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Monday, August 27, 2007

What's there to do in Taihei?

Not much, apparently. The family and I went for a drive in the nearby city of T'aip'ing (Taiping) 太平 today. Unfortunately, driving was about all we did there. The city itself is nothing out of the ordinary - the usual ramshackle collection of buildings crammed together on narrow roads. The mountains behind the city are much more scenic, but we failed to find anyplace that was worth stopping and getting out of the car for. That's what I get for relying on a Taiwanese guidebook (as opposed to a Taiwan guide like Lonely Planet or Rough Guides).

With the afternoon getting late, and an antsy child in the backseat, we gave up on Taiping (日本語で Taihei という町), and drove over to the Tak'eng (Dakeng) 大坑 area. There, we stopped off at the Chunkung (Jungong) Elementary School 軍功小学校 earthquake memorial, which I had visited two weeks earlier with Michael Turton. Here, at last, Amber had an opportunity to stretch her legs, which she did most enthusiastically.

On the way home I took this picture of a Taiwanese chain store. Although the characters in the store's name 松青 would be pronounced "Sungch'ing (Songcing)" in Mandarin Chinese, everyone knows it by the Japanese reading "Matsusei". Using a Japanese name is one method by which local businesses can make their establishments and/or products seem more upmarket.

Upon returning home, Pamela didn't feel like cooking, so she picked up a fried rice bento チャーハン弁当. On the outside of the box was written お食事, so that I would know the contents contained an honorable meal.

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