Raccoonkai in Taipei

This year in Taiwan, high temperatures of around 30 degress continued even as we entered November. It was only in the morning of the 8th of Novebmer that we first felt the signs of Autumn. Together with the late coming of the cool air, we were able again to have our much awaited Raccoon kai with Imanishi-san after four years. The organizer of this event, Yeh Wen-chang (1999 Raccoon) planned out a trip to the northern coast so as to show off the beautiful scenes of Taiwan. Chang Kuere (2003 Raccoon) drove Imanishi-san around to see various tourist spots such as the Jinshan hot springs, Fukee fishing port, and Jiufen, the model of Japanese animation “Spirited Away”. Amidst the cool wind and rain, Imanishi-san seemed to have readily been able to enjoy Taipei's special rainy scenery, as well as the hot springs and Taiwan cuisine just like any tourist would.

Besides Yeh-san and Chang-san, there were 7 in all including Yang Jie Chi (1999 Raccoon), Chen Tzu-Ching (2002 Raccoon), Tsai Ying-hsin (2004 Raccoon), Lan Hong Yueh (2005 Raccoon), and Chan Chai-fong (2007 Raccoon). Almost all of the Raccoons in Taiwan were present. On the evening of the November 9th, we all gathered at Taiwanese food restaurant called Aoba. Unfortunately perhaps because of the cooling down of the weather and the economy, the usual crowd of diners that fills up the busy street of the Eastern District was absent, and the restaurant was practically empty. It was the first time to meet each other for about half of Taiwan's Raccoons, so there was a round of self-introductions, followed by news from the teaching world, problems in the educational system reform, the results of studies abroad, and raising up children. The conversations became particularly stimulating when it came to the latest movie entitled “Cape No.7”. Since, the members had different areas of specialization and interests, no real consensus could be reached regarding the theme for a SGRA Forum. The meeting dragged on until nearly 10 in the evening. We were not able to satisfy Imanishi-san’s expectations for coming up with a plan to hold a Taiwan Forum, but this get-together is a good start. The Taiwan Raccoon’s were one in wishing from their hearts the birth of a good proposal by next year, and meeting once again Rijicho and Imanishi-san in Taipei.

(by Chan Chai-fong, trans. By M.Maquito)