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More on Miaoli.

This is the first of our Miaoli pages. There's more about our year 2000 in Miaoli here, and you can see something about early 2001 on this page 


Getting Around

BIKER CHIC. Laetitia on our scooter outside the Miaoli High School. This bike was an absolute necessity in Taiwan, and I think that we will always want to have one. Most people in the country had one, which made it almost impossible to use the pavements for walking because every available square metre was taken up by bloody parked scooters!

HELLO KITTY!  After avoiding the issue since getting to Asia, I've finally done my first bit of driving in a left-hand drive car. It was our boss's Limited Edition Hello Kitty Nissan March. Ugh. I did well, ignoring the envious stares of everyone under 5 years old.. It has to be said that I did a lot of strange things to madden local drivers - I stopped at red lights, indicated before turning, and other eccentricities. I'd probably NEVER pass the Taiwanese driving test. PEOPLE ACTUALLY BUY CARS LIKE THIS - AND I DRIVE THEM!

Spoilt Rotten

YUMMY! Putting all considerations of good taste aside, this is the phenomenon we belatedly discovered in our rice cooker recently after having forgotten to clean it for a couple of days (a month, actually). Look, these things HAPPEN, okay! Knowing what we did about local 'cuisine', we could probably have scraped the thing out, dumped the mould in a styrofoam box, and made a fortune selling it at one of the regular night markets as a potion to make you taller, thinner, or to enlarge your bust! Don't laugh - these were ALL things which local TV was FULL of. Ads for concoctions and remedies which will miraculously transform you into the man/woman you want to be, simply by dropping a few drops of potion into your belly button or taking a couple of tablets every day. Very dodgy.


Getting social...

COFFEE AND TEMPLES. A MUCH nicer aspect of life was presented by this pic of our Londoner colleague Matthew Sparkes with nearby coffee-shop owner (and perennial lifesaver), Su-Ting, whose sister-in-law is another South African teaching in Miaoli City! We're everywhere!!!!!! This pic was taken outside her shop in front of the Yui-Chin Gong, Miaoli's biggest temple and just around the corner from where we work, too! She makes a KILLER frozen mocha crushed ice thing, which was all very well during the steaming summer months but was NOT a good idea in winter.


Mount Ali...

KUANTZALING. Not a verb, a place. We visited this hot springs town early in Spring 2000. There was an interesting spot where natural gas bubbled up through a pool of water and was then lit, so that there were flames dancing all over the surface of the pool. Curious - and dangerous, especially for blind swimmers. 

BLIND ONE? Despite my best efforts to appear visually challenged, no-one gave me the benefit of the doubt and we were always caught before I could 'accidentally walk away without paying because I didn't see the bill'. .. This is actually us at lunch in the Kuantzaling valley somewhere.
KUANTZALING VIEW MOUNTAIN VIEWS. In addition to flaming water, (not just a 'delicate infection'), there were nice views and surprisingly nice forests to stroll through at the nearby mountain resort of Ali San, one of Taiwan's top places from which to stare bleary-eyed at sunrises, a phenomenon which really grips Asians. What's wrong with sleeping late and enjoying a decent sunset instead, I ask you!?
ON AN ALI-SAN FOOTBRIDGE CHERRY OU! This was my first glimpse of real cherry blossoms. They looked - erm - just like the pictures. Our visit to Ali San was misty and rainy. Cool.




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