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03 Dec 2010

For the last couple of weeks Marisa and I have been staying with my friend Simon Braunstein in Kaohsiung, Taiwan's second largest city, located on its southern coast. After trekking around continuously for two weeks, rarely spending the night in the same place twice, Kaohsiung has served as a kind of stable island, where I've been able to put together the shells of two small computer games. Of course, we've also taken the time to get out a bit, and see some of Kaohsiung's sites. Highlights include:

A visit to Monkey Mountain, right in the middle of Kaohsiung, along the coast, which, true to its name, is home to many, many monkeys… many of whom have grown accustomed to using the stairs built for hikers, and some of whom have grown accustomed to stealing food from visitors and eating it themselves. The monkey in the photo below actually jumped on my lap on his way to steal Simon's mangoes, which he proceeded to flaunt, and then devour in mouthfuls as other, larger monkeys drew closer: 


A long walk around Lotus Lake (or "Lotus Pond," depending, I guess, on how large you require a lake to be—the university I attended insisted on calling the puddle of water to the west of campus a "lake", so I won't insult Lotus' 3-mile circumference), home to myriad pagodas and temples, some of the former requiring that you walk in the mouth of a dragon to enter (and leave via a tiger's backside):

Tiger, Dragon, Jordan

…and some of the later in the shape of the gods they celebrate:


An afternoon spent enjoying the view from the 150-year-old former British consulate at Dagou (which sits on a hill overlooking Kaohsiung's substantial harbor—4th or 5th largest in the world), while having proper British tea (as in the small meal) complete with Taiwan's addition of tapioca pearls:



…I do love old colonial architecture:


Walking most of the length of the nicely decorated Love River, and also taking a ride on a boat (yes, a Love Boat):


And of course, hanging out with Simon and Tina, who helped us properly enjoy the city. In terms of the games… well, hopefully you'll hear about those soon :).


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