Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Here in the north the rice is finally ready to be harvested. In the south where it's warmer they've already planted rice seedlings for the second harvest.


Yesterday at about 9.40 there was an eclipse in Asia. It was only about 82% in Taiwan but still worth taking an interest in. Several colleagues had glasses they'd kept after the last eclipse in Europe back in 1999, other used CDs to view the sun and one even used a shoe box with a small hole pierced in one end.
As the sun went behind the moon it got perceptively a little bit darker (but not much), you could certainly feel a drop in temperature standing out in the sun.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Earthquake and World Games

The night before last at 2.05 am we were awoken by quite a significant earthquake. The epicentre was off the East Coast of Taiwan, the magnitude was 6.3. As we're on the 18th floor the building swayed and shuddered quite a bit and it made the wardrobe doors rattle. It was scary at the time. Thankfully it passed leaving the walls and ceiling in their original positions. Definitely the biggest earthquake I have experienced in my time here.
The World Games start tomorrow in Kaoushiung. It is a mini-Olympics for all the sports like squash that don't make it to the regular Olympics. The British singer Russell Watson will sing at the opening ceremony. At our local HSR station they have laid on a team of helpers and welcomers as a lot of spectators will fly in to the International Airport in Taoyuan here in the north and travel down to Kaoushiung on the high-speed train. Also pictured are the free shuttle buses that have been running for a few months now serving the cities of Zhongli and Taoyuan. I guess they'll be running for a few years until the MRT Blue Line is finished. Work has started on the MRT station opposite the HSR station in Taoyuan but it is very early days.
It is worth looking at the link below to the World Games website, there is a good video, albeit in Chinese.