If you look closely at the front of this temple (conveniently located next to a 7-11 in Tsao-Tun), you will see stage for puppet plays. There weren’t any in session when we passed by, but I snapped this shot because I’d never seen a temple with a puppet theatre out front before. It’s very Taiwanese, really, they have a deep history of puppet theatre, especially as you go into the Taiwanese heartland. I imagine they use it for their equivalent of Sunday School.
This was the point in the trip when the landscape suddenly started to bring back memories. This area around Tsao-Tun was one I had passed through many times when I lived in Taiwan previously, and there was an exchange where I knew if we just turned and drove a few minutes we would have been in Nantou city. A part of me wanted to go back and see my old school (or the new one they replaced it with after the earthquake) and see if there was a memorial, and how much of the place I recognised from my time there. But, I didn’t want to inconvenience the rest of the group, and besides, the past is the past. I might go there myself someday before I leave Taiwan, just to see it, when my Chinese is better.
(In case someone reading this has no idea what I’m talking about (which is quite likely), I lived in Nantou city several years ago right before a very large earthquake (called The Puli Earthquake here) destroyed a good part of it. I went away for a weekend to renew my visa, and while I was gone the Earthquake struck and wiped out my job and my life there in a single stroke, forcing me to return to Canada at the time.)