Sunday, January 11, 2004

Amazing how quickly time flies by as I've gotten settled back into my usual routine. One sign of the holidays that still remains, though, are the Christmas decorations. Yes, Taiwan is not a Christian country. Nevertheless, there is a huge Christmas tree, replete with wrapped presents, and poinsettia galore in our office building's lobby. All of which just serves to rub in the commercialism of Christmas here.

The oddest sight I've seen this season, though, as to be at the Angkor temple Banteay Srei. In one of the more remote Angkor temples that was only fairly recently demined, this tourist entered the complex of finely carved pink sandstone carrying what appeared to be a Playskool boombox. Playing hip hop. Now, this I can imagine seeing in Compton. Perhaps on Telegraph in Berkeley. But in Cambodia?!?

Anyways, today I took a break from studying and went hiking through part of Yu Lu trail in Yangming Mountain. Apparently, fisherman used to haul their catch from the sea near Jin Shan Mountain on the north-east coast of Taiwan for about 7-8 hours down the trail through the mountains to sell it at the Shihlin Market near Taipei. I'm impressed by the effort; and mildly concerned about how fresh that seafood must have been after a nearly full-day hike.

My friend Karen and I had a great time getting out of the city, though.

Near the end of the trail, a tree provided a perfect, albeit wet, resting spot.

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