Wednesday, April 09, 2008

It's been a while - did you miss me?

Stunning delicious Salt River farmer's market at ....and Scarborough Beach. I miss both.

This is what I miss most - outdoor dinners with great friends - Elsa & Russ in their stunning garden and Helen & Evan and Valentine's friends - wonderful night!

Near the Red Hill area after a fire. Solitary penguin at Boulders Beach.

One of the 10 photos I was allowed to take of the gorgeous Gilberts playing in the water...and I love this photo of Dad Costa and daughter, Gabi.

So it has been 4 months since I wrote and nothing that fun has happened. Here's just a brief run-down and some amusing things I've seen. I went home in Feb and it was mostly a sad time with some good times with friends and a little shopping thrown in. The atmosphere in SA is strange at the moment and I went to a friend's sister's funeral and my special family 'uncle Frits' died in Holland. Apparently the Year of the Rat is not good for Rats and so far.....even though I did a special ceremony to protect myself. Guess money can't buy happiness!

I've moved into a lovely new apartment in a new community and so that part is going well. I also have more challenges and responsibilities at school - I think to shut me up - you know how I cause trouble when I'm bored!

No amazing new photos really...I'll just post some from SA.

And then there's the menu - which always makes us laugh. This is from a nice hotel we found in Fulong and the food was good - just surprising - despite the English descriptions below...

"Go to a small row of the bone chicken thigh" ; "The five senses drench nine" ; "Peaceful-like seafood salad" ; "Sweet and sour apple fish willow tree" ; "The parsley fries the soft silk" ;
"Loses flavor presently fishes the small volume" ; "In the peaceful-like sauce curls" ; "The garlic explodes the lettuce vegetable".

Absolutely hysterical direct translations - anyway whatever we ordered was delicious so it worked out well.

So that's about it - will write with more happy jolly hippy stuff when it happens.

Alley in Kalk's Bay where I always end up. Fishermen and nets in Hout Bay.

Friday, January 04, 2008

happy new year --- "xiennen kuaile"

Braved the crowds to enjoy a wonderful new year's eve in Taipei to watch what may be the last fireworks at Taipei 101 (no longer the tallest building in the world :( ). It was amazing and despite half a million people, very well organised with no trouble. Kim and I tried out a locals darts bar and met some very amusing people! Haven't laughed so much in ages!

Hope your 2008 is peaceful and full of happiness!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Australia & Singapore Holiday in November

The view of Cottesloe beach. John kitesurfing.

Swimming with dolphins. White sand and turquiose seas at Rottnest.

My trusty uncomfortable bike. The sunset view from "my" balcony in Cottesloe!

Wide open flat spaces - something I haven't seen in a while.

A regatta I chanced upon in Freo. The only live kangaroos I saw in Perth- others were roadkill :(

Every time I start having extra cash - - - I buy an airticket. This is an addiction which I enjoy but my credit card doesn't. I took 2 weeks off in November and flew to Perth to get some sun and sand and pizza. I stayed with John from varsity and his home was the most perfect location, right on the beach in Cottesloe. So mostly I walked around Kings Park in Perth, walked on the beach, did a little shopping (a very little), went to Fremantle and just generally soaked up the sun. Then I splashed out and took a ferry to Rottnest Island which is only 40 mins away from Freo. Stunning place with loads of family holiday makers and school leavers. Stayed in a grotty hostel, only one night TG, loved cycling around and snorkeling in azure water but it was damn chilly after being spoilt by the warm Pacific for 2 years. Then to further damage my bank balance I hired a gorgeous new Toyota Corolla and drove about 1000km down to the south-western area which is known for wine farms and beaches. So similar to Cape Town but the sea seems closer to the farms in Aus. Stopped in Bunbury to experience a dolphin encounter at a volunteer organisation which was magic of course. The water was choppy and chilly though so disn't have great sightings but still very special. Then carried on through Margaret River - very similar to Franschhoek but not as posh and then found my hotel. Which by pure chance turned out to be the most amazing choice. An en-suite room in a new hostel near the Prevelly Beach. Stunning and so like the Scarborough coastline (even smelled the same and the architecture of the holiday homes was almost identical!)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

What a wonderful Horoscope-8 Sept!

Leo (July 22 - August 22)
The stars and the fairies are in a wonderful sort of competition for your love and admiration, dear Leo. They shower an incredible amount of love on you. Use this love to get lost in the wild, wild atmosphere today. Today, you can do absolutely anything you please. You're going to laugh in the face of convention, taboos, and danger. You needed someone to listen to you and support you, and now you can just abandon yourself to living!

Friday, August 31, 2007

31 August 2007

It's 10 years since my heroine died tragically. And I still cry. It still feels like yesterday in some respects. But for me it is also an anniversary. So much has happened and changed in those ten years and the memorial service for Princess Diana seems to highlight that for me. Mum woke me up on that Sunday morning to tell me about the car accident in Paris and I cried all the way to Mabula on my way to beginning my job and a life in the bush. The end of an era in which I worshipped Diana and the start of a journey in which I could never have guessed the ending.
I've been the happiest and saddest and again the happiest in those 10 years - lost and found, lost again and en route to being 'found' again. I've met so many people who have changed my life and taught me so much - I've lived in and been to incredible places all over the world - Namibia and Ireland, Italy and Taiwan. The people I've met, the friendships I've renewed and started and lost have all made the last 10 years horrendous and incredible and truly enlightening. 10 years ago, I couldn't have predicted the outcome of my journey, nor would I have wanted to, as I would have turned back or jumped off!
I'm still looking for the role I'm to play in this life but at least I'm doing it with intention and purpose and open eyes - a huge leap from 10 years ago. I still miss Diana and some parts of me from 10 years ago, but I'm blessed to have had the opportunity to have moved on. (is that good English-who knows?)
I hope the next ten years will be no less eventful but filled with more grace and pleasures, and a little less trauma please.
Thank you all for sharing the last 10 years with me.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My washing instructions:
Why worry about safety standards when the washing instructions are so hard to get right?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

DOLPHINS & .....??! - Last Sunday

So I was 'Queen of the World' here on the way to Turtle Island after waiting in the boiling sun for an hour and there is the island that looks like a turtle. And then I needed a bag - felt seasick for the first time since my Holland sailing experience. Kim was kind enough NOT to take pics of the action but she did laugh....a lot.....and tell everyone we know in Keelung.

It was an incredible trip - bus to Rueifang, a 1/2 fast-train south to Toucheng and then 1/2 walk in sun trying to find the sea and then back to train station - taxi to harbour - wait for 1 1/2hours til 12hoo boat departure then wait for more passengers til 1pm in boiling sun! Then saw flying fish - big ones and teeny tiny ones ~~~ truly incredible!!! First time I've seen them - they literally skim across the water for ages!

Then the sick part.....

But we saw Spinner Dolphins - about 100 of them! Magical - even some babies and they were spinning for us and we were the only boat for a while - I just wish I hadn't felt so ill and that I had my camera (she's still in hospital having her screen fixed after I dropped her on her head!)

It was a brilliant but exhausting day!

More Sun Moon Pics

Sun Moon Lake Long Weekend!

I lived up to my promise and took a day off a few weeks ago so I could go away for a long weekend and then some other people thought I was a genius so they joined me on my trip to Sun Moon Lake! It was amazing-we booked bus tickets ahead of time, met at school with our bags, were on our way to catch the bus - all good - then I rememered I left the tickets for everyone at home - so I had to get a taxi back home and fetch them. Great start as I was the laughing stock - Organised Rom Messes Up Again!

But then things got better - we arrived at about 1am and found our hotel-5 people sharing one big room, 3 beds and one bathroom - mmmnnn! Next day we found Starbucks and then walked around the lake - it's really serene and tranquil there. We went on a short "hike" up a road to a tea research centre and meteorological station - but it was very, very hot. I mean really hot so I was whingy! Took some great photos though. Across the lake, by a short expensive boat trip, is a rather touristy village where we found Indian food and rice wine and lots and lots of Made In China stuff. We had a delicious dinner and a good rest that night. Then on Sunday we hired scooters (I was a passenger for 1/2 the day and a whizzing driver for about 2 hours ) and we drove around to a very special temple, a pagoda built for Chiang Kai Shek's mother and to the Aboriginal Cultural Village/Amusement park! Talk about contrasts and contradictions! It was a perfect day for me - adventure, peace, nature and rollercoasters but Gordon was a little sick but very brave!

Honda left that night and the rest of us had a a few moonlit drinks. Niall & Darren left early the next day and Gordon and I went to Puli to tour the Winery & Brewery which was badly damaged in the 1999 earthquake. We ate a lot of wine products and it poured with rain - so very memorable. We took the bus back to Taipei and I saw my first Taiwanese rainbow - I felt so blessed to share such a different and quiet part of Taiwan with good friends - that's why I'm here after all!