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Monday, June 11, 2007

A quiet Sunday 静かな日曜日

My father-in-law turns 82 on Tuesday, so today the family celebrated by going out for lunch. Pamela's two sisters and their husbands drove up from Hsiluo (Siluo) 西螺(せいら), and joined my wife's mother, brother, sister-in-law and niece in observing the occasion. As my father-in-law is a vegetarian, we had a meatless lunch at a restaurant in downtown Fengyuan (Fongyuan) 豊原(とよはら).

Most vegetarians (my father-in-law included) choose this lifestyle for religious reasons, unlike in the West, where the majority of vegetarians give up meat because it's perceived as being part of a healthier lifestyle. As a result, much of the food in vegetarian restaurants in Taiwan is designed to resemble meat or, as in the case with the photo below, fish.


As Pamela was wondering, why give up meat, and then eat food that's designed to look like meat? And vegetarians take note: vegetarian food is no more healthier than regular fare in Taiwan, which in real terms means it's often deep-fried and swimming in oil. To your health!

After lunch, Amber and I took a walk to the nearest Seven-Eleven so that I could buy a newspaper. On the way back she became very excited about the various arcade games spilling out onto the sidewalk.

Arcade and gumball machines in Taiwan contain so much Japanese written on them that I usually don't take any notice (I suspect many, in fact, are imported from Japan). The one that Amber is pointing to, however, is different. The Japanese written at the top ド子 in nonsensical. The Chinese is more interesting: "Tat'oumei (Datoumei)". Pamela thinks 大頭妹 ("Big-head girl") sounds cute. I will reserve comment.

One good thing about all the rainy weather we've been having lately is the clean air and nice views that follow in its wake. These pictures were taken from the roof of my apartment complex this afternoon. My attention was drawn to the fogbank off in the distance, something not usually seen in this area.

If only the air could be this clean year-round!

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