Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Another Gorgeous Day in Tainan

Air Supply, behind bars at last.

The rain stopped, the wind blew in, and the sun came out. And so I marched across Tainan, camera in hand.

This introduction to the history of National Chengkung University, whose institutional core dates back to the Japanese period, refers to Taiwan being "returned" to China. *sigh*

Rising prices don't slow down those delivery vehicles. In many cities gas delivery trucks constantly roam the streets of their neighborhoods, waiting for phone calls. This reduces delivery times.

Sunlight in the alleys.

Shengli Road in Tainan.

Flowers crowd the camera.

There's a doctoral dissertation hidden in these signs.

85C is a booming Taiwan coffee chain that opened an outlet in Australia.

One thing I like about Tainan is that the wilderness of signs has not been tamed by some local government that wants all the signs to look the same.

Residential neighborhoods.

Curving alleys are a feature of Taiwan neighborhoods. A relic of their origin in converted rice fields?

Water pumps waiting for customers.

A small restaurant takes a break between meals.

Another great thing about Tainan is the brick pavements. Very atmospheric.

A gas cooker, common in street stands.

Washing down after lunch rush.

A small shrine tucked into a crevice next to an auto repair shop is a physical metaphor for the unobtrusive integration of religion into everyday life in Taiwan.

A street stall.

I've never seen this variety of mango before. Delicious.

It's nice to have something to do while the vendor cooks your onion cakes.

In every neighborhood such bulletin boards announce places for rent.

The sun brought out the clothes.

Enjoying an afternoon BBQ in a tea stand.

Good fengshui: where an alley intersects housing, a temple is often built to deflect the negative effects of the road running like a dagger into a potential home.

The inside of a local restaurant. Bare walls: I've never understood the attraction.

Meats pose in a local restaurant display.

Your friendly neighborhood police station.

Filling up with water.

Words fail me.

Sells a little bit of everything.

Drying the cleaning stuff.

The imposing edifice of a local junior high school.

The day was so clear that the mountains were visible. I've actually never seen them before.

After a long walk, ice cream is the correct therapy for sore feet and a parched tongue.


Todd said...

I guess only in Asia you'll find giant posters for Air Supply or Kenny G when they come to town.

STOP Ma said...

Air Supply, behind bars at last.

LOL! Sweet Justice! I still have flashbacks of me in my father in law's back seat in Keelung with one of their discs playing over and over and over and over...

TicoExpat said...

Lovely pics, Michael.

I thought when I went to see Air Supply (gulp, yes, I confess!) in Central America, it was because they had already hit rock bottom. They performed to an empty stadium, there were like 20 of us -should have been free, will regret paying for a ticket for ages.

And that was 20 years ago!!!!

Imagine my shock when I saw they were actually playing here. Of course, that was less of a shock than the Osmonds -though they had some kind of revival in the States, wasn't it?

The other one that caught my nostalgic *sigh* was the Charles Atlas ad. Man, sewar to God, they even reprinted the photos -wasn't there one a guy kicking sand on a smaller guy's face somewhere nearby?

Michael Turton said...

Tico! Charles Atlas! Man I was trying to think of that name all week!


Michael Turton said...

Maybe a lot of the groups we groan at were the only ones allowed here during martial law.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the 85-degree coffee chain...

No matter how many teenagers they have working in there, it somehow always takes them at least 10 minutes to finish making a latte. I can't figure out why. Same thing in both Taipei and Tainan.

I'm amazed they are doing well enough to open shops overseas.

Michael Turton said...

I had a big fight with them last week over the slowness issue.


QuaChee said...

love yr photos - it really is the everyday lives of the taiwanese. truly its an amazing country - just been there and has fallen in love with it :)