Kind of ironic, isn't it? Monday was an unplanned day off from work due to an approaching typhoon that didn't reach our area. Tuesday it was back to normal, and the wind and rain decided to make an appearance. Riding my scooter this afternoon on the road between T'aichung Airport (Táizhōng hángkōng zhàn) 臺中航空站 and T'aichung Metropolitan Park (Táizhōng dūhuì gōngyuán) 臺中都會公園, I was nearly blown off my bike by the force of the winds whipping about. This begs the question as to what I doing outside on such a miserable day in the first place, to which I would answer "Why going hiking, of course!" Actually, while it was windy and wet at times, it didn't seem like a real typhoon, so I figured it was safe enough to take a long walk. Therefore, following lunch at 7-Eleven, I headed out to the Nanliao Chuk'eng Old Path (Nánliáo zhúkēng gǔdào) 南寮竹坑古道, which I had discovered (for myself, that is) a couple of weeks ago (and which you can read about here: http://kaminoge.livejournal.com/208851.html). This time, I did the route in reverse, starting out on the C Trail, before returning on the Main Path via the Trail B detour. It was 90 minutes of wind, rain and solitude, otherwise known as "bliss".
This colorful beetle was trying to shield itself from the elements. There were also numerous cicadas and dragonflies flying about:
The view while walking down Trail C. Rural Taiwan is rarely bucolic, as the power station in the background demonstrates:
The C Trail meets the main route under the No. 3 Freeway (Fúěrmóshā gāosù gōnglù) 福爾摩沙高速公路:
(I was asked in my previous post about a certain plaque on the ground in this area. I took a closer look this time, and it turned out the inscription was just a description of the hiking trails in the area.) After a leisurely stroll downhill along C, it was time to work my up back up. Starting out on the main trail, I soon came to the B Course, a short trail that loops back to the main path further uphill. A short stroll through a cemetery proved once again that, here in Taiwan, the dead get the best real estate:
Looking down into the ravine and Trail C. The cluster of trees on the right sit atop a small hill that supposedly resembles a carp:
The area around the Nanliao Chuk'eng Old Path contains some interesting-looking temples and old neighborhoods. Being pressed for time, and with the weather conditions somewhat less than ideal, I decided to save further exploration for another time.
It was still raining this evening as I rode into T'aichung for my weekly (soon to be bi-weekly) Mandarin lesson. I couldn't help but get distracted by these signs while on my way to class - no wonder I'm not progressing.
"Oshare" おしゃれ is a Japanese word that means "smartly dressed, stylish or fashion-conscious". It also doesn't require a macron over the "o".
"Ichiban" いちばん「一番」, meaning "the best" or "number one", is one of the most-frequently seen Japanese words on signs in Taiwan. Others include いらっしゃいませ, "Irasshaimase" or "welcome", and おいしい, "oishii" or "delicious".
The Chinese on the sign 日式大阪燒 means "Japanese-style okonomiyaki", while the hiragana 平仮名 above the words reads somewhat differently as "Nihon Ōsaka-yaki" にほんおおさかやき. If you don't know what okonomiyaki お好み焼き is, do yourself a favor and check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okonomiyaki.
This conveyor-belt sushi restaurant 回転寿司 often has some strange Japanese on its signs. In the upper right-hand corner is written 今日、すし氣分, which is supposed to suggest you're in the mood for sushi today. Except that the first character in the compound "kibun" is written with the traditional Chinese character 氣, and not the Japanese variant 気. Thus, my Japanese online dictionary can't translate 氣分, while Google Translate for Chinese renders it as "gas separation" in English! It might get a little odoriferous around the sushi counter!