On what I walk to see...

"Objects do not have any intrinsic meaning- that meaning is conferred on them by us- and that different people, and the same person at different times, may confer different meanings on the same object." (Hammersley, 1989, p. 135)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Le recherche du autos perdu coming to you in December

I cannot predict the future and neither can I go back to the past.  Yet, I know I am going to hop on them autos of the good old days in the near future... such as on one of the Sundays in December... and think I am gonna get a day pass that day simply for the purpose of hopping on and off these trains and buses! 8-O lol

In case you are in NYC in December, something you might wanna try out: Holiday Season Nostalgia Train & Bus Rides!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A historical benchmark--Rockefeller baby gone hiking

My friend said that she wanted to go take a walk in the park and I found it to be a great idea.  After we arrived at the Rockefeller State Park, I realized that it was nothing like the Riverside park... because you essentially go hiking in the mountains.

Since I was there, I have to take the walk and do the slopes, which are still of great difficulties for me.  Yet, I walked on the Sleepy Hallow Trail followed by the Pocantico River Trail till I had to apply the Puerto Plata principle in the Rockefeller state park, turning back without hitting any definitive benchmark since I have to make sure I can make it back to the parking lot in one piece... though it is my grand benchmark.

For weeks if not months, I tried to make sure I climbed them 7 mountains on a daily basis--the slope by the Taipei Arena... with or without a cane. Then, someone had me asked one day, "Why walking on surface harder for you to walk?"  Well, guess, the conversation we had on that slanted road might not have taken place.

I might not have gone as far and as fast as the others have gone.  I might have to take many a mini stops and my ending point might be others' starting point.  But, it doesn't matter... Today, I see my daily training paid off... Rockefeller baby gone hiking for the first time since 2007 in the Rockefeller State Park on two feet... without a cane.  I am also in a far better shape than when I went up to see St. Paul and them canons on Mount Fortress in Macau.

A grand benchmark and a historical moment in my life--Rockefeller baby gone hiking-- with hiking, something I thought I would not be able to do again in my life.  I was wrong because it is done and the reality.

Aches and pain?  Gonna be a potato and rest as well as Epsom salt bath la!

Friday, August 16, 2013

An ode to Airport Disability Assistance--the unmentioned

I used to love traveling and I still do.  Having my body structured the way it is today doesn't make it easy to travel.  I am not complaining since however funky I might move or how in pain I might be, I can still move.

In my peculiar case, I have difficulties with weight, slope, and stairs.  Throughout my recent traveling experiences as an handicapped who isn't disabled enough to be eligible to be classified as a handicapped, I have come to the conclusion that the most challenging, if not "scary," part of being an independent traveller is to traveling with luggages such as when travelling by air.  You see, even if I checked my luggage (which is a ridiculously small for an over-three-week trip), I still have to carry the laptop, camera, and IDs with me... and the laptop is always the heaviest item.

All my luggages, which can be stuffed in one backpack though I split them into two bages.
Of course, if I were loaded, I would get myself one of them extremely lightweight laptop (no offence, dear laptop, I love you to death... just both you and I can lose a few pounds. lol) and/or simply hire someone to escort me when needing to travel with luggages alone.  Yet, since I am not, other than cut the weight of my luggage to the minimal humanly possible, what I can do is to depend on the airport disability assistance service when travelling by air alone with luggages...

What's big about travelling, right?  For me, it's in the unmentioned... the weight of the luggage while in transit.  The extra undergarments, shirt, pants you might need so that you don't wear the same thing for the entire duration of the trip (unwashed lol). And, the computer that I need so that I can make a dime or two to pay for the trip so as to complain about how difficult it is to travel independently with my kind of disabilities. 8-O lol

The reality is... for me to get from Taipei to Shanghai, from Shanghai to Hong Kong, and from Hong Kong back to Taipei... or from any city to any other city I have travelled to with physical disabilities in any other trip... one of the most straining parts of the travel takes place at the airports. The reason why I made it has nothing to do with me... I didn't do it. It's the airport disability assistance that made the getting there part possible... so that I could, from there, take my walk one step at a time at large and make copycat comments like "Trotzdem, das Leben.!"

