Friday, June 30, 2006


Good Eats in Taichung City

Taichung is known as a city of cheap great eats, so as a new resident of this sprawling, labyrintine monstrosity, I make sure to enjoy what can be enjoyed on a daily basis. Below are clips of two of my favorite restaurants, both of which happen to be Japanese.

Sushi Express


This restaurant doesn't have an English name, but perhaps Osaka Teppanyaki would be the appropriate translation?

Of course, blogging about food doesn't do the gastronomic subjects justice. Next time I'll bring my Smellcorder and post a whiff of the dishes online!

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Scooters and Whirlybirds

也有五磅泡菜給你看囉! 很誇張了吧!

Today was the first sunny Saturday in a while. I was sort of planning to go to Taipei for a free street party with all kinds of music, but since I didn't want to spend a total of at least 5 hours on a bus in one day, I decided to hike instead.

Don't worry though; I got creative about it! I taped the Taiwan Rover (a.k.a. my Nikon S3 digital camera) to the front of my scooter and switched it to the Movie setting. I made sure to put padding in place so that the screen wouldn't crack, and also added copious amounts of clear tape to make sure the whole contraption wouldn't come undone over a pothole and crush itself under the ferocious weight of my boss's brother's 12-year old 125CC scooter.

And the results??? Well, not bad, I'd say! Take a look below. This is the trip from my apartment building to a nearby breakfast shop where I often go to devour cheese omelettes drizzled in sweet brown Taiwanese soy sauce, washed down with cold black tea.

Later on, as I was hiking, a red and yellow helicopter kept passing slowly overhead, and I had no idea why. I found out later that a Taiwan Search and Rescue Operation was doing rescue exercises on the hiking trail! I believe they were called into duty recently due to the excessive rains of the previous few weeks, when some people in 谷關 Guguan and 和平鄉台中縣 the Heping District of Taichung County were caught in rising floodwaters. In this type of situation, every second counts. Hence the practice.

Here is a video and a few pictures of them in action.

Helicopter Propellers

So Close You Can See the Characters

Making the Pickup

In other news, a student of mine recently gave me Five Pounds of Kimchi. She was able to broker such tonnage because her brother's girlfriend's family are kimchi wholesalers in Taiwan.

Five Pounds of Kimchi

The Justice Dragon and I are slowly working our way through the bag. Most nights it's kimchi hotpot with all the best mushrooms and vegetarian meat you can find. That is to say, the main reason I eat as well as I do is because the Justice Dragon can really cook! She's making me healthier because now I eat a little less red meat than I did back in Canada. I owe this change to her 98% vegetarianism.

To tell you the truth, though, it's not Five Pounds of Kimchi that sits in our apartment-sized fridge. It's at least Ten, as heavy as a newborn baby. Five Pounds of Kimchi just happens to sound nicer for some reason.

Saturday, June 10, 2006




The Plum Rains are also called The Mould Rains

It's rained for two weeks straight. On Friday June 9th, the millimetres kept piling up and piling up, and remember I drive a scooter. It's been the kind of rain that soaks you clean through in a minute. God turns on the tap, and you're stuck out in the wet unless you remembered to bring your full-length rainjacket.

On Alishan, it rained 545 mm in 19 hours. As I've discovered, SUMMER is the rainy season in the south and west of Taiwan (where I currently live). By contrast, in the north and east, the rainy season is WINTER, so the best of both worlds would be to live in the south during the winter and the north during the summer, but actually that's not entirely true because it doesn't matter where you go in Taiwan during July and August, it's just plain HOT.

As for the title of this post, Justice Dragon and I have had to throw out our Japanese mat-style bedding that we've slept on since September (i.e. bedding overtop a boxspring and upside-down hardwood box that functions as a bed frame) because the mould levels became unacceptable for civilized people. We've also had water leaking into our top-floor apartment from the roof, leaving us with the task of mopping up water off of hardwood floors every few hours or so and keeping a fan on to stop the moisture from wrecking the wood.

Upon keeping to these tasks one miserable evening, it occurred to me that the name 梅雨 (meiyu) "The Plum Rains" was just too sweet a name for this kind of weather. The other term, 黴菌 or 霉菌 (meijun) "The Mould Rains", was much more descriptively accurate.

Anyways, it's Sunday morning and something large, shiny and warm has decided to glow in the sky. I think I'll go take a look and see whether or not the rumours are true. The sun may indeed be back.

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