Sun Moon Lake

Between the sun and the moon

Pen & Ink Drawing of WinnieIt took me some time to decide which lake this is; there is no English-language caption on the card, and Winnie, who drew a very cute self-portrait on the back of the card, told me only that the picture “is a famous lake in Taiwan”, and even then only as a postscript.  On the other hand, it’s always nice to get a postcard on which the subject of the message is something besides the postcard itself.  As for the messages that I myself send out, I plead the fifth.

Ultimately, I was able to puzzle out the Chinese caption on the front of the card.  Sun Moon Lake  (日月潭) is named from the notion that  the lake’s east side is round like the Sun, while the west side is in the shape of a crescent moon.  It’s also the place to be in Taiwan if you’re on your honeymoon, much as Niagara Falls used to be the traditional destination for honeymooners in the US.

In the middle of the lake, between the sun and the moon, is Lalu Island, which is sacred ground to the Thao tribe (or Shao, depending on who you ask), who are a people aboriginal to Taiwan.  As a result, no non-tribesman are allowed on the island, nor is swimming allowed in the lake, except for a few special events.

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