Do I insist on traveling from airport to airport alone?  No, I don't.  To be honest, I'd rather trouble my companions to help me carry my weight than having to trouble people to wheel me around... (though, in reality, what I prefer is to have the ability to do it myself.)  Just it happens and when it happens, it makes the usually unmentioned part of the trip less challenging and makes travel more "accessible."

An ode to Airport Disability Assistance--all modes of assistance making my arriving wherever in one piece even more possible!!!

From... a cup of coffee in Shatin

Today is the last day of this trip.  Instead of going with my friends to the Hong Kong airport together, since their flight was earlier than mine, I decided to stop by the Shatin Mall and do a bit more of an exploration.

I know it would be a great challenge walking around carrying my luggage containing... my Seroquel, a laptop, a power strip, a battery charger, a mouse, a few sheets of paper, a skirt, a pair of pants, a shirt, undergarments, a few loose packs of cigarettes, my IDs, a music CD, a map of Shanghai and another one I got from Hong Kong, and some light and loose items.

A backpack should be able to hold it all although I decided to split the weight and put them in two bags.

Actions have consequences... so said the Frenchman.

I know my body would get out of the whack with the weight.  Yet, I thought I would like to have a cup of coffee in Shatin, do some people watching, and, perhaps, do a bit of work.  And, I did... not at the first cafe I spotted but after I ventured a few floors more.

So my body started to do its own thing and to move in all funny ways... including walking into the wall at several points.  Walking into the walk is fine since I can use the wall as some sort of support... as long as I don't walk into people.  Moving not so elegantly?  Not my issue... as long as still mobile.  lol

I then caught the airport bus A41, which dropped me right in front of the departure hall. I successfully moved myself and the luggages to the counter, monkeying around a bit and a bit more and did a little bit of work. I also discovered that there was this type of the airport luggage cart that functions mighty well as a walker... It made it so much easier easier to move with five legs (since the cart has three wheels)... though, Puerto Plata principle... I absolutely avoided slopes.

Then the time came when the lady came to wheel me all the way to the door of the airplane where the flight attendants took over the luggages for me while I walked in funny fashion and in pain to my seat.

After I took the painkiller I got from this nice flight attendant, I leisurely waited there for the med to take effect. The reality is that... never mind the pain and the walking into all directions... What a lovely trip and how wonderful the body is still relatively in one piece with the minimum minor inconveniences in life induced!"

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Le Voyage... Yours Rambler

Last night in Hong Kong and going back to Taiwan tomorrow.

Although I have not making too many postings on my trip, I have been "tripping" since July 23rd with yours dedicated sojourner doing her tourist thing on days of the never-ending record-breaking heat in Shanghai to the Typhoon days in Hong Kong.

Many a walk I took, many a places I went, many a thing I saw, and many a experience afforded.

It surely has been an excellent trip (while I did do my work here and there at points).

Albeit the limits and the fact that I get support and assistance here and there many a time, with my body still in one piece, the efforts I made to get back to walk absolutely paid off... (especially considering that it was this January when I started to walk with two feet (as opposed to three)!

C'est un bon voyage para yours rambler (a new word I learned in Tianzifang this time)!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My first Typhoon experience in Hong Kong-- Utor No 8

I have lived through many a typhoon in Taiwan... today marks the first time for me to witness what a Typhoon in Hong Kong is like.

"The No. 8 Southeast Gale or Storm Signal has been issued at 1:40 a.m. to replace the No. 3 Strong Wind Signal" for the Typhoon Utor that's approaching... around the time when I got done today's translation work.

Apparently, No. 8 and above means everyone has to stay in... thus... however a dedicated tourist in Hong Kong you might be... stay put.

Following is the copy of the warning texts issued by the Hong Kong Observatory at 1:40 Hong Kong Time.
 1. No. 8 Southeast Gale or Storm Signal ( 01:40 HKT - 14.08.2013 )

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Yet another record-high in Shanghai

Apparently, the temperature in Shanghai hit yet another record high today... 40.8 degree celsius.

Good thing that I was still inside of the hotel trying to finish up a translation job and didn't get out until 2-3 o'clock! (though might have experienced a bit of the heat when getting out to steal a smoke)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Historical high in Shanghai!

