Dispatch from Taiwan: Atop the Ci-en Pagoda

2013-03-26 17.29.26
The inscription in the ground says that it’s 570 meters to the pagoda. The brick tiles of the path are smooth; the soles of my shoes slip on them, the tips catch in their gaps. I tread carefully but decide I’m in a hurry. It’s late afternoon, nearly dusk, and though the mountain air is brisk, my t-shirt clings to my chest.
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Dispatch from Taiwan: Sun Moon Lake does the Harlem shake


Wednesday morning, my dad and I are driving along a mountain road overlooking Sun Moon Lake when my uncle’s sedan undertakes a maneuver I heretofore have assumed only possible by Usher’s ankles. For about a second, it feels as if the left rear tire is veering toward the left while the rest of the car is moving toward the right. Confused, we look behind us, expecting to see a ditch, the corpse of whatever we ran over, or the left rear tire popped off its axle and rolling idly away. I see a slight bump in the road and assume that was it and wonder whether years of aggressive Taiwanese driving have finally taken its toll on the vehicle’s suspension system.
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