This is my friend Huang.  I met him on probably my first or second night in Taiwan, while I was staying at the Happy Family Hostel.  He was drinking whiskey, smiling a lot, and making vague-sounding toasts about people having a “wonderful life” in a weird accent.  At first I thought he was just some drunk hippie, but he turned out to be one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met, and is one of only two people here I would call a close friend.  I gradually learned his complex life story in bits and pieces: Born in India to a Taiwanese father and Bhutanese mother, he came to Taiwan as a teenager, later spent 10 years living in Japan, and is fluent in the following languages: English, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka, Japanese, Hindi.  He knows more about Taiwan than anyone I’ve met thus far.  I always eat well when I’m with him.

Some cool bathroom art from a cafe, the location and name of which now utterly eludes me.

Pretty much everything you need to know about Taipei is in this picture.

Sometimes you see shit like this.

Me with a tree in Taichung in warmer days.  How I miss the sun.

Just your normal family portrait.  Is that Alex Trebek?

Taipei 101 from Elephant Mountain, helped by a healthy dose of smog.

This is sort of like that bridge scene, in that move by Hou Hsiao Hsien, where there’s the couple, and Taipei looks all ugly, and I think they live in Sanchong, you know?  Eh, forget it. (The movie is Three Times).

Behold, Yeliu!

Terrifying, isn’t it?


Some partridges that were waiting for me at the top of 7-Star Mountain.  They barely paid me any attention.

It’s everyone’s favorite place…Hhulai!  Taiwan is the capital of demented pinyin.

Once you leave the cities it looks a bit more like this.

And this.

And then you get crap like this.  Damnit.  WHY MUST THEY CUTELY ANTHROPOMORPHIZE EVERYTHING!?