May 1, 2006 - Monday
Ride around the Penghu Islands - Taiwan

(much of this was typed on May 2 so some references to "today" or "now" are off by one day).

One thing that I will be doing on this trip is taking photos of "daily stuff" and not just "scenic stuff". I like to see what is different from what I have been used to. So far, here in Taiwan, many things are very similar to home - right side of the road driving, roadway striping (yellow lines in the center, white at the side, > arrow signs at curves), 2 foot by 4 foot suspended ceiling tiles. Cell phones sound the same (duh!) as do many computers booting up to Windows with the default sounds active. Barcodes are the same except that a serif typeface might be used (I think the U.S.A. has san-serif typeface for the numbers). Arabic / Western numerals are used frequently - specifically on roadsigns. English labels on roadsigns also exist. Felipe says that English is the second language. I'm not sure if that is "official" or de-facto but many do not speak or understand English. I've learned to say "Thank-You" in Mandarin - there is much more I should learn too.

Masonry construction is the norm - there is little to NO wood/tree growth around (on these islands). No "Right turn on red after stopping" - just wait until a green light cycles on (many ignore this rule). Helmets are mandatory though there is little regard to FASTENING the chin strap to keep it from falling off in an accident. Eye protection is not mandated and many do not use any sort of protection (windshield, face shield, eye glasses). I have noticed, a couple times, small things (flying bug?) hitting my face but bugs are not near as common as home. When out riding perhaps 10% of the cyclists do not have helmets on. Almost no child passenger has a helmet - maybe small helmets are not common or are "too" expensive??? Large bikes (bikes above 200cc???) are RARE as the government tax is prohibitively expensive. Most bikes are step-through scooters ranging from 50 to 125cc with many of them being 4-stroke in nature vs the often smokey 2-stroke style. Felipe says that most large bikes seen around are from travelers using their bike while they are here. In Taipei I saw one large BMW bike with a traveler riding. I saw three large bikes on the Penghu islands - one was a sportbike and the other two were together - naked sportbikes with hard bags (panniers / luggage).

Females, wearing skirts, will often drive with a male as the passenger - perhaps this is to make life easier riding a bike with a skirt. For those females that do ride with a skirt (as a passenger) - many ride side saddle. These gals have more guts, IMO, than anyone else. There's not much to hold onto when sitting this way. With all of the weaving, dodging, accelerating, stopping I should think that falling off would be a reasonable concern.

I heard a bike "shifting" today [RRRRRrrrrr    RRRRRrrrrrr      RRRRRrrrrr]. This is perhaps the first time since I've arrived. I've taken photos of a few "bikes" as they stand out in the "scooter" crowd. The "scooters" use centrifugal clutches tied with constant vairiable speed transmissions - just twist the throttle and go - no "shifting". The sound they make is constant - RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR fading off into the distance.

Hmmm - utilities: Power, Water, Telephone, Garbage....

Power - While 110v AC is available via a two slotted outlet (like most outlets in the U.S.A. without the ground plug) the delivery of that power from the pole to the residence is slightly different - probably due to a building codes issue. Wires are more "accessible" and less hidden. Sure, this is due to solid masonry construction (harder to run wires "in" the walls) and perhaps also due to the fact that masonry construction won't catch on fire like a wood structure might, but wires are sometimes strewn across the ground or otherwise are more accessible to a human's touch. Electric meters are much the same though the power line delivery to the building might be slightly different [photo: overview large]. The U.S. may utilize a "cable" from pole to building (a mechanical / physical link) to which the power lines (electrical supply) are fastened to. Here the neutral line in white serves both purposes [photo].

Water, like it room temp? That's what's available. One faucet at the sink - It's neither cold nor hot this time of the year. With winter not getting to a freeze issue pipes are not buried in the cooler ground below a frost line (about two or three feet for Illinois). Plumbing is as well (often) strapped to the walls. Some places might have "hot" at the sink too - haven't noticed it yet. Hot shower - yes - via an electric flow through heater mounted on the wall in the shower area.

Wired telephones: They're around - not like a "phone in every room" that I'm used to. People do use cell phones a LOT. I noticed one kid driving a scooter, making a left turn, cell phone held to the left ear (half helmets / beenie helmets the norm). I look out of place with a full face helmet in the color of solid black. Telco installs are much the same as the U.S. - hap-hazard, no removal of old lines - just keep installing new [photo: to building, into building].

Garbage: A photo and video clip are below. Felipe says the trash truck comes once per day (about 6p here). It plays one tune [Felipe stopped up - he said the tune is Beethoven's "Fur Alice"] - over and over and over (I wonder if trashmen go crazy from the tune?) as it slowly rolls through town. People come out with a bag of refuse and toss it into the truck. When no more people are around the truck moves on. The tune continues to play...... Effective!

Loudspeakers are used on several traveling vendors - announcing as they travel. I think most of the announcements are canned (mechanical - play over and over) whereas some might be a human talking live. With the small area (no large yards like suburbia U.S.A.), masonry construction to keep the sound echoing along, and open windows from the warm temps it is easy to hear them. It also has kept my ear / brain mentally amused all afternoon working on this page - three houses down they are doing an exterior remodel job and just past that is the town square. I walked down a bit ago and purchased two chocolates, a Coke, and a juice beverage. T'was nice to just "walk" and get there AND BACK in 2 minutes. The Coke is in a typical can though a straw is often used as one does not trust the can's top to be clean. The Coke was also a bit different - more syrupy and less carbinated - less bite and more sweet like Pepsi.

I hear a tune - something's coming - the trashman - [edit] that dang tune has been playing for perhaps 25 minutes. With a tune "duration" of about 12 seconds that thing has passed my ears 125 times - oh good - it's on the move - but it's getting louder.... Why can't I just set my garbage out at the curb and have a trashman silently take it..... Where did Felipe put his wire cutters.... 7:05 pm - it's now fully dark outside - 6:30 was dusk and the tune was audible about then. 7:09 it just got louder yet - and I saw it pass by. It is down by the town square - Felipe just walked out bag in hand. Listening closer there is a gap in the tune - it is 32 seconds long but has a few repeating segments. 7:14 pm - it is getting quieter - on the move to a place far far away. 7:20pm no NO TUNE - WhooHoo. So, since I do these "calculations", I listened to the tune for about 45 minutes. It repeated every 32 seconds so that's right about 84 times but since the clip "repeated" internally about 4 or 8 times per tune (with a rising or falling tone) I'll just let you multiply it out.... 7:24 there's a light rain falling - and I can now hear the tune coming closer - it might be working up on the hill and coming back through town - dang lound now - maybe it's moving fast and getting OUT OF TOWN. These things must be hooked directly to the battery - no off switch. I imagine the trash trucks, parked and turned off, lined up - all playing their synthsized tune - out of sync - until the batteries go dead. Maybe a relative of the trash branch of the government ran a floundering synthesized music chip business and a deal to equip the trucks was run on a payoff plan - makes the corrupt Illinois government seem less terrible - they don't have trucks wandering the streets playing terrible synthesized tunes to annoy people at all hours of the day. 7:30 - it's still out there. I have a plan - ditch the tune and place a neighborhood waste bin near every spot the truck would stop at. People could place refuse in the bin when they wish. The truck could arrive when it wishes - SILENTLY - to empty the bin. I figure it would allow people more options of when they could rid themselves of the refuse, the truck could process an area in perhaps 20 to 30 minutes - saving time, and everyone wouldn't have to listed to the tune.... 7:33 I've not heard it for the past minute or two. No raindrops to block the sound either. Gone for today - the joy returns tomorrow - "Same Bat Time. Same Bat Channel". Holy Cow Batman - 7:44pm - it's BACK. 7:52 - it's Energizer Bunny ad time - still going.....

I've succumbed to the dark side and ditched the ATGATT (All The Gear, All The Time) as if I were to layer up I would already be dead from dehydration. Mbbe my squidlyness lurks just beneath my skin (poor attempt at a pun for sure). I considered buying a hot weather jacket before I left - perhaps I should have. While the temps are what I've been used to and I gave decent consideration to the humidity factor it's just that the humidity factor is a bit worse than I thought. On the flip side - most of the speeds are lower than what I'm used to. My average speed for today was 23 kph (14 mph) with a maximum of 73 kph (45 mph)*. Most of the travel is in the 25 to 35 mph range. Not terrible but certainly enough to peel skin. The jumps on highway 203 (4 lane road with houses, driveways, activity in the urban areas to nothing in the rural areas) from one end of the island to the other, in the open areas, are at 80 kph (50 mph) and these speeds make me re-think the jacket and pants arena. Then again, since I didn't put on sunscreen soon enough, my skin will be peeling off shortly anyway....

Due to the temps and humidity I considered bringing the beaded seat cover - I wish I did. Monkey Butt was starting to become a discomfort today but with the many stops (getting off of the bike to take a photo) it did not get too bad.

* I plan on doing some speed tests today. The GPS and the bike's speedometer are unusually far apart. The GPS may say 79 kph when the bike says 100 kph. I plan on finding a straight section of road that is marked (mile / kilometer signs) and timing my pass through the distance at a set speed. This will give me some idea which readout appears to be more correct (this does assume that the marked roadway is accurate too). The bike's speedometer seems to be more correct (by readout and by body sensation of speed) and I can't understand why the GPS would be "off". Does the U.S. Govt manipulate the signals outside of the U.S.?

[edit: with some measured distance/time tests the GPS is spot on and the bike is way off]

Well folks, the maps you're used to from prior trips won't be much use this time - they cover just the U.S.A. and I have been unsuccessful in finding street maps (electronic) for Taiwan and Thailand. Maybe I can find something over here while I'm traveling but I won't spend much of any time on it. For now the U.S. based software will have to suffice - they don't offer much detail.

The map below is from the Microsoft Streets & Trips U.S.A. 2005 program. It is better, internationally, than my preferred map software - DeLorme StreetAtlas U.S.A.

Circled in red is the Penghu Island area. This is where I currently am at - Felipe's home.

This is as "best" it gets - which is decent enough actually - for the Microsoft program. I traveled much of this island chain today and will visit the remaining southeast section in a day or so. After that I'll take the 4 hour ferry ride to the main island of Taiwan. [edit: I never did make it to the southeast section of these islands....]

This map is from the DeLorme software. I like the "line" representation better than the "dots" in the Microsoft app but other than that - the detail is very lacking. In the left portion of the map where the Black, Red, and Green lines meet - that is home for Felipe. The blue circle in the lower right is where I took Tom for a ride on the motorbike - he held onto the GPS to see it in action and play with it.

Starting the day - off on my own - time to stop (which I did OFTEN) and take photos.

There are (essentially) no trees on the island. Just about any tree thas is here was planted and care was taken for it to survive. The winter winds are an issue.

Taiwan is a result of volcanic activity - these vertical "shafts" of past lava activity show it.

Bamboo used to make a support rail for the smaller trees / vines

The > arrow signs in the background came from the same catalog the U.S. uses..... Though the posts are often a "bent" design unlike home.


Info sign

It's only a few steps.... (even with the heat / humidity it wasn't bad)

"Wood looking" timbers. I don't know if they were plastic or masonry. There was a seam and they look plastic but they have a heavy feel that makes me think they may be some sort of masonry.

I didn't quite expect to see cacti here

Info sign - click for a larger size  In looking at this map - the islands seem "odd" - the direction of East is Up

Views from the top of the hill. Looking East towards Magong - the big city on this island set.

One entryway to the "5 hole pillbox"

The gated room was probably storage for ammo

Looking out one of the ports

Out the other end

Down at the harbor - squid boats

And some lights used to attract the squids

Cemetary - as much as one could "define" one. Graves can be found about anywhere "out of the city". Perhaps just one along the road to several together.

Road less traveled mentality getting tickled.

This is the "white fort" otherwise listed as Sysku Eastern. The trench allowed people to move from near the front gate of the fort to the edge of the hill. I don't know why and I don't have net connectivity to research it.


Most surfaces where a surprising white. The green splotches I assume are mold / mildew.

One of the "little" stair steps. The outside is near where a gun would be placed. This room is probably a powder room. I don't know why the stairs do not come down to the floor (they are at about 1/2 wall height). The top opening is not large though a person can reasonably make it through.

The main gate is situated in the outermost wall - an earthen berm. Since airplanes weren't about they didn't care about what the place looked light from above - just what it looked like from an approaching ship.

Standing on the masonry wall - this is just in from the outer berm - looking diagonally across the compound. The main gate is to the left and the wall that would have guns is to the right. This place was only concerned with attacks from the right as the other three sides were not set to have guns pointing out from them. Maybe a gun or two on the firing wall could rotate to any orientation?

Looking to the firing wall - a circular gun pad is somewhat visible in the top right of the photo. The inner ring - set a level lower is where the troops would be and where the powder rooms are.

Closer to the gun pad.

Inside face of the outer berm.

Gun pad looking back across the center compound towards the main gate.

This was out to one corner - not sure what it was - an old gun box (steel top) with three powder / shell rooms?

