Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Walk in the Neighborhood

1/8/12 evening

I left the house in the morning with the guys when they went to work. We had run out of bottled water and shampoo. I had to remedy that situation immediately. Don dropped me off at the corner of the main road, Hwy 168, where there is a 7-Eleven. I bought my supplies and walked home. I took pictures of the neighborhood as I walked the six or so blocks back. I took pictures of our two landmarks that tell us where to turn to get to the house. On Hwy 168, we turn at the big new Chang Gung Hospital. Then we make a left turn onto Jisiang 7th street at the Chia-yi Motor Vehicle building. These two prominent buildings in our neighborhood make it easy to find our house.

Chang Gung Hospital

Chia-yi County Motor Vehicle building

As I walked, I took pictures of the sugar cane fields. The sugar cane fields are everywhere in Chia-yi county. We’re told that the Japanese planted these fields during their occupation of the island from the early 1900’s till 1945 at the end of WWII. They are still owned by Japan and all the sugar cane is exported to them.

I also to took a picture of a succulent plant in a pot among many other pots outside someone’s “brownstone” driveway. Some of these complexes do not have a courtyard like ours, instead they have a driveway, covered or not, that is directly on the street and directly next to their neighbors’ driveways as well. They often partition their driveway from their neighbors’ by lining up flowerpots. This was the purpose of the potted plant that I took a picture of. I took the picture because it was a most interesting plant. It looked like any other broad-leafed succulent except that up and down along the edges of its leaves it had little buds growing out of it, almost like you might see on some cacti. It was unique and beautiful.

I also took a picture of a very strange tree. It had a bare skinny trunk and was about 8 feet tall with branches and leaves at the top, almost like a palm tree. The strange thing about this tree was that it had fruit, like gourds, growing out of the trunk…no branch, no leaf, just straight out of the trunk. It looked unnatural. I was told this is a guava, or bale as it is called in Taiwan, but it is not like the pictures of guava I looked at online. I don't know what it is. They are very common in Chia-yi.

As I turned our corner, I looked with appreciation at the empty lot next to our house. That open space helps me to not feel claustrophobic being attached to this whole block of houses.


              It was a "beautiful day in the neighborhood!"  A wonderful morning for a walk from the store.

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