As I was searching for information on buses in Shanghai, I came to the realization that I had just lived through a historical moment in Shanghai... the historical high of 40.6℃ (105.08 F)!  A record breaking temperature as has been recorded by the 徐家汇 weather station!

In the eyes of weather.com,

I surely felt it when going out to steal a smoke on the balcony!

And, now, lightening striking and thunder roaring... it finally rained down with temperature dropping...

Monday, July 1, 2013

興蓬萊 Shing Peng Lai Restaurant

Tianmu has never been part of my territory (like I have any territory? 8-O lol).  Yet, within this past week, I found myself landed numerous times in Tianmu because a friend's family was moving back to San Francisco (and has now).  Also, I found myself dinning at this "presidential grade" of restaurant (興蓬萊 Shing Peng Lai Restaurant) featuring Taiwanese cuisine.  Great food and huge portion!

It's "presidential grade" because the former president Li Deng Hui likes the food here.

(Please check the clip from 7 minute 52 seconds.  The embed youtube clip at a specific time function somehow isn't working.  Just realized it.)

What I ordered as per the female owner's suggestion on June 27th...

From 興蓬萊 Shing Peng Lai Restaurant

What my brother-in-law ordered on June 30th...
From 興蓬萊 Shing Peng Lai Restaurant

Two different dining experiences, four days apart, I got to try out 17 of their dishes while... I do have a way of putting things away and no wonder the ever-expanding waistline... 8-X lol

I love this picture I took....  In the back is the sign stating three of the formal president Li Deng Hui's favorite dishes including the crispy ribs (the pix on the left side) and "Buddha jumping over the wall" (the pix on the right side).  Just realized that the gentleman in the picture is the owner 陳進添 of the restaurant.  The laoban niang (female owner) 陳春蘭 was on the side of the camera encouraging the doggie to pose for the picture while pointing to me how cute the doggie's teeth are.  Based on the info I gathered so far through the youtube clip above, I figure they are sister and brother.  Accordingly, laoban niang's family have 6 doggies and 2 cats.

From 興蓬萊 Shing Peng Lai Restaurant

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

金華舞墨臻寶展 by 林伯禧 Lin Pa-Hsi art exhibition and live performance update

Yours not very enculturated went back to observe the artwork of 林伯禧 Lin Pa-Hsi and attended a live performance by the Violinist 洪寅洲 Daniel Hung with the pianist (sorry, didn't catch her name).
 This is yet another afternoon program held during the exhibition.

One thing I love most is that, like the pianist Kimball Gallagher did, the violinist 洪寅洲 Daniel Hung also gave us some background on the piece he was about to perform and cued us on what to listen for before the performance.  While listening to music as music is nice, that brief introduction surely put things into contexts and allowed me to appreciate his live performance from a different perspective!
Violinist 洪寅洲 Daniel Hung with the pianist (sorry, didn't catch her name)
From 金華舞墨臻寶展

After the music performance was a talk on investment by Mr. 梅以德... the take home message... shall I have free money floating around wanting to make investments... bank on luxury goods, biotech, and aqua.  Since I am dedicated patron of the biotech industry... the notion of luxury goods and aqua are surely new to me.  Good to learn something new everyday!

Gotta say a word of thinks to everyone making the exhibition and the associated programs possible so that yours unfortunately stuck in the lowest rung of the SES ladder could walk only a few blocks in this unbearable summer heat to get myself coolly enculturated!  ¡Muchas gracias tout le mond la!

This flower looks really 3 D to me...

Ratology- Handicapped at Large: Golden touch... 金華舞墨臻寶展 by 林伯禧 Lin Pa-Hsi art exhi...: On my daily walk, I went past this Hengdeli watch store on Zhongxiao Dunhua very often... and sat in front of it stealing a smoke at time...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fountain of Youth

The fountain of Taipei 101 by ATT 4 Fun...  Don't know whether there's gonna come a day when I can show you what I want you to see at my preferred speed... Unfortunately, the fastest speed this gadget allow the pictures to flash through is 1000 ms (I think) and it wouldn't run through all pictures in the album...


