Dour, 電通-controlled, family-centric Belgian Neocolonialism, enthusiastically jaded observations and occasional rants from the twisted mind of a privileged middle-class expatriate (from The Blogs Formerly Known As Sponge Bear and Kaminoge 物語)
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Sunday, November 5, 2006
Chance encounters 出会い
Despite it having rained all day on Friday, and despite the weather forecast calling for showers Saturday, it turned out to be a nice day. And what better way to enjoy sunshine, warm temperatures and fair skies than to go for a walk in Takeng (Dakeng)? In the early afternoon, I headed out on my scooter on Chunkung (Jungong 軍攻) Road, and 45 minutes later arrived at the start of the No. 2 trail. The plan was to walk up the No. 2, go along the ridge top to and then descend the No. 3 trail, and finally walk back along the road to my scooter parked at the second trail. About 3/4 of the way up the No. 2, I passed two young boys who were taking a break. I greeted them with a "Nihao" and they replied in kind. But as I continued up towards the top, I heard them talking to each other in Japanese. It turned out that not only were they were in fact Japanese - Yuichi, 10, and his 6 year-old brother, Taiyo, from Fuchu 府中市 in Tokyo - but they were also doing the same walk I was doing (up No. 2 and down No. 3). So I ended up having two companions along for the hike who gave me a chance to practice my admittedly rusty Japanese. We were joined at the top by the boys' mother (Emmy, who was Taiwanese) and her friend (whose name I didn't catch), and the five of us enjoyed a long, leisurely stroll down to the bottom and back to our vehicles. We even spotted a monkey on the No. 3 trail. It may not have been the strenuous workout I was hoping for, but for a couple of hours on Saturday I felt like I was back in Japan.