It is that magical time of year in Taiwan known as Chinese New Year....when children and all employees look for red envelopes filled with money, when every house and business is cleaned item by item and trash fills the street to make way for the new. On Dihua Street in downtown Taipei, stalls lined 6 city blocks and vendors sell candies, meats, specialty food items, auspicious decorations, give away tons of samples, yell and scream, dress up in animal suits (it is the year of the rabbit) and in general make merry. The crowd is so dense that one need not walk...just let the crowd push you along and hope you do not trip. One of our less traveled teachers at school had to leave because she thought people were touching her. OF COURSE they are and you are touching them with full body contact over 100% of your body but all in the cause of holiday treats. So what...get over it! We absolutely just literally dove in and went with the flow. You can not cross @ 90 degrees, instead you move diagonally across the stream just like with ocean current. But everyone is having a great time and the exotica of the scene is intoxicating. All the music talks about being with your family, eating fish for prosperity, hoping for good luck, lots of money, good health and a good life with lots of cymbals and loud horns and general mayhem noise. The fireworks will start in our park soon. So everyone, enjoy the slide show on the right and if you want to go slower, click on the picture and it will take you to the Picassa sight where our pictures are located.
We are off to Borneo and Mataking Island for diving and snorkeling, massages and evening cocktails, cookies, and euchre card games. Love to all of you and HAPPY NEW YEAR!