The Fountain Gallery

Just be plowing away with the readings though I spent an entire night trying to find a better alternative than the above... through... trust me... the speed above is far better than what's afforded below... too close to the speed of real life... I myself would fall asleep within seconds... 8-O lol

 (Guess... it's always easy to find something else to do than to do what should be done. The amount of time I spent playing around with this thing... could have taken notes down on one more article... lol)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Golden touch... 金華舞墨臻寶展 by 林伯禧 Lin Pa-Hsi art exhibition

On my daily walk, I went past this Hengdeli watch store on Zhongxiao Dunhua very often... and sat in front of it stealing a smoke at times.

One day, I saw on the poles the signs of an art exhibition "金華舞墨臻寶展" by 林伯禧 Lin Pa-Hsi... with the paintings looking all golden... with the notion of Gold making my self-notion already gotten inflated. 8-O lol

The exhibition is located on the second floor of the store and it will run till the end of June.

When I finally made it to the exhibition one day, this nice lady gave me a guided tour and told me a lot about how the artworks have come into being such as the setting, the process, and the ingredients.  For instance, when the artist is painting, he likes to listen to music and drink either good wine or tea. 

One set of paints in exhibition is the "百花系列" (Hundred-flower series--my translation).  A series of 100 small painting of the flowers.  Also, the paints used in these paintings are no ordinary paints... let along the touches of 99% gold spreading over the artwork as a final touch... colors such as them nice looking blue... derived from corals...
白魚 (white fish) is 林伯禧 Lin Bo Xi.
百花系列 (Hundred-flora series--my translation)
There are several periodical functions that took place in concert with the exhibition... live music performance, talks, wine tasting workshops, and a conversation with the artist 林伯禧 Lin Pa-Hsi himself.

I made a point of attending one of the events on June 14th where the pianist Kimball Gallagher, who is in the venture of his 88 concert tour around the world (!!!), performed Chopin... Saloon style!

The gentleman sitting on the left side of the screen in the above clip was the speaker 陸潔民 who later gave a talk on art appreciation and investment.

I was informed that day that there would be a wine tasting workshop and a meeting the artist session today... and I gladly went with my sister.

We enjoyed the Wine Tasting 101 workshop provided by Rocky Wang and 李清蘭 very much. We also tried very hard to learn the 123 of wine tasting the Dewey approach... learning by doing... sipping through 2008 Chateau Rieussec R de Rieussec Blanc Sec, Bordeaux and 2009 Château Peymouton with all due diligence! Trying to figure out the color, body, flavor, etc.

Wine Tasting 101 Workshop
While absorbing the lessons learned through Wine Tasting 101 via the constructive approach, there came this opportunity I have been looking forward to... meet the artist!  There is something absolutely exhilarating about the notion of meeting the creators themselves!

Absolutely love this picture I got to take haphazardly... In the background was a movie filmed through a camera some time ago when the artist had been in the moment of creating an artwork while, in the foreground, the artist was speaking of his process of creation.  The two camera in front of me... both trying to capture that present... Would love to have shifted my grandpa canon a bit to the right to bring the remaining part of the red camera in front of me in... though... that moment in time has passed.

The painting in the back, the artist holding a glass of red wine, though no music in the background...  enough contextual clues to envision the process of unfolding for these art works.
After the interview, they opened the floor for question...

I was told that the artist would spend days staring at the flower till he finally got the essence of the flower, and that's when he started to paint.  So, I asked him about his staring at the flower activity.

Apparently, the story was that, one day, he was amongst friends and someone brought in 野薑花 (White Ginger Lili).  A poet came up with a poem on site immediately... yet, since it takes far more work to get something painted out, the poet offered to buy Li Pa-Hsi's painting if he could get one done within a certain time from.  Since Mr. Li was not as familiar with the flowers at that point, he went home and stared at the White Ginger Lili (and get new ones every 2-3 days) till he finally got the paintings out something like a month later.  And, for the next few years, he painted far more White Ginger Lili and then peony (牡丹)...

According to him, since he has learned the different types of flowers pretty well now, no longer does he need to spend days staring at them flowers when working on the flora paintings nowadays. Already have sufficient images encoded in the Long term memory! (Wow... I can hardly visualize 2-3 kinds of flowers completely in my head!)

One thing that got my attention when discovering the exhibition was them touches of Gold... and I asked him why.  Apparently, it might have started with simply a kimoji kinda thing and, also, "Gold is precious and goes along with the precious artwork!"

