Friday, June 11, 2010

On Scooter Culture

Scooters are definitely the dominant form of transportation in Taiwan.  It's not uncommon, around 5 pm when local schools let out, to see a business-attired mother scootering her two children home.  It sometimes freaks me out, especially when I see a baby in a sling on its mother while she scoots around... and next to her is a man texting on his scooter while running the red light and smoking a cigarette.  While we choose to bike or walk rather than scoot,  we LOVE to observe the scooter culture, everything from the rules of the road to rebel "scooter gangs" (neon and/or halogen lights are a must), and the hilarious English-language slogans scooters bear.  Here are a few pictures of scooter decals E snapped on our way to lunch the other day (ahh, summer vacation, when teachers have enough time to laugh and dwaddle on the way to a cafe). 
This one makes no sense whatsoever, so of course we love it. 
 I'm of the opinion that a motorized vehicle brand should not make reference to wine, but hey...

I have one more pic, but I need to figure out how to stop it from rotating when I load it into blogger.  The slogan says, "We reach for the sky, neither does civilization" and the brand is SNIPER. Taiwan, we love you.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I've been busy

I can no longer look at a post that makes reference to Christmas!  It has been forever since I have updated this, but I like to think being six and a half months pregnant (with a girl!) is an acceptable excuse.  We are excited to meet mysterious baby H. in August and ask her where she learned her apparent karate skills! 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas in India

Being great Indian food enthusiasts and having a THREE! WEEK! winter break, we were excited to go to India over winter vacation.  India is so vast that we knew we'd only be able to see a tiny portion of it, and even that would take extensive travel and plenty of planes, trains, and automobiles.  We left Taiwan and headed to Bangkok, Thailand for a few days because it was a free stop on our flight to India.  We visited some temples, admired the excessive idolatry of the King, and just had a relaxing time.
From Bangkok we still had nearly 5 more hours to fly to arrive in Mumbai, on the west coast of India. Mumbai is supposedly formerly known as Bombay, but I think Indians still call it Bombay.  I digress!  Mumbai was a bit of a shock, initially.  Traffic was insane, and as we wove our way through the city toward our hotel, it was sad to see such extensive poverty and slums.  Perhaps you've seen Slumdog Millionaire (I haven't), but it was shocking to see miles of tiny improvised dwellings and young children playing in the filth.  Here is an aerial view I grabbed from flickr that depicts the largest slum in Mumbai:
Of course, besides the slums, Mumbai also had lots of cool colonial buildings and delicious food. 

After a day in Mumbai, we caught a flight down to Goa, a much more wealthy (and interestingly, Catholic) state in the southern west coast.  Goa is basically a tropical paradise- the Cancun of India.  We have few images of our time in Goa because my camera batteries died.  E has a few more on his iphone

By now, both of our families know that our time in Goa was cut short due to a motorcycle accident.  We feel very fortunate to have weathered the crash without terrible injuries, but now we need to get back to India to see Agra, Varanasi, and much, much more. Someday!