Friday, 19 July 2013

Around the Island - 環島 (huán dǎo) - Part 3

In spring time, when the sun start to shine more, european young ladies run to the sunlight and compete who will get tanned more quickly. That is not the case in Taiwan. Ladies protect themselves against sunlight as much as they can. Sometimes the results is interesting like this. Still to this day I don't know what this person look like even though I was riding bicycle with her for one week. This photo is so cool.



Some of the earlier around the island cyclists came to greet us bringing cakes or other delicacies.

Here is an important Taiwanese institution. Little booth by the road side. A scantily dressed girls selling Betel nuts. In fact the betel nut is not a nut at all, but seed of areca palm. It is chewed for its mild stimulating effect. I guess it is a bit like the coca leaves that people chew in Bolivia. The clients are mostly truck drivers, those blue small trucks that you see everywhere. It is easy to see who is betel nut chewer, his (sometimes hers) mouth and teeth are red. After chewing the tasteless nuts are spat on the street or the spat in a small cup thrown by the road. It can be annoying for other road users.

Nap after lunch break. P1230710


The production of specific crops is concentrated often in small geographical area. I saw areas where only mangos are produced, in another only pine apples, or onions, etc. This reminds me of what I saw in South America. There are many similarities between Taiwan and Chile, country where I had the opportunity to live long time ago. P1230838


Another important institution is to burn fake money in front of the house or business. This is common especially during the tomb sweeping festival (spring time) and during the so called Ghost month (end of summer). It is believed that the burned money is transferred to the invisible spirit world where ancestors need money for buying things. P1230852

Finally we arrive to the sea shore. Next morning we will cross the mountains to the East cost, where Pacific Ocean in waiting for us. That is the theme for the next episode.



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