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Monday, November 6, 2006

Birthday 誕生日

One of Pamela's brothers-in-law turned 60 this weekend. Actually, he's only 59, but according to the way the Chinese count age, you are already a year old at the time you are born. And 60 being an auspicious age, a big celebration was in order. Which meant we went to Pamela's hometown today, Hsiluo (Siluo 西螺) in Yunlin 雲林 County, to join in the festivities.

A picture of my neighborhood,taken as we were getting ready to leave this morning. Notice the lack of sunlight.

Pamela with some of her relatives: her mother and two sisters, plus the birthday boy, along with two of her nieces.

Here we are with one of Pamela's nephews, and his wife and daughter.

The home of the brother-in-law and the second oldest sister. It's a new house and very spacious inside.

In true Taiwanese fashion, everyone headed off to a local restaurant for a feast. Social gatherings in Taiwan often involve banquets like these, with a lot of dishes to be sampled. However, what becomes of the leftovers? It seems such a waste if it just gets thrown out after the diners have left. And why do they give you so much wasabi with your sashimi?

On the way back to the house after lunch, we drove through one of Hsiluo's tourist "attractions", a street of old Western-style buildings. It's nice to see they're not just museum pieces. After all, one of them is a betel-nut shop.

On the way back to Fengyuan, Pamela took me to see a local historical site, the Hsiluo Chenwen (Siluo Jhenwun) School. Originally a school for poetry studies established in 1813, the present building dates from 1892.

Next door to the school is a Taoist temple where Pamela used to do her homework on the weekends when she was an elementary school student.

Back in Fengyuan, we did some shopping at a local supermarket, where I came across this item. It's some kind of children's game, but I doubt the estates of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are aware of its existence. Amber became aware of Lhasa Beer, the Dalai Lama's brew of choice.

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