Clyde Warden, a close and much-loved friend, invited me down to talk to his grad class at NCKU in Tainan on Saturday, April 8th. A good time was had by all.
Warden considers how to make mincemeat of your trusty author's latest bad idea.
Clyde's class was composed of grad students from many different countries, united only by the same mixture of dubiousness, jaundice, cynicism and sleeplessness found among students everywhere in Taiwan. I think the concrete used in institutions here must exude a lethal mixture of paralytic and soporific gases....
The grad class looks on in stunned disbelief.
Prior to rendering his class hors de combat, Clyde loaned me his bicycle and I tooled around Tainan all morning. I left the tree-lined campus of NCKU about 9:45 for the old port of Anping on the other side of Tainan.
Early morning martial arts practice on the campus of NCKU.
Tainan, the old administrative center of the island under the Dutch, Chen Cheng-kung, and the Ching Dynasty, has a different feel than most cities on the west side of the island. The city is crowded with old temples, a few forts, and other historical sites, and is compact enough to bike across in a half an hour.
A Tainan street scene.
I stopped by a famous Confucius temple to sneak a few shots.
Worshippers and offerings crowd an ancient temple.
Anping soon hove into view. the old town is crammed with interesting buildings, including gun positions and forts.
Now high and dry, Anping fort guarded the harbor of Anping for three different
One thing that struck me about the historical site was how it was regarded by the locals. On an island where history is hotly contested, representing history is usual left to entreprenuers, individuals who do it on a volunteer basis in topics they are interested in. Often this involves techniques or industrial processes which might otherwise be lost (porecelain, hand production of tofu, and so on). There isn't any system whereby people volunteer to act out historical roles on historical sites. It might be interesting to speculate on why this is so....
Anyway, it was a great time, ending up with dinner and beer at a restaurant near the university.
Hot pot and beer.