Thursday, September 13, 2012

week 103_Street Artist Portrait

After a recent dinner out with friends on a Saturday night, I was walking home -with nothing better to do- and decided to stop to give one of the street artists a bit of business. Living downtown within walking distance of the Xinyi district means we are never without food, shopping, or entertainment.

 I decided that it could be really neat to have my portrait drawn while pregnant, and I specifically noted to the artist that I would really love it if he could sketch not only my face, but all the way down to my belly. I sat for what felt like ages on a hot evening, but at least the sun was down and there was a gentle breeze occasionally.

My face starting to take shape
Apparently, I was quite the spectacle to see. Hubby was at work, so there I sat, just a single foreign pregnant woman for all the locals to gawk at! Truth be told, I attracted the artist quite a little gathering of onlookers ~ hopefully, he got some extra business out of the deal.

Pregnant me, Sitting still for what feels like a long time!
The usual portrait fee was $100 NTD ($3.38 USD), but I paid a little extra at $150 NTD to have my belly in the picture.

[Amateur photographer passerby decides to take our photos]
 The artist was very kind and worked quickly, glancing up and down from his paper every second. At one point when a passerby began to photo our little session, I asked the artist to pause so I could give him my email address. Success! He sent the photos to me the same night. :)

It's me! Only slightly more Asian...
In the end, I feel like the artist took some liberties with my appearance (can we say 20 lbs. lighter and almond shaped eyes, long nose?) but it was a fun way to pass the time. I'm thinking I may try again with another street artist sometime... Just to see if I still turn up with an Asian Lizzie picture. ;)

Monday, September 10, 2012

week 102_Ghost Month Bai-Bai

August was ghost month, and as a closing ceremony at end of the month, our office held the annual bai-bai to pray for prosperity to our business in the coming year. We will soon be relocating to a new office location, so I imagine there were many prayers sent up for the speedy and easy transition into our anticipated place of business.

Our building holds multiple tenants, so our table was sandwiched among the other bai-bai offerings at the front of our building. Just a few pictures from the day...

Another Tenant's Offering Table

During the first bai-bai session (early afternoon) we all break from our work to go downstairs and pray. All incense is placed in one jar together at the front of the table.

Our Company's Offering Table
 The gods obviously don't mind a drink either...

1st bai-bai: Incense placed together in urn
 And of course, in year of the dragon, some fresh dragon fruit!

Dragon Fruit & Goodies
 A neighboring tenant gathers to burn paper money as offering to the gods.

Neighbors burning paper money offerings
During the second bai-bai session (later the same afternoon) we all break from our work to go downstairs and pray again. This time the incense is placed among the offerings on the table. 
2nd bai-bai: Incense placed among offerings
 At the end of the day... the truth is... all of the offerings are brought inside!
Fresh dragon fruit for everyone!
 I didn't have an official snack drawer before, but I am all set now!
The spoils ~ The new snack drawer at my desk!