With respect to language, Taiwan is a little more difficult than most of the places I’ve been to recently. Many (most?) people, especially outside of the major cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung (where?), have little to no English language skills. Very few signs or menus have English translations. Most days this is just a challenge and part of the travel experience, and even has its entertaining moments. Every now and then, though, it can be really frustrating; such as, when something is happening around you and you have no clue what’s going on and no one can explain it to you, or you’re tired and hungry and just want to eat without having to decipher the menu. But again, that’s travel.
Temple life is alive and well in Taiwan. There are temples everywhere, from the humongous to little hole in the wall places not much bigger than a closet. The activity level can vary at them as well. Longshan Temple is one of the busier temples in Taipei, particularly around 5pm when everyone is getting off work. At the time I was there, a large number of people had gathered and were participating in a group chant. Actually it wasn’t really a chant but not really a song either. It’s kinda hard to describe. It was a bit eery, but in a good way. This man here seems to have been off in his own world while this was going on.