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Monday, November 6, 2006

Birthday 誕生日

One of Pamela's brothers-in-law turned 60 this weekend. Actually, he's only 59, but according to the way the Chinese count age, you are already a year old at the time you are born. And 60 being an auspicious age, a big celebration was in order. Which meant we went to Pamela's hometown today, Hsiluo (Siluo 西螺) in Yunlin 雲林 County, to join in the festivities.
今日パメラの義兄の60番めの誕生日だった。その年は台湾に奇瑞の年なのでパーティーを開いた。わたしたちは雲林県の西螺町に行った。西螺「シールオ」はパメラの古里だ。

A picture of my neighborhood,taken as we were getting ready to leave this morning. Notice the lack of sunlight.
神岡の近所 

Pamela with some of her relatives: her mother and two sisters, plus the birthday boy, along with two of her nieces.
パメラの家族 

Here we are with one of Pamela's nephews, and his wife and daughter.
パメラのおいの家族

The home of the brother-in-law and the second oldest sister. It's a new house and very spacious inside.
ぼくの義姉の家

In true Taiwanese fashion, everyone headed off to a local restaurant for a feast. Social gatherings in Taiwan often involve banquets like these, with a lot of dishes to be sampled. However, what becomes of the leftovers? It seems such a waste if it just gets thrown out after the diners have left. And why do they give you so much wasabi with your sashimi?
レストランに誕生日の宴会

On the way back to the house after lunch, we drove through one of Hsiluo's tourist "attractions", a street of old Western-style buildings. It's nice to see they're not just museum pieces. After all, one of them is a betel-nut shop.
西螺延平路「シールオイエンピインルー」


On the way back to Fengyuan, Pamela took me to see a local historical site, the Hsiluo Chenwen (Siluo Jhenwun) School. Originally a school for poetry studies established in 1813, the present building dates from 1892.
西螺振文院

Next door to the school is a Taoist temple where Pamela used to do her homework on the weekends when she was an elementary school student.


Back in Fengyuan, we did some shopping at a local supermarket, where I came across this item. It's some kind of children's game, but I doubt the estates of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are aware of its existence. Amber became aware of Lhasa Beer, the Dalai Lama's brew of choice.

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