Monday, April 18th, 2011 began with meeting friends for coffee and a chat. A lovely four hour chat! The two women we met with are both currently expats, one from California and one from France, who arrived a short while after our time of living there, but are still there. They both have small children, including young babies. It didn’t feel like it had been two years since we had seen them. After discussing everything from how to find an American style meal in Taipei (“It’s all about the food.”) to how to encourage fellow believers, we parted regretfully. Good-byes were filled with promises of visits in other foreign locations, and offerings of our house as a stopping point when they go stateside.
Then Greg and I went to walk along the river that we had frequented while living there, the same area in which Ben proposed to Amanda during their Christmas visit to us. It is called Shuangxi Riverside Park, and I was excited to find that I could read four of the six Chinese characters on the sign! I’m getting nimble with a Chinese dictionary, too, so I had the others figured out soon.
Someone takes good care of this area, although I have yet to see anyone besides illegal fisherman and poaching harvesters. However, as gorgeous as it is, with the year long tropical growing, I can see that the weeds are tenacious and give no respite. It makes one appreciate the aspect of winter that just gives a gardener a break from the struggle.
A sweeping view, then a close up of an amaryllis.
An aloe vera in bloom
A dainty purple blossom. (with Greg’s hand)
Curly, fuzzy pink and whites.
Lantana as it should look (as opposed to how it looks in my garden…)
The fabulous Greg, as we take turns recognizing familiar landmarks.
And a swath of cosmidium phillipine, which I grew for the first time last year and was rewarded with a few flowers.
Then the raised pathway, next to a waterway, that leads through the city to “our” apartment.
Very ugly, poisonous looking, but strangely like tomatoes.
And, finally, a classically Chinese landscape in the background as we approach our MRT station. I am surprised by how much like home it all felt.