Picnic


picnic site and spread

I suppose I should not really complain about the wintery weather we experienced during most of September, seen as most of our winter was actually pretty mild. Although there were some cold spells we actually enjoyed a pleasant cold season with some splendid days.

On one of those glorious Sundays we decided to pack up a picnic and enjoy the sun on Signal Hill. While Alexander prepared ginger-lemonade in Console flasks I quickly assembled some boerewors rolls (a very traditional South African meat sausage with lots of dry spices in it) with whole-wheat rolls and some of my dad’s home-made kiwi chutney. For dessert I brought along lemon meringue cupcakes I made the day before.

It was such a lovely day and if I remember correctly I even got a little bit of a tan on my arms. In winter!

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When living in Taiwan it’s easy to spend your time just traveling between work and home on the same route everyday and never paying attention to how beautiful the island is. I know this as I used to do so during my first year in Taiwan.

Even though the Taiwan of today is not the Isla Formosa that Portuguese sailors saw centuries ago it is still a spectacularly beautiful island, covered in mountains and verdant forests.

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And you don’t have to go far to experience this greenery. Within the city limits of our little city, Hsinchu (meaning new bamboo) lies the 18 Peaks Mountain Park. It is a small range of hills, clad in trees, big leaved plants, ferns and bamboo with numerous walkways, exercising spots and benches.

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Twice now we picked up sandwiches for lunch and braved the forest critters; giant mosquitoes, even bigger spiders and dinosaur-looking lizards, to enjoy a relaxing break in the verdurous hills before returning to deal with noisy and difficult students.

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