Since I am still stuck at the lowest rung of the SES ladder, I got the artist to autograph on the catalog. 8-X lol
The 金華舞墨臻寶展 by 林伯禧 Li Pa-Hsi is running through the end of June.  Thereafter, Mr. Li's artworks will be coming to various countries such as in Biennale d'Aquarelle à Brioude en France.  Bon Chance!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Fountain by Taipei 101 and ATT for Fun

I found out that there are two mirroring sets of fountains and ATT for fun when staring at the fountain the other day! I also found out that the lights on ATT for fun changes color...

So, when preparing this post, it occurred to me that it might be interesting if I can offer you the opportunity to view this clip at 1.5, 2 or more times of the original speed... since the differential speeds seem to put things in different perspectives for me... something you can't do in real life.

At the same time, I didn't want to upload multiple copies of the same clip at different speed... seems a really dumb dumb solution for me.

Ended up, this pursuit resulted in a whole lot of explorations, which lead to the conclusion that it is feasible and all that you have to do is to join the HTML 5 trial.  After you join the HTML 5 trial, you should be able to see the Speed options once you click on the option icon on the player...


Anti-nuclear Rally in Taiwan: From Zhongxiao-Fuxing to the Presidential Office 5/19/2013

Delusional as I am and however I stay away from political issues... in addition to the fact that I am single as a bird with nothing much on my back and nothing to lose (other than pain, maybe)...

I do have a belief... we human shouldn't mess with things that we have no solutions for... such as what to do with the nuclear waste and how to get things neuturalize shall the God forbids happens.

So, I append myself to the end of the Anti-nuclear Rally in Taiwan... going from Zhongxiao-Fuxing all the way to the Presidential Office.

Because it was hot and people walked faster, I got to the final destination far slower than most people.  However, I did get to see people making the attempt to dump the nuclear waste at the President's Office... because some Taiwanese come up with the idea... "What about dumping it at the Presidential Office?"

(The strangest thing was that... while I was taking the clip using my grandpa canon, I was surrounded by people from the media... meaning... professional grade kinda très expansive equipment.)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Great Gatsby

After I attended the event "Taipei Sounds, Taipei Stories: Reflections of a Sound Artist" at the Taiwan Music Institute (臺灣音樂館), I had to take a bit more walk... insufficient quota for the day.

I walked across the Hangzhou North Road from Taiwan Music Institute (臺灣音樂館) and found myself already in the Huashang Creative Park (華山1914創意文化園區)... an area I walked by gazzilion and a time these past two years or so but never made it in there because whenever I passed it, it was either at the beginning or the end of my walk.

Somehow I thought the two places were at least a huge block away... not realizing all it takes was the crossing over of the Hangzhou North Road.... and it reminds me of what happened when I asked this NYPD lady where ground zero was back in 2011.

I was all excited by the discovery (including the discovery of my blatant ignorance)... and I walked through them buildings till I saw this promo event for the new film "The Great Gatsby"-- a book I have never read but listened to in my younger and, hopefully, more vulnerable years...

The heat and humidity surely reminded me of the trip they, the great Gatsby et al., took to New York and chilled out at the Plaza Hotel... possibly in attires alike worn by the models in the picture below...

I was so excited to be given the opportunity to test out the costumes and to take a picture with Leo like what this gentleman did...
Pay attention to the fashionable piece of red thing on his head.
Then, I thought... "I had intended to come in here earlier today... maybe there is a reason for it... Having hangout for 3 days this week, maybe the almighty universe is telling me... 'Yo, enough life of the Great Gatsby!  Make sure you shuffle your behind and do some work.'" lol (No magic thinking allowed.  Stop here.)

Regardless, somehow I was and am still so thrilled to walk into this event... reliving the life of the Great Gatsby...


Saturday, May 18, 2013

From Kurt Stallmann's senses and beyond--Taipei Sounds, Taipei Stories

I went to an event called "Taipei Sounds, Taipei Stories: Reflections of a Sound Artist" albeit the fact that I am really short in the department of art... if not culture in general.

