Tuesday, March 30, 2010


We live about a block from a huge walled mortuary, larger than a normal city block, with daily funerals and processions, but yesterday we saw something that I doubt we will ever see again. We don't know who died but it must have been an important politician or a high-ranking military General. The parade came down the main street right next to our mission office and with all of the beating of drums and the loud music, we were interested in seeing what was going on. The parade started with six or eight huge trucks loaded with people and drums. They were followed by about forty identical brand new and very expensive black cars which were all decorated with identical strips of white decorations on the hood and beautiful white flowers on four-wheelers in front and behind. They were followed by a long line of high school girls in matching short red mini-skirts playing "Nearer My God To Thee," on musical instruments
The drum corp was next with some huge drums on wheels and men beating in cadence on smaller drums as well. They were followed by a large group of men all dressed alike in yellow hats. Behind them was a military drill team going through a rifle spinning routine with a military band behind playing , with "gusto, the hymn "Nearer My God To Thee."
Following the military band was a group of female Budhist monks with shaved heads leading the huge stretch funeral hearse. On the front of the fresh white flower decorated hearse was a picture of the deceased man.

Directly in front of the hearse was a group of women dressed in black and carrying baskets of white rose petals which they scattered on the pavement. We were somewhat surprised to see, what appeared to be, by his clothing, a Protestant or Catholic clergyman walking along in the procession. Behind the hearse was the family, of about a dozen women and men all dressed in black with what appeared to be the man's wife being assisted on either side by women holding her up and at times appeared to be carrying her as she mourned. Behind the family, bringing up the end of the parade, were about two or three hundred people, mostly men, all dressed in black, and they all seemed to be out for a stroll down the street displaying little if any emotion. The parade lasted about thirty minutes and really stopped or slowed down anyone trying to navigate with or around the parade.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Our faithful and hard working assistants to the mission president, Elders Hall and Oldham, finally cleaning out their office.
A couple of blocks from our apartment is a huge Buddhist mortuary and these paid flag carriers and the drivers of the decorated trucks in the background will all be part of the funeral procession after the service. These funerals occur seven days a week and usually more than one or two each day.

Sister Greene in the beatiful garden of the huge Confucius Temple. The tree behind her has an amazing root base.

Shopping at the street market.

This is at the ultra modern Costco store in Taichung. It would be hard, if not impossible, to see a sight like this in an American Costco. They have live fish, crabs and clams on display along with the pre-packaged meats, etc.


Right across the street from our apartment is this street market where we purchase most of our fruit and vegetables. They also have various other stalls selling raw meat, usually pork,which they cut up for you, fish, eggs, noodles, clothing, Chinese herbs and grains, and a lot of household items. They also have a number of food stalls selling prepared Chinese food. We arrived a little late this morning and there weren't as many customers at the market as usual.

This huge gold Buddha is at a temple about two or three blocks from our apartment. It is quite large and ornate with a temple and other worship buildings within the large walled compound.
Elder Greene is standing in front.

This is a new outer building that has been constructed over a much smaller and older temple to help preserve it and to protect it from weather and damage. Sister Greene is standing near the doorway at the top of the steps.

Elder and Sister Greene on our preparation day seeing a little of Taichung. We are fortunate to have another huge temple, honoring Confucius, about a block in the opposite direction , from our apartment as well.