Jia yi and Zhuang hua

Back from the island, I go back to PingTung. For the first and the last time of my trip, my shortcomings in Chinese proved to have some negative consequences. In the bus station, I ask for a ticket towards Kaoshiung 高雄 . Alas, the cashier understands Kaoshu 高樹 and, after having giving me my ticket, urges me to take a bus that is about to leave. As I am running out of time, I don't check my ticket and get on the bus. One hour later, at the bus terminal I finally figure out my mistake and I have to take another bus to return to my starting point. Kaoshu is much more rural that the other cities where I have been, as evidenced by the tremendous numbers of betel nut stains on the ground. The bus station is hunted by one taxi driver looking like an ex-convict.

On my way back to Taipei, I first stop in Jia yi to visit Wufeng temple 吳鳳廟.

Next, I take a train towards Zhuang hua 彰化. Its Confucius temple is not bad. There is also a twenty-three-meter high statue of Buddha on the top of a small hill. As I get there at dawn, I can appreciate the surroundings. Something a bit odd. On the two flanks of the statue, only 5 meters far from it, stand two soda fountains. In the middle of a temple…

As I am going back to my hotel, I come accross two high-school students sitting on a bench. I haven't even glanced at them but they shout behind my back «Awesome ». A few hundred yards farther, another young girl is about to fall from her bicycle for having stared at me too long. A sure bet is that they don't see many Westerners around there (I have only met 4 of them during my 3 days in the South). Not far from my hotel I spotted a shop offering some 貓鼠麵 (mouse and cat noddles). Do they really sell this kind of meat ? I don't feel brave enough to have a try.