Sunday Oct 26, 2008

A Tale of Four Lands

I flew back home last night into a resplendent and fairly empty Terminal Three. I'd only been gone for a week, and had a wonderful time traveling, but it was good to be back onto familiar ground.

Real relaxation came when I climbed into front passenger seat the taxicab. On the right hand side, just where it should be. The musty smell of cigarettes, the cold November wind coming in through the half-open windows, the twang of a Beijing accent as the cabby and I quickly went through most of the conversational Mandarin I knew.

Hong Kong, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Hong Kong, and then back to Mainland China. Each entry or debarkation (including the ferries between Hong Kong and Macau) requiring a customs sheet... a total of 12 stamps in my passport; three pages used.

I'm going to work more on this blog entry later, and do some back-filling as well. In the meantime, here are some of the photos I took over the last week:

http://flickr.com/photos/robesoh/sets/72157608200746094/

Saturday Oct 18, 2008

Zuoying

First, I've been told that someone unearthed an old enigma box and was able to decipher Paul's name, so I'll drop the code. Sorry, my dear friend.

With that out of the way... the story left off in the Zuoying district of Kaohsiung city, which is the second biggest city in Taiwan. The second picture in the previous post is taken outside of the in-law's house, a wonderful dwelling that was featured in an architectural magazine. Most folks in this area live in houses, versus the flats/apartments which are common in Beijing. Another difference was the kitchen, which opened-up into the dining room. The kitchens I've seen in Beijing have mostly been small and enclosed, the better to capture the grease from cooking.

Another difference between Beijing and Zuoying was that there were very few bikes, and far less automobiles. Most people traveled around on motor scooters. The use of bikes was similar to that in the States... exercise and riding for pleasure. I didn't see any three-wheel carts, horse-drawn carts, or other types of transportation that I've been used to seeing in Beijing.

Here are two nighttime shots of a market, which is a must-see for anyone visiting the district:

10172008484.jpg

10172008481.jpg

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