a teatray in the sky

大溪 (Dasi), 小烏來瀑布 (Little Wulai Falls), and 三峽老街 (Sanxia market street)

Posted in Defrag by firthefirst on February 10, 2012

when you grow up as a kid in the states, you eventually become hardwired for certain holidays.  especially for the fall ones.  the entire spring semester, let’s be honest, is just a constant slog with an eye firmly fixed on the start of summer vacation.  fall is when each holiday seems to count.  Labor Day – the sensation of impending doom, the start of school.  Thanksgiving – an unparalleled, epic four day weekend, where marshmallows and poultry abound.  and of course, Christmas – it didn’t matter if you were Christian, Jewish, or otherwise inclined, you knew what Christmas meant.  you felt it in your bones.  it meant a week off from school.  it meant sales on wondrous things like video games.  in the words of Kanye West, it meant celebration, bitches.

so it’s weird spending a Christmas abroad, and not having that celebratory feeling.  until you realize how rare it is you get to see the family.  not the statistically average 2 parents and 2 kids nuclear family.  the mafia-style Family, the whole damn thing.  aunts, uncles, cousins, those exotic and legendary creatures known as grandparents.  with people spread all over a dozen time zones, it’s amazing that this sort of gathering can happen at all.  so yeah, I guess it’s like Christmas after all.

we squeezed the Li clan into a minibus and for the second time in less than a week, we were off on yet another little tour of the little island.  first stop: Dasi (and yes, I know the correct pinyin should be Da Xi.  blame the Taiwanese government, not me, for any bizarrely spelled pinyin you see).

frankly, there wasn’t much to see in Dasi that we hadn’t seen recently.  a river, a bridge, a temple.  so what do you do when your eyes are bored?  you entertain your mouth.

we encountered this wickedly hard game where you had to manipulate the angle of a track course to get a metal ball from the beginning to the end.  it was extremely challenging and yet a lot of fun … for the first five minutes.  I’m sure if you made me play this all day, I’d end up shooting someone.

the afternoon was spent trying to get to Little Wulai Falls, which is apparently an attraction that draws everyone and their grandma on the weekends.  in a classic ripoff-cum-tribute to the glass observation deck at the Grand Canyon, the Taiwanese decided to build one of their own over this not-so-grand canyon.

I actually found the rest of the scenery near Xiao Wu Lai to be much more exciting than the falls itself.  while there are waterfalls in the images below, none of these are of Xiao Wu Lai itself.

as if we hadn’t already eaten enough food for several lifetimes in a single day, we stopped off at the old market street in Sanxia to grab some munchies … before eating the oddest, most-alive Christmas dinner you’ve ever had.  and by most-alive I am definitely referring to the lobsters which were still responsive to stimuli even while we ate their sashimi.  but it’s ok, because lobsters don’t really mate for life, so there’s no-one out there pining for these fellows.

wait, does that make it less sad or more sad?

I cannot even begin to describe how food-comatose we were at the end of this.  the next morning we got up and headed south for Kaohsiung, the capital of improper-taiwanese-pinyin…

One Response

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  1. womo531 said, on February 12, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Noooooooo… LOBSTERS….

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