Saturday, May 21, 2011

"You can get a drink if you walk 200 miles that way!"

Rain rain rain. More rain today. Very grateful for the free umbrellas to borrow at the hotel entrance.

We’ve begun to notice a strange pattern with every encounter with the hotel front desk staff in the mornings. Today was our third morning at the hotel and also the third time that we have been asked by a group of individuals at the front desk if we are here for business or pleasure. The way they ask the question as well leads me to believe that it is not some arbitrary “lost-in-translation” greeting but instead a genuine curiosity or concern. Funny because I don’t know what kind of business they could possibly believe Amanda and I are here doing, given that we leave the hotel every day in our shorts and t-shirts business attire and return at the end of the day with our pink faces and hard earned beads of sweat proudly worn on our foreheads.

We had planned to go to the Lotus Pond today but decided not to owing to the persistent rain. Instead we went for a lengthy walk and ended the day at the harbour where I got a little trigger happy taking pictures of the sunset.

As we were walking today we stopped at a store that had baked products that looked to be pretzels but were shaped like croissants and ultimately tasted much like a sweet bagel. I noticed three other customers sitting in front of the store with identical drinks and the same baked goods. I was quite thirsty but couldn’t see any beverages listed on the menu or any contraption behind the counter that might dispense beverages. I took a risk and as we were buying our pretzel-croissant-bagel I indicated to the very friendly cashier that “wo men hen ke” (we are thirsty). Well, this place did not in fact sell any beverages, but I now had the cashier trying to tell us where we could find beverages. Her English being very limited, she decided to enlist the help of another customer that she seemed to know, his English being approximately one iota less limited than hers. I do love how friendly strangers become when there is an opportunity to help us. In this particular case the gentleman indicated there is a “big building that way” while motioning down the street with his arms and that we can “walk 200 miles that way” to get a drink. It was obvious to us that he was referring to the mall (big building) which was approximately 200 meters down the road. An endearing moment of a perfect stranger helping us and mixing up his meters and miles. I’m sure that Amanda and I, too, make plenty of comical mistakes when we try to speak Mandarin!

The Tuntex Sky Tower
Kaohsiung Harbour
Sunset over Kaohsiung Harbour
Sunset over Kaohsiung Harbour
Sunset over Kaohsiung Harbour


  1. Great photos Brett. Really like the one of the crab. What are you shooting with? Lens? Cheers!

  2. I'm not sure who this is but thanks for the compliment!!

    I was actually changing lenses quite frequently for all these pictures. I used the following...

    Sigma 10-20mm wide angle
    Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
    Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

    I think the first 3 and the last picture was with the Sigma and then the rest were with the Canon 24-105 and 70-200.