The Little Giant

I am still alive, although my focus has been all over the place these days. I got the itch again this past summer to customize a bike. Not that I was unhappy with the results of the miyata, but the the frame was always just a tiny bit too big, and for whatever reason, I couldn’t use the shimano 105 front brake due to the reach being too long. I wasn’t as ambitious this time, since I learned from my last experience. Instead of starting completely from scratch, I got a used bike with most of the parts I wanted and repainted it and then swapped out the parts I didn’t want. It still wasn’t so trivial, but I was (and still am) quite happy with the results.

Pei moves!

Robot sitting on sheep

“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been” – Rainer Rilke

The robot riding the sheep is just a random photo from my recent move. The past few months have been tempestuous and full of change, and one major event was my move. I first came to Berlin and moved into Lottumstrasse in the spring of 2010, and for the first time in my life, I lived in one apartment for a 5-year stretch. I have lots of great memories in that apartment, and I miss those times.

Lottumstrasse, 2010

I painted the walls bright colors so that it would brighten up my mood when I came home. It was a little sad to see the walls painted white and the colors gone when I finally moved out and turned over the keys.

Lottumstrasse, 2015

I miss the roof the most – I could climb the roof and see a good portion of the Berlin skyline from up there. I didn’t go up there as much as I should have. I’m now in another corner of Berlin, but there will in any case be more memories to make and more rooftops to explore.

Pei visits a chicken farm in Tainan!

Pei visits a chicken farm in Tainan!

One of my aunts in Taiwan now owns a small free-range chicken farm in the hills of Tainan. She also runs a small restaurant there which she mostly rents out to private groups for events and whatnot. Most everything she cooks comes from the farm if it can be helped, and her husband built most of the wooden houses on the premises. I spent two evenings there during my stay in Tainan. It’s in a farming community, very much on the outskirts. The neighbors also run some kind of farm, and one of them have a bee-farm.

They had a little treehouse on the side for guests, complete with a Totoro mattress (this was the photo from the previous post). I was supposed to sleep there during my stay, and that was the original plan. But the first night, right when I was about to curl up in the Totoro bed, I stepped on a bee in the little treehouse. It hurt like hell, and my foot promptly began to swell up. I staggered back to the main house in the dark, and I ended up sleeping awkwardly on the wooden stage in the dining hall. So sleeping in the Totoro bed was not meant to be.