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Friday, February 23, 2007

Lunar New Year 旧正月 Day 6

Despite the overcast and sometimes rainy weather, Amber, Pamela and I enjoyed an afternoon out with Steve and his family (wife March, daughter Zoe and son Eli). Today was a very "Taiwanese" outing for us. Our destination was a small, private zoo located out in the middle of nowhere. Well, in a small town called Fangyuan 芳苑, in Changhua (Jhanghua) しょうか County 彰化県, to be more precise. Out amongst the rice fields, some enterprising farmer has collected a number of exotic animals, including hippos カバ, lions ライオン, monkeys 猿, bears クマ and a North American bison バッファロー, plus some more mundane creatures. For some strange reason, several dogs and a cat were also on display in cages. Unfortunately, many of the animals were kept in cramped, filthy enclosures, and I felt especially sorry for one monkey with a chain around its neck. Someday I'll teach Amber about treating animals in a humane manner. But at this age, it's enough for her to enjoy seeing different animals up close. And enjoy she did, especially the horses 馬 and ponies 子馬/ポニー. Fearless Amber wasn't afraid to reach out and touch the critters.

After the zoo, we drove into the historic town of Lukang (Lugang) ろっこう 鹿港. Lukang/Rokko is chock full of historic buildings and temples, so of course we didn't bother with those and visited the "shell" temple instead. The "shell" temple is called that because the primary material used in construction was...seashells. Lots of 'em. Call it tacky, gaudy けばけばしい and kitsch キッチュ, but the kids enjoyed it, and that's all that matters.

Of all the NBA players' photographs you could choose to put in a shell-frame, would you choose Danny Ainge?

After leaving the "shell" temple, and saying goodbye to Steve, March, Zoe and Eli, we headed into central Lukang to have dinner (oyster omelet カキオムレツ) and mingle with the crowds, before returning home to Fengyuan (Fongyuan) とよはら 豊原.

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