16 May 2007
Snaps and Snippets of Miaoli City and Hsinchu...and some notes about things various and sundry
The above sign is from a gated entrance to a school (an elementary school, I think it was). The image and words speak for themselves. But man, oh man, can you imagine? What could it mean? What would a person who was transported from late 1920s to early 1930s speakeasy days in America to the current time in Miaoli City where this photo was taken, make of it?
This is the Chinese Petroleum Corporation offices in Miaoi City, if I remember correctly. I think that this is that company's building, I mean.
A wonderful view of the "sidewalks," overhangs, or whatever you call them. This is the closest thing in Taiwan to a sidewalk. Unfortunately, most of them, most of the time are too crowded with scooters, so one has to walk and share space with insane scooter drivers who think nothing of driving three centimetres away from you even when it is completely unnecessary.
Another like shot. By the way, car-drivers here seem to think that people who walk are foolish, even though they, yes even they, do it for at least a couple of minutes a day. A foreign walker? That person just wants to get killed! "Watch out!" "Be careful" is what you will hear if you walk or ride an ordinary bicycle a short distance of two minutes. What would people think of me, who ride my bicycle for 45 m. up to 1 hr. all the way from Fengyuan to Taichung City? I belong in a lunatic asylum! Sick!
Above is an alley in Miaoli city. Not the Japanese-style house in the left-foreground of the picture. All the photos below until the rest of the post are from Hsinchu. It is an aesthetically pleasing city, until you get out of the centre district. All of Hsinchu smells bad most of the time.
People go on and on about how bad the air in Taipei smells and how bad the air is there, period. I really, really differ. There are more trees in Taipei. The rest of Taiwan, as far as the people, the voters, the administrations are concerned seem to be allergic to trees or to any beautification (excepting freaks of nature or artifice, like downtown Hsinchu). I find Taichung City's automobile (including scooters, AND NEVER WOULD I SAY PEOPLE SHOULD BAN SCOOTERS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT WHICH IS WHAT ONE CITY IN MAINLAND CHINA DID) exhaust fumes border on instantaneously poisonous. Taipei, on the other hand, has never had such an effect on my olfactory senses. I find Taipei cleaner. Taipei is an incredibly efficient city, too. If I come back to Taiwan (as most of my regular readers know, I am going back to Canada at the end of June to finish my Film Studies M.A.), I would probably want to live in Taipei. It is the most multicultural of Taiwan's cities. There's even a Travel/Living Channel show hosted by a Taiwanese guy whose name escapes me, but who is quite a character. His show highlights this quite well, usually with food.