Tuesday May 30th, 2006

What can I say? It's been raining and raining and raining ... guess that's what I get for bragging about my outdoor pool in the last post. Grrr.

A small group of us were planning another trip to Hualien (花蓮) this weekend. Due to the rain, we've decided it's not a good idea to go. We like to spend our time in Taroko Gorge National Park ... see the photo. It is a canyon that runs 19 kilometres long and is surrounded by white, rushing water and cliffs. On any regular day the roads can be closed due to falling rocks and such. As it's now been raining for a few weeks, we assume the driving to be a little dangerous.

Tomorrow is a holiday in Taiwan as it celebrates the Dragon Boat Festival. I'm afraid it's not going to be a very nice day to check out the races. It will, however, be a nice day to cuddle up with the cats for some R & R. I don't know what's up with the weather this year ... but I am ready for some hot sunshine!

Sunday May 21st, 2006

The weather reads 33 degrees today ... it certainly feels hot. I spent my morning at the pool ... it was so relaxing. Clouds are starting to roll in now ... apparently we are up for more rain.

This is the outdoor pool in my apartment complex. I got some good shots today, so I thought I'd post one ... have a look at what I'm in for this summer. Yes ... life in Taiwan can be a sweet thing. I hope you're all getting a little sunshine where ever you may be.

Rainy Days ...

So ... the funny thing is, is that the typhoon has taken a loop around us. It is now heading for Japan ... yet, it still won't go directly over Taiwan. We are certainly feeling the effects from it. The wind has been quite strong the past few days ... rain has been coming down most of the afternoon ... I could hear it inside my classroom while I was teaching today ... now that, is a downpour. Worked out well as that's one of my new vocabulary words for the week. After reviewing the concept of compound words, I got to introduce the true meaning just by taking the kids to the windows at the front of my school.

I live in Taipei county and rainy days can be a funny thing. As most people ride around on scooters and the likes, traffic can be kinda quick if you're up for a little weaving here and there. When it rains such as today, everyone brings out their cars ... I'm baffled as to where they are all parked ... underground here and there, I suppose. Anyway ... people tend to forget that cars are about 10 times the size of scooters ... they try to drive the same way ... thus causing traffic everywhere ... thus causing no movement ... thus causing the car-less riders to get soaked in the "downpour". As a rider, you do have the advantage as you get to zigzag your way to the front ... but when the cars aren't moving, it's kind of like directing your scooter through a maze with a little gas and a lot of foot work.

Arriving home around 1130 from my morning private ... I was soaked. It nicely stopped at 130pm for my 10 minute ride to work. My last class ended at 6:30 ... pouring. Again, upon my arrival home ... soaked. I did laundry two days ago. It's hanging in the small enclosed balcony but the clothes aren't really drying ... the thunder and lightning have started.

I think we'll be up for a real hot spell after this one. The outdoor pool here is open ... and what a grand place it is. I will get some pics as soon as this 'you know what' rain stops. The rain aside ... it's like being on holidays all the time here in Taiwan. It's going to be a hard place to leave.

I suppose there's a little bit of paradise everywhere ... you just gotta be determined to find it. I've found my bit for now. My next paradise, I hope, will be on the ocean ... not sure which ... Indian, perhaps?!?

You gotta dream big!

Sunday May 14th, 2006

The weather hasn't been too bad in Taiwan, considering the typhoon. It's on its way to the mainland, so we won't be directly affected.

Today I went out and bought new runners, some flip flops and a bathing suit. All three things were muchly needed. My bathing suit was on its last string ... same with the shoes, I suppose.

Well ... it being a windy, gray afternoon, I think it's time to cuddle with the cats and watch a movie.

Typhoon 珍珠 (zhen1 zhu1)

So much for camping this weekend ... it seems the first typhoon of 2006 is on the way ... it's scheduled to arrive on Sunday. It's not going to go directly over Taiwan, but I'm sure we are in for the rain and the wind.

The past few days have been a taste of the summer to come ... sunny, humid and hot, hot, hot. Come on sunshine ... there's a big river out there calling my name!

Monday May 8th, 2006

This will be something I'll find while in Victoria. I completely forgot about it ... I'm sure there will be much more of that to come.

This was a Christmas present from Brother J ... years back now, it seems. His art work, of course. Nice one, J!

He will be leaving Taiwan in less than two months to start again in the Hammer ... it is going to prove to be much different from his life here, I'm sure. I hope it suits him well.

My cats are going crazy ... I guess that's what I get for working these long days. Less than three months to go before my one month of rest. I kinda feel relaxed just thinking about it. Guess I'm gonna have to run out and buy me some suitcases ... it seems I've lost mine along the way.

Monday May 1st, 2006

Well ... it seems I've booked me a flight to Canada. As it stands right now, I will be arriving in Toronto on Monday, July 31st at some insane hour in the morning ... sorry, Dad! I plan to stay in ON until the 14th of August at which time I will fly to Vancouver. I have two weeks in Vancouver ... although I will be in Victoria for the most part. It is there that I have a storage locker of things to sell or give away. It's going to be an interesting look into the seven years spent in Van ... I wonder what goodies I'll find! I fly out of BC on the 26th of August to return to my cats and my life in Asia. As I said ... these are the plans that stand for the moment ... I will keep you posted if anything changes ... one can never be too sure!