Thursday, 2 August 2012

Typhoon Soala

I barely slept a wink last night; the winds from Soala were howling all night long. Yesterday afternoon, the gales at the outer edge of the typhoon had already arrived in Tainan and I spent some time stacking the fallen palm branches at my local park before evacuating the dogs back to my apartment. They all slept soundly on the floor of my apartment last night, but I didn't doze off until the morning when the winds started to die down - and as a result, I ended up sleeping most of the morning and early afternoon. Work was cancelled anyway, but it needn't have been; today there has been little wind at all and only a light drizzle now that Soala has moved northwards toward Taipei.

Earlier this afternoon, I went back to the park to carry on my work stacking the broken tree branches and bits of palm bark so that things can get back to normal quicker. I took the dogs back to the park too and they spent their time looking for tree mice and baby squirrels among the debris. One of the younger trees lining the edge of the park was entirely uprooted and an older, awkwardly shaped tree was snapped in half. One good thing is that, now that the park has recently been fitted out with storm drain covers over the wastewater ditches, cleaning those out will now not be half the problem it has been in previous years (and I won't need to worry about the dogs jumping into the dirty water and picking up leaches).

I couldn't be bothered to take my camera with me to the park. I might do tommorow.

With the weather being what it is and forecast to be miserable for the next week or so, I've decided to take a break from travelling up to Miaoli at the weekends. If we get a break from the wind and rain this weekend, then I might try riding the bicycle out to Yujing district to push my fitness level and to check out the damage to the mango farms - I might be able to pick up some fruit on the cheap while I'm there. I need to pick up a mileage clock to stick on my old bicycle so I can start keeping a more accurate measure of just how many kilometers I'm actually racking up on that thing.


Just as the bicycle shop was closing up after 9pm earlier tonight, I shot down there to got myself a little mileage clock - it works via a little magnetic ticker attached to one of the spokes with the wheel circumference entered into a little computer. Cost me NT$500. I rode back home to stick my wallet away and then immediately shot off down my usual route to the beach. It turns out that there and back is just over 22 kilometers. This time I did it about 10 minutes before the hour mark was up - which is an improvement of about 15 minutes. The little beer from the 7-11 didn't taste quite so good this time either, so I must be markedly fitter now than a week ago. So sometime this weekend I'm going to try cycling to Yujing and back. My only thought about it is whether to stop at the old people's shack to buy some mangos and then head straight back, or keep going down that massive hill into Yujing town proper to get myself a bottle of Paolyta... I think it might have to be the latter.

Next level. Come on!


  1. Would you recommend skipping Taiwan this week as a travel destination? Jeff

  2. Well probably, but it might depend on what you want to do and whereabouts in Taiwan you want to be.

    If Taipei, best not.


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