Weekend Fun

Photos by MJ Klein

I go off on a rant or two in this post.

Not to beat a dead horse over and over, but Hui-chen’s sister and mother are here for a few days, and we took them to Yong An fish market and port. You can click on the link if you want to see more in-depth shots and the previous article about the fish market. This post is going be more about some other aspects of the day.

More Shots at Yong An
The road getting there is often covered with sand from the beach. Our car was sliding around, and I honestly miss that feeling I used to get in my Jeep when going offroad.

More Shots at Yong An
We walked through one of the prepared food areas and came to a common area with tables for patrons to dine upon. Of course some rude man took it upon himself to occupy a seat at a table for a nap (instead of on one of the benches) preventing some families from sitting there and eating. The security guard was 3 meters away.

More Shots at Yong An
This is Shiang-Shiang, Hui-chen’s sister’s kid. He dislikes having his photo taken. Can you tell?

Mirage Flyover
The ROCAF was out today, and we had numerous Mirage fighters fly right over us.

More Shots at Yong An
The dredging work on the port appears to be finished, and its smooth sailing for all sorts of water craft.

More Shots at Yong An

More Shots at Yong An
Oh my word – one of the most annoying experiences in my entire life: picking a restaurant in Yong An fish market! As you walk through the restaurant section, sales people from the restaurants lay siege to you, and they will even stand in front of you blocking your way while they go on and on about how good their food is etc.. If you hesitate for even an instant, they take it as a sign of interest, and then they launch a full frontal assault upon you! Hui-chen’s mother couldn’t even walk because some idiot woman was blocking her way, babbling about “e bai qui” dishes (NT$100), etc. I sternly said “zou kai!” at least 10 times before she got the message: get out of our way! The main problem is this – nearly all of the restaurants are good, truthfully speaking. But the people employ the same hard-sell techniques, so every time someone decides to eat at any restaurant, it reinforces their belief that this hard-sell tactic works. While Hui-chen’s poor mother was standing there (because someone was blocking her) another woman from the other side of the aisle came along and tried to hijack us to her place! The two women just would not shut up! I cannot tell you how annoyed and frustrated we all were! We couldn’t stop and even take a look at the food without people yelling stuff at us. And they all say the same things so by default it’s totally useless: “Our food is so good (like they would say otherwise?); its so fresh (duh, its a  fish market); its so cheap (every place has the same prices – its called “competition”). Not to mention the horrible attempts at English (the worst way to try to sell someone!).

Note to restaurant and store owners: I am capable of making my own decisions, thank you. I do not require you to hard sell me. The more you push, the less inclined I am to eat/buy whatever you are selling. I do not like to be told what to do and ordered to sit down or buy something. People who live in Taiwan are intelligent consumers, regardless of nationality.

There, I feel so much better! I’ve been wanting to say that for a long time! I am not the only blogger who feels like this either. For the record, I didn’t say anything profane to anyone. However,

More Shots at Yong An
while sitting at the restaurant, I took this quick shot out the window. Please click the photo to see the large size if you want to see what the shirt says.

More Shots at Yong An
One thing you have to love about Taiwan is that there are so many places to sit and do absolutely nothing.

Next we went to Shih Men Dam and reservoir.

Shih Men Dam
It was raining like a typhoon on the way!

Shih Men Dam
But it was only a shower and after awhile the rain went away, leaving a cool cloud cover to filter the sunlight. This is Hui-chen and her mother standing at the entrance to the top of the dam.

Shih Men Dam
Hui-chen and I were at the dam back in 2005. If you haven’t been here before, its really something to see. The lake formed by the standing water is just gorgeous.

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/252/1131/1600/shimenpan.jpg
I made this pan back in 2005 from the perspective of the bottom of the dam.

Shih Men Dam
This is a shot of the spillway. For some reason I kept thinking about what it would be like to slide down the ramp.

Shih Men Dam
Here is a better view (best viewed large size).

Shih Men Dam
The spillway and out into the spill pond.

Shih Men Dam
Now, a group shot: Mother, Hui-ling, Shiang-Shaing and Hui-chen. The lake behind them is just gorgeous. With the subdued light, it was a perfect day for people photography.

Shih Men Dam
This is one ugly lucky man.

Shih Men Dam

Shih Men Dam

We are indeed fortunate to live in such a beautiful country.

