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.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Raining Fire in Yenshui: 鹽水蜂炮


Lantern Festival 2013 was quite memorable. I had written off ever going to Yanshui Fengpao to check out their crazy famous beehive fireworks--where they purposely launch them into the waiting and armored crowd, because my daughter hates firecrackers, especially up close. She may have PTSD growing up here. One minute you're walking down the street or cruising on the scooter and suddenly out of nowhere the rat-a-tat-tat of some local shrine or temple's firecrackers (which in Tainan is every other block) means  someone is scaring away ghosts. Then my friend Tony called me up and his wife offered to watch our kids so we could get our adrenaline fix.

Yenshui is on a whole other level. The town itself is quaint, with an old street, traditional craftsmen like smiths practicing their timeless work. I love the old brick, one story houses with ceramic tiles. Sure beats the concrete charmless apartments that replaced most of them. Yenshui is a photographer's paradise. When the sun sets, the idyllic country town is transformed into welcomed chaos. 


The day started out with lunch in Jiali at ShuMin's Herbalife seminar/lunch presentation.

Poetry Road cafe and minsu

The kids were antsy so we took them to run around the grounds of the cafe on Poetry Road, while we drank coffee and listened to the owner recite poetry. The little lane has a wall with ceramic scrolls covered in traditional poems. One of  Shu-min's friends who were joining us to Yenshui translated a few. They were all pretty bleak and depressing.

Around 5pm it was time to head to Yenshui, we parted, Shu-min taking the kids back to their home in Sigang. We parked the car outside of town and walked in, carrying our helmets, gloves, raincoats, feeling li, sooe gladiators walking to the arena. (At least I did.) 

Yenshui, Fireworks, bring them on!
We were this eclectic group of gladiators assembled by Tony, ranging in ages 22- 80. We lost the Professor in the beginning  in the first wave of launches, so we tried (unsuccessfully) to regroup by this temple with bathrooms and wound up drinking a few cold beers and gearing up for more launches. The people who valued their bodily safety were out of harms way, launching massive red paper lanterns after rubbing a bull idol, whispering their prayers into its stone ear.

didn't take any photos while being fired on (it was a bad previous year for me camera wise). The photos I did take were during our regrouping or intermission.

Southern Politics
We all decided to go again next year of we can, it was just too much of a rush.

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