Saturday was a very windy day. So windy, in fact, that when I went up to the rooftop of my apartment building to have a look, the Central Mountain Range 中央山脈 was clearly visible in the distance, looming in the background behind the hills that define the eastern border of Fēngyuán 豐原. Due to central T'áiwān's 台灣 generally poor air quality, this was a rare sight, and on Sunday things were back to (ab)normal. It was nice while it lasted.
The usual haze aside, the weather was still pretty nice Sunday afternoon, and the Kaminoge family took advantage of it by spending some quality time in the great outdoors, specifically on the grounds of the National T'áiwān Museum of Fine Arts 國立台灣美術館 in T'áichūng 臺中. My daughter had a great time hitting (plastic) balls and playing Frisbee:
Here Amber swings and misses one of her dad's high heat, but most of the time she was able to hit the ball, and solidly at that.
Seeing as the grandly titled 2011 Compass T'áichūng International Food & Music Festival was underway at the nearby Art Museum Parkway 美術綠園道, my wife, never one to pass up an opportunity to sample different foods (especially if said foods are barbecued or grilled meats), suggested we walk over and check it out...
中文: 幸福99百年婚宴 (Hsìngfú 99 pǎinién hūnyàn)
English: May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other
With 2011 being the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of China 中華民國, it's apparently an auspicious year to tie the knot.
I once worked with a Canadian guy who had come to T'áiwān after his retirement, and loved it here (the young women he was dating probably played a big part in that). He told me that the two things he made sure he never missed in T'áiwān were the Dragon Boat Festival 端午節 and Compass Magazine's food and music festival, a statement which I found more than a little pathetic, but at the same time, kind of sad. Still, it was fun to wander around, checking out what kinds of food and drink were on offer. My former coworker from the Great White North would no doubt have enjoyed the bevies of babes walking around (he was probably in the crowd somewhere on Sunday). I didn't mind the view, either, though I still can't see the attraction of having skin so pasty white it looks as if the woman had only recently been released from the hospital after a long convalescence.
T'áichūng's Western community was out in force today, it seemed, and while there, I ran into an old classmate from my first days in T'áiwān. Unlike many of the women, Greg was looking healthy, and he's been back in T'áichūng for the past 18 months, studying Mandarin at Providence University 靜宜大學. It's always great to catch up with old friends and acquaintances.
Amber was having a lot of fun at the festival, but it was getting late, and with my little one having to get up early and go to kindergarten on Monday morning, it was time to leave. Here, Amber poses in front of the restaurant where we had dinner before getting back to Fēngyuán. Called Yǐngch'uān t'áng 穎川堂 (the Japanese would be something like "Egawa-dō), this establishment specialized in Kitsune udon (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitsune_udon) きつねうどん. I was amused to see that this dish in Chinese is called "Fox Udon" 狐狸烏龍麵 (Húlí wūlúngmièn), with udon being phonetically transcribed as Oolong (as in the tea) noodles.