Chi Nan Temple

Back in December, my dad took us up to see the beautiful Chi Nan Temple (指南宮). We rode the MRT to Muzha and climbed the "1000" steps to the temple. We didn't count the steps, but if I recall correctly it took us about 20 minutes of swift stepping to reach the temple. It was late afternoon on a Thursday, very few visitors. It was humid, but peaceful, and the air smelled like Osmanthus flowers. definitely worth the climb.

You can see Taipei 101 in the distance, at one time the tallest building in the world.

Snake Alley and Longshan Temple

The evening after our visit to the toilet restaurant back in December when I first arrived in Taiwan, we headed to Huaxi Night Market, also famously known as Snake Alley. At Snake Alley, if you desire you can eat snake, watch a live snake being gutted, as well as drink a shot made from the snake's blood or bile. Or if you'd rather not have snake, maybe you'd like some turtle, or perhaps imbibe a drink made from the turtle's blood. We watched a woman cut a soft-shelled turtle and then serve drinks made with it's blood. Hey, tasty, eh? No, we didn't drink any blood, and the snake people don't allow you to take pictures. That's cool, I don't need to keep pictures of a live snake being skinned.

But we did try some snake soup... It's meant to be more medicinal than palatable. If you're after a tasty hearty bowl of soup, this is not what you want. People eat this stuff for it's supposed therapeutic properties. Snake Alley is a covered "market", and I found the atmosphere to be a bit seedy, kind of like a tunnel filled with neon signs, snake wranglers and massage parlors.

I much prefer the normal outside street markets with plenty of good food. This is pigs blood soup, much tastier than the snake soup.

This is a place where you can pick what you want, and they'll cook it for you. I like to take pictures of local people doing normal everyday things, like having dinner at the night market after work.

We happened upon a street procession and followed all the commotion to nearby Longshan Temple. I'm not sure what was going on, but on the left side of the picture below is the carriage-type vehicle everyone was following.

Hello Again!

Hello, I'm back! I've got some Taiwan posts coming up, but those take longer because of all the pictures and descriptions. So I thought I'd post some crafts :). I've had quite a bit of down time the past few months where I've been kept away from my little computer here. In situations that require waiting, I come prepared with anti-boredom, namely a book and/or a crochet project. (You can see what I've been reading here. ) May I present to you Ernie and Totoro! Also please excuse the shitty photoshop job on Mr. Ernie up there. I hate to post a blurry boring photo, so I jazzed it up a bit. Yeah, it's sloppy, whatever.

I only brought one skein of blue yarn with me, which was just enough to make most of this Totoro pattern without his tail. Since they don't sell this particular yarn here, Totoro will have to wait until I return stateside to be truly complete.

I'm leaving Taiwan in a few weeks, and I wanted to use up some of my yarn stash. I had just enough orange yarn left to make this ernie glasses holder. Pretty funny, eh? It's an easy pattern. I did quite a bit of it while simultaneously riding a stationary bike in front of our tv. (It makes the workout go much faster.) See the lamp below? I love that lamp. It came with the apartment. It has a dimmer switch, too. I think I might miss that lamp.