Taiwan Day Five: Mike’s Butt Massage

Whaaaaaaaaaat? Well today, Mama took us to the acupuncturist, with Mike saying he wanted to get a check up on his back and other things. This acupuncturist we visited last time, and he cured Jessica’s bad arm (tweaked nerve) with two needles. He’s so popular that about 50 people were jammed into his waiting room to see him. You better not cherish your privacy too much when going to the Taiwanese doctor here: people are lining up while you’re being examined, or are laying down nearby with needles sticking out of them. Plus, if you like the smell of ganja–and who doesn’t?–the moxibustion herbs will make you feel right at home. In this way, I got to hear all about Mike’s bad back and tweaked leg nerve, and he got to hear all about my…well, I won’t tell you, but those that have stayed over my house know what’s wrong with me. My problems didn’t require needles this time–I was kinda disappointed–and so I was prescribed some herbs instead. Mike got 15 minutes of needles in his gluteous and then, when we went to go see him, a bit of a deep tissue butt massage. Excuse me! I said and immediately started talking about football.
Mama took us to the Chia-yi City God Temple, which is nearly 200 years old (young for a temple here). Mama was had prayed for us before Mike and I came, now we had to return the favor and shake insense at the various dieties inside the blackened temple. Pantheism is pretty cool when there’s little houses of the holy to go visit, full of sculptures and no preachers to bother you.
I went to fill my prescription for my lenses downtown and brought with me the one my eye doctor wrote out in June. But when the assistant in the glasses store gave me a sample of it, the lenses were totally wrong, as if I was a farsighted person, not one with a stigmatism. It didn’t make sense; surely the doctor’s writing wasn’t that bad?
No matter, because the guy in the shop took me in the back and reexamined my eyes. When I looked in the machine to check my eyes, I could see a small photo of a hot air balloon above a road. It gave me something to stare at, I guess. The glasses would be ready by 8 p.m. Cost: $15. Blow me, Lenscrafters.
We also checked out Chia-yi’s best department store, Idee. Well, it’s best because it has a decent bookstore up on floor 10: Eslite. They usually have a good CD listening booth, and indeed I wound up with three CDs of Norwegian triphop: Slowpho’s Hotel Sleep, Frost’s Melodica, and Subgud’s Xpander. I also picked up a copy of The Economist as I’m wont when I’m here–strange if you know me well.
Before the sun went down, we drove out to Baba’s farm, which he’s been keeping for several years. This season he’s had a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes, corn, Chinese string beans, and eggplant, and we went to help pick some for dinner. On the way, Baba stopped the van at one of the many roadside betelnut stands, so we could ogle the barely dressed girls who sell them here. Our girl was a bit homely with died blonde hair, but made up for it by wearing little else except a slip and a purple g-string. But then again, a closer inspection found scabby knees and something like white ointment smeared on her foot. Er…
Tonight we made a quick trip over to “Giraffe supermarket” so called because it is lorded over by a large giraffe head at the top of a thick light pole. We bought food and drink for the trip. I was tempted, I must say, by the asparagus juice I saw in the drinks section.
Then a quick trip to the night market at the back of the Carrefour supermarket, Chia-yi’s biggest. I had a cup of fresh watermelon juice for about 30 cents. At 10:30 tonight, the sisters from Taipei (Emi, Berry, and Mei Mei) came in by train, all set for our big family excursion to the East end of the island. My blogging may stop for a few days depending on Internet availability. Who knows. If I have no luck, I’ll be back in 3. Keep well, everyone!

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