Taiwan Trip Update 4 Dec. 22, 2004
We go to Lotus Lake and Mr. Huang invites us to a banquet.
A FEW STREET SCENES
Random pictures posted here reflect what we just sort of saw and clicked. There is no particular rhyme or reason to what we photographed—which gives it a certain charm.
Lots of bird houses---quite large, quite elevated birdhouses –along the Lotus Lake. People eat a lot of pigeons around here, so the statues are pretty clean, so, at first we thought they were large (and I do mean large) pigeon houses. When we heard the roosters crowing from four stories up, we quickly lost that notion.
There are also bunches of roadside temples, most no larger than an American garage. One of the temples had a huge TV blasting away next to the altar—“Both gods being worshipped,” Joy commented on people looking at a Chinese soap opera next to incense burning in front of Buddha in a storefront temple. Streets are crowded with sort of permanent flea markets set up along the sidewalks and even into the street. There are local farmers’ markets, and the fellow who sold us ice cream, also sold, trinkets, old coins, rocks, postcards, and sundries. The courtyard in front of one of the temples, was crowded with scooters and old men playing mahjong, while the courtyard of another temple was rented out by the monks for scooter parking space serving the department store across the street.
Smog is awful in the morning, but clears away as the day goes on. The daily temperature goes as high as 85 F and it can be humid, but, it is quit pleasant by mid afternoon and into the evening. Urban planning, is just beginning to be a concept here, and you can still see hovels next to skyscrapers.
A very modern hen house below--note the phone number painted on the side to call (next door to a temple)
SMOG--view from the Dragon Pagoda about 10 AM
This view of the Summer and Autmn Pavilion shows part of the typical city beyond.