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Saturday, September 16, 2006

When you're alone and life is making you lonely, you can alwaysgo...downtown

I had planned on going hiking today in Takeng (Dakeng), but the wind and rain this morning (brought on by the trailing edge of a typhoon that turned away from Taiwan and is headed towards Japan) put a stop to that idea. Naturally, after I had resigned myself to lying around the apartment in my underwear all afternoon while watching cable TV, the sun came out. It was too late, however, to ride into Taichung 台中 to go hiking. So instead I walked from our apartment to downtown Fengyuan. It took about 45 minutes to reach Fengyuan Station 豊原駅 from our place in Shenkang (Shengang 神岡). Most Taiwanese cities are not well-suited for walking around, and Fengyuan is no exception. The sidewalks are cluttered with parked cars and motorbikes, and many shops spill out into the footpaths, so a lot of time is spent walking on the road, with the traffic brushing by uncomfortably close. Still, I enjoyed the experience, and it sure beat staying home by myself while Pamela, with Amber in tow, was at work. So, here are some pictures I took while I was out this afternoon:

 
This picture was taken on a footbridge that crosses over the train tracks near Fengyuan Station. The locks secured to the fence were, according to Pamela, left by teenage couples a symbol of their love. She also says that foreign laborers (mainy Thais) leave the locks here for good luck.

 
I Hope We all can Happy!

 
A northbound express train pulling into Fengyuan Station.

 
Fengyuan Station.

 
Some students have told me that the small police station next to the train station dates from the Japanese colonial period.

 
Matsu (Mazu) Temple. This temple is the center of activity in downtown Fengyuan. Next to it is Miaotung (Miaodong 廟東), a small street crammed with food stalls that is well-known throughout Taiwan. In fact, it's the only thing Fengyuan is known for.

 
A final view of downtown before heading home. The hill in the distance is the area where I often go for walks on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

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