Taiwan A Country Of Opposites Or The Ghost Series Part II


The Eastern Gate roundabout in downtown Hsinchu, Taiwan, seconds away from the train station and the Sogo building. This is one of the first good shots I got whilst varying shutter speeds on my Nikon D200. I like this shot because you can clearly see a Nissan Murano speeding away, with its distinctive tailights. 


All photos taken on the 31st of December 2006 in Hsinchu Taiwan with a Nikon D200 DSLR and a Nikkor 18-35mm lens. Part of the Ghost City Series. These are the last few interesting shots of the series that I couldn’t post in the beginning of the week. They continue the eerie exploration of Hsinchu on New Year’s Eve 2007.


Today, I woke up quite grumpy. Not death grumpy, just grumpy. Part of it was that I had gone to sleep a bit too late, but still woke up at 6:45 AM. It took me a few minutes before I got up and took a shower. My wife wakes up at 6AM to get ready, so my sleep is always interrupted, but I have gotten used to it over the years. There was a time when she would get up at 5:30AM in Canada to get to school on time in the mornings.

The city is filled with ghosts! Look, you can actually see through the ephemeral spectres and apparitions!

I hate the rain in Taiwan, it sucks. The country is already quite humid. Adding rain to the mix doesn’t help matters. So we knew it was coming and yes, this morning it was raining. Miraculously it didn’t rain on our way to school but started up again during the day.

Ghosts scooters and cars passing through us!

It is midday right now here in Taiwan, and the sun is shinning. It is a beautiful day.

A ghost passing in front of a Suzuki Swift 2006.

And then it changed.

A smaller ghost passing by.

There is nothing worse in my experience in Taiwan than administrators. They always want to make you do something that you do not want or need to do. I find that the duality of my current employment that empowered me in the months past is actually dragging me down. It’s always something different. By far, I think that the elementary system suits me, though I do like to teach adults and not worry too much about classroom discipline.

Phantom trees near the trainstation.

I love how administrators take things for granted. It is like they think that we come over here with a guidebooks for idiots for Taiwanese teaching. They all think we know everything that they know, how everything works, what to do, what we can do and what we can not do. Everything is implied, nothing is explained, until you ask them point blank. Most of the time, they will try and evade and push things off, or ask their underlings to tell you the message instead of saying it to you.

What? The teacher doesn’t know that the book X is in the pantry with the books Z and Q? But he is a teacher, he should know things like that.

What? The teacher doesn’t know that we are going to test all of the kids to make sure that he didn’t screw up? But he should know, we do this in all Taiwanese school, the idiot, where does he come from, Timbuctu?

What? The teacher didn’t know that he had to fill in a form before doing that? Where do we get all these crazy lazy foreigners from anyway?

Some ghosts heading for a party.

So we just had a few minutes before I had to drive my wife to her private teaching gig downtown. She ate a bite and then proceeded to gulp down some instant coffee minutes before leaving. She opened up the milk that I had gotten the day before. She started making all these weird and strange gasping faces, indicating that whatever she was drinking was seriously bad tasting. She makes those faces when she drinks shooters as well. And she drank a bit more made some more faces, trying to get as much caffeine into her as possible. So I go over and she tells me that there must be something wrong with the milk, because it tastes terrible. I go to the fridge and open up the carton of milk. To my surprise I do not smell milk or milk that has gone bad, but yogurt.


Why would anyone sell yogurt in a milk carton?

Meanwhile, she continutes gasping and chugging it down.

Her expressions were priceless, not that I knew about the yogurt of course. I was just glad that it hadn’t been me, but since I have already gotten caught with milk gone bad way before its expiry date, I do not take any chances. There is a smell test and also a slight spill test involved, to make sure that the milk hasn’t gone all chunky behind my back.

A spooky view of the Eastern Gate of Hsinchu.

More ghosts and poltergeists.







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