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Synapticism

An experiential journal of synchronicity and connection

Ershui 二水

Èrshuǐ 二水 is located in the southeastern tip of Changhua 彰化 along the border with Nantou to the east and Yúnlín 雲林 to the south. Despite being a somewhat obscure and mostly rural township Ershui has a long, storied history, having been settled by the Chinese as long ago as 1621, and several attractions worth visiting.

Ershui Assembly Hall 二水公會堂

The derelict assembly hall in Ershui
The derelict public assembly hall in the heart of Ershui.

Ershui Assembly Hall 二水公會堂 is located in Èrshuǐ 二水, a small town at the very southern edge of Changhua 彰化, on the border with both Yúnlín 雲林 (to the south) and Nantou (to the east). It is one of dozens of similar assembly halls built all around Taiwan 台灣 to accommodate large public gatherings during the Japanese colonial era. This particular example was built in 1930 and is one of three remaining in Changhua 彰化. The other two—in Changhua City 彰化市 and Lukang 鹿港—are both fully restored, designated historic properties, and open to the public, but the Ershui Assembly Hall, the smallest of the three, has been derelict for years. From what I’ve read in this excellent post the landlord and local government have been locked in a long-running legal dispute, complicating any efforts at preservation.

Taiwan’s Only Geometrid Moth

Taiwan’s only geometrid moth
A close look at Taiwan’s only geometrid moth.

Yesterday I breezed through the small town of Èrshuǐ 二水 in southern Changhua 彰化 to scope out some historic sites on my list. One of these sites, the old Ershui Public Hall 二水公會堂, is located next to a wide expanse of unkempt meadowland, evidently a breeding ground for Taiwan’s only geometrid moth. There were hundreds of brightly-colored, iridescent moths flitting around the overgrown ruins—and many more locked in an embrace on whatever flat surfaces could be found. After coming home last night it didn’t take long to puzzle out the name of this species of moth: Milionia basalis pryeri, a subspecies of Milionia basalis only found in Taiwan 台灣 and southwestern Japan, particularly Okinawa. There appears to be no English common name but in Chinese it is generally known as chéngdàizhīchǐ’é 橙帶枝尺蛾; roughly “orange-banded moth”.

Something to Laugh About in Changhua

There’s something funny about this neighbourhood
There’s something funny about this community…

I passed through Èrshuǐ 二水 on one of many road trips through Changhua 彰化 in the summer of 2014. While cutting over from the highway that runs along the mountainside to one that cuts across the wide, sluggish Zhuóshuǐ River 濁水溪, I stopped at this rural community and had a good chuckle at the name of this place, Héhé Community 合和社區. (Sorry, I know it’s a lame joke, but this blog is also for the trivial things I encounter in my travels!)