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Published: September 21st 2014
Chengcing Lake Baseball Field
A whole group of teachers headed to the ball game on a Saturday afternoon.
Wow, it's the end of September, and we haven't blogged since returning from Thailand and Cambodia at the beginning of April! Where does the time go?
On April 6th,2014 we arrived back to our apartment in Kaohsiung on a Sunday evening and quickly settled back into our routines. Joanne, Linda's cousin had met us in Bangkok and journeyed with us through Cambodia. While we returned to Kaohsiung, she took an extra week and traveled to the Cambodian coast along with Rene, our Canadian friend that we met in Mexico, who is now from Switzerland. Joanne made her way to the Cambodian-Thailand border, and then on to Bangkok. The next day, she caught a flight to Kaohsiung to spend the next 10 days with us. Saturday, we took in a professional baseball league game here in Kaohsiung; now they know how to serve beer in the stands! And our home team won! We showed Joanne around Kaohsiung, the night market, Hanshin Mall, the beautifully lit buildings with their elaborate roof tops, Love River, Lotus Pond, Central Park, Dream Mall and we even managed a Harbor Supper Cruise. We took an all day scooter trip out to Meinong and the mud volcano.
We Got Choice Seats
Pon, Linda's EA, came with us and helped us to purchase good seats in the stadium.
Saturday, we took the bus to Kenting beach where we were entertained by a group of young Taiwanese men. Joanne met David, our mystical healer, and spent many hours with him discussing the mysteries of the ancient Eastern cultures.
After Joanne left for Saskatoon, we carried on with our routine, Linda teaching her motivated 4th graders, Maurice subbing in the school the odd day. We made a special effort to attend the first ever Taiwan International Boat Show, and were impressed both by the venue, the newly opened Wave Pavilion by the harbor, and also by the many huge yachts inside. That evening, the parents of one of Linda's students, a Russian family, invited us onto their sailing yacht, which by invitation, moored at the boat show. Wow, a 48 foot, 2 bedroom, galley, living area, and mechanical room were decked in the finest woods available. It is a beautiful boat, very capable of sailing around the world. It is so complex that it takes a few hours just to get it up and sailing, which is why Mike says he only takes it out when they can spend at least a night at sea. He spends a lot
Now That's How to Serve Beer
A Canister on his back, and cups in the pouch, this fellow circulates through the crowd peddling draft beer for $2! Now that's service!
of his time on the boat, just polishing and maintaining it. We also spent a few sunny afternoons with Regine, the assistant librarian whom Linda has befriended. Regine lives on the outskirts of the city in a villa nestled in the foothills. Their complex has a large pool that we were able to enjoy with her. Vincent and Caroline, our Taiwanese friends who live on the 8th floor, insisted one Saturday on us taking in the Dashu Lychee Festival. So we rode our scooters out of the city about 40 kilometers. Every year, Dashu hosts the Lychee Festival on the first weekend in June, and people from all over Taiwan drive to the small town to buy lychee nuts, as they have just come into season. We have never tasted such large and juicy lychees before, they were amazing! The locals cover a 2 block stretch with a canopy, and vendors set up on each side of the street and sell all kinds of fruits, vegetables, and various goods of all descriptions. There is a stage set up with radio and TV personalities entertaining the crowds. It was a good thing that Caroline and Vincent drove their SUV out; they
Harbor Dinner Cruise
We boarded a small cruise boat for a tour along the harbor. Dinner was a treat of a great buffet supper.
were able to carry all of our purchases back to Kaohsiung for us.
On Saturday, June 7th, the parents of both the grade 4 classes held a teacher appreciation luncheon at a very high class hotel in downtown Kaohsiung. We were told not to arrive before noon, but to be prompt. When we arrived, the students and parents greeted us with cheers, confetti, streamers, music and drums. What a fanfare! After a few speeches, we feasted at the most elaborate buffet we had ever eaten at. They had every kind of seafood including crab and lobster, all kinds of beef, chicken, pork, salads, breads. deserts and on and on. They even had draft beer on tap, all help yourself, all included in the buffet price. Of course, we never did have an opportunity to find out the cost of the buffet, the parents made sure of that. The students entertained us with violins, keyboard, and games. They presented Linda with a huge poster that we have hung on the wall of our study in our apartment.
The last weekend we were to be in Taiwan, we once again rode the bus to Naman, or South Beach, Kenting. There,
Great View of the Harbor
Linda, Yeni, the Spanish teacher, and Joanne pose on the top deck. In the background are the loading cranes for the container ships.
we met Grace, a Taiwanese EA and her husband Darren. He has been living in Taiwan for a number of years and is originally from Regina. He met Grace when he owned a bar in Pingtung, a half hour drive East of Kaohsiung. We partied with them Saturday night, then on Sunday visited the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium. What a complex that is, situated in a rural area and set against the sea. The buildings are huge, and the array of sea life is quite amazing. We had no trouble spending an afternoon there, and then took a shuttle back to the beach. Another bus ride got us back to Kaohsiung followed by a short scooter ride home. Now that we know how things work here, we find it easy to get around.
Linda spent the next few days winding down in class and finishing a very rewarding year with her small class of highly motivated students. She was amazed at how they had progressed in a year, and was in awe of their achievements. Her reports went home on the last day with the students, Thursday, June 12th, and she was done at the school
Container Ships Loading
In 2012, Kaohsiung Harbor handled 9.78 million TEU's (20 foot equivalent unit containers), 13th largest in the world. North America's largest, Los Angeles, handled 8.08, while Vancouver handled 2.71.
Friday at noon.
We spent the afternoon preparing to leave the following day, and ended our first year in Taiwan with a visit with our closest friends. We then boarded the High Speed Rail in the evening, headed for a hotel close to the Taipei International Airport.
Saturday morning, June 14th, we left Taiwan, connected in Tokyo, and flew on to........Hawaii!!!
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