This last Sunday of 2007 turned out to be bright, but chilly. Winter, it seems, has finally arrived (as I write this, the thermometer in our bedroom reads 12 degrees centigrade, or 54 F. This might not sound very cold, but Taiwanese apartments are all concrete and tile.) I spent a few hours in the late morning and early afternoon catching up with Steve, who despite living not far away in T'aichung (Taijhong) 台中, is someone I don't get to see as often as I should. I met up with him in front a McDonald's in Taichung, and drove from there to T'antzu (Tanjih) 潭子, a rural town of about 100,000 people (!) sandwiched between Taichung and Fengyuan (Fongyuan) 豊原. Our plan was to see the sights of Tantzu while catching up on recent developments in our respective lives, but it quickly became apparent that there isn't a helluva lot to see there, and as things turned out, the only spot we visited was a temple, the T'anshui (Tanshuei) Pavilion 潭水亭. Dating from 1801 (though the buildings are of more recent vintage), it's fairly representative of what you find in Taiwan, and not worth making any special efforts to see. Afterwards, we returned to Taichung (via a quick stop at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 臺中市洲際棒球場). It was far from an exciting day, but it was still great to see an old friend again.
(Upcoming legislative elections explain the campaign truck parked out front)