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Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Toyohara Sunday

The central Taiwanese city of Fengyuan (Hōgen/Toyohara) 豊原 isn't an especially large city, having an area of 16 square miles and a population of 165,000. But like many such burgs in Taiwan, its compact downtown area can get densely packed, especially on weekends, when the city (to paraphrase a more astute observer of Taiwanese affairs than myself) "vomits up people". It was into this maelstrom that we waded on Sunday afternoon, in a partially successful search for shoes (my daughter found some she liked, I didn't). Amber was like a solar battery on a sunny day, absorbing the energy from the 人山人海 atmosphere and converting it into a Superman-like ability to leap uneven sidewalk sections in single bounds. A true child of Taiwan she be...

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The noise of the traffic going under the train tracks already had my daughter excited before we had even reached the center of town.

(左) Accessories being sold from tables set up on sidewalks were an irresistible allure to both child and spouse; (右) Amber inside the Fengyuan branch of Kobayashi Cookies http://www.xlcookie.com.tw/index.htm, a shop noted for its custard cream cakes, which are an irresistible allure to yours truly, much to the regret of my waistline (the sign next to Amber refers to クリスマスのギフト). Yes, that's "Kobayashi" and not the Mandarin reading of the characters 小林, "Hsiaolin", despite the fact the company is from the small T'aichung (Taichū) County 台中県 town of Tachia (Taikō) 大甲.

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