In July Andrea's sister, Erin, came to visit and stayed with us for over two weeks. It really is great to have someone from home come to visit so that you can share your home away from home with them, although when you come from places like Canada and Australia, Taiwan is more like a world away from home. When we get the opportunity to share someone else's first experience of Taiwan it prompts us to see things anew again and consider our environment from an outside perspective, something that we wouldn't usually do due to the amount of time we've spent living here and our habituation to the environment. All of the amazing and interesting things here in Taiwan have become normal for us but of course for someone like Erin, visiting for the first time, things are... just... similar but different. Anyway, we had a great time having her here and I'm sure it was a great experience for her.
Erin paid a visit to Andrea's school and talked to the children in Andrea's class. Not having been there, I can only assume that Erin was talking to them about her work with the Emergency Services in Canada and not teaching them about the differences between North American and Taiwanese fashion.
I wasn't present when the girls got their massage either but I'm sure it was a very positive aspect of the cultural experience.
Here we are at a local night market. I've just purchased a mixed-fruit juice from the juice stall next to us. You can buy all sorts of night-market snacks in these places and you can also find cheap clothes, shoes, and accessories besides other knick-knacks and random things. Taiwanese people seem to love to be where everyone else is so these places can get very crowded and sometimes a little overwhelming when you're shuffling along behind the person in front of you trying to get from point A to point B without being jostled about too much.
Here's Erin on the grounds of one of Tainan's many multifarious temples. This one is very famous and very old; it's called the Confucius Temple (that should probably be Confucian Temple but who am I to argue with what they call their important places of worship). I think I remember that this place was also a school for Confucian scholars. I don't know whether to capitalise Confucian or not but I think I might err on the side of caution and give it a big C.
And here's a temple roof. Temple roofs are works of art and some are covered in highly detailed and intricate decorations. Going by what I've seen they often portray the deity or entity being honored, usually in the process of doing whatever it is that they are renowned for doing.
Erin returned to Canada after a busy couple of weeks with us. I'm sure she now misses Taiwanese style ice teas and being able to go to the beach. Taiwan sure is an interesting and challenging place.