The sun today dazzles and dried up all the rain! Cicadas chirping, vibrant green on green topiary, architectural twists and turns, I walked from Gongyi Park along Gongyi Road back to home at Liming with a stop at the Wu Wei Tsao Tang (无为草堂) for tea and sesame pastry. Wow. The tea had a clean but fragrant, slightly sweet aftertaste and the pastry (well, the three of them) had a flakey, phyllo like crust with white sesame seeds and an almost liquid black sesame filling.
埔里 (Puli) is a small mountain town, about an hour outside Taichung. I wandered the streets, snacking and looking at the mountains. If you go, rent wheels and go deeper into the clouds.
I continue to visit neighborhoods around Taichung. One, Liming New Village was built over fifty years ago on the then outskirts of Taichung. It was complete in and of itself, with a post office and schools, police station, library, and sports center. The other, an expensive, Japanese inspired gated community was built about twenty years ago at Da Keng, on the slopes of the Taichung’s most accessible mountain. Liming is in decline because the young people have left for jobs in Taipei, or to live in more upscale, “modern” communities. The Da Keng community never took off due to banking difficulties.
Also, I have been watching a Taiwanese soap opera with my friend’s mother. My sense of the plot line: episode 1: boy meets girl; episode 2: boy and girl fall in love; episode 3-39: their mothers fight; episode 40: some kind of reunion before the birth or the first grandchild when fighting resumes.
How do the neighborhoods connect up with the soap opera plot? An older neighborhood that looks like Liming keeps getting referenced as where the poor but honest live, while the wealthy and corrupt inhabit ornate homes like the second neighborhood. However, a friend explained that Taiwan’s middle class lives somewhere in between these two extremes, where the question is not how to make more money, but rather to reveal one’s taste by purchasing the highest quality goods (or house, in this case) without becoming consumed by work. Neighborhood impressions, below:
This past week, my path has taken me from Shekou through Hong Kong to Taichung. Some of the spaces and details that caught my attention, below. And yes, the headline in the pictured article really does read, “After the seizure of toxic salted eggs, one ton goes missing”: