March 20, 2024- Taiwan

We arrived in the port city of Keelon, in Taiwan. The area around the port is very hilly and covered in forest. Two million or so people came here from the mainland when Chiang Kai-shek lost the war.

There were several tribes of indigenous people here when they arrived. They are treated much better now than in the past.

We went to the Royal Museum and spent some time looking over the artifacts created by skilled craftsmen. Everything was on display from pottery to furniture. We also went to the Shrine of the founder of Taiwan. The buildings are of the traditional style and scope of the Chinese.

Mao didn’t like traditional Chinese buildings and destroyed many. “Mao, The untold story,” by Jun Chang is a great biography of Mao if you are interested in learning about him. It is only 900 pages or so long but a fabulous read. The author also wrote “The Swan.”

We couldn’t miss the large sky scrapper Taipei 101. it is 10i stories tall and 1,667 feet including the spire. It is now the eleventh tallest building in the world. It is shaped in a long rectangle which in Chinese architecture and history, represents the earth. It is made in the image of bamboo with angled shapes coming out on the corners of each floor.

Heaven or the atmosphere is represented as a ball in Chinese art. The disk with a hole in the center is used to worship the heavens and was the first telescope.

We are here during Ramadan so the traffic has been light everywhere here.

There have been interesting rumbling of some of the passengers. Most are on the trip as an “Around the World Cruise.” It has been difficult for them as they started out before Covid and have had two false starts and had to return home. Now the unrest in the Middle East has them loosing the cruise down the Suez Canal and into the Mediterranean Sea.

I have talked to many unhappy people while on land excursions. There are four letters circulating on board now with grievances to be sent to the head office or cruise company. Many have been on the ship since December. Some have left in different ports and who knows how many will remain after landing in Tokyo.

March 20. At Sea—-It’s a sailing day. We love sailing days. We read and nap and watch the sea roll by. What could be better. I took a water painting class as well. I finished my second book.

Many of my phots are now on Facebook at R.C. Hand. More will be up here later.

It is mostly older crowd, of course. But there were some younger couples with well behaved young children. We came with books and went down to the entertainment off and on. There was a great magician and the music acts were fine.

On that point, I think the cruise companies need to do a better job with their libraries. There was a great library on the ship. It was beautiful and well appointed. But don’t have the puzzles being put together in there. The people talk while working on them. And don’t send the art class into the library to their thing. What is a library for? Foremost it should be a quiet place to read, end of sentence. Just set another place aside to for those other activities. This was a small ship. Six hundred or so passengers and I saw plenty of room where that could be accomplished. There was plenty of room in the bar.

For us, the cruise was fine. We learned a few things along the way, as well.

Isn’t that one of the reasons for traveling in the first place? We were on board for 16 days. That was enough time to see some wonderful things and read a few books. I would be able to do a month, I think. Not so my wife. She does most of the domestic chores and it does get old after a time.

We travel very light. Our clothing is hand washable and designed to dry quickly. It is wrinkle free for the most part. We don’t bring formal wear if you get my drift. We usually have a backpack and one small suit case. this was a longer trip and required more “stuff.”

We are people used to traveling out in areas where modern plumbing isn’t alway available and the food choices might be limited. We are seldom if ever disappointed. Our expectations of comfort and amenities are low.

Having said that, the food on the cruise was fine. The entertainment was fine. The crew all were great. But there was this one guy, who….. I won’t go into that.

We met many interesting like-minded and fun people who love to travel. We also met those with different life experiences and points of view. We all have different expectations. Ours are easily met.

More of “The Bad Seed” in a bit.