Friday, April 30, 2004


I had a great day yesterday. I realized at work on Wednesday that I needed a mental-health day, so I took Thursday off. I headed out in the morning on the MRT (subway), and about forty-five minutes later I was at the end of the line. In fact, I was out of Taipei! I was in a city called Danshui, which sits between mountains (well, hills, really) and a wide river, not too far from the ocean. And I started walking.

I walked along the river for about two kilometers to get to Fort San Domingo (did you know Taiwan was occupied by Spain? It was, briefly, in the early 1600s) -- known in Chinese as the Fort of the Red-Body-Haired Barbarians. Sadly, it was closed. Very sadly, it's closed for renovations until July 2005. I was hot and sweaty at that point, so I hopped aboard the ferry that crosses the Danshui River to a place called Bali, where I walked again. There was a breeze! There was minimal noise! There were bands of schoolchildren who yelled "pointy nose" in Taiwanese!

I spent the whole day out there. It was about one o'clock in the afternoon when I realized I was starting to feel human again. Back on the Danshui side, I found a fabulous café on the edge of the river and did what any red-blooded young woman would do: ordered a beer and pulled out my knitting.

I've given in to the call of the Kureyon. I'm not sure what their little voices have been saying from the box beneath my bed, as I don't speak Japanese, but I think it was something like "We thought we wanted to be a Rosedale United sweater, but ever since we saw Rachael's sassy Noro Prep, we can't stop thinking about it!" Fine. Prep it is. This is my first Noro Kureyon experience, and I must say, this is some wacky fibre. It's just like a strand of fleece, twisted in some spots but not in others. And there's a huge difference in its thickness as you knit along. Check it out:

crazy thickness issues

Wacky! But I'm liking it. Since the gauge is looser than the pattern calls for, I'm following the instructions for the size below what I want to end up with. I'm not sure if this will work. Hope so.

I've put up photos from my delightful daytrip yesterday on my pictures page. Proof that I left the city!

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