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June 11, 2005

Another Sunday, Another Church

Why am I always standing in the back when group pictures are being taken?
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Well, anyway, it's another church on Sunday but this one we didn't walk to. Rosa and I took a bus, then a train, then another train and finally we were picked up by Chia-Ling in a car at the City Hall Station.
From left to right, it's Bao-Meii (Rosa), Father Guo, Chia-Ling, and Mei-Ping, and, again, that's me, Dan, in the back.
Mei-Ping is from Macau and she gave a talk about Father Bernard Chu (SJ) who works in Macau but is now getting cancer treatment here in Taipei, for the third time. I met Father Bernard in Carnegie Hall a few years ago. Chia-Ling is the world head of CSC (Christian Service Community). I spoke with Father Gou after the mass. His English was very good. I couldn't understand his Mandarin. ;-)

After church, Rosa wanted to go to the area in Taipei where they sell a lot of computers. She wanted soap opera VCD's. She found what she wanted and I got a DVD of Teresa Teng (a relative of mine).
We then went to a farmer's market and had some many mushroom soup and mushrooms on a stick. It tasted great while sitting in rain shower under an umbrella. From the last train stop home, we got a free bus to go to a mall the is close to Rosa's sister's apartment. But before we went there, we ate again, this time jiaozi (Chinese Dumpling). Needless to say, when I got home, I took a nap.

Posted by Dan at 06:19 PM

June 10, 2005

Dragon Boats Race

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Today's the day for Dragon Boat Racing. Mr. & Mrs. Hwang picked up Rosa and I in his VW. After a short drive to the river and a walk over the dike, there were two dragon boats ready to race. Each crew raced twice, once on the left side of the river and once on the right. The race was "timed". This was a fun race, not a serious one. You may notice, there is a tall guy paddling in the back of the boat in the above picture. I was DRAFTED!
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I was given a shirt and a hat and told to sit in the back. Our boat now had an international crew. I was in the first boat to go up/down the river, so, we were the ones to scare the devils away with fireworks and bribes of lucky money. We won the 1st race. I'm not too sure who won the second one. I was too tired to look up. Even Mr. Hwang joined the crew for the second race. He had never gone to a dragon boat race in his whole life and now he was crewing. I was thirsty and had some shaved ice with red beans and 3 other items in it. It was Gooood.
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Rosa and I by the grand stand with some noble looking characters. The races lasted to 5 PM but we left at noon.

Just a note about my new camera.

To start, there was no manual for the camera on the CD but I got one off the internet. I went to the Nikon USA web site and downloaded the "non-printable" pdf. I couldn't download the printable version because the serial number of the camera indicated I didn't buy it in the US. I guess I'll be talking more about this later. But, I read the parts I need to know right a way and I hope the pictures come out reasonably good.

Posted by Dan at 06:48 PM

June 09, 2005

No Pictures Today

No pictures today because the Canon PowerShot S400 got the dreaded "E18" error code.
This seems to be a known probem but Canon doesn't do much about it.
I went out today and got another camera. Went to the Taipei Main Train Station, took the underground Exit #3 and went to a store called "NOVA". It is actually a lot of little stores in a big store. I got a Nikon CoolPix 7900. The Japanese brand camera is made in China. I'm charging the battery now but I'm not reading the manual that came with it. It is written in Chinese. But, I was told an English version is on the CD that comes with it. I have a lot of reading to do before I can take pictures of The Dragon Boat Festival tomorrow.

Went to a 7-Eleven today and got a bus pass. You just wave the card in front of a reader on the bus and your fare is paid. You just have to read the changing electronic sigh that tells you whether you pay when you get on or when you get off. There is a 100NT deposit for the card and you can put what ever amount on money you want on the card.
You can add more money on the card later and the card is good on the train (MRT), also. You swipe the card entering the train station and again when you leave at the destination station. The correct amount for the trip is deducted.

Had a great lunch today. It was at an "all you can eat" raw fish eatery. Had to take a nap after that one!

Posted by Dan at 08:53 PM

June 08, 2005

Return To The Scene Of The Crime

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Today we returned to "the scene of the crime", Taroko Gorge.
Two years ago we walked the "Tunnel of Nine Turns" and missed the taxi that brought us there. We wound up riding back to Hualien in the back of an open dump truck, Father Matthew in the cab and Rosa and I in the back with our backs up agains the cab. It was dark and raining and the steep road down the valley was twisty. (Cell phone wouldn't work.) By the time we got back to the school, the police were looking for us. The nuns thought maybe Rosa and I kidnapped Father Matthew. I thanked the driver of the truck and gave him a tip. He refused but I insisted. When things calmed down, Rosa and I were allowed to take Father Matthew out for dinner, just a short walk down the road.

Posted by Dan at 10:10 PM

June 07, 2005

Waiting for My Train To Come In

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I could be waiting for the train anywhere in the world but here I am in Taipei waiting for the train to Hualien. It's a little after 7 AM.
By mistake, we bought return tickets only from Hualien at the Post Office yesterday. Had to straighten out the tickets before the "gate kepper" would let us in.

Rosa and I visited Archbishop Matthew Kia Yen-wen at his room at a school in Hualien.
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He is 81 year old. We kidnapped him two years ago, but that is another story.

Rosa and I on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, West Side.
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We were told, if you look hard to the East, you can see the USA.

Later that day we attended a wedding.
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The food afterward was great!

Posted by Dan at 08:08 PM

June 06, 2005

Train Trip - Taipei to Hualien

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Ordered train tickets to Hualien yesterday over the internet. The new graphical web pages don't work properly yet. Had to use the old web pages. Also needed a Passport Number that all citizens have in Taiwan. Had to borrow someone elses number. Then, today, picked up the tickets at the local Post Office. I took a number and eventually went to the "Bank" window to get the tickets. The "Postal" window sells stamps without glue. There is free glue at a near by table.

The train ride will be between 3 to 4 hours and will follow the East coast. Two years ago, I took the same train and eventually went around the whole island with three more stops along the way.
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Posted by Dan at 04:47 AM

June 05, 2005

Sunday Church - And Party

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Today I went to 9 o'clock mass. The service is in a school. You take a side door and go upstairs. The whole service was said in Chinese but I know the procedures. Oh, I wish they would bring back Latin. After mass, as I was having my picture taken, a lady came and asked to come back and celebrate a birthday. One of the church members was 80 years old today. I went back and had cake and met Joseph who went to Penn. State. His birthday happened to be today also, along with one other member. I wished the octogenarian happy birthday in Chinese after I got a quick tutoring.

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Birthday Girl

Posted by Dan at 03:17 AM