This corner is perhaps the kitchen. There are three holes in the roof. The inside of this area shows smoke marks.

Space from the outer berm and the compound masonry wall.

Looking across to Magong.

Inside of the kitchen? area. This is also the only spot that had exposed brick - the rest was all white.

Looking out to the main gate.

The main gate had two doors and one wooden block. The doors could be opened but still not allow vehicles to pass through without removing the difficult to move wooden board. The doorway shows some evidence of rebuilding (the angular corner plates on the doors are a stainless steel) so I'm not sure if this is a "new" thing for tourists or an original design.

Just outside of this old fort is a current military base. Felipe called it a missile base. There have been a few places where I've traveled by military gates that were manned with rifle toting guards. Earlier today a couple military jets, flying alongside each other, zipped overhead - straight line north - they were audible for many seconds - not like training where the sound comes and goes as the planes twist and turn.

Down in the next city - basketball hoops are common. Baseball is a popular sport.

Each city seems to have a main gate. A "look at us" advertising symbol. I imagine that the content of the gate has meaning though I don't know what the items mean. Dragons are quite popular. Sea water and sea life as well. [edit: Felipe said that if the town has a gate like this then there is a temple in the town]

End of the line for "the bus". It just pulled into this intersection and stopped. People slowly came out and the bus then started to back up before it headed on the return. It had no issue of stopping in the center of the intersection - I was the only "traffic" and I had stopped to take pictures. Some of the lesser used stop lights are not even turned on while others flash yellow or red.

Elvis has left the building....

Each town has a building that looks like this. Probably the local temple.

Up on the hill looking back over the town - the ornate building is visible at the left.

Some roadside trash - remnants from "flip-flop" shoe manufacturing. One thing that I look at is that each "foot" is aligned next to the other. Why not reverse the heel-toe orientation and maybe get one more pair from each sheet of material? This stuff floats and I've seen sheets bound up and used for floats of different sorts.

Note - more "fake wood" for the railings. Good stuff actually.

Tidal chart. I'm not quite up on the lunar calendar but if you know the lunar day and the time you can see where the tide is at.

More water

Lighthouse stop. I had to be close to the wall so I used the wide angle lens - the lighthouse doesn't really lean....

I think this cement gun was put into place - a replica for the tourists.

Did we say tourists?!?! Then there must be a curvy, treacherous, mountain road ready to make the news when a tour bus goes out of control and bashes over the side...

Looking down over a town. Note the "road" near the bottom center of the photo - I will head down the hill and take this road, making my way to the harbor, then out of town heading up the hill at the top center of the photo. (Felipe just took me to lunch in this town - photos on Tuesday's entry).

For reference the following photos.

Starting to head down the hill towards town.

Reasonably steep.

Coming into "Turn 1"

Finishing "Turn 1" and looking at "Turn 2". A nicely walled roadway - no cars here though - too narrow.

Finishing "Turn 2"

While I've not seen an electric chair out between cities they are common enough in the cities. Note the big, round mirror at the right - very useful (they are common too).

Ugh - 7 Eleven under construction (though I dare say that without Felipe's help I would probably be visiting them for foods more often. I don't know that I would venture into the shops he does if I were alone - No language would be spoken aside from my "Thank you". We'll see what happens in a few days when I ferry to mainland Taiwan by myself.

Cell towers - the same - as much a blight on the horizon as at home.

Entryway to the "tourist" fort.

Info sign - click for a larger description; click for a larger diagram

Info sign - click for a larger size

Info sign - click for a larger diagram

Main entrance - looking into the courtyard

Looking off to the left - tour group. While this fortress was a bit larger and a bit more complex I enjoyed the other one more - no people about - peaceful. This one was the opposite of the other - it was filled with tourists. Two to four busses in the parking lot at all times (there was also a fee - while the other was quite well free).

Water control channels visible - an important feature of both fortresses.

Looking across diagonally. The entrance gate is to the right. The guns pointed out on the far left wall.

A side jaunt to the cliff. Walk down the interior masonry wall, across the "ditch" and up the outer earthen berm.

Easy to see the separation between the outer masonry wall and the outer earthen berm.

The next three photos take a right-to-left pan of the compound from one of the corners. The green patch in the bottom of each photo is a gun pad.

Powder room? The "windows" are short stairwells. I was able to crouch down and step down to the last step. I didn't feel like jumping from the last step to the floor (4 feet).

I think the info sign said that these places held shells.

