12 June 2008

大龍峒保安宮 (Bao An Temple)

Today, my delightful roommate and I took a walk, an MRT ride, and another walk to Bao An Temple. After eating at the third Korean restaurant I've dined at since coming here. Lots of Korean places here, or perhaps I just notice them more because they tend to be sit-down type places, and the district where I live has a whole lot of street vendors.

And they usually have mirrors in front of you, because the shops are so small. Makes it look like there's more room. 

And on we went to Bao An Temple. The name means security, or serenity, and you can see why. The place is beautiful, with lots of swooping dragon motifs, and ski-slope roofs. 

This style is usually reserved for Emperor's houses or a place of the gods. And this temple had a lot of them (gods, that is). The main one in the center of the courtyard was for Guan Yin, whom I mentioned before. My roommate was telling me that the lore about her comes from a Military General in the Waring States period. And this guy became a legend, feminized, and deified into this quite popular goddess here.

The courtyard had lots of plants, flowers, bonsai, and tablets. A worshiper kindly informed Pat and I that this tablet was written on by all the generations of the masters of this temple. I loved the orchids, and all the lights. The bonsai, the incense, the color. It was all so good.

On the way home, or rather, in our roundabout walk back to the MRT station, my stomach began to complain. Conveniently enough, we stumbled into a fruit market, selling the typical fruits one would find in Taipei markets: watermelon, lichee, apples, asian pears, durian, huge carrots, wax apples, and my favorite, Mangoes. We're coming up on Mango season in Taiwan, and this is one excited blogger. I can't get enough of these things. I'm trying to justify the costs of a mango a morning, but we'll see what my budget says. Hopefully these things get dirt cheap as the season progresses. Either way, I'll miss the little buggers when I go home. I can't remember if I posted this before, but mangoes here don't have that green, grassy taste that they do in the states. The ones here are ripe, delicious, juicy, and wonderful over shaved ice. My mouth is watering. Tomorrow will be a mango day.

Anyway, back to the walk. Pat and I also met this lovely lady who had pre-washed, cut wax apples. They sure hit the spot. I had a bit of a time conjuring her up for a photo, especially since she had a thick Taiwanese accent, but I couldn't miss this. She is so beautiful. And sweet.



Lastly, this is a pic from the balcony of the building that I have my classes in. The plants caught my eye, and I had to sneak out of the class ad snap this shot, just to show how much cooler and plant-friendly the Taiwanese folks are. I can't wait to have a balcony full of trees someday!

That's all for tonight, folks. More to come, for sure! Zài Jiàn.

4 comments:

Greg said...

Your liguistic montage is amazing!

learn chinese said...

My roommate was telling me that the lore about her comes from a Military General in the Waring States period. And this guy became a legend, feminized, and deified into this quite popular goddess here.

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