two friends set out one blistering hot afternoon to explore the hidden temples of Hsinchu. we got over the "what are those white girls doing?" stares and poked our cameras [respectfully, of course] into some of the most beautiful places in the city.
we stumbled upon one large temple in search of another, and were waved in and given the "ok" to take pictures by some men painting. red lanterns galore greeted us, and a set of stairways leading up.
for an incredible 15 minutes, we had this temple space to ourselves. and I was able to click away on undoubtably my favorite subject in Taiwan. dragons. the upper level put us at the perfect hight for viewing the lower roofline's decorations. up close and in-your-face. I have never been so close to temple dragons, and probably never be will again.
every scale, every tooth and claw, every wire whisker was right there in front of me. set in beautiful contrast to the half-abandoned cement buildings surrounding the temple. I might have shed a tear I was so happy. or maybe that was just sweat dripping down my face? either way, it was magical.
flowers, birds and other strange creatures were all right there for the photo-taking. I could have stayed there, clicking and sweating, all afternoon. but mostly looking at the dragons.
discovering places like this makes me so grateful that I've had this opportunity to live in Taiwan. having a friend who is willing to come and sweat alongside me while exploring - even more so. spending an afternoon dragon hunting would have been beyond the realm of my comprehension five years ago, but now it's hard to imagine life any other way.