Looking down into the powder room. Rainwater gutter to help keep water out.

More water gutters.

"Those stairs"..... This is inside what I call the powder room.

Back on the road - the spot we went swimming is visible at the right of the photo - you can just barely make out the two "walls". To the left are the pearl farms.

Felipe showed me a nice "swimming beach" - a sandy beach. It is at the base of the "failing" dam (seepage issues). This is the down / backside of the dam.

Breakwaters - to keep the angry sea from damaging the dam's foundation.

A bit of the beach and more tales of volcanic action.

Not a bad place to go swimming - the best I've seen here so far (though some photos from others show some great spots around)

The front side of the dam - freshwater holding.

Water pipe

This captain wishes to catch lots of squid.

By "keeping to the shore" I ended up traveling down a small roadway. By the time I arrived at the end I decided to take a snack break. No matter that I was in a cemetery and decided to sit at one of the grave sites.

I asked Felipe about these green mesh nets. They are around and many do not make much sense. He said that due to the high winter winds, small trees are unable to grow. When a contractor wishes to get something to grow to a mature state the item needs to be protected from the wind - thus the wind break netting.

One of the roads was a dead-ender

More cemetary action.

Out of the cemetary (I think - boundaries for them are but mere suggestions in the wind) and onto another "road". This is also a "powerline" right of way.

Then the road turns to a single track trail. Sure, ready set go!

Not more than a minute or two it ended in a farmed field. Back I go.

These things are great - so colorful - and filled with stuff that is new to me - click click click goes the camera.

Beef on a rope. No fences used - just a leash.

I took a picture of this - meaning to ask Felipe what it means. The only item I can guess at is the 10Ha - 10 Hectares??

Come see our town!

The Penghu Great Bridge. Felipe calls this his "Linear Accelerator" in good engineering speak. It is linear and he does accelerate.

This dude looks kinda ticked and he's going to toss something - the birds better get out of the way. Perhaps Glenn could use this guy around the gardens....

Out at Whale Cave (I didn't see or go in any cave) - just drove about the place

Down to the waters edge I go....

More "something like wood or cement" stuff

Like the walkways from a day or so ago - falling debris is an issue.

Well, it's not raining and wet so I don't think any rocks will start moving while I'm here.

'Don't know if the "view" was worth the short walk down - but I went anyway.

Fairly typical sign for the main road.

The main square. The road / alley to Felipe's house is just past the green awning. Buildings under construction or renovation are often covered with green netting.

Cemetary action Click for a larger image

Looking across the bay / water towards Makung (Magong / Makong - different English translations exist) Click for a larger size

Looking back towards Felipe's town.

Stop sign and bus stop.

The entrance sign for Felipe's town of Dayigwong - perhaps the most ornate so far.

Even the inside, underside is decorated.

Yea, there's the town name

This stretch of roadway was decorated - images stamped into the drying concrete then painted.

Entrance to the Penghu Great Bridge.

Fast moving waters due to the tidal change.

Great Bridge - tidal change
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Info sign - I'm up near the top center of the map.

I went to get a photo out by the water - but I didn't notice the pack of six dogs under the sun deck. When I got close enough five decided to chase me. Not wanting to risk getting bitten I moved out.

I've only seen one "accident" site so far - skid marks into a hillside. Aside from these donut marks skid marks on pavement don't exist.

These roadway bumps got my attention (look at next pic for a better view). The circled "lightning bolt" is on the bottom of the glass sphere. Since the road was little used it was in good condition. They wouldn't last through one snow-plowing back home but snow plows don't run here.

These four wheeled bikes are somewhat common. Take a regular scooter and add support wheels.

Roadway improvements (yea, I stopped to take the picture - at least I sized it small so it wouldn't take much download time)

And now you know.

Over to the wind generators (anyone have a better name?)
[as I type] Cue Geico commercial as a Gecko is scooting about over in the corner.....

One of the streamlined units.

There are eight towers. Four of this type and four that are more "streamlined". The wind was moving quickly and this unit was turning (it was the main "visitor" unit). Impressive. Watching those, long, massive blades spinning - the sound they make passing through the air. I can see this thing doing a decent job converting wind power to electrical power.

A live status display for the complex of eight towers. Wind speed (meters per second) and kilowatts? output per tower. 143 is the total output for the complex right now.

And those blades are spinning. While a helicopter can make a good "whoop"ing sound these things are slower but make up for it in volume / size.

Wind Generator
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Winding through the wind farm - small path - here we go.

