Mar 28 2016

A trip of a life time

My first ever journey with my dad, coincide with his 85th birthday. Given the fact that we had only lived under the same roof in less than four months in my entire life so far, calling this the trip of the century is pretty appropriate.

Cathay Pacific took us to Hong Kong first where he could renew his Re-Entry Permit 回港证; we also did a quick trip to Shenzhen. Our second leg was Taipei to tree bury his mom. His birthday was celebrated in Shanghai. I went to Anhui to visited two maternal ancestors. We met up in Shanghai and went to JiNan, visiting his grandpa’s tomb. The last leg was Beijing, included a day excursion to Tianjin.

I take JetBlue to San Francisco to pick him up.

  • Cloth 衣: Hong Kong street
  • Food 食: Western table wine is, still expensive. Hosts are still over ordering.
  • Shelter 住:  EatonTaipei City HotelYaocheng HotelAnhui Hotel and Yuquan hotel, the worst.
  • Transportation 行: Drivers don’t seem to have common courtesy to others and their favored rendezvous spot. In Beijing, there are xianxing 限行 restrictions on cars: on certain day of the week, certain last digit of the license plate can’t drive.  According to 911, for example, for the month of March 2016, on Tuesdays, the license plates ending with 4 and 9 can’t drive from 7am-8pm within 5 rings. Even with this restriction, there is always traffic jams.

Some odds and endsChinglish in China and color of money. The trip is complete with a Taobao experience.

Day

  1. 2.28 Sun, SF: JetBlueTrader Joe’sLake Merritt
  2. 2.29 Mon, Wellington St, Dimond park & Sausal CreekCX879
  3. 3.01 Tue, HK: the bridgeEaton
  4. 3.02 Wed, 延期 回港证; stores on Nathandine at Chateh; Taichi @ hotel
  5. 3.03 Thur, Shenzhen, lunch & shop, Jennie
  6. 3.04 Fri, TPE, a bank adTaipei City Hotel, gov 户政事務所, passport, evening mktfruits
  7. 3.05 Sat, temple 湧泉寺, NPM 故宫, Tamsui 淡水, MRT Shuangliana light tunnel
  8. 3.06 Sun, 101, DTF, Zhongshan; temple parade
  9. 3.07 Mon, tree burial; flight canceled
  10. 3.08 Tue Shanghai, 85th bday, lunch & dinner
  11. 3.09, visit a factory
  12. 3.10, Thur, badminton; lunch & 浦之舟, Peace Hotel
  13. 3.11, Fri, dinner @ Lujiazui
  14. 3.12 Sat, my 1st trip to Dongzhi county
  15. 3.13 Sunday, visit my ancestors
  16. 3.14 Mon, Hefei, Lujiang, memorial parkAnhui Hotel/dinner
  17. 3.15 Tue, Jinan, Hefei stationYuquan hotel 玉泉 & dinner
  18. 3.16, Wed, visit g grandpa; 南水北调 village, lunch; Uncle’sDavid Beckham; JFL 聚福林
  19. 3.17, Thur, garden 万竹园 and to BJ
  20. 3.18, Fri, Great Wall; 2 media codinner
  21. 3.19, Sat, East, Xihe 羲和雅苑, Maan coffee
  22. 3.20, Sun, Bird’s Nest 鸟巢/Water Cube, Dadong w/ Zhangs
  23. 3.21, Mon, Tianjin
  24. 3.22, Tue, Fayuan Si 法源寺; Niuji 牛街; Kaorou Wan 烤肉宛
  25. 3.23, Wed, Juqi 局气, demo derbysuitcase & the last supper in 中关村
  26. 3.24, Thur, wine, going home

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Mar 8 2016

All on board

Dad was being loaded boarded on to the MU (China Eastern Airlines) plane in Taipei TPE:

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Mar 8 2016

Dad’s 85th birthday

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Due to the canceled flight last evening that stretched into mid night in Taipei, we had to get up early for the 5am bus to return to the airport. I didn’t get to wish dad a happy birthday till he’s seated in the plane after the complicated boarding.

The flight attendants, mostly girls were very nice and attentive, aside from being attractive. They wooed and ahhhed over him. Commenting how handsome he’s and how healthy he’s to travel.

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The hotel issued a boxed breakfast, and the in flight tray isn’t too bad. I enjoyed the cracker the best.

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Meeting his aunt who’s two years his junior (she’s from the youngest concubine) was a blast: they haven’t seen each other for over sixty years. Yes, six decades!

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We stopped by a Japanese restaurant for lunch – it’s kind of late and couldn’t finish the food. It’s a rainy day and we were an hour late to arrive at the restaurant for the celebration. My cousins made arrangement and the menu at 名豪鱼翅海鲜.

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Mar 7 2016

A tree burial in Taipei

2016-04-02 (1)
My grandma passed away in Taipei in 1977 and was buried in a plot in Yangmingshan 阳明山. Over the years, her grave had deteriorated to a point that we needed to do something major. My cousin had collected her and cremated, and temporarily put her ashes at Yongquan Temple 湧泉寺 while we decided what to do. Since most of us aren’t living in Taipei, ultimately, tree burial was chosen.

