2013年9月25日 星期三

Moon Festival and Typhoon Usagi


How was your Moon Festival?  If you spent it in Taiwan, hopefully it was suitably festive.  If you spent it outside Taiwan, hopefully you had some kind of fun.  I'm not sure how big a deal Moon Festival is in China, Singapore, and Hong Kong, but perhaps it was equally festive in those places too.

Those of us in Taiwan spent most of our Moon Festival indoors.  Typhoon Usagi arrived last weekend, so Moon Festival for most Taiwanese people was WINDY.  The rain didn't really start until Friday, the day after Moon Festival, but it was still difficult to get barbecues started with the wind whipping around like that.

On Moon Festival my mother-in-law came over from Kaohsiung 高雄, and she stayed with us for the entire four-day weekend.  There are certain contexts in which I enjoy my mother-in-law's company, but it is definitely a love/hate relationship.  She has a way of asking the same questions over and over, and being stuck inside with her for three days started to wear on me.

We did manage to barbecue on the roof of our apartment building Thursday night.  We have a pretty good view of Taitung City and its environs from our roof, and aside from the wind it was a pleasant place to barbecue.  The weather was very cool that night, and I got pleasantly drunk while I was eating.


Friday and Saturday, however, were beset by rain.  We weren't really able to go out on either of those days, though we did manage to visit the new (old) steak house on Friday night.  This is the former "Bulls" 公牛隊 steak house, which has recently been renamed and reopened under new management.  I was never fond of "Bulls," and I think their food is much better now.

Saturday was a journey into the darkest heart of boredom.  It rained and rained and rained, and the wind was very strong all day.  I spent most of this day reading Frank Herbert's "The White Plague," which is a truly awful book.  I would have read something else, but "The White Plague" is the last of Frank Herbert's novels I had yet to read, and I was determined to get through it.  I enjoy reading as much as anyone, but getting through that book was like cramming for a particularly unpleasant exam.

By Sunday the typhoon was subsiding, and I was able to get out a bit more.  My mother-in-law also left on Sunday morning, so there was less tension in the house.  We ate hot pot at this place on Shin Sheng Road 新生路, and I was surprised at how good it was.  I also had a chance to go swimming in the Flowing Lake 活水湖, and even though another thunderstorm rolled up at the time it was still great to be in the water.  Swimming in the middle of thunderstorms isn't the safest thing to do, but I found it exhilarating.

By Sunday night Typhoon Usagi was on the way to China, and the weather was growing calm.  I got into bed at a reasonable hour, thankful for the four-day respite from work.  I felt very refreshed and ready for the coming week.

Hopefully you had other good experiences on your last weekend.  It is good to take a break now and then.  Taiwan's next holiday is Double Ten (10/10), and I'll be getting the day off for that one as well.  Have yourself a great week - or at least have yourself a better week.  Perhaps I'll see you during the next barbecue, holiday, or typhoon!

Typhoon Usagi

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Moon Festival/Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋節 (中)
Dragon Boat Festival 端午節 2
Thoughts 8
Photo Gallery 7

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