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Monday, December 10, 2007

A Sunday in Taichū 日曜日

Today the Kaminoge family spent a busy, but useful, Sunday in the teeming metropolis of T'aichung (Taijhong) 台中. It was a day that combined a bit of sightseeing with some Christmas shopping, and complemented with some good food, all on a sunny and warm afternoon. Not a bad way to end the weekend.

Our first stop was to visit Taichung's Confucius Temple 孔子廟. After finding a parking spot (never an easy task in central Taichung on a weekend), we started walking towards the temple when an unusual looking bird flew in front of us and came to rest on parked car:

Neither Pamela nor I have ever seen a bird like this in the middle of a large urban area. I have no idea what kind it is.

Soon after our encounter with the mysterious bird, we walked by the Martyrs' Shrine 忠烈祠. Taichung's version (like many in Taiwan, it was built on the site of a former Shintō 神道 shrine 神社), is only open on holidays, so we made a brief detour inside. Although the Main Hall was closed, the walk through the main gate and up to the Front Hall was nice.


The Confucius Temple is close by. Here's what 地球の歩き方台湾 has to say about it:
1726年建設の中国風建築の廟。主殿には孔子およびその弟子72人が祀られている。ここは台湾では珍しく宗式の建物で、その複雑で変化に富んだ構造と、繊細で美しい装飾は一見の価値あり。青、白、緑、赤、橙に塗られた色彩の調和がさわやかだ。新暦の9月29日は孔子誕生記念日で大変にぎわう。
Pamela and I had some of our wedding photos taken here, but this was Amber's first time to visit.


Lunch followed our visit to the shrine of the great Chinese sage. In my case it was a bowl of チャーシューメン which wasn't half bad.


After lunch, we walked over to the massive Chungyo Department Store 中友デパート.
 

Chungyo was packed, but I did manage to come away with a box of Raisin Bran and a couple of Australian and British ales from the new Jasons supermarket in the basement. This was followed up by a short walk down the street to Mister Donut ミスタードーナツ. So much for my attempt to eat less following our trip to the States, as I bought a Honey Dip, a Custard Cream, a Chocolate Cream and a Coffee Roll, and consumed them all before the day was out.

Amber being photographed not far from Mister Donut. This happened several times during the day - young girls coming up and asking to take her picture with their digital cameras and cell phones. I should've charged for the privilege, but I lack that killer business instinct.


The narrow lanes and alleys behind Mister Donut were absolutely packed.


The effect one doughnut can have on a small child!

One of the reasons for going to Chungyo was to do some Christmas shopping for Amber. The selection and the prices there left a lot to be desired, however, so we drove across town to the Taichung branch of Toys Я Us トイザらス. Though it was far from empty, it was nothing like the mob scene at the department store, thanks no doubt to the fact that Christmas hasn't fully caught on yet in Taiwan. We settled on a box of Lego レゴ-like plastic bricks for Amber, seeing as how she had so much fun with a similar set at her Nanna and Granddad's house in Bremerton. I won't be at all disappointed should my daughter grow up one day to be an engineer!





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