Last Saturday evening, a sudden thunderstorm passed over our area. While I was working online, and my wife was in the kitchen, a bolt of lightning struck somewhere on our street. Pamela heard a crackling noise coming from outside, and almost immediately afterward, our modem connection stopped working. In fact, it wasn't until this morning that our link to the internet was restored, courtesy of a new unit installed by our ISP. In some respects, I didn't mind being disconnected to the outside world. I was still able to check my email at work, and instead of being ensconced in front a computer, I spent more time watching CNN, National Geographic and Discovery. Nevertheless, it feels good to be back in cyberspace. Here are a few things that happened while I was "out":
On Saturday afternoon, the Kaminoge family visited the Pacific Department Store in beautiful downtown Fengyuan (Hōgen) 豊原 to check out the "Tottori: Japan Week" fair going on there. It was more interesting than I thought it would be, with a number of food products from Tottori Prefecture 鳥取県 available, as well as information on tourism, and even a representative from Tottori University 鳥取大学 manning a table.
I was pleasantly surprised to find several Japanese working at the tables, and they in turn were pleasantly surprised to find a Westerner in Fengyuan who could speak their language (sort of). I came away with a bottle of 地酒 that has gold flakes floating in it, Pamela bought some かにみそ (おいしい!) and Amber was given a トリピー doll, the official mascot of Tottori-ken. I hope "Japan Week" will be a recurring event at the department store, with other prefectures exhibiting their wares.
On Sunday, we drove up north to spend some time at the beach in Ciding, in the town of Jhunan (Chikunan) 竹南. Amber had been asking to go the ocean ever since our excursion last month to Mashagou. Ciding isn't as nice, but my daughter had a great time getting splashed by the waves, and digging in the sand for shells.
And yesterday I went for a morning walk in Chung-cheng Park. My trip was delayed for 30 minutes due to an air-raid drill that I didn't know was scheduled for that morning. The police in Taiwan might be lax in so many areas of law enforcement, but they were extremely efficient in clearing the main roads of all traffic. Below is a photo I took of cars and motorcycles parked at the side of the road, waiting for the all-clear to sound.