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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Free Time 暇な時間

The Lunar New Year 旧正月 is fast approaching, and I couldn't be more bummed. Why? Because for the next month, my working hours will be greatly curtailed, and the corresponding reduction in income will hurt. The fact that elementary school students have now started their month-long winter vacation has meant that I now have fewer afternoon hours at the cram school where I work, and another class of mine is on hiatus until the beginning of March because the students, all homemakers, need to see to their children during this time. And then there will be the 9-day break in the middle of February..."Ouch!" goes the sound of my wallet.

But there's often a positive side as well. In this case, it means I'll have more time to spend with my daughter. It also means I can go for walks again in the Chung-cheng (Jhong-jheng) Park 中正公園 area on some weekday mornings, when there are fewer people around, and thus much quieter. And it doesn't cost anything (except the gas to get up there). 今朝の撮った写真を見てください。。。

Not every house in Taiwan is ugly, though you wouldn't know it from the way I go on sometimes. This structure sits high in the hills above Chung-cheng Park, the 山手 to central Fengyuan's 下町.

On the way back into town, I passed by this sign for a Japanese restaurant. The large, cursive script is written in Chinese (and my wife is too tired to translate it for me), but my attention was drawn to the smaller Japanese writing - "Tarabagani" たらばがに, king crab; and "Hokkaido nabemono" 北海道鍋物. Nabemono is a kind of stew cooked in a pot.

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