May 16, Kaohsiung

Tuesday morning in Kaohsiung ("gow shung") was a slow start for the family. Josh met up with us at Paula's apartment and we headed for lunch. It was stated to be a ten minute walk to our destination, but several people reported it was far longer. We had lunch at a fun place where the food is cooked right in front of you. No fancy juggling or chopping, but the servings were good. Upon request the restaurant was able to find a single fork. It took a thorough search before it could be located. The free tea helped us adjust to one of our warmer days in Taiwan.

Through the use of two scooters at Paula's place, Josh's little motorcycle and a taxi, we were able to make our way to Paula's excellent new house. This was our first excursion on bikes through heavy city roads. It was crazy and beyond rules. It was made more interesting by the fact that all the major roads were completely torn out to make way for the new city subway system. Cars, scooters, and buses go everywhere on the roads in Taiwan. Perhaps worst are the taxis which offer few warnings before a variety of turns. All the scooter riding in Kauhsiung was thrilling, and later on we would experience more with the rental of two more scooters.

Found on the fourth, death, floor of a new condo complex, this was one deluxe place. Since it was the "model" unit, it came embellished with full furnishings and luxuries like four air conditioning units. Josh and Paula have really struck gold on finding a home. Josh's Mom was there and served unending plates of cut fruit. Josh and his mother were also happy to point out the bullet proof, fire proof, dungeon key requiring front door. Phil also noted some of the nice artwork on the wall. When asking where similar pieces could be found, Josh's mother quickly offered it to Phil and Alicia as a gift. Phil tried to back out of the deal, but we are unsure if there is a package being shipped to America right now. With roof access we were able to get a bigger view of the surrounding neighborhood.

The evening was finished with some foot patrolling of the streets. We got to experience Dollars, which is like the ultimate Fedco style store. Time was also spent in The Net, which is entirely cloned from The Gap, but with smaller clothes. We also saw a politician who commandeered a crowded intersection by placing large PA speakered trucks in each corner to make his case. Finally, dinner was had at the "western" style, Bagel Bagel.

The pressure of catering the family around this city was getting to Paula at this point. But from this night forward, things became more casual. Perhaps we were getting the hang of Taiwan. On the way home a few of us made a stop to buy some fun scooter helmets. Jenni got a white Hello Kitty one, and a Pink ladybug was picked up for Avery.

That night, surgery was placed on Jenni's bite mark. The epicenter of the bite swelling had grown into a poppable looking target. Alicia performed a dark ritual on the bite. Something must have worked, because things did look better the next day.