I have met Dr. Kurt Stallmann (just realized that... wow... he has a wiki page) a few times before because I happened to go hang out with my former adviser when they were hanging out.  I know that he is a composer and a sound artist.  So, I heard the other day that he was going to have an event about the sounds of Taipei.  I was all excited and would like to go because... it's exceptionally nice to attend events performed by people you know.

Although I was told that the seating was very restricted... something like only 50 people allowed... it was not until when I was there today was I informed that they had to decline people's RSVP since yesterday because too many people had wanted to come.  Lucky me... an appendix to my former adviser's family... 8-X lol

The event took place at the Taiwan Music Institute (臺灣音樂館)... shamefully... though I have walked around the block so many a time, I didn't know of its existence until today... speaking of you don't see what you don't know.

The performance contained a combination of in-person auditory narration, recorded sounds, images and live-performance of traditional Chinese instruments (i.e., Pipa, Erhu, Yangqin).

One story I like the best is the story of a barking doggie outside of this Rido Cafe.  As we were sitting there listening to Dr. Stallmann retelling the story of that annoying loud dog barking outside of the cafe... there was the recording of the barking doggie and the other sounds in the background... whatever dasein a digital recording devise is capable of capturing... What a semi-in-situ experience... reminding me of them astronomy pictures like the one 3.6 billion light-years from Earth or in the eyes of the Hubble: Galaxies Across Space and Time.

In between Dr. Stallmann's presentation were the live performances... musicians playing traditional instruments like Pipa, Erhu and Yangqin... It might be the first time for me to listen to the playing of these instruments  live... not in the form of an orchestra... (at least 1/3 of the chance I think...)

猶抱琵琶半遮面 梁家寧... the performance of Pipa by musician 梁家寧
葉維仁on erhu (二胡) and 吳姿俞 on Yangqin (揚琴). Apparently, the musician 葉維仁is Dr. Stallmann's erhu teacher.
While the presentation itself incorporated the use of digital media, at some point, I found within the audience someone who took the notion to a different level... A form of the presentation unseen by the majority of the audience... sound waves themselves... in a presentation of a sound artist.

Look at the ever-changing sound waves on the screen... That gentleman is surely listening to the performance visually..
Next to the room where the presentation took place was another exhibition...  On the screen were pictures of ordinary buildings and their water towers (or simply water towers).  Interestingly, there were four plants on the table... placed at just the right place that their shadows were cast at the bottom of the screen... as the pictures with water towers were moving and changing... what remained constant were these shadows... making the presentation like an anime--to a certain point.

Then, at some point, I started talking to this gentleman in the room with a nice camera... who happened to be the photographer 游本寬 himself... He told me that the plaints were still in the water yesterday, brought to my attention the sound of water in the background, and explicated the theme of the exhibition... aqua 「水之二三事」(Something about Water).

A photograph of the photographer 游本寬 explaining his photographs to my former adviser at the exhibition  「水之二三事」(Something about Water).  The notion of my taking photographs of an expert is like... 魯班門前弄大斧... though I did do it in his back... lol
I have a liking for this quote Dr. Stallmann reiterated during this presentation... something his professor had him told... though not the exact words...

Shall what you don't understanding be considered as noise, how much noise can be tolerated before the meaning is lost?

Profound... eh....

After the event, I had to go and do some walk... Interestingly, as an appendix to my former adviser's family, I somehow found myself landed at the dining table with Dr. Stallmann's family and my former adviser's family.

So it concludes too many of them words limited de your missy appendix the lucky dog of the day... lol

It's very unfortunate that, because I was not sure whether video recording was allowed at this performance, I did not take video clips of the performance... and did not capture the sound part either... Knowing it was recorded by devices far more advanced than my grandpa canon.... I hope something might be uploaded somewhere sometime... so that I can simply show you the performance in liu of too many my words and still my pictures... (though... if I could make myself to steal some pix, why didn't I go all the way to take the clips?  Can't understand this head.  lol)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fulong Train Station 福隆車站

On the train ride to Hualien, my dad got us the famous Railway bentoboxes (便當)... and that definitely brought back my childhood memory... when my aunt's family were selling benton in Fulong by and at the Fulong train station.

