studies? Yes destination disease, I also have a raging case.