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Monday, December 7, 2009

花見 the Taiwanese way!

Another Sunday, another up close-and-personal encounter with mass tourism, Taiwanese-style. Despite it being the beginning of December, the weather is still pleasant, and not knowing how many more such Sundays we will have before the chill of winter sets in (though the truth is it doesn't get all that cold in Taiwan), we drove out this afternoon to the town of T'ienwei (Tao) 田尾, in Changhua (Shōka) County 彰化県. T'ienwei is noted for flowers, and in more recent times, for bicycle rentals. But cast aside any images you may have of leisurely cycle rides past bucolic flower fields. This is Taiwan, and in T'ienwei, this means you and hundreds of other weekend cyclists must do battle on roads chock full of cars, buses, scooters and pedestrians. And instead of flower farms, the draw there is plant nurseries selling all manner of flora, and augmented as always by food vendors and carnies. You won't be humming "Talking Loud and Clear" by OMD while walking the crowded streets and lanes of T'iennwei, that's for sure!

For your enjoyment, 写真を見てください:

 
My daughter Amber was quite the little horticulturalist, asking me to stop the bike at several places along the way so she could visit some nurseries and inspect the flowers there (check out the picture she took here http://princessnami.livejournal.com/). Today was also an opportunity for her to try out her new Hello Kitty ハローキティ purse, handmade by one of her aunts.

The photo on the left shows the view of the road from the bike, while the picture on the right provides a street-level view after we had parked our wheels and took a walk along the main drag.

Spouse and child relax in the back of our rented pedicab ("sanlunch'e" 三輪車 in Chinese) towards the end of the afternoon.

Christmas decorations on one side of the street, the Earth God on the other.

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