I came to Taiwan via Australia, Indonesia (overland from East Timor to Jakarta by cargo ship, Pelni, little boats, Bemos and hitch-hiking), Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and then Taipei for a week, before settling in Tainan. I spent my 20th birthday riding out to some little village in the county with BJ, then got hopped up on betel nut and beer at night. Today I spent a quiet 40th birthday in Tainan. I wouldn’t have guessed I would still be here with two lovely children and a beautiful wife twenty years later, but I am glad I am!
Yes, this could easily be misunderstood. An explanation of this venerable Plains Aboriginal Ceremony held in Tainan is forthcoming.
Xiang Zhu 向竹 or “Magic Bamboo” — a Plains Aborigine totem. At the Siaolin Plains Aborigine Night Ceremony I was told the seven rungs of straw attached to the bamboo represent the steps to heaven. I had previously heard they represent the seven sisters worshiped as Taizu 太祖, a Plains Aboriginal Goddess.
My photo was used on the cover of this kindle book. It was taken at a Bunun Malatangia Festival at the Maya Elementary School (now buried) in Namasia. I helped edit the book before publication and had a great time reading the wonderful folktales that Fred Lobb has been translating over the past thirty years. An enjoyable read and definitely worth the $6.99 price tag.