Friday, October 16, 2009

Riding, walking, driving photos

Driving, biking, walking, seeing things all the time....

Big adverts for big businesses

Steamed, but not angry

Biking is the in vogue activity all over Taiwan this year; several people have remarked to me about how Taiwanese, whose home is the world capital of bike firms, have taken to biking with a kind of nationalistic pride. The result has been its wholesale adoption by local politicians in their attempts to portray themselves as both energetic and Taiwan-centered.

The eyes of TJ Eckelberg?

It could be anywhere, but it is in Guishan township.

Pithy information about this shop is known as a "q-tip."

All over the island, vendors walk up and down lanes of traffic selling yulan hwa, whose cloying scent is a favorite of mine. Surely genetic engineers can make a mint by conjuring up one with new car smell.....

A betel nut girl keeps one eye on the cars on their way to the highway.

Ornaments in a truck....

Walking on the bike trails outside of Taichung city.

Right next to a chicken farm -- is it a mutant chicken?

No one works harder than local farmers.

They've hatched now so you can count them.

There's nothing prettier than a rice field at sunset.

Crop tipis.

Riding off into the sunset.
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Anonymous said...

That curvy bike path is a trip. Disorienting.

Michael Turton said...

Yes, weird, that the double yellows are kinked differently too. It is another path along an old spur line, should be straight. At least the grade is gentle.

SY said...

About "yulan hwa" (Michelia alba D.C.):

1. The tradition of selling Michelia flowers at roadside traces back hundreds of years. I was told.

2. Taiwanese women of all ages used to wear Michelia flower in the hair, presumably an aboriginal custom. Men used to carry the flower in their pockets.(Hence, the tradition of roadside vending of the flower.)

In the countryside, you still can see elderly women wear the flower in their hair.

3. The soothing smell of Michelia alba is from its volatile ("essential") oil, which has mild anti-microbial effects particularly to the respiratory tract and the lungs by mildly stilmulating the secretion of mucus to help expel sticky sputum; thus, clearing the airway. It is helpful in mild cold or flu cases.

4. Both its volatile oil (via smelling) and its tea (made by pouring boiling water over the flower, immediately covering it fully and letting sit for 10 minutes before consumption) contain antioxidants.

5. The volatile oil is also tonic to the nervous system, gently calming (for insomnia or agitated mental states) and decompressing (i.e. stress relieving.)

So, smelling it definitely will do you some good and no harm.

I belive the "Q" in "Q Hair" refers to the "Q" in Holo Taiwanese, it means curly (hair). This "Q" in Holo carries a rising tone, as opposed to the "Q" for (food being) "chewy", which carries middle-level tone.