Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Out on the town

Okay, so Evie asked me if Ethan could wear a dress too. Thankfully he wasn't too stoked on it. Evie is pretending to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. We are building her a yellow brick road out of the blue tiles you see.

Ethan looks much better as a little dude...

This apartment building on our corner has been under construction since last year. I should have taken more pictures to document the progress over the past few months. When we arrived the entire building was covered in scaffolding and green mesh to keep debris from falling onto the street. It was fascinating to watch how quickly workers took the scaffolding down, all without harnesses to protect them from falling to emminent death. We always walked as far away from the building as we could. The kids and I actually watched pieces of scaffolding fall from pretty high. Luckily, no one was hurt.

The Taiwanese love to jackhammer out concrete, especially if they just put it in the week before. They also like to put garish tile over what looks like nicely finished walkways.

Check out the solid foundation. If you think you are looking at the scrap from an entirely tile job, you are so right. At least it's not one of the more earthquarke prone areas in the world. For chits and giggles, go here http://www.cwb.gov.tw/V6e/index.htm Click on earthquakes and then earthquake report to see how many they are having per week.

This was a massive crater a few days ago. We saw a guy wiring water mains to rebar one day, and the next day, voila!, it was nicely covered with construction debris. Once they concrete over this mess, it will be the driveway to the tenant parking structure. Luckily the building is only about 20 floors and this is part of the foundation, so it should be fine.

Beer, smokes, tools...put me to work boss. More strange even is that he's sitting, not squatting.

We stopped by the park en route to a reccomended Thai restaurant. This street vendor impressed us with his old school Chinese toys and the masterful way he made them work. We bought bubbles for the kids and a spinning top (which you "throw" with a rope), one of his cool old used ones.

Evie enjoyed blowing bubbles, but the first time she bent down she accidentally emptied the entire bottle of bubbles, on her shoes. Soon enough, the woman who sold us the bubbles gave us another bottle, which Evie dropped about two mintues later.

One...two...


Wee...

Joel is actually quite flexible, it's just happens to only be on Tuesday's, when he is wearing his florescent spandex.

50 is Joel's favorite tea shop (the substitute for Red Bull since they stopped distribution in Taiwan late last year). He was turned onto it by Dylan, who usually drinks up to 6 green teas a day. Joel is only at one a day. Evie, on the other hand, just likes picking from the wide variety of brightly-colored straws.


The yellow sign is 50 tea shop. The Thai restaurant is just a few doors down from 50.


A truck full of Guava's; just pull over on the side of the road and open shop.

After lunch, we stopped for one of our favorite treats: Subway cookies. To our surprise, there was this little park behind the building, an oasis from the traffic and pollution just 50 meters away.

Evie enjoyed going up and down the stairs in her fancy, shiny and very loud Dorothy (from Wizard of Oz) shoes. She doesn't like to tell us about the blisters they give her because she thinks we will take them away.

I see this quite often on our walks around town. We thought it was dog food, but then we see them serving it off street carts. Keep in mind this is a busy street opposite, and the road dust is adding much needed "flavor".

I don't know what these are, but they look like shriveled up peeled potatoes. We've learned not to assume what it looks like is what it is.



Day old doughnuts, 6 for $1.


I went on a bike ride today though the industrial park. This is the "solar power" effort in the picture, but they have water and wind as well.

Project Name: Central Taiwan Science Park – The Project For Overhead Water Tower and Reservoir of the West District at Taichung Base
Designer: China Engineering Consultants, Inc.
Contractor: Te-Chang Construction Co., Ltd.
Completion Date: 8-18-2006
Total Cost: NT $373,000,000 (about $10,700,000.USD)


Most of the bigger buildings in the Science Park are for LCD screen manufacturing (Corning). The size is hard to fathom. There are five big ones close together, each with 3 million square feet of space, and are at least five stories high. They have underground conveyor belts that take the screens (under roads) from building to building during the manufacturing process. I am not sure if you have heard about this so-called "economic downturn", but it's turned this area into a bit of a ghost town.


The park on the top of the hill above the apartment. It's really busy on the weekends with all of the Taiwanese making the short drive (or bike ride) out of the city to the cleaner air.

The entrance to temple areas all have these overhead arches. Entire neighborhoods have these on all sides because a temple is built there.


Taiwan is full of surprises. Everywhere you look, there is something unique and interesting.

The amount of effort they put in is astounding. This bridge was purely ornamental.

It's so Taiwanese. Worry about the tree limbs breaking, so prop them up in a fashion that requires installation after every mow.


Temples don't really have to be grand.

Here is a classis Chinese style temple (upturned roof at the corners) just off the bike path. Like most, its quiet during the week and really busy only on Sunday.

Right off the bike path is homeless place, nicely decorated for the holidays...

It may look like a trash pile but amid the junk someone is taking the time to make their house a home. Check out the spice rack - all the spices are neatly in a row.

The kitchen table...

We ate there later that week.

The temple again, from a lower viewpoint. It's overlooking the ocean, which is about 15 miles from there.

video

Video of spinning top trick. We haven't managed to repeat this one.

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