Monday, December 20, 2010

Our Neighborhood

People ask where we live, and when we tell them "Qing Tian Jie" they invariably reply, "Oh, very expensive." What can you respond to that except "You are right." But when they try to convince us to go somewhere else less expensive, we tell them "No thanks." We've already made that decision once, and we don't want to continue making it all over again.

Here is an apartment building in our neighborhood. It looks very nice. I don't know what it looks like on the inside.

Here is another. And there are many more.

When we look out our master bedroom window, this is what we see.

If you looked very closely at the previous picture, you may have noticed this spire between the apartment buildings.

Near our Alley 10 on Lane 7, we have this view of the side and back of a mosque.

From the front, it looks like this, as viewed across XinSheng, a major street at the end of Lane 7. We get a lot of traffic on Lane 7 because there is a traffic light at the end which allows them to get on this busy street.

It is labeled the Chinese Muslim Association - Taipei.

On the other side of Lane 7 from the mosque is this little business called "BigByte" Learning Institute. One day I saw a bunch of school children going in there, so I stopped and asked what they were learning. "English" was the answer. I asked if any of their teachers were Americans, and they said "All of them." Children are taught English in the public schools, but if the parents really want them to learn it, they enroll them in private schools where they get a class every day instead of once or twice a week. A counselor if the 7th Ward Bishopric operates a private English school.

Beyond the English school on this busy street is the Holy Family Catholic Church.

They currently have a manger scene in front...

...which looks like this.

Beyond that is an elementary school.

Earlier this fall they had a clever display made out of flower pots.

Just beyond the elementary school is the JinHua Junior High School.

Here they let children bike to school instead of busing everybody.

Here is the back side of this school. We walk past here at least twice a day. We often see the students lined up in rows and columns (dressed in uniforms) doing some sort of exercise, and sometimes we see them running around the track.

Across the busy street (XinSheng) from the mosque and the Catholic church and the schools, is Da'an Park.

It has eleven entrances similar to the one above.

There is a running/walking track which goes around most of the park and it is usually busier than this.

One of the entrances (southwest corner) is at a busy intersection where they have an elevated walkway connecting all four corners (for those who don't want to wait for the light to change.

There are a variety of paths and benches.

This is not as quiet as the Dead Center of Frankfurt where we used to walk (that is what we called the huge cemetery near our apartment). You can still hear the cars here, but you couldn't there.

This man was walking barefoot forward and backward on these stones (to toughen up his feet, I guess).

And there are some play areas for young and old.

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