Autumn in Taichung
Someone celebrated another year around the old sun by flying her phoenix kite. It’s been a glorious autumn around here! The weather has been phenomenal since mid October – dry, sunny, blue skied with fresh clean air.
We call clean air days, “green days” because it means the particulate matter is under 50 PM 2.5 – and this free air app shows us a happy green face. When it’s toxic, it’s a red face with a mask. Anything over 120 pm 2.5 is too dangerous (to us) and we don’t exercise. Everyone seems to have their own cut-off. This just happens to be ours.
What is this PM 2.5 or particulate matter you ask?
Yea, we were clueless to this data until we moved here. It’s a term used for particles found in the air, including dirt, soot, liquid droplets… think cigarettes, forest fires, exhaust from cars, scooters, and coal plants. These particles are so small they can only be seen with an electron microscope. Of all air pollution, PM 2.5 is believed to pose the greatest health threat. Because PM 2.5 is so small, it can remain suspended in air for a very long time and be absorbed deep into the bloodstream upon breathing. It’s a killer and it’s worth paying attention too. Which is why when we read anything about U.S.A. investing in coal our lungs sob, and deeply (and btw, there’s no such thing as clean coal).
We really cherish our green days and this fall has been loaded with ’em!
Temple bling is out
The Spider Wasp Attack
The wild side of autumn goes to this! While I (Passionfruit) was innocently walking in the park, alone, on a path, I got a jolt of electricity to the ankle. After jumping 10 feet in the air and yelling some expletives I noticed a large wasp flying around me, aggressively. Wondering if it was poisonous, could I die, is a cab ride to the ER necessary, I decided I should film it for evidence. Wow am I glad I did because I witnessed this. I’m pretty sure you’ve never seen anything like this before:
Clearly I interrupted mama spider wasp on her mission to feed her offspring. Turns out spider wasps paralyze their spider prey. They drag it to a den and lay an egg inside the spider so its larvae will have fresh food when it emerges. Makes total sense.
I deserved it.
I made it home a-ok, all the while googling like mad and learned it is not poisonous, just painful. My prize? One week of phat cankle. Nature. It sure is amazing.
Pickles’ turn around the sun
This fresh monkey turned another year too. We celebrated with beer and tacos in the big city of Taipei because we read there are legit tacos there and we’re taco deprived. We will travel great distances for authentic Mexican food. It’s rare here so it’s worth a special trip.
We love our friends here, but let’s face it, we are most grateful for cheese (which is a delicacy here). And no Thanksgiving potluck is complete without heart stopping mac ‘n cheese. It’s true! What casserole dish was gone first? Exactly.
Back in the Saddle
It’s hard to beat mac ‘n cheese but the day after Thanksgiving we went on a bike ride (on the road bikes, not the upright cruisers). This is a big deal because 6 months ago Passionfruit got an MRI revealing a silly herniated #4 lumber disk. Not keen on surgery she went to rehab every single day (except Sundays) in July and August, then starting strength training in September and gosh darnit… it’s working. IT FELT SO GOOD TO BE CRUISING AGAIN, TOGETHER!
And that’s a wrap on our autumn here. Despite the 6,000 miles separating us from you, we’re grateful for you… our family, our dear friends and your expanding families (Simone, Sylvia and Elliot). We think of you often. Seriously, we do.
This Thanksgiving we raise our glass to: you, health, love, clean air and mac ‘n cheese.
Pickles & Passionfruit (PF)
Subscribe to the P&P Blog: