Monthly Archives: November 2016

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Naminoue Beach in Naha, Japan

I visited Naminoue Beach in Naha in September 2016

Okinawa, the southernmost archipelago in Japan, is known for its tropical weather, sandy beaches, luxurious resorts and clear water. Naha, the biggest city in Okinawa, only has the tropical weather among these. For example the beach in the city, Naminoue beach. It is small, the view is of the port, with its big cranes and industrial building. And now they have even built a bridge over the beach. A big, massive bridge for the motorway. A short cut for the cars ruining it for the beachgoers. The bridge looks horrendous as it towers over the swimmers. A big, massive, concrete slab hovering over us as we try to sunbathe.

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The Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei

I visited Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei in September 2016

I had seen the building from the Observation Deck at Taipei 101. A large, traditional Taiwanese building. A shrine or a museum or memorial to something I guessed. It was not far from the tower, it was still early in the day. I had plenty of time to go and see what it was and decided to do so. I love to travel without plans, just do what I feel inspired to do in the moment. This time my inspiration took me to the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

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Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

I visited Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei in September 2016

It was hard to miss the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. A massive building towering over the park around, clad in shining white stone that sparkled in the sun shine. The Memorial Hall shone like a beacon, beckoning me to come closer, come inside. It would be cooler there as well. The heat was almost unbearable by now. Way too hot for a Norwegian.

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The 58 Bar in Taipei

I visited Taipei and the 58 Bar in September 2016

It became sort of a haven for me, a base, a place to relax in between experiencing Taipei. I would stop by for a beer almost every day, after sightseeing for hours. I would relax for a while, chat with the bartenders, write some in my journal, before heading to a new night market. To feast on all the delicious street food. Bar 58 was a cool place. I liked it. good music playing, nice and friendly bartenders. Lots of Taiwanese craft beer. A great place to wet my throath, rest my legs, digest the events of the day so far.

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A Night in Taoyuan, Taiwan

I stayed at the Orchard Park Hotel in Taoyuan in September 2016

My flight from Taiwan back to Tokyo was cancelled. The airline put me on a flight the next morning, and checked me into a hotel not far from Taoyuan Airport to spend the night. It was a really nice hotel, the dinner buffet was amazing, but after a while I was full. Room for no more to eat. I left the restaurant.

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When my flight from Taiwan to Japan got cancelled

I flew from Taoyuan Airport in Taiwan to Narita Airport in Japan in September 2016

It was the day after Typhoon Megi, yesterday all flights to and from Taoyuan Airport outside Taipei had been cancelled. Today the typhoon had passed, no more rain, the winds had calmed down. A perfect day for flying. I still anticipated some chaos at the airport. Lot oftravellers, long lines. People who could not fly yesterday looking for a new flight. Planes needed to be redirected, planes not where they should be, having to get to Taiwan before being able to depart from Taoyuan Airport. Things could be slower and more chaotic than usual. I left Taipei with plenty of time, I did not want to be be in a hurry at the airport.

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When Typhoon Megi hit Taiwan

I visited Taiwan during Typhoon Megi in September 2016

Branches were falling off trees, down to the road below. Blocking traffic, being in the way of cars. One huge branch fell down just a meter or so in front of a car. The driver just managed to break, saw it as it came falling down. He sat still in his car seat for a long time after coming to a stop, taking deep breaths, before finally driving again. This is crazy. Driving in these conditions is crazy. And there were people out on their scooters as well! Shop signs were falling down from the walls, crashing into the street below. Any loose object could suddenly come flying through the air. And it seemed the wind was picking up. It had stopped raining, but the winds were getting stronger and stronger.

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Book Review: Japan Through the Looking Glass

Japan Through the Looking Glass by Alan MacFarlane

I read Japan Through the Looking Glass by Alan MacFarlane in June 2015 and October 2016

Japan Through the Looking Glass is a study of Japan. It’s culture, ideas, way of life, way of thinking. Alan MacFarlane, an anthropologist and historian, holding a professorate at King’s College in Cambridge, is the author of several anthropological and historical books and articles on England, Nepal, China and Japan. His interest in Japan began in 1990 when offered a visiting scholarship to Japan. Since then MacFarlane has visited Japan on multiple occations, and have developed friendships with several colleagues in Japan. The book, published in 2007, is a result of these trips and friendships.

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Beef Noodles in Taiwan

I had beef noodles in Taiwan in September 2016

As we sat down I took one look at the meny, all written in Taiwanese, before turning to my new-found Japanese friends.

‘Can you read this?’ I asked. They stared at the menu for a while, talked Japanese among themselves, before one of them turned to me.

‘Yes, I think we understand enough of it.’
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