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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Panoramas パノラマ

Today was a beautiful day, one of those uncommon mornings when it's possible to see the mountains that are behind the mountains. And I was feeling very proud of myself because I finally got out of bed and out of the apartment before 9am in order to go for a morning walk (and enjoy the fresh air) in the hills above Chung-cheng (Jhong-jheng) Park. Big mistake. Little did I know that a) there is a very active morning market there on Sundays; and b) everyone else in Fengyuan who wasn't shopping at the market also decided to go for a walk.

A "morning market" sounds like a very charming affair, but truth is, it was crowded, noisy and smelly. The small road was clogged with cars, scooters and people, and all available space was taken by stalls and vendors. I wanted to take a photo of the activity, but there was no place to stop my scooter. And then there were the walkers. Their cars were parked all the way up the road from the park to the start of the trails. There went the solitary stroll I was looking forward to. On the positive side, most of the walkers stuck to the road. And it was nice to see whole families getting some exercise together (my wife and child were still at home in bed). But next time I think I'll wait until later in the morning to do my walk, when the market is finished and most of the walkers have gone home to get ready for lunch. At least I now have a good excuse to sleep in on the weekend.

Afterwards, I rode over to the public cemetery on the next hill over from Chung-cheng Park. And here I was the only (living) soul.

Here are three panoramic shots taken from the cemetery:

Why do the dead in Taiwan get all the best views?

Finally, a view of the field behind my apartment building, looking much like the lavender fields of Hokkaido (note to the sarcastically challenged: I'm kidding)

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