An update

20 Oct

Hi everybody

I’m still doing great, though I’ve had a few health issues and been sick the last couple of fews, nothing major, but still annoying. Many of my classmates are sick at the moment because it’s getting colder outside – which basically just means that there are a few more 27 degrees days among the 33 degrees days. Even though it’s only been a week and I’ve been sick, I’ve still experienced loads, and I’ve some pictures from the week before as well.

Last wednesday I went swimming with Devin, Claire and their host brothers after school to prepare for a swimming competition Friday for all the classes in our year. The third year did basketball, the second year volleyball and we swimming, a thing me and Claire had dreaded since our classmates forced us to enter the competition. People look at us enough as it is, and they don’t need to take pictures of us in our beautiful patterned swimsuits with matching caps (well apparently they did, lots of pictures were taken… if you ever need to bribe me just get hold of some of those pictures). But it turned out to be a pretty fun day and Claire won her front crawl and backwards crawl (??) and I my breaststroke, and together as a class we also won the big finale, a ‘relayed race’ where 20 people from each class had to swim 25 m, 500m in all, which was pretty good as our class only has 33 people and the other classes about 50. And it was all worth it because our homeroom teacher mr. Peng bought the whole class drinks Tuesday for our efforts.

This post is pretty random, but here you go:

 

Outside a traditional brewery my family took me to.

Koi fish outside the brewery - they are everywhere, and often accompanied by a vending machine where you can buy food for the fish.

Daughter-brew, a Taiwanese tradition: when a couple got a daughter, they would make this jar and fill it with some alcohol-thing. They would then put it in the ground or somewhere safe, and drink it the day their daughter got married. Somehow I can't rotate the picture no matter what I do, so please tilt your head for me.

A stone temple. The story is that all of these stones are created by nature, not created by man.

Yet another temple! I've been to quite a few, but I think could go to new ones every day and not get tired of them, they are so beautiful, and have magical atmosphere; the smell of incense, the beautiful temple music and a feeling of being somewhere sacred...

This one had a big globe with dragons under it. Walking around it brings you good luck on your travels, so of course I did it 🙂 You could go inside the globe.

The beautiful temple gate.

There are always two stone lions outside a temple, a male and a female. This is the female one, she has a puppy.

A small temple beside the big one, this one for worshipping money. The gold thing that looks like a hat is how money was once shaped. They really like money here, and 4/5 charms are not about luck, happiness or good health as you would think, but about making more money.

What you can't see is the sound of the very loud outdoor karaoke bar just behind it. Almost everything in Taiwan doubles as a karaoke place, including but not limited to: restaurants, tour busses, cars (in my host family's car there will be karaoke/sing along thing every time we drive), offices and even the swimming pool where we have swimming classes.

I’ve also tried some more strange food, though it hardly seems strange anymore, e.g. snails (both the kind that lives in the sea and regular ones) and chicken embryos. Another thing that’s funny is the snacks. In Denmark chips have flavors like ‘sour cream and onion’ and ‘barbecue’, but here ‘beef noodles’, ‘sushi’ and ‘seaweed’ are perfectly normal. Another snack is dried small fish or squid. I also had asparagus juice the other day.

I visited some of my relatives' cabbage farm. Most families have their own small business here.

Most workers wear beautiful and colourful clothes with hats and long sleeves to protect them from the sun.

Sunday I went to visit one of my Taiwanese friends’ house without my host family, another first, and this Tuesday we exchange students, one of our classmates (and later his mother) went to the Yunlin County International Hand Puppet Festival in Huwei after school, which was fun. Hand puppets are a big deal here, they even have a television channel that only shows hand puppet television shows, 24/7.

So, this was some random information about Taiwan and what I’ve been up to lately. There’s much more stuff, like mountain climbing after not having solid food for two days, a candy-loving god’s birthday and the time when I ate lotus flower seeds in pudding with a bishop, but I’ll leave those (especially that last one) up to your imagination.

 

 

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