Saturday, June 25, 2016

Randall Sawka, Continuing Travels in Asia

Nancy and I have kimchied and sushied (so tasty) our way through Korea and Japan. It was awesome. We made some new friends and met a handful of friends from years gone by. Our flight from Osaka to Taipei seemed simple enough. We had our train ticket to the airport in plenty of time for the 2:40 flight. Oh, how I wish I had checked whether the flight I booked was AM or PM. As I said, our flight from Osaka to Taipei was a Randallesque disaster. We slightly messed up our budget, but collected a few more air miles. The wife didn't find that amusing. During the quiet flight I was able to get work done on my next novel.

From Taipei we took the short bus ride to our home for the next three months, Taichung. The city is vibrant and loaded with some of the kindest people you can imagine. I suppose it's main claim to fame is that it is where Life of Pi was filmed.

We live up there, seven stories up in a modest but comfy apartment lent to us by our friend Michael. He will be in Canada for the summer.

I write in the very early morning (AT 5:30) in the covered area I call my gazebo. The image shows me at a moment of limited creativity as Nancy used my iPad to take the photo.

The area behind me is typically filled with dozens of people doing Chinese Kung Fu. They asked us to join them. I told her that there are 35 women and 2 men. She said "that's the norm." Hmm, just like Canada.

Later in the morning the weather becomes hotter than a BWL. That is when I stroll down to an AC equipped coffee shop like the one pictured. As most of the sidewalks here are filled with hundreds of scooters, the walk is an adventure. Pedestrians are easily second to vehicles who battle it out for the lane and-a-half going in each direction on most streets. The system requires each driver to edge over or turn or stop or upturn or ? Slowly. Thus, the others adjust to the move. The horns don't blare constantly as in other countries. Only when someone flies through a red light (and it's surprisingly often) do they let them have it.

 Until next time.......Randall Sawka

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