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Thursday, July 5, 2007


I'm not sure why I did it, but I've gone and deleted some of the photos I've put on this blog over the past year. Most of the pictures were of scenes I found interesting while going for walks in the Chung-cheng (Jhong-jheng) Park 中正公園 area of Fengyuan (Fongyuan) 豊原. What this now means is that on a lot of my postings about Chung-cheng Park, there are references to pictures that are no longer there. I guess that's what happens when you go about doing something you haven't a clue about in the first place.

Speaking of Chung-cheng Park, I went for a walk there this afternoon. Public schools are on summer vacation now, and the private cram schools and kindergartens have adjusted their schedules accordingly. Classes start earlier in the morning, and generally finish earlier in the afternoon. The cram school where I teach sets aside Wednesdays for field trips for the kids, so my services are not required, and thus I'm free. Seeing as Amber takes a nap right after lunch, why not take advantage of the opportunity and get some exercise?

Many people might blanch at the idea of walking in the hills and mountains in the middle of the afternoon on a hot summer day. For me, there's no better time. The sweat generated walking up and down the paths makes me feel like I'm eliminating toxins from the body, and doing something about getting rid of some of the excess flab I've accumulated since marriage. But the main reason I enjoy going out at this time is the solitude. Only a fool would venture out in this heat, and there aren't too many fools in the Fengyuan area. The peace and quiet of an early afternoon hike, especially in comparison to the noise generated by the numbers of early morning walkers and the collateral damage that follows in their wake (vendors and karaoke), more than compensates for the buckets of sweat that is produced. Besides, the BO of a sweaty hiker means I'm less likely to be bothered by someone when I stop for an iced latte on the way home after walking.

The recent heavy rains have had a couple of good side effects:
Normally dry streams are full of water, which cascade down small waterfalls

and the air is so clean that the view stretches all the way out to the ocean, a rare sight in this part of central Taiwan

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