• Find a great name!(harder than it sounds folks!)
  • Pack Tam's bag for the hospital(NB: Include lots of chocolate)
  • Glean a few tips from baby books.
  • Pack Ky's bag too.Make sure it include at least one ball and his fave teddy, Karak
  • Did I mention find a name?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Batons, Bubs and Beaches...and the odd Aussie Flag or two.

Here's a few more Baton pics. Aswell as welcoming the baton to town we were also crazy enough to get down to the beach by 6am the following morning to see off the funky 90cm, 1.5kg baton - which featured 71 lights, one for each of the Commonwealth countries - as it made its way to Melbourne and eventually to the opening ceremony at the MCG.
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2006 Commonwealth Games Baton relay

As part of Melbourne's 2006 Commonweath Games, a baton with a message from the Queen, traveled around the world, passing through nearly every Commonweath country, before journeying around Australia.
In early March, just before the opening ceremony it reached Geelong. We, along with many other locals headed down to Eastern Beach to welcome the baton to town, cheer on the relay runners and gobble down overpriced, exotic takeaway food - Dutch pancakes ooh ahh.
The light was beautiful too and provided yet another opportunity to take some great pics of my beautiful wife and wonderful son.
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Tam and Ky, Commonwealth Baton Relay

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Sri Mahamariaman Temple

This is another shot of the Sri Mahamariaman Temple.
I really dug how the religious iconary combined with the intrusive street light to create an uniquely Asian skyline.
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Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur was a 9 hour stop over on the way from Taipei to Melbourne, so I thought I'd check out a few of the city's sights.
I saw these funky signs on the subway at KL Sentral station and met these cruisy dudes(brothers) out front of a very famous temple called Sri Mahamariaman Temple which is the departure point for the annual Thaipusam Festival pilgrimage to the Batu Caves. The devotees of Lord Subramaniam show their devotion by piercing their body parts with metal spikes and hooks before making the journey to the Hindu Shrine in Temple Cave 13km north of the city.
Hooks and spikes piercing body parts? Sounsd like one helluva way to spend an afternoon.
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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

last night in da feng

Nicola, Manu and Leah flat out relaxing.....
In a lot of ways my last night in Taiwan was a bit of a downer. Just loungin' around Manu's joint after packing my bags, seemed pretty underwhelming after the last few weeks of farewell dinners, 'good bye and good luck' cards' and even a piano performance by one of my wonderful students at Daya.
Looking back, maybe a chilled-out night was just what I needed.
I worked right up until the two days before I flew out so I was pretty darn tired by this stage and really looking forward to getting home to my family.
Manu had been awesome letting me stay at his joint for the last few weeks before I flew out. We had some great times together during our time in Taiwan, and can't imagine how different it all would've been if I hadn't met up with this crazy, amazing guy from Dunedin in NZ.
I did test out mateship the following morning when I had to drag his arse out of bed at 4am to help get my luggage out of the locked garage.
Although it took ages to wake the sleeping bear, he came to the rescue in the end and I was soon in a taxi and on my way to CKS and home.
Mates like Manu don't come along everyday.
Thanks for everything bro'
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good mates

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Final pics of the old home town

The lights, the temples, the lanterns, the intricately carved frescos(inside the temple) the bustle of the night market....there was a lot to love about Fengyuan.
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One final hurrah!

As bizarre as it may sound, you can become quite attached to something mechanical.
In my case, it was my trusty stead, ' my steel horse that I ride..err rode'(apologies to Jon Bon Jovi) my Suzuki 90 scooter.

Since buying it from our good friend Rebecca just prior to my folks coming to Taiwan in 2004, we had travelled a long way together, my bike and I. Countless journeys to schools all over Fengyuan, many, many trips to Taichung for Chinese lessons and a whole lot more: it had been an awesome set of wheels.

Just before I sold it to an American girl, who had recently started at Berhand School, I took it for one last ride. Donning my beloved 'Buggles' riding glasses, I cranked it up to some ridiculous speed and let the cool wind pummel my face as I roared along the 'bullet way' not far from Franklin school.

A final shot in front of my great school. Franklin American School, and another outside Berhand and I was on 'shanks pony' once again, just as Tam and I had been when we first came here two and a half years ago.

I hope the girl who bought it from me had as much fun with that bike and as many good times as I did.
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Seeya later!

Undoubtedly, one of the best things about Taiwan was the great people we met, which made saying goodbye that little bit harder. After nearly going insane (and I ain't kidding) packing up and sending off boxes and boxes of junk and then selling off a s#!@ load of other stuff practically by myself, I needed a good time or two and I had a damn fine one at this cool little cafe in Fengyuan with Teacher Sophia and Simone(Sth Africa).

There were no chairs and Teacher Sophia kept slipping off the cushions and falling all over the floor - much to Simone's and my amusement - but the food was good, the company was great and hey, who can ever get enough of a water-wall!!!
It reminded me a little of the one at the Victorian Gallery of the Arts on St.Kilda Rd in Melbourne.

Ok, admittedly on a much smaller scale but you get the point......there's a lot of water,..... a glass wall is involved........ok,whatever..

I'm not quite sure what was in the green tea which prompted rabbit and cat thing going on above but I can assure you we all had a good ole time!
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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Come on down...err..under.

For some reason, I don't know why, all the worshippers were walking under this huge lantern on their way to the temple.

It was something I'd never seen before here in Taiwan. Posted by Picasa

Bai Bai

'Bai bai' means to place hands together and bow. Posted by Picasa

Longshan Temple

You'd think, after 2 and a half years we'd be over temples. And true, we have seen our share but this place was different. One of the most popular in Taipei, there were loads of people here on this particular night, bai bai -ing(worshiping) and paying their respects, it had a great atmosphere. Posted by Picasa

Lantern wall

I loved this row of lanterns outside the Longshan temple. Posted by Picasa

Sign here!

I am a big fan of Chinese calligraphy and jumped at the chance to get Kyan's name written in Chinese characters by this lady I saw near Longshan temple.

Her strokes of the maobi(say mow-bee. It translates as hair pen) were really fluid and really great to watch. Posted by Picasa

No picking!

Another silly sign.

We could use this one at my school! Posted by Picasa


Nearby Chiang Kai Shek memorial is this really beautiful little pond with a few fish for the kids to feed and a nice bridge for wedding photoes. The memorial is piercing the sky in the distance. Posted by Picasa


This old bird I tried to capture on film for what must have been 10mins. I wanted to show how something as relaxing and chilled out as Tai Chi was going on only metres away from a busy thoroughfare.

I pretended I was trying to photograph the trees but it really wasn't working for me. It seemed everytime I'd almost get my shot she'd slip behind a tree or turn away from my camera. At last I caught her, although it probably looks like she's just about to fall over in this shot.
Hence this lengthy explanation. Posted by Picasa

Just one of the crowd.

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Ooo, Eeee, Ahhh. I walked up and back and yep..... I wouldn't rush to do it again, if that's what you're asking! Posted by Picasa

Boots off!

Ok, here we go. I feel no pain, I feel no pain, I... Posted by Picasa