Monday, February 19, 2007

bring on the sunburn

Our first official day of touring. Tainan is famous for abundant historical buildings (it was the capital of Taiwan from 1661-1887) and delicious snack food. Today we set out to sample some of both.

First stop: Anping Fort, built by the Dutch in the early 17th Century.

Second and much longer stop: the carnival set up around the fort. Matzu temple
Matzu, the Goddess of the Sea, is the most important folk deity in Taiwan. There are temple dedicated to Matzu all over Taiwan, and I think we visited at least six just in Tainan, although I’m sure there were dozens more. The temples are active places of worship, especially during the New Year, and each was crowded with worshippers who had come to pray to Matzu for luck and good fortune.
The Tree House.
This abandoned home was taken over by at least one ambitious banyan tree. There may be two trees there, but it looked to us like it was the work of just one tree. The banyan tree (the “strangler fig”) has a unique appearance because roots come down from the branches and when they reach the soil below they thicken and eventually the root takes on the appearance of another trunk. One tree could have hundreds, thousands, of roots.

Things I want to always remember:
* The colorful kites. * Running out of the temple so that I wouldn't get "souped."
* The way my dad would try any kind of food offered to him.
* How funny it was when my dad dressed in the warrior costume and started posing for our pictures, because, first, he is just funny like that, and second, all the locals around us started taking pictures, too.
* How the Chinese put so many potted plants all around the door of their homes.

* The fresh-pressed tangerine juice. Oh, yum. I could drink this every day for the rest of my life.Things I will never forget:
* The powerful stench of stinky tofu.


Janssen said...

Are you going to keep posting about your trip? I'm all ears (or eyes).

Karla said...

Funny, that the locals were taking pictures also.