Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Cogniscent New Year

We drove the boy to Taipei on Saturday afternoon so that he could get a taste of the north of the island. He put on a good face, but it was apparent that the climate, the pollution, or the carpet in the hotel didn't agree with him as he developed quite a rash soon after arriving.

While there, we had lunch in the tallest building in the world, but the weather was such that we stayed near the ground floor, opting out of the 11 dollar tickets for the observation deck. The first five floors of the building are an impressive shopping mall, if you're into that sort of thing. Oddly enough, on the first day of the Lunar New Year, there were not a whole lot of Taiwanese who were and we got to avoid one of my pet peeves in Taiwan, namely, annoying people in crowds.

At Chinese New Year, everyone goes home to visit their families on New Year's Eve and they stay there all day, cleaning or watching TV on New Year's Day. There are between 2 and 3 million residents in Taipei throughout the year, but our cab driver estimated that all but about 200,000 left the city for the holiday. Traffic was not a problem. Two days out of the year that Taipei is hassle free to drive in. Absolutely incredible.

On Monday we drove back to Changhua to have lunch and dinner with Maggie's family. There was also a bottle of scotch which was drained in short order followed by naps. It was a lot like Thanksgiving in the States, except no fighting, and no turkey. I'd never heard if eating chicken testes for good luck before, but I went with the flow and ate a couple. As the scotch continued to flow, and Franklin got a taste for chicken balls, I offered them to him with the exhoration "Eat Dese Nuts" having just gotten into The Chronic, which I'd never heard before. No one around me had any idea what I was talking about, with the likely exception of Franklin, who ate about 7 roosters' rocks. We still have some in the freezer if you're in the neighborhood.

Ok, what's Franklin doing now? Well, he's climbing (born in the Monkey year, y'know) all over the furniture and his tree father. Two days ago he became proficient at scaling the slide and now that we've moved it into the living room and he has a bit more space he's mastered climbing up the back and diving headways down the slide missing the bookshelf by less than a foot and is quite adept at giving his mother a heart attack.

He's gone to sleep now. Maggie gives him his last bottle about 80% of the time, we switch bath days, but it's my job to lull the boy to sleep. I'm not one to toot my own horn as anyone knows, but I can usually have him sawing logs in about ten minutes. For details, send $19.95 and a self addressed stamped envelope to "Sleeping Secrets, 117 Da Guang St 11F-3, Taichung, Taiwan 408." Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.

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