This week I was away from my blog for more than four days. Heartbreaking! All sorts of stuff going on, from pandas coming to Taiwan to private sales of US cellphone records to a private contractor for the IRS collecting political information on taxpayers. Thanks, George! Now that I have no civil rights, why don't I feel safe?
Sorry about the political rant...on to the news.
I went up to Taipei to Al's Restaurant (above) for the blogger meet up this weekend and met some interesting people. Foremost among them was Jerome Keating, a cheerful, energetic man of courtly manners and penetrating intelligence, with a vast knowledge of The Beautiful Island.
Jerome Keating. I wish I had a better photograph.
Jeff Miller, a close friend and employee of AIT. Few people know more about Taiwan than Jeff does.
Tammy, an internationally-renowned photographer (Yes, you are! Don't deny it!)
The chubby purveyor of news and gossip via The View from Taiwan
Kevin, who runs a business hunting up copyright violations in China (now there is a vast market) studies the menu as Richard, a sales representative, makes a point.
Emily, a local kindergarten teacher, her face shrouded in mystery.
After the morning blogger meetup, I went to Taipei Zoo to meet the great people at What's Up in Taiwan where I am doing a podcasting interview. I met them at this Volvo promotion outside the Zoo.
Henry, who was doing the interviewing for WuiT, is pictured here on stage with one of the winners of some kind of art award. Despite the bizarro outfit, Henry and his partner Julian turned out to be interesting, talented, and challenging. Julian, who I stupidly forgot to get a picture of, is a successful songwriter for many local pop singers.
After doing the interview for the podcast, I went to an old friend's house for dinner. Here she is, Grace Yu, pictured with Daniel from Suitcasing. The three of us had a wonderful time. Grace, single, independent, talkative, tasteful, funny, and sexy, is one of my favorite people on The Beautiful Isle.
On Sunday on the way back from Taipei, I grabbed this shot of Mom and Sheridan at a rest stop along the highway.
On Sunday I did one of my favorite things: meeting former students for dinner, in this case Apple and Paula. We met at one of those trendy set meal fusion joints that are springing up everywhere (above). They offer upgraded Chinese dishes, hot pots, and mock western stuff, such as casseroles and "Italian" pasta, which is about as Italian as Desmond Tutu.
Apple and Paula pick out dinner.
Apple is delighted with the hot pots, which even I couldn't finish.
Paula describes her life as a student in New York. I am so proud of her for going to study overseas!