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12 comments

  1. Brunty, i was hoping that the profanity wasn’t too much, but you know, ….

    i have found the Issan stores to be very reasonable, with only a few individuals doing the hard sell.

    i’ve never been to Pattaya but i know i wouldn’t like it anyway. i have no plans to go there – ever. lol

    balance seems to be missing in most situations….

    i was thinking about sliding down that ramp on a big cardboard box, believe it or not, just like we used to do when we were kids, lol.

    what i like about flickr is that they do resizing a lot better than the blogger system does. the photos look a lot sharper and clearer in the blog.

    btw, your feed is working fine now.

    cya.

  2. Hey MJ. I hate those people. Here in Isaan we don’t have that kind of crap but when you go to walking street in Pattaya and other certain places in Thailand it’s like that and a real pain in the ass.

    When we go to Bangkok and go shopping and you have shop assistants that either don’t care a bit about you and just continue talking to their riends or watching a TV and then the others who thrust clothes at you to try on one after the other.

    For some reason they cannot get the middle type person, a well balanced sales person doesn’t seem to exist.

    When you were thinking of sliding down the spillway was it on a skateboard “Dude” Ha 🙂

    I really like the flickr photos and I am having a look at their site.

    Have a great day/night.

    Brunty

  3. i hear ya michael! i absolutely hate them! and the more they try to come after me, i less i wanna go into their shop. a couple other things i hate here is going into a clothing store and the clerk not only follows you around but they keep promoting and pushing every fucking item to you. then there’s going to a restaurant and you’ve barely just taken your seat and the waitress is asking you what do you want to eat, do you wanna eat this or that… give us at least a fucking minute to look at the menu first.

  4. Andres: and i was worried that i might have comeon too strong, lmao! yeah, those store clerks are the worst. what really bothers me is that in Asia, the clerks don’t even put on a pretense of actually helping you to find something suitable for you. they are helping themselves to make a sale. i cannot recall how many times i’ve been handed a ridiculous shirt or some other item that the salesperson clearly would like me to buy regardless of whether or not it works for me. sometimes i will be in a store and without asking what i’m looking for, the boss lady will walk over saying “hao hao yong” as if that would convince me to buy something cold.

    Hui-chen and i have blogged on eating in Thailand, where the wait person comes over to the table with the menu, then whips out the order pad, pen at the ready. please see this post, called Dumb Thai Waiters: http://thenhbushman.blogspot.com/2005/06/dumb-thai-waiters.html

    Andres, what about drinks? in the West, the waiter brings drinks first and gives you time to read the menu. as far as i can tell, Chinese people don’t drink anything. time and time again they say “but we have soup coming! you don’t need water!” yeah, forget that.

  5. Your photos are fantastic, but my favorite from this series is Shiang-Shiang. Despite not liking his picture taken, he’s very photographic, isn’t he?

    I know you’re on flickr, but do you do any photography for any of Taiwan’s magazines?

  6. LOL. Pushy salespeople suck!

    But I love Yong-an fish market, it’s really a neat place.

    The photos from the Dam are great, man, and your header picture is out of this world.

    Michael

  7. Hi Carrie. i was being sarcastic: Shiang is a camera hog and the word “shy” doesn’t compute! i have so many of him and he does look great in photos.

    i don’t do photography for any publication, and truth be told, i don’t know of any publications to shoot for. my professional work is in industrial photography and my hobby work is landscape and female models. whenever possible i try to combine those 2 subjects.

    thanks for your comments Carrie.

  8. MT: yes, i agree with you – the Yong An fish market is a very cool place. the people who visit there are really friendly too; its the restaurant staff who are sharks! on that day they were way worse than ever before….

    thanks for your comments on the photos. coming from you, one of the most respected (and certainly best known) blogger/photographers, it means a lot.

    i don’t know why it took me 2 years to figure out that the Taoyuan/Bade pan would make a good header for the blog, lol. the colors seem almost made for it.

  9. Hi,
    I totally agree with you. Those people dragging potential customers into their restaurants are indeed very annoying. For some reason, I only experience this in fish markets along the coast (yeiliu and the market near heping island in keelung).

  10. Anon, i’ve been to 3 of them: Yong An, Taichung and Hsinchu. by far i found Taichung to be the less annoying, and i find it hard to believe that any place could be worse than Yong An – but i still enjoy the place.

    i would like to try those other markets that you mentioned. thanks for the info, and your comments.

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