The following document were needed:

  1. the proof with the deceased – my dad’s ID card has his parents’ name
  2. my grandma’s death certificate – from the 地政事務所 Household Registration Office
  3. the moving out certificate from the temple 湧泉寺

My cousin arranged two people to help us with the burial (with a car), for a fee of NT$10,000 (about US$300). It took about 4 hours:

  1. picking up grandma’s ashes from the temple
  2. to a Mortuary Services Office 台北市殡葬管理处 to get a permit
  3. to funeral home 台北市殡葬管理处第二殡仪馆. The ashes from cremation needs another round of process
  4. to the tree burial site (Fude 富德灵骨楼), putting grandma to rest

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Looking out from the temple, very tranquil.

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The funeral service is provided by the government.

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The government is encouraging tree/flower/sea burial, to save the planet, and maintains the park nicely. There isn’t a fee to bury at the site, and the family can choose any spot they desire.

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Mar 7 2016

Canceled flight

I didn’t experience too many canceled flight. The only one I remembered was to Cancun in Spring 1990. The airport was patrolled by soldiers with machine guns and we were escorted to a brand new hotel – they had to hurry up to put pillow case on – for the night.

The weather wasn’t terrible but they decided to cancel, the MU5006 (China Eastern Airlines, 6:40-8:20pm).IMG_3066

  1. A few postponements
  2. They made the announcement to cancel
  3. Issued dinner coupons
  4. Have passengers to hand in their duty free merchandises – long line
  5. Group us, go through the immigration, then up to the bus
  6. Long drive to the hotel, about 30 minutes
  7. Assign room at the hotel

DSCN8589When I got into the room, which is dark, damp and nasty, it’s 11:30pm. We would be picked up at 5:30 next morning.

The production to cancel a flight is humongous. I don’t know who’s going to pick the tab – if each flight is being insured. Was the weather really that bad to warren such laborious endeavor?

It’s this time, I wondered the hall near the gate at the TPE (Taoyuan International Airport) and saw a nicely made up cosmetic sales girl trying to block a woman who dressed  like a peasant to enter the doorless store. The customer moved to her right, the sales girl who’s facing me and the customer, moved to her left and on and on. I was annoyed. I don’t think I’ve seen anything so blatantly rude before.

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The food court at TPE has many to offer at reasonable price.


Mar 7 2016

A tree burial

今天在台北富德灵骨楼 树葬了奶奶. 🇹🇼政府鼓励环保葬礼: 树葬,花葬,海葬. 有大约20%的人用环保葬. 特别感谢表哥姐们!这家树葬是将骨灰放在石头下. 奶奶1977年在台北过世. 爸爸是在他们去台北10多年后结婚. 妈妈和我对大姑姑和二伯父来说应该是陌生人. 加之海岸二边的紧张局势. 但是奶奶的碑上有我们母女. 相反,我在北京的外公家长大,他和曾祖的碑上没有妈妈和我. 感触良多.

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今天树葬了奶奶. 🇹🇼政府鼓励环保葬礼: 树葬,花葬,海葬. 有大约20%的人用环保葬. 特别感谢表哥姐们!这家树葬是将骨灰放在石头下. 奶奶1977年在台北过世. 爸爸是在他们去台北10多年后结婚. 妈妈和我对大姑姑和二伯父来说应该是陌生人. 加之海岸二边的紧张局势. 但是奶奶的碑上有我们母女. 相反,我在北京的外公家长大,他和曾祖的碑上没有妈妈和我. 感触良多.


Mar 6 2016

Cisheng Gong 慈聖宮

Chi Shing Temple near our hotel in Taipei. There are orchids inside the temple and India Laurel Fig 榕树 trees ..

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Mar 6 2016

Dadaocheng Park 大稻埕公園

A little neighborhood park near hotel in Taipei.

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And the surrounding area

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Mar 6 2016

An experience

After dinner, I took a walk around the hotel. The loud gong and firecracker drew me over to the next block. It’s an experience.
Holy smoke 天哪,深入敌人的后方的结果: 锣鼓喧天,精彩的部分都没有录 因为没有电了 [流泪]. 信徒一个接一个趴在地上,娇子从他们身上走过… 是,趴在大马路上. 有🎆,还有炮竹 差点把俺崩上天. 是什么俺也说不清. 好心人介绍说是 回娘家(?) 庙上写着 圣诞. 1 喝酒的人一直愁眉苦脸的. 好像耶稣也是在替他的信徒受苦受难? 我问:邻居不抗议?回答:他们都是这个庙的. [调皮] 一年一次的盛会. 舞龙舞狮的挺给力的,站在前面人的肩上… 好危险. 信仰
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A huge line of people, one by one, laid face down on the street, letting the carriages walk over them. As the carriages moving on, more people/believers lay down and getting up. All the while, cars moving by – the street was open to normal traffic. It’s just so crazy and dangerous. Some by standers explained to me what it’s – home coming (?)

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The ceremony was long and loud. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a compliant from packed neighborhood, in High rise or low apartment buildings.

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Mar 6 2016

Temple 湧泉寺

IMG_4466No. 211 號, Jiannan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111 (zh wiki)

The temple is high up on the hill. Making right turn on Dalunweishan Hiking Trail 大崙尾山步道 from the Zhishan Lu. The land mark is the Chelun/Wheel Shrimping Farm 车轮钓虾场 (485 Zhishan Lu 2nd Section).

My grandma’s temporary resting place. We went there on Saturday to sign off but apparently didn’t do it right. So on Monday, when we went to pick up grandma, Dad has to sign another set of papers. But all was quick and easy.

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Looking out from the temple. The National Palace Museum is to the northwest: by car is 3 km and by foot is only a kilometer away.

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Inside the temple

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Where grandma rest briefly

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