Staying Put

Ok, so I have decided to stay at the Red House where we all meet for breakfast, do our laundry and generally hang out after dinner. People have begun to respect my earlier hours and have been breaking up the hang out by 11.  I think we have come to a mutual understanding. And I am finding things to hang over my windows to block out the night lights.

Today Finally the sun has come out and last night for my first time in Taiwan I have seen the moon and stars.  What a thrill. Each morning when I wake up I have been having my daily tea. It sounds like it might be hard to find honey around here.  My bottle from Taipei is getting low.  Even the 7-11, which is supposed to have everything did not even have some.

 

Our Red house has bananas growing in the front yard.  I like how the older houses form an inner courtyard where the family’s and friends can gather, even though this does not allow for much privacy.  The newer houses are long and narrow like NYC row houses, so there is little room in between them, thus the bedroom with no window. We chose our installation sites on Saturday, and since mine is more narrow and long then I thought it would be I have decided to copy this long narrow house idea and build more of a covered-like walkway, much like my Arbors.

 

Over the weekend we visited two bamboo masters.  The two could not be more different. The first one was an expert craftsman. sitting in his little bamboo hut by the road in a nearby village crafting bamboo chairs and stools in a very simple but clean way.  It was amazing to watch how he used his old and gnarled feet as his vice grip.  Many of the young women working as our assistants have never even used a saw before, so when they saw a bit of blood coming from the old man’s fingers they were worried for him.  His response was that this is what happens when you work.  How true how true.

 

The second bamboo master was a riot.  He lives up in the mountains, where we drove past tea fields and luscious bamboo groves.  One of my assistants asked if I had seen Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. I was reminded of the fighting scene with the kung fu master floating and flying in the bamboo forest. The second artisan was much more of a creative kind of guy. Developing his own method of piecing the material together rather than following older traditions.  He showed us mouse and pig traps he had invented. He spoke in a high and jovial voice that echoed through the mountain forest, expressing his passion for the material and processes.  While the first master was more reserved and spoke only when necessary with his gravely cigarette infused voice.

The sad thing to find out was that neither could be supported by their artisanship.  The first worked as a truck driver during the week, the other ran a hotel where we had our lunch.

We are off to the beach today to gather recycled bamboo for our projects. I am interested in seeing how this desolate landscape will look with the sun out.

Best,

Michele

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