I had only gone back to visit Fulong once, perhaps, since my aunt's family moved away from Fulong.  However, I simply couldn't find them pictures taken (imaginary or not).  Since my head was getting me mighty annoyed (被我這粒頭煩死啦!) with its constant pursuit to find the picture of Fulong train station, I decided to take a walk down the memory lane... to the summer playground of my childhood, Fulong, which I grew up believing that it's a town in Yilan and only to realize that it's actually a village in the Gongliao District of New Taipei City in the last 2 weeks or so.

I actually didn't know whether I would arrived at Fulong that day... since given the time constraint, I might just go somewhere closer by... speaking of... "I don't know where I'm going."  And, I surely knew that I actually made it to Fulong when I heard the announcement on the train... lol

And, finally, I got to see my Fulong train station during the day time and in the night.
Fulong Train Station today (2013)
Fulong Train Station today (2013) in the night.
Without a doubt, the train station I saw looked a bit different from what I remembered... So... I took the liberty to google up some pictures showing what the old station in my memory might look like... what I saw when I went down to visit was like below...

Older Fulong Train Station 舊福隆車站
Whereas what my head was searching for might be the train station shown in this picture taken in 1968 (ok... just for the sake of clarification... before I was born).

This is more or less the image of the Fulong Train Station I was looking for... a picture taken in 1968 (before I was born).
And, of course, let me not forget the train station in the eyes of the sand sculptors...

Fulong Station in the eyes of the sand sculptors  2013.

The reality is... perhaps... what I was reminiscing about was not the train station itself only... but the bento place  (鄉野便當) my aunt used to run right next to the train station.  Every time the train was about to come in, a lot of adults would come in to get the bento boxes and rushed to the platform with that wooden box hanging over their neck... full of bento boxes.

Because I was till pretty young, there was nothing much they could make me do.  Then, there came this day right after a typhoon passed... after howling all night and scared the xyz out of me.  Someone came to inform us that the train had taken off from Hualien and the whole family rushed to the store... When all the adults were busy doing whatever they were doing, I was assigned the job of cutting eggs (魯蛋)... I gotta be really proud of my egg cutting experience that I still remember today how I was trying to cut one egg at a time.  8-O lol

There were other times when we took the train that stopped at the Fulong station.  Knowing which train we were on, auntie and cousins would prepare special bento boxes for us.  I remember vividly how, one time, my cousin made me a special bento with egg salad as one of the dish.  That might be one of the first times I had a taste of egg salad... and it tasted sooooo nice!

Bento seller today.
Then, there came this one summer, in addition to selling bento boxes, they also brought in this huge machine (like the machine in the picture below) to sell 搖搖冰 (slurpee).  I was maybe about 6 or 7 years old... and was mighty in awe with this gigantic machine that could make slurpee on its own.  Wow... 8-O

A picture I found of the 搖搖冰 machine from someone else's blog.
Them good old times when I was much more of a spring chicken!  Things might have changed but the trip surely brought back some lovely memories du temps passe!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Bridge and the Fulong beach 福隆海水浴場及拱橋

So, because I couldn't find a picture of the Fulong (福隆) train station, I decided to take a walk down in Fulong.  En route, I strolled down the sand beach and visited them sand sculptures... before some of them... yet to be completed.

Before entering, I was told that I had to carry my behind up this Rainbow Bridge (彩虹橋)... to get to the beach where the sand sculptures are...  It didn't look like all that big a bridge at the first sight...

At least, not until when I set of my foot on it...

Inching away, wondering to myself how much longer it was to take before I get to see the sand sculptures on the beach.

It's gotta be about 3 decades since I last came to visit the Fulong beach.  In between my snooping around the sand sculptures, I got my feet wet in the Pacific ocean.

Up to this point and much later, the Fulong beach was the background where the 2013 Fulong Sand Sculpture Art Festival (2013 福隆國際沙雕藝術季) takes place and that bridge was but a bridge I had to move my sorry behind over  with many a stop to cross some water...

Then, as I was looking for some information online about Fulong train station and Fulong beach a day or two later, I learned that that water I had to crossover is the Shuangsi River.  Due to the change of the waterway of the Shuangsi River from year to year, in some years, the bridge goes directly into the sea... while other, like this year, the bridge lead to the beach surround by the Shuangsi River on one side and the Pacific ocean on the other.