It quickly ended up in an incline that got steeper and then transitioned to stairs. I stopped well short but grabbed a photo.

Old lighthouse dwarfed by the wind generator.

Yep, more of these - I was click happy with them.

Hand mits??? It's hot out! Felipe says that hand mits are useful in the cool winter and are used by females who wish to have white skin. He commented that the Chinese try to have a light/fair complexion where the lighter colored American's try to have a darker complexion / tanned skin.

Downtown Makung - the pedestrian harbor bridge. This is the area for the fireworks (below).

This scooter has four people on it. Two kids standing in the step through, the driver, and #4 who is kept from being pushed off the back by that little wire seat back. Makes my head turn - cool.

I first thought I found the ferry - nope this is not a ship but a store built to look like a ship - DOH!

On the campus of Penghu University (wise crackers can sit in the back - no cake for you). Looking across a courtyard to a university building under construction.

Office of the President is at the near right and Felipe's office is two doors down - at the far end of this hallway.

In front of the library.

I get a kick out of this. I was in the front area of the library. They had a gallery set up with nice aerial photos of the Penghu islands (there are 33?? of them). Between two of the displays was this nicely painted control box. A bit out of place for the setting - but it was painted up nicely. The thing that gets me - and this goes along with my general take of the society so far - there is no restriction on the device from keeping anyone from it. I could have turned it off or on as I pleased (assuming the control knob was active. About 15 minutes prior I was in a rooftop access area - by simply walking up some common stairs - all open. The small roads I take - all open. There are places I would not be able to travel to in the U.S. - they would be locked, signed, off limits. Security cameras exist as do locks for doors - but many locks are left un-locked, doors left open (to the roof), and I doubt many security cameras are monitored or recorded. A nice thing for society to exist in this way.

I think this is the athletics / gymnasium building.

To keep vehicles from the courtyard. A low bar - easy enough to step over, or with a bicycle to slip through on the angle - but tight enough to keep scooters and cars out.

Library & Information Building.

Administration and offices on the far left - classrooms in the middle building. Felipe's office is the near end of the second level of the far left building - highlighted in a blue line.

Motorbikes galore. Count the cars.....

Looking to my left - more motorbikes.

Activities field. A lot of people down at the other end. Aside from the basketball I saw a relay race and discus throws. There may have been other activities - too many people to make things out.

An oddity in the traditional motorbike style. Again - cc's max out at about 125cc.

After I met up with Felipe and Tom we went a block down for dinner. While dinner was cooked Tom and I walked across the street to the juice bar (fruit and ice tossed into a blender - no stomach issues so far). Anyway - on the counter was an item - here's a photo for you Ken. I did think it odd that we were going across the street - to a different vendor - to buy drinks and bring them back to the dinner vendors establishment to drink with our dinner. I should ask Felipe about this practice. It seems we should have purchased drinks from the vendor we were sitting in.

So, at the juice bar there was a sign board. Tom pointed out this sign - and said "fishing". OK. I caught something a few days back that related to Taiwan's "years". They have their own marking for years and this sign shows it. Look down and you can see 95 / 04 / 23 (year / month / day). 95 is just that 95 - not 1995. Taiwan year 95. The sign next to it (below) shows the Roman calendar year - 2005/2006.

2005 / 2006 year designation. The graph depicts rising sugar prices.

Dinner with our imported juice bar drinks. Tom (left) and Felipe.

Delicious - not far from stews from home. Also served was Kimschee (sp?) - pickled cabbage - me like.

A shot of some of the "electrical" setups. There were two wall mounted air conditioning units. Power comes in from the top left and branches to each set of circuit breakers (twin 20A's on the left for the left air-con unit and twin 15A's for the right unit). The neutral line on all of this wiring is unused / cut. The screw heads for the leads were exposed (in the U.S. all of this goes into an electrical panel). It wasn't a serious hazard for the customers as it was reasonably high - just different.

Riding back through town we noticed the fireworks. Since the Penghu Islands is a National Preserve as well as a tourist area the city puts on a fireworks show every other night in the summer. We plan to return on Wednesday - I'll bring my tripod. For these shots I sat on the back of the scooter holding the camera as steady as I could. The arched pedestrian harbor bridge (shown in a daylight photo above) is visible in these as the yellow - green - blue arch.

Trash truck - people come walking over trash bags in hand and the driver sits in the truck.

The Trashman Cometh
MPG, 10 sec, 738 KB

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