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.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Return To Tainan

Dinner on the veranda of King's Villa, Guanziling
It was our first time being back to Tainan since moving to Yilan. Did I miss it? Upon arrival at the highs-peed station we immediately noticed it smelled weird, and we (my daughter and I) got an immediate runny nose. At first my daughter was, "Oh lets move back to Tainan", but that didn't last long. We both found Tainan too bustling, crowded, congested. Is it Chinese New Year already? It seemed that way. Because our trip was so short and sweet we also didn't have anytime to visit with old friends which was a shame, as on Tuesday, I had to return to my daily private tutoring, a fantastic gig.

lunch at Basil Bistrot,Taipei

Being unemployed has it's benefits. I could have a 4 day weekend in Tainan. I decided to go back because Sunday there was a 6 hour Ashtanga introduction to the primary series, which would be a  refresher for me. I could practice with my old yogini gang and recommit myself to my practice again.

We left Friday noon for Taipei and decided to check out an exhibit at Galleria H after a quick bite at Basil, le Bistrot. We get excited about eating food we can't find in Yilan. In this case, open faced, filling sandwhiches on crusty bread. I got the salmon and sundried tomato and Z got a bacon and grilled chicken, we couldn't even finish our potato wedges. Both came with tons of mixed greens drizzled in balsamic vinegar and oil.

lunch at Basil Bistrot, Taipei
 The very small exhibit looks, "into the identification of races, genders and generations at a certain level. We intend to develop a set of clarified feminine writing logic through the works of these six artists and art groups. The ways of writing illustrate six different life stories, family memories and self-reflections after confronting some particular situations of races and genders." 

A Bangladeshi film of a woman marrying herself, Galleria H
My daughter embarrassed me and the curator, she was incredulous at the size of the exhibit, "This is it! It's so small!" I had wanted to see the probably more interesting Chini Gallery's exhibit of a Spanish artist's very Picasso-esque animal/human portraits, but we had to be in Tainan by a certain hour for AJ to pick us up at the high-speed station (he had a night class).

The next day we started hitting local used book stores and record shops. The whole record store scene was certainly a new part of Tainan life I hadn't seen before. By lunch time I had a bag of books and had to stop.

After lounging at AJ's big house in the East district listening to records, we drove to the nearest hot springs-- Guanziling at The King's Castle at the top of the hill. We had a light dinner there on the veranda and then went to the nearly empty pools bathing like royals. There were public outdoor baths with some inside public pools of different temperatures, a mud and massage room and some pools with steaming Chinese traditional medicinal herbs like mugwort. We ended our bathing with having our feet pecked and tickled by tiny fish and drove back to Yilan very relaxed.

Sunday was a my big day. I couldnt find the Jyoga studio at first, Google Map had me in the alley behind it, but when my friend told me the lime green building across from Starbucks, I couldn't miss it. The Ashtanga teacher  Rameshji (Ramsheesh Sheety ) is from Mysore and has studied under both Pattabhi Jois and BNS Iyengar since a teen. The event was organized by Kaosiung Yogi. He spent 2 hours just on the sun salutations, not even finishing Namaskara B when we had to break for lunch which was catered by my dear friends from Funkoo. After lunch while our food settled, my friend Tori Mitchell led us in some Yin hip openers and Farrah Furtado led a very relaxing Yoga Nidra. The last couple hours Rameshji returned to finish Namaskara B and some difficult poses upon request.

Stupid me asked him about which he expected me to be able to do. He literally was forcing me into a human pretzel (Garbha Pindasana), but at least I have some better idea how to get into it myself. Lubrication is key! Warm water or sweat, because my thighs are not skinny enough to do it without this. He also helped me with my Firefly balance (Tittibhasana).

All in all a wonderful day of yoga. It was invigorating to be near these newbies who were so passionate, most going towards their teacher certification and me who has been practicing on and off for years and basically lazy and taking what I know for granted, in comparison. I noticed all of us needede reminding to engag our Uddyana Bandas (the central energy meridian pulled in and upwards by abdominal muscles). I was definitely sore the next day! During my own personal Monday morning practice,   my flow was intuitive, it was so fluid, creative, dynamic, I just knew it was from the subtle effects of the previous day's Yoga Nidra practice.

We returned to Yilan, leaving Tainan after lunch on Monday, My daughter and I were both relieved to be back. It was colder, sure, but it seemed so fresh, our runny noses disappeared and Z was glad to be back to playing with her classmates and neighbors.

It seems like Yilan is home-- at least for now anyways.

1 comment:

Anthony said...

Hi Kathy
Love your blog.We met once in Taitung.
Please e-mail me at anthony.cluver@junyi.tw when you have a moment.