Daily Archives: January 17, 2014

Moving out, on, and up!

On Tuesday, we sold and donated the last of our belongings (a six-cup coffee maker, a bamboo mattress pad, an IKEA duvtet ) to some grateful expats in Kaohsiung and moved out of our small studio apartment on Lane 123, Linsen First Road. It was beautiful in that place, even if it had no kitchen — the sliding glass doors to the small balcony faced south, and from dawn to dusk, it needed no more illumination than the sun. And in Kaohsiung, it was always sunny! We stayed for two nights in the same hostel we found when we first came here, and said goodbye to the group of friends we had met through Couchsurfing with a few pitchers of San Miguel. And on a bright, sunny afternoon, boarded the train for Tainan.

It was barely a trip — even taking the local train which stopped every 10 minutes at small, out-of-the-way stations, it was only an hour before we arrived in Tainan, the old southern capital of Taiwan. Tainan’s a whole different universe, and sometime soon, when I have all my photos uploaded and categorized on Flickr, I’ll post some here. But it feels a little like Boston and a little like Japan — ungridded, somewhat disorganized, bereft of real sidewalks; large trees abound everywhere, old temples better preserved than any I’ve seen in China, and overall, just a cozier atmosphere than Kaohsiung. After touring several temples, all within easy walking distance of each other, Steve and I had a late lunch at a local place, him enjoying vegetable noodles with soybean paste (炸酱面) and me chicken curry over rice. We sipped tea from next door and watched trains stop the local traffic.

We’re spending a lot of time with Kate, our friend from Chicago. She was born and grew up in Kaohsiung, and her missionary parents currently work at the Tainan Theological College and Seminary, where we are staying. Being able to learn a little about temples and sights from them is really awesome and humbling. They also make their own bread, scorning Taiwanese standards for toast, and that made for a very satisfying breakfast. Kate and Gene, her husband, and Gene’s parents are visiting, which has been nice — it is good to see friendly, familiar faces from Chicago.

Here’s to several more lazy days around this quaint capital of the south before we head north. Between Steve’s admiring comments about the food and the scenery and my own longings for the tea drinks here, I am starting to suspect that we will miss Taiwan very, very much.