Archive for July, 2011
The little girl (surrounded by stars) lived on a beautiful Polynesian atoll in the Pacific. One of my favorite pictures taken decades ago with a medium format Rolleiflex camera during an adventure that has remained the best for all those who were involved.
A seaplane safari to “a lost island paradise” we said at the time.
Via friends on Facebook (especially Edwin McBride and Gilala Dunning) we located Balabala (the little girl pictured) in Arizona USA and then her son Manny who was at university in Taipei, Taiwan.
What makes this story even more interesting is how Taiwanese people (and Melanesians) colonized Pacific Islands 1000 years ago by traveling in canoes with chickens and coconuts – with some returning to Taiwan later.
Here in modern times the same thing is still happening with Manny ‘returning’ to Taiwan for his studies. The cycle of life continues…….
The Australian radio show (above) mentions Polynesians and their travels.
My 4-star hotel has free-use bikes for guests. I went looking for The Bank of Taiwan and met some vicious, huge dogs – fortunately chained up.
Within 15 minutes I was lost – but with a map. I needed to know where I was in order for the map to be of any use.
The people at Century 21 – real estate, (Rita and James who arrived later) put me on the right track.
James and I went to his friend’s restaurant, a Taiwanese guy who has lived in Brisbane for seven years before returning home. He spoke English like as Aussie.
“Were you at Sunnybank?” I inquired. (A suburb in Brisbane where many Taiwanese have settled). It’s a safe question that always gets “Yes” as an answer.
Australian’s often say they are in the best place in the world. If so, why do so many Taiwanese return home to Taiwan after a few years in the Australian paradise? It’s probable because of the food.
In other respects, I believe Australia (away from the cities) is still a frontier country. Huge distances between anywhere.
Dinner was noodles with stir fried vegetables and Atlantic Salmon. Plus sashimi and a salad. The waitress in the picture was Yang.
A good photographic model in the making who is quite tall for her age.
Walking back from the Port of Kaohsiung on Sunday night I heard very loud music and the voice of a girl singing in Chinese.
Investigating, the sound came from up a narrow street surrounded by residential apartments on both sides about eight or more floors high.
In the street were about 250 people seated under a tent-like long awning.
A very large stage featured showgirls and a pole dancer doing her best. No live band – it was a recorded band. Girls were performing to the music.
What ‘got to me’ was the noise (volume level) and what the neighbours thought of it.
In Australia people would complain ten blocks away. Here in high density Taiwan greater tolerance happens.
This was a wedding party. A pole dancer? Yes! In Taiwan it’s not uncommon to have a stripper at a funeral.
(That story was recently revealed in a documentary).
The Fongshan MRT station (#11) is on the Orange line west towards Dalio.
I planned to walk back one station stop to Fongshan West, but got lost in the process. No great worry as backtracking my steps was an option.
Spotting a Carrefour store up ahead I thought an MRT might be nearby. Not quite so. The MRT was new and not among stores.
A return to the old streets of Fongshan is a plan, possibly on a weekend night. By night many shop signs add that extra color and charm.