Sunday, April 10, 2005

Tainan ho!

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
colonial regimes

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.


Mickey said...

Great pictures as usual..thanks!

What topic did you speak on? Just curious!


Anonymous said...

Clyde said:

Michael came to my class to talk about his Website work. My class is on service marketing and I wanted to cover the ability of individuals to communicate in non-corporate environments. Kind of related to word-of-mouth. It was an interesting class and Michael did a great job, as usual.

Mickey said...

Thanks, Clyde.......and nice to meet you. Since I've been reading Michael's other Taiwan site, I've been jealous of people who live in your lovely part of the world! :)

Once I heard about the Pig's Blood Soup, though, I reconsidered....

Anonymous said...


Thank you for sharing your life experience in Taiwan with us on last Sat.

I forwarded your website to my younger sister back in the State.

She went there about age of 5 and didn't remember much of Taiwan life.

She has never liked Taiwan, but I hope through your website, she could also find out that what a wonderful Taiwan is (except the politics).

Anonymous said...

Well, that's where I will go travlling next month. Did you remember the name of the hot pot restaurant? I'd like to go, it makes me hungry as long as i see the picture. Oh~no!!

Anonymous said...