Ham and Eggs
There I was just before midnight, minding my own business, in bed, watching Beetlejuice (subtitled thank heavens) and the earth moved yet again.
Now, I'm in a cheap hotel, on the 4th floor, and the Taiwanese don't seem to be as organised as the Japanese on earthquakes. As plaster from the ceiling fell onto the bed I scuttled, starkers, under the desk. I have to say it was pretty scary. It probably didn't last more than a few seconds but it seemed like forever and I'm not used to this sort of thing (yet). It was a magnitude 6.3 just off the coast near where I am (Hualien, halfway down the east coast of Taiwan).
On a brighter note, I managed ham and eggs this morning with chopsticks. The toast was probably cheating, though.
Had a lovely day out to Taroko Gorge, which you've probably never heard of but which is Taiwan's No.1 tourist attraction. It's a 500m-deep marble gorge through the mountains in the centre of the island, and absolutely spectacular. My day-trip companions in the minibus were two Taiwanese girls and Jurgen the German, who works in Hiroshima, with his Japanese girlfriend Miro. Now, Japanese and Mandarin (which is spoken in Taiwan) use more or less the same character set, but the words are completely different (if you follow me), so Miro and the Taiwanese were conversing in English as their only common language. Not only that, but had to ask if they were Japanese or Chinese - if they can't tell the difference between themselves, what chance do we have?
So, back to Taipei tomorrow, then off to Bangkok on Thursday.
Posted by Cynthia Milton at November 09, 2004 05:18 PM GMT