This beach itself was already a famous one during the era of Japanese occupation and it was formerly known as the Aodi beach (澳底海水浴場).  In recent year, the sand of the beach has diminished gradually, which was suspected to be related to the staithe built to transport equipment for the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant of Taiwan.  Apparently, the diminishing sand beach had caused some problems to hold the Ho-hai-yan Rock Festival (貢寮國際海洋音樂祭), which has taken place on the Fulong beach for years.  Essentially, the receding shoreline leaves insufficient beach to hold the concerts... thus... the need to move sand from somewhere else to build a bigger beach.

So... the beach and the bridge turned to be some interesting object to me... as a result of the things I learned... unaware of when on site.  I decided to find some pictures showing myselves what it be like for the bridge to go directly into the water... river or ocean.

As of 5/2/2013, in the picture I took, the Rainbow bridge goes over the Shuangsi River and lands on the sand beach.
In some years, the bridge goes into the water... (look almost like the river to me)...
In some other years, the bridge goes into... not quite sure the sea or the river... Pacific ocean perhaps?
Knowing something about the bridge and the beach now, I am surely happy that I took a picture of this seemingly ordinary bridge... and... this came to my mind...

The Rainbow bridge we see here was build in 1994, what about before 1994?  I remember vaguely that when we went down the beach when I was a kid, there was a pretty beaten down old bridge and I remember the adults had mention the irregular site of the beach... though... memory is a strange thing... (therefore... the entire research on eyewitness testimony).

I looking all over the internet till... finally... I found this clip online to show that... in 1968... a different bridge was in place... although I don't know whether this was the bridge I saw then.  (And, I asked my dad about the bridge today and he recalled there to be a simple bridge taking people to the beach... Maybe what he remembered is this bridge in the following picture.)

See the bridge there... standing strong as of 1968... a screenshot taken from the following clip at time 1:07.

So it concludes my blah blah blah on how my thought of taking a picture of the Fulong station led me to the 2013 Fulong Sand Sculpture Art Festival (2013 福隆國際沙雕藝術季) and to the sight of the old beach bridge in 1968.

Hope it would give you some background information shall you decide to visit the Fulong Sand Sculpture Art Festival or the Fulong beach.

Do you see what I am seeing now? 


Friday, May 3, 2013

Fulong Sand Sculpture Art Festival 2013 福隆國際沙雕藝術季

Because I couldn't find the pictures I took of Fulong (福隆) Train Station, I took my walk all the way down in Fulong (福隆).

Just so happen, when searching for the cheapest means to get to the Fulong station, I found out that there will soon be the 2013 Sand sculpture festival, with the opening on 5/4/2013 running till 6/30/2013. Then, when getting off the train, I overheard these other passengers speaking of the Sand Sculpture Festival as well... (though I had no idea where it might be and can't be on the beach directly since I can conceive not how the sand sculptures can weather the rain and wind).

So I asked the lady at the Tourist Information and realized that I could get to see the sand sculpture (some still in formation) with 40 NT dollar entrance fee to the beach as opposed to 100 NT dollars after the opening. Yours cheapskate, thus, took the daily walk down the Fulong beach.

It was a lovely tour and what makes the tour most interesting is to see the process of art in formation... to see the artists continuing to craft their work and making the final touch in preparation for the grand opening in two days.  The process and what is not spoken of behind the scene... all the tools... motorized or not... spreading around.

So during this tour, I found the answer to how the sand sculptures could handle the weather.  The gentleman in the burgundy cap told me... what they were spraying on the sand sculpture is a combination of water and some environmentally friendly and water-soluble glue.  This protects the sand sculpture.  However, it's not fail-save since the glue is water-soluble...

I saw, in carne e osso, how the artist get the sculptures out... one scoop at a time.

I captured an artist taking a clip of his completed work (possibly and in my imagination).

I also met the dutch artist who explained to me the story behind her sculpture.

A new world I saw... the day I took my walk down the sandy beach of Fulong because I wanted to take a picture of the Fulong Train station (while I had no idea whether I would really go to Fulong until I got there. Speaking of... I don't know where I am going... lol)

Given limited my worlds, I shall leave the rest to, in the eyes, my grandpa Canon.