Rapid Road Repair

The Taiwanese are very efficient in their road repair.  Every time we’ve gone over the mountains they have crews working on the roads.  Today the target was the road in front of our apartment building.  In the space of one work day they scraped and resurfaced the street.

Here they are just getting started.

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And this is when I was glad I had already brought in the clean laundry.

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Resurfacing.

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Finishing touches.

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Temple Machine

The faculty and staff went on a field trip to Sun Link Sea (more on that in another post but the short story is… forest that felt like home).  We ran across a coin-operated machine that Dan and I had seen once before.  The faculty started asking about the “temple machine” (really more of a fortune-telling machine).  Push in a coin and the figure turns, enters the temple, gets a scroll, and drops it in the slot.  Here’s Dan getting an interpretation of his fortune that included some things Charlene was too embarrassed to translate for him.

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Mango Sprite

McDonalds in Keelung had a picture of what looked like peach soda with star shapes. So of course we ordered that. It was mango Sprite with bits of fruit. Yum! Just the thing for a hot summer day.
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Just so you know… this was our first visit to McDonalds since we moved here.  And we only went there because it was next door to the hotel.  Of course now that we know about the mango Sprite we may be there more often.

Another Roadside Attraction

We took a few days to explore more of the area around Keelung before summer school started.  As we were driving highway 2 around the northern coast of Taiwan (highly recommended – very scenic), we ran across this just outside of Jinshan.

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So of course we had to stop to explore.

Clearly this is intended for a nighttime light show.  There were a few people around “getting ready for the real tourists” and they decided to just let us explore rather than try to have a conversation with people who were so clearly foreigners.

The backdrops were filled with different scenes and figures that light up and move.  In the center there was a bit of a stage for live performances.

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The whole thing looked like it could be quickly put together from printed plastic sheets and bamboo scaffolding.

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The offices, like many inexpensive buildings here, were made of repurposed shipping containers.

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This place was fascinating.  I think it is the Confucian (?) equivalent to vacation bible school.  The hotel manager suggested that it was for the blessing the local fishermen at the start of the squid fishing season.  I wish that we had been able to arrange our trip to go back for an evening show.  We’ll keep this in mind for next summer.

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Haircuts in Taiwan

When you visit us, plan for a haircut.
You can spend an afternoon pampering yourself with the longest shampoo you’ve ever enjoyed (usually over an hour) along with shoulder, arm, and hand massage and finishing with a great haircut all for a reasonable price.  Here’s a photo of Mom and Casey getting the full treatment.  It took quite a while for the shampoo girl to get all of Casey’s long, thick hair sudsed up.

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Or you can go the quick and cheap route.  That doesn’t mean a less expert haircut.  Dan tried the three chair, “take a number” haircutter at our local discount supermarket (Save & Safe).  It cost 100NT (roughly equivalent to $3 USD) and took about 15 minutes.  Best haircut he’s ever had.  No reason for us to try cutting his hair at home anymore.

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Or you can get something in the middle. There are hair salons in every block.  I like the very competent man in Vickey’s old building.  He does a great job without the frills or extra cost of the ultra-pampering place.

Be sure to add haircuts to your Taiwan vacation plans.

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