January 24, 2017

Taiwan: A Photo Essay

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I recently returned from my fifth trip to Taiwan. I like this small island republic for its interesting and dignified people, its relaxed pace of life, its emphasis on personal physical well-being, and of course its food. I recently finished writing a novel entitled Bridge Across the Ocean, which is about bicycling and love and business intelligence espionage, which takes place among characters from both New England and Taiwan. I enjoyed writing about Taiwan and on my last trip, I took hundred and hundreds of photos and shot a lot of video for the novel. This time, I just took pictures of people, places and things that caught my interest, in no particular order, all with my new iPhone 7 Plus. I hope you enjoy them.

Captions appear below photos. Click on a photo to see an enlargement.

These four-year-old twins belong to the couple whose tiny breakfast restaurant is our favorite.

 

I recruited our youngest Fictional Cafe supporter. The V fingers sign means a happy hello in Chinese culture.

 

A classic Chinese doorway

 

A “Hello Kitty” customized scooter

 

The wall of a hotel in the south of Taiwan bearing the lyrics to the Eagles'”Hotel California.” This rocked my world, because I’d been playing songs from this album in my head for days.

 

Taipei’s weekend jade and coral jewelry market. It’s held underneath a two-block long highway overpass.

 

Jeff, my massage therapist at Thousand Miles, giving me a Died-And-Gone-To-Heaven foot massage. I saw him three times while I was in Taipei.

 

The banyan tree is a Chinese symbol of life. This enormous tree is probably over 250 years old. Enlarge this to marvel at this tree.

 

From huge trees to tiny trees: This bonsai is about 18″ high. The Chinese are expert at bonsai and love expressing themselves in the natural environment.

 

My friends Andrew and Maria, who live in Magong City on a tiny Ponghu island off the coast of Taiwan. They stand in the oldest street in Magong, which was settled by mainland Chinese in the early 1600s.

 

A Buddhist prayer stall in a tiny narrow alleyway, where you can stop for a prayer and burn a joss stick. You’ll find these everywhere in China and Taiwan.

 

Advertisement for a female detective in a taxi. She’ll catch your cheatin’ husband in flagrante delicto!

 

This crowd is waiting for dim sum outside a five-story restaurant on a Saturday morning.

 

Betcha haven’t seen one of these! In a Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) station. Excellent croissants, too.

 

New Year’s Eve in Kenting, at the southern tip of Taiwan. Thousands of people stroll the main highway, which is lined with food carts. The Chinese love to eat, and cart food is delicious and fresh.

 

Newlyweds in the early morning, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Joy and love seem to be celebrated universally.

 

We toured southern Taiwan and saw people roasting popcorn over a natural methane gas seep. And photographing each other roasting popcorn over a natural methane gas seep.

 

A busy intersection clogged with hundreds of scooters. They’re the noisiest vehicles on the streets. Taiwan is going to electrics.

 

We had a Taiwanese favorite, beef noodle soup, in a little cafe run by these sisters. Their darling terrier is in the photo below.

 

Something women never see in the restroom.

 

I toured a private art gallery in the Ponghu Islands, where this solid gold Tibetan prayer book was on display. Enlarge and you can see the Chinese characters.

 

The Taiwan High Speed Rail is a total pleasure to ride. Great service, clean, super comfortable seating, and it’s fast – 262 KM/hr converts to nearly 162MPH.

 

 

 

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