Wednesday Bike Ride

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As per instructions I have been biking my butt off since April 1st for 30 Days of Biking. This has resulted in less photography and writing, much to my chagrin. I have also started baking one day a week for a local expat run bakery so between baking and biking my frazzled short-term memory has been lacking in the eloquence department.

I would like to share a few biking adventures I have had this week. On Monday I set out with a few biking buddies to the touristy night market for an avocado milk (don’t knock it until you try it, it has this amazing custard in it.) Then we rode over to the National Sun-Yatsen University campus to watch ships go by Cijian Island into the canal. While riding home a cat-sized animal surprised me along the dock, it looked a little like a raccoon and it made me research a little to see what it might be. I am guessing coatimundi right now.

On Tuesday I rode over to another night market with my roommate. The juice bar there had some interesting options, particularly the one that offered Japanese potatoes (to help you have larger breasts as a woman.) I opted for some pineapple-kiwi juice in stead.

This past Wednesday as usual I only had two hours of class to teach so I took my camera to work and took an alternate route back. It is unique for me to not be teaching in school at 4 p.m. so I reveled in the daylight and activities taking place I would not ordinarily have the pleasure of seeing.

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Sunset over a dangerously large truck for these size roads.

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This lady either wants a lot of watermelons or a really big cabbage.

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Over in the Yancheng District near Shoushan (Monkey Mountain) there are many temples and a few pineapple carts as well.

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Root vegetables for sale roadside: sweet potato, ginger and taro from the looks of it.

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The middle school students, especially the boys often cruise home by bike after school.

Students in their natural habitate

A middle school and elementary school let out at 4 p.m. and the entire area is swamped with children going home.

Joy School

This is the school or buxiban I teach English at in the Sanmin District.

Croquet and Sunset

Up north in the Zouying District I saw these Taiwanese grandparents playing croquet in the park.

Spring Scream aka Three-Day-Zombie

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This past weekend was the Tomb Sweeping holiday long weekend. On Thursday talking with my boss she admitted most Taiwanese get together on an earlier weekend with the family to clear away debris from the ancestral tomb. So instead many of the young adults from Taiwan head to the sleepy swimming destination Kenting for a music festival known as Spring Scream.

Friday started with some mood-dampening rain and the commute by van down to the town. With no check-in at the hostel until 3 p.m. we bummed around the town and people watched one of the thousand 7 Elevens of Pingtung county.

Around eight p.m. the Kenting Night Market starts to break out its trinkets and fried goods, also little bars pop up next to “The Strip” so you can get a shot of absinthe on the walk to your party. The little line of shops that usually sells the same swimsuits and 100 NT flipflops are obstructed this weekend by commercial stands selling alcohol.

In the evening the various nearby resorts throw parties that involve dancing on the beach, and for some vomiting in the sand.

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But the other side of it, quite separate from the crazy Asian public drunkenness and binge eating, is the music festival happening south of town. After getting a shuttle or taxi music enthusiasts can walk up the hill into a national park and watch bands from all over Taiwan play from afternoon to evening.  The music ranged from hard hair-band Taiwanese rock, to softer electronic and vocal heavy rock. The stages were all pretty close together and one of the stages had hammocks set up near the stage for sleepy people.

The music was alright, but mostly it highlighted my inability to understand most the language and so after rocking for a few hours I was ready to return and take a nap. Perhaps it is better to give up on music festivals and just go to shorter concerts, then the escape is easier and the music sound systems better coordinated. Although the natural layout of the park was beautiful I don’t think the music was weighed enough into the equation. It didn’t help the mood that a friend of mine was smoking at a non-designated patio area in the park and received a 2000 NT fine from a grumpy crew of National Park Smoker Haters.