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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Getting eclipsed

The big story in Asia today was the eclipse, which was total over parts of Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar and Nepal. Here in Taiwan, we had a partial eclipse, with about 85% of the sun being blocked by the moon. Unfortunately, cloud cover obscured the views in many places, including Fengyuan 豐原. Nevertheless, we were able to see parts of the eclipse at the kindergarten/cram school where I work in the mornings and afternoons, thanks to the welding masks that someone had gotten from somewhere. Through sheer good luck, I was also able to take this picture with my camera:

The cloud cover was thick enough to have acted as a filter, blocking the glare from the sun, but had not yet obscured the view. The next eclipse won't be seen in Taiwan until 2070, and I'm pretty sure I won't be around to see that one!

A shot of a different sun, taken on my work this morning:

I'd bet my life savings (what little I have) that you would never see a tour bus like this one in China or South Korea. It just goes to show how attitudes towards Imperial Japan 大日本帝国 differ in Taiwan from the rest of Asia.

After this morning's solar eclipse, I spent a couple of hours walking up and down the No. 10 and 9 Trails in the Dakeng area. Not only can you enjoy getting close to nature out there, you can also savor the fine taste of Japanese sweet potatoes サツマイモ prepared in industrial drums:

On the way home in the middle of the afternoon, perhaps feeling that my life was nearing completion after witnessing the celestial show (and ignoring MJ Klein's common sense imploring), I once again recorded parts of my ride using my soon-to-be-patented technique of holding the camera in my left hand, while operating the scooter with my right:

In case you're wondering, Taiwanese roads were not built by the same person who designed the sets for "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari".

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