Thursday, August 2, 2007

Bing Lang

When we got back to Gongliao we had to wait two hours for the train. So I went to the store to get some tea and some "bing lang" betel nuts, in English. That's what the locals chew. It's a mild stimulant like caffine. And very popular in the country side of Taiwan. The guy was actually so impressed that a foriegner wanted bing lang that he happily gave it to me for free. So while I waited for the trian I had a couple betel nuts and worked on my chinese home work

northeast coast

We took the train to Gongliao near the coast, rented a scooter and took a beautiful sunset drive heading south down Taiwan's northeast coast. We stopped for some icecream "spring rolls" with cilantro, chopped peanuts and icecream. We stopped at some really cool rock formations on the coast and went for a quick sunset snorkel. The water was clear, the visibility was at least 30 feet. There were a few tropical fish, not bad for a random stop. The rocks were littered with puffer fish like this one in the picture. It's a funny thing, they are every where, on every beach. The funny thing is when I was in the sea of cortez in Mexico they were also all over the place. Strange....Hmm........ On the way back we stopped at a famous resturaunt that makes lunch boxes for the train. When your on the train certain stops have people who will sell you a lunch box to eat on the train.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Last weekend cont..........

After working up an appetite swimming and hotspringing we walked back through town and ate some barbecued domesticated boar meat on skewers. It's even better than pork! So Delicious. Then we bought a bottle of locally produced millet sake to bring home. We were still hungry so we ate at an aboriginal style restaraunt and had lilly flower soup and stir fried fern sprouts. Which sounds strange but is surprisingly good. Picutred here is sticky rice cooked in bamboo.

Last weekend

On Friday after Chinese class, I went to the mountains outside of Taipei to swim in the river and enjoy some natural hotsprings with my friend Spring. It's about 20 minutes on the MRT (Taipei Subway), and then another 30 minute bus ride through the winding mountain roads to the small hotspring town of Wulai. Getting into the mountains and into the river is the best way to cool off on a hot humid Tapei summer day. After jumping from the cliff and swinging from the rope swings from the cliff ledge into the cool blue, green water, the natural hotsprings that come up from underneath the river banks are so relaxing. The hotsprings form natural pools at the river bank in varying tempuratures so you can pick the one that's at the perfect tempurature of your preference. Further up the trail is Wulai falls (pictured here) and I've heard another more beautiful waterfall exists even further up the trial.

My new job!

Believe it or not, I have a job!!! I'm teaching Business English of all things. Not that I know a thing about business or English for that matter, although I do speak the language. It's pretty interesting since I have no idea how to teach. But I'm learning quickly and it's not bad, I enjoy it.