Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Few Scenes From Life

Ribs, slow-cooking on my grill.

I've been so busy lately that I haven't had time to run around and take pictures of things. Why have I been so busy? In addition to making up grades, editing papers, and writing, my wife and I have been preparing for the arrival of my parents from the US for a two week visit, the first in my whole time in Taiwan. We're very excited.

A view from a spa.

A couple of weeks ago we went around some of the spas and B&Bs in Hsinshe and Tak-en looking for a place for my parents to stay. This spa tempted us with beautiful mountain views and rooms that were actually within shouting distance of our budget (which, it seemed, could get us precisely 27 minutes at the local love hotel).

Being a spa, the signs gave clear instructions on how to find underdressed members of each sex.

It sure looked comfy, and only 10 minutes from our house! We asked to see a room...

....and were shown this sweet looking room with the king-size bed. Nice, eh?

Well, the bed certainly was king-size -- if you were the king from Shrek. A room with two beds blew up our budget, so we headed into town and reserved a nice room in a respectable hotel, with good views of the mountains.

Seen on a student bag.

Do my students do dope? Well, if they did, it would explain a lot of things....

MOM: Dan-dan! You have to be more careful! You know how thin the pavement is in Taiwan!
SHERIDAN: Sorry, mom! Guess I don't know my own strength.

Are the artists for the Taichung city government inspired by Pizza Hut? You be the judge.

Here is a tiny temple to the earth god that was preserved when B&Q put up a store on the property. This inconspicuous religious site is a metaphor for the way religion works in Taiwan society: it is so deeply integrated into the way people think and act that foreigners have trouble seeing it, and will sometimes argue that the Taiwanese aren't religious.

I stopped at a night market on my last teaching day this semester, looking for something to eat.

I considered whether the Mongolian BBQ gang is con or pro.

Imagine trying to fight a fire in the middle house on this lane.

A street in the downtown.

Finga's deli, with plenty of western food.

A bulletin board outside a western restaurant in downtown Taichung.

No matter where you are, an intrepid oldster is busy recycling.

Racing birds caged and ready for pigeon racing, a popular local sport.

A sidewalk scene.

Need furniture that just won't give in? Here's the place. Problem: prices are high. Sky high, in fact.

An apartment complex in downtown Taichung.

This little shrine nestles under a.....

.....gigantic old Ficus.

Between Taichung and Changhua. The smokestack belongs to an incinerator.

The old men play chess at a local park next to a temple.

Much loud advice offering and rejecting later, the man in blue finally conceded.

Getting ready for the evening crowd at a local Mexican restaurant and bar.

As the pic below shows, there's no place to scuba dive in Taichung. Which is too bad, because I'd love to learn.

Taichung's waterways are all pretty well under control. Sadly.

Got goat?

A colorful local temple.

A colorful lizard patiently posed while I adjusted my camera.

Silly traffic laws -- who needs'em anyway? I'm not going to wait patiently in line with these suckas! I'm going to jump into the opposite lane and head past the waiting line of cars. Suckas!

Mosquito repellent: burning cones of wood and lemon peels.

Dusk on a local thorofare.

Setting up for a job fair on campus.

This vendor sold delicious ices flavored with the stuff below.

Ai yu, a favorite local flavor.


Charlie said...

I really love your pictures Mister Turton :)

Anonymous said...

beautiful pictures! over 3 weeks, I will go back to Taiwan to visit my family in law.. really love Taiwan...

greatings from Tjeerd Pieter, Holland (Friesland)

Mickey said...

Beautiful pictures, Michael!

How did you convince the lizard to strike that nice pose?

Jason said...

Nice pics, Michael. Any updates on that half-built skyscraper on Gongyi Rd? What are they going to do with that thing?

Anonymous said...

Very nice pictures and commentary!

Eli said...

Great pictures!

Michael Turton said...

Thanks guys!

That skyscraper is indeed going to be finished. Eyesore no longer.


Anonymous said...

Nice pics!

Tim Maddog said...

Michael, nice pics.

My trusty wife tells me that the name of the "Stubborn Furniture" store comes from the idiom "ζ“‡ε–„ε›ΊεŸ·" which translates to "choose what is good and stick to it." Still, that's a pretty funny English name.

Jason, if you mean the building that looks like a big wing (or perhaps, a fish facing East, it's already finished.

Jason said...

A fish... looking east.
Of course!
(Rolling eyes)

Michael Turton said...

Your wife is one sharp babe!

Yeah, but the store sells clothing, not furniture. Go figure.