Chill before the Storm! Days 8-10

June 13, 2008 –

Today I transported the supplies bought from the scrapyard to the “factory,” which proved to be a huge ordeal, since there was no one available to help me and there is no forklift on-site. Finally, I got a little desperate and wrangled a few people together to help me carry the big steel pipes and huge stainless water tank. The stock we had ordered for the internal structure and propane cage had also arrived. We were good to go for our first workday on Monday.

Gordon insisted that for the rest of the day I should have fun and relax so he offered to show me a “natural” swimming place as opposed to the “unnatural” spa that I have been going to.

Cleo, Gordon, Mr. Tse and I got on scooters and rode into the hills around Shijie city. We arrived at Hutong Village or Butterfly Village about 15 minutes later. Butterfly


The name of this place is, no doubt, taken from the hundreds of unbelievably gorgeous butterflies flying around all over the place. The swimming area is a dammed up deep part of a stream, probably starting at a spring higher up in the mountains. The locals were all in swimming caps and googles, swimming laps in the “pool.”

I, being the silly meiguoa-lan (american girl) that I am, started climbing all over the rocks, slipping and going up to where there was a small rocky waterfall. Having my fill of slipping and sliding I came back to the deep end and swam a few laps too.

Silly Meiguolan

Scooter Ride

June 14, 2008 –

Hippie Peace Fest! I accompanied Gordon and his gang of Samba jamming kids up into the hills of Taoyuan (an hour away) to a Chinese herbal medicine farm where the foreigners hold a peace fest every year for the past 5 years.

Welcom Wagan

It was raining big time and by the time we got there it was muddylicious. We hiked up the mountain and down into a valley for 15 minutes. We knew we were near because we heard some really cheesy rock and rollsy-bluesy music coming from in the valley.

Most of the crowd was foreign with a few Taiwanese scattered. It was quite out of place to see all these hippies dancing around in the mud like they were in some California forest instead of the middle of Taiwan.

Everyone had discarded their shoes as soon as they got down here. Mud, mud, mud everywhere. It was fun to feel the squishiness in my toes. Reminded me of childhood mud fights! I did get to hear an amazing shaman lady named Bai’nan sing. What a voice! I also got to eat some bamboo sticky rice, an aboriginal specialty. Yum!

Bamboo Sticky Rice

Happy Kids

Later that evening, when we returned to the Dream Community, I attended a play in Mandarin/Taiwnaese by a group of mentally challenged kids. Even though I did not get what most of it was about, there were some awesome moments. One of the kids just loved to dance, so towards the end when the whole cast was doing a drumming piece, he abandoned his drum and started dancing fiercely to the music. I found out later that the play was about kids that are mentally challenged and their desires, sexual and otherwise…

June 15, 2008 –

Today was the last day that I had to chill out before I began the building from crazy-landia. Girls, don’t think you are the only ones working mad…I too will be soon!!!

Tonight, I had a cooking date with Amy, Gordon’s sister. She is a chef at one the restaurants here in the Dream Community. Her food is amazing, but different to what I was going to make tonight. I had agreed to teach her Persian cooking. I decided to make Khoreshte Bademjoon, to those that don’t know it’s Eggplant and Tomato Stew. Everyone was curious at first and took a little bowl of rice and stew. Once they had tasted it, they were filling their bowls as fast as they could! Hah! What a hit! The Taiwanese like Persian food!

Amy and me



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