Friday, March 9, 2012

Special Guest Post: Flat Stanley Comes to Visit

Going on the motorcycle.  Look!  I'm wearing a helmet.
Editor’s Note:  This week I received a visit from Flat Stanley.  Flat Stanley is a character from a Children’s book.  I’ve received visits from Flat Stanley occasionally, since I’ve been here.  This time he came from a second grade class in El Cajon, CA.  I’ve asked Flat Stanley to write down his thoughts as a guest post.

Hello from Taiwan!!  This is your old friend Flat Stanley.  As soon as I came out of my envelope I met a friend and he took me to see Taoyuan City.  Taoyuan City is a city with 380,000 people in Northern Taiwan, near the capital, Taipei.

The first adventure we took was a ride on Chris’ motorcycle.  He rides a scooter.  Lots of people ride scooters in Taoyuan City and I had a lot of fun buzzing through town on the scooter. 

A Temple in Taoyuan City.
On our ride we saw a lot of things.  The first was a Taoist Temple.  These are the types of buildings you think of when you think of China.  Taiwan is a religious country.  Most of the people believe in Taoism or Buddhism.  There are only a few Christians in Taiwan.  People come to the temples to offer incense and food to their gods.   They even burn a special kind of money, this money is supposed to go to their dead ancestors so they can buy what they need, while they wait to be reincarnated.  When they worship they play music and light firecrackers.  It’s very different. 

This place is to honor people who died in the war!
The next place we saw was called the “Revolutionary Martyr’s Shrine.”  In 1911, China fought a war called the Xin Hai Revolution.  This war was a war of independence, like the USA’s.  The people wanted to govern themselves.  In that war many people died, this is a building to honor those people who died.  Every hour they have a ceremony to change the guard.  The soldiers march in precision and toss their rifles back and forth.  It is done to honor those soldiers who died.

After that, we went to the Taipei 101; it is the second tallest building in the world.  This building is 101 stories tall.  You can go up to the 89th floor in the fastest elevator in the world.  It takes 38 seconds to go all the way to the 89th floor.  I’m glad Chris had put me in his pocket or I might have just flown up to the top when the elevator stopped.  What a cool ride.

The Taipei 101:  It's pretty tall!
After the 101 we went to a night market.  These are very popular in Taiwan.  It’s kind of like a swap meet where people sell lots of things and a lot of different types of foods.  I ate a food called “Shui Zhen Bao” (shuay jen bow).  This is some seasoned pork wrapped in bread that’s fried in water.  It was delicious.  There’s another food that’s very popular called Stinky Tofu, but I was afraid to try it.  It’s really stinky, but Chris has tasted and he says it’s delicious.

They have a holiday here called the lantern Festival, and it’s really cool they make lanterns and write things on them, then they release them and they fly above the city.  I got here a week too late for the lantern festival, but I saw some lanterns that were made.

Taiwan is known for growing rice and tea.  There are rice fields everywhere.  People even have rice growing in their front yards.  This is only in the country areas, because in the cities people don’t have any yard.  But all the vacant lots grow rice and it is neat to see the fields. 

This man is fertilizing the Rice!
I was getting really tired so we decided to go home.  Houses in Taiwan are different from houses in America.  A house in Taiwan is usually three or four stories tall.  Many of them have a balcony on the roof, so people can grow plants and have a place to sit in the evening.  They don’t have yards.  These types of houses are called tou tians (Tow Tians).  But most city people live in apartments.  Many Apartments are 20 stories tall. 

Taiwan has a lot of American restaurants.  Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s and TGI Fridays all have restaurants in Taoyuan City.  Guess what, in Taiwan, McDonald’s will deliver the food right to your house.  Wow, you don’t even have to leave home to eat McDonald’s. 
Here I am eating Shui Zhen Bao.  If I eat too many I'll be Fat Stanley!
This is Stinky Tofu.  Boy is it Stinky!

This is a lantern from the Lantern Festival!

I made some videos for you to see what Taiwan is like:

I hope you enjoyed my visit to Taiwan.
Now I have to go back in my envelope so I can come back to you.  Oh well, at least I always travel first class!


  1. Pastor Banducci,

    Thanks for showing Flat Stanley Taiwan. It sounds like he had fun.

    I have a question, do the temples come in all colors?


  2. Kyra, The temples are very colorful. The background of this blog post is a closeup of a temple wall.

  3. Thanks for sharing colorful video :)

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