Year of the Rat

I'm putting up a Lunar New Year post finally. The reason I haven't been blogging very much recently is, well, there hasn't been much to blog about in the Year of the Rat. I did manage to step on one in an alley. People here say it's an auspicious sign.

The weather has been cold and wet, so we’ve been staying in. Actually, I can't remember Taiwan ever having such a long streak of cold weather. It's been going on for about a month. Another reason is that my daughter has been sick twice (a fever once and an echovirus, with a fever and a 35 to 39.3 degree Celsius range the other time). I’ve really had my hands full.

I did manage to get out last night, to Bushman’s blogger meet-up at an authentic Thai restaurant called the Blue Sky in Hsin Chuang (新莊). There were some people I hadn't met, so it was quite interesting. Unfortunately, the music later got so loud I couldn't hear anything. Then, a drunk homo-erotic Thai attached himself to me. It started out with him buying Chang beers, and finished with the manager peeling him off my back and, after a few stern words in Thai, depositing his crumpling body in a barstool. Enough said. I've put some pictures from the New Year holiday below.

My sister-in-law goes for a dish on Lunar New Year's Eve while my wife's grandma enjoys the plum wine. The wine was pretty tasty, though I don't know if I agree that it was worth the NT$3,000 (US$90) my father-in-law paid for it. For that money, I could get six really good bottles of wine or 90 cans of Taiwan beer.

During the Lunar New Year holiday, a lot of fireworks got fired off from this park near my house in Wenshan. Even though there was a garbage can twenty feet away, these boxes and casings were left on the picnic table in front of a playground (see pic).
I saw these posters on a wall in a bank. But I think the "customer is always right" concept some people talk about in the West and Japan doesn't really get a lot of play in Taiwanese culture. It sounds good though and is decorative.

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