A Sunny Day in Taipei

My first week here was extremely cold and I found myself regretting my decision to visit Taipei during the winter. Houses here – or our house at least – have no heat. Couple that with our new tile floors and with my aunt’s ardent belief that all windows must be kept open for constant circulation, well, you’ve got yourself a veritable ice box.

Somewhere in the middle of the second week however, temperatures became bearable (15 to 17 degrees Celsius) and then, a few days later, almost warm. The sun made its first appearance since my arrival at the tail end of Chinese New Year celebrations and my aunt, uncle and cats were eager to soak up the warmth. Now, the temperatures have dropped again and I am shivering, wondering if I’ll ever come back around this time of year. No matter, I can still revisit some recent, warmer memories…

               My uncle, reading on the balcony. On weekends he prefers Buddhist scriptures and meditation to finance books and magazines.

On the balcony over, my aunt spreads our blankets out to sun, believing with the rest of Asia (regardless of how smoggy their cities are, Asians prefer air-drying to dryers) that the sun’s rays kill germs.

And at my uncle’s feet, Fat Cat (there are two cats – one fat, the other less so and called, unsurprisingly, Small Cat) suns in a cardboard box.

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