This weekend I had an extraordinary respite from politics as a guest on FTV's Time for Taiwan down in Kaohsiung. Saw some of the most amazing martial arts action. Follow the Read More for more pics and action!
Our first stop was the Songjiang Battle Array performers of Shih Chien University outside Kaohsiung. Here our cameraman James films some of the action.
Shih Chien university's Songjian Battle Array team is famous, competing all over Asia and winning prizes. The kids' enthusiasm and skill was amazing. It was a privilege to work with them.
They taught me some Songjiang moves, for amusement purposes only. You'll laugh when the episode is broadcast. Thankfully there are no still pictures.
One of the students practices her moves.
This lady was amazing.
Michella, the host, conducts an interview.
Musicians provide powerful sounds for the martial arts display.
Our next stop was a temple in the Moonscape area of northern Kaohsiung county municipality. We would return the next day to film some temples and the marvelous, alien terrain of the moonscape. But for now, still more Songjiang Battle Array.
These guys did a more traditional Songjiang Battle Array performance. They'd been working together for years and were absolutely amazing.
Training the next generation.
Several junior high school age girls were also learning the moves.
A drummer adds to the spectacle.
Discarded energy drinks.
One of the best performers, shouting with each move. Amazing.
The stark terrain is dotted with farms and fields.
In the evening we took in some of the scenery. The moonscape area is criss-crossed with little roads. Can't wait to bike it this summer.
Monday morning we were off to a 300 year old temple in Neimen outside Cishan.
James captures a shot.
Shamanic religious practice treats both the affliction and the sufferer's misalignment with her social context.
Temples are always good places to pick up interesting pictures.
James checks the light in front of one of the sacred trees.
Inside, more healing action.
Who knows what she was looking at?
Michella checks a shot.
New suppliants danced their way into the temple.
We stopped for lunch at a local eatery. The food was sturdy basic food, delicious.
Then it was time for banana ice. The ice was ok but the toppings were..... not up to the ice.
A local temple structure. These were all over the place. Definite SE Asian feel.
After that to the sweets shop. Apparently it's the local specialty, because each locality must have a specialty. I recommend avoiding the peanut brittle with the shells still on.
Some old wooden structure still lying around...
....like this shop.
We ended the day at the Moonscape, one of Taiwan's most interesting areas. I had no idea it was so vast.....
Michella poses at the overlook at the privately owned free range chicken joint that rests on one of the peaks. Lucky to have met her. What a great time! _______________________ [Taiwan] Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.