I know it’s been ages, but that’s because while i’m here in Taiwan, i’m keeping a blog, as well as writing field notes, as well as putting photos on facebook (surprisingly good backup method) as well as putting photos and video clips on instagram so once that’s all done I can’t really face writing or posting anything more. As such I reckon I’m going to leave this place on hiatus, and then write/post about Taiwan once I’m home again. Needless to say there has been MUCH exploring and SO MUCH eating so there will be many detailed and wonderful photos about it all.
Hope you stick around until then. Laters!
Jianguo Holiday Flower Market Part II - Things that aren’t flowers.
There were loads of things being sold at the flower market that weren’t flowers. New Year decorations were everywhere in great waves of red and gold, as well as various garden ornaments, usually in the forms of animals.
Above are a small selection of my favourites. I especially loved happy pig, and the chubby horses.
Jianguo Holiday Flower Market.
Near Da’an station is the Jianguo Holiday Flower Market which runs underneath the length of one of Taipei’s many raised roads. It’s an amazing thing to go and see, especially so close to New Year when many many people are buying flowers as decorations and gifts for the celebrations to come.
The market ran on for ages. Stall after stall of flowers, plants, and even fully grown trees gave the impression that I’d walked into some sort of exotic garden. A prevalent background of green with splashes of red, purple and orange surrounded me as I wandered slowly through the throngs of people.
As well as the plants, there were also many stalls selling plant or garden supplies, ornaments, bags of soil, pots etc, and a fair scattering of stalls selling red and gold New Year charms and decorations, photos of which will follow this post :)
Lovely little cafe near my first apartment.
So I once again find myself in East Asia, and their wonderful assortments of strange flavoured things :)
A break-down of my recent travels:
Up until December 18th I was studying in Amsterdam.
December 19th to December 23rd I returned home to England.
December 23rd until December 31st I visited California with my family.
December 31st until January 5th I once again returned to England.
January 6th, I flew out to Taiwan, where I am now conducting fieldwork.
After doing the maths it’s actually four countries in three weeks, but that’s taking the bare minimum of days, I felt it only fair to count at least a week in Amsterdam. Plus four in four sounds better :P
Belfairs Woods, England.
When people think of travel, they often think of other countries and far off places. Wanderlust conjures up images of the remote and unfamiliar. Adventure often suggests the dangerous and the exotic. However there is plenty of travel and adventure to be had in your own country, even in your very own town, if you are of a mind to seek it.
Go to a cafe you’ve never been to before. Find your nearest mountain, nature park, castle, waterfall, woods and go on a trek. Be a tourist in your own city, and do the things you never did because you could ‘do them any time’.
Adventure is not a place, it is a state of mind.
I wish i’d bought one. I’d never heard of them before their appearance in Archer. Missed opportunity there.
The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. A place I highly recommend visiting while in San Francisco. A collection of stalls and shops selling a huge variety of food, tea, drink, and things. I had what must have been the single most chocolately hot chocolate I’ve ever had in my life there. I was particularly impressed too with this mushroom shop, which shows the growing process and, as well as selling the mushrooms themselves, sells books and material for learning to grow your own. They looked very cool in their bell jars, and even if you don’t think they look appetising, you must admit they look very pretty in their own way.
If you’re in San Francisco, then I highly recommend you visit Izakaya Kou, one of the best Japanese restaurants i’ve ever been to, and I’ve spent a year in Japan. If you’re willing to spend at least $40 per person (including drinks) then you can sit in Japanese style booths, in which you must remove your shoes at the door, and you sit at a low table on cushions. If this is not your style however, they have western style tables and chairs also. The food is delicious, and really took me back to my stay in Japan. The staff were very friendly and helpful, and the atmosphere was great. I cannot sing the praises of this place enough.
There were some very funky looking bird boxes dotted around the UC Davis campus.
I wanna know who’s teaching that class.
UC Davis campus on a gloriously sunny December day.
My sister’s beautiful campus! I am so very jealous.