Looking back three years later, I was lonely in Taiwan when I visited as 2014 came to a close. For me it was a good country to be lonely in: Continue reading
I had wanted to write more about the hike up Snow Mountain I completed with a group in December. My first post, about life at the top, can be found here. I decided to format it as a letter to my friend Taiwan, to mix things up a bit. First, here are a few quick facts about the trail:
Taiwan was the first place I’d chosen to largely experience on my own – no full-time travel companion. Previous to this I’d enjoyed a week solo in Costa Rica, after having warmed up to the country the preceding week with friends. I figured then, I was probably ready to take on a year of traveling alone. Right…right?
I’m already nostalgic for Taiwan’s eats. The island boasts cheap, varied and generally delicious options at every corner, and often times haphazardly crammed in between the corners, too. Many outfits have a niche, one or two things that they do really well. There’s the famous green onion pancake place that can run out in an hour, or the hole in the wall you have to go to to get the yummiest bowl of noodle soup. If in doubt, just find the longest line and hope that you don’t get hangry while you wait. You won’t be disappointed.
It was 6:15 AM and our group was vying for the leading spot on the trail to set a quicker pace. A slow and quiet race was taking place, to reach the top of Snow Mountain before the sun threw itself from the clouds. Dawn did its thing, illuminating the range that curved around the valley we had climbed through, but the biggie biggie, bold views were kept hidden away by the ridgeline, unviewable until the summit.
People are really throwing it down in the parks of Tainan. So much in fact, that it kind of seems like the grass is having a hard time growing, what with all of the vigorous park activities. The ground is patchy, brown and dusty. This could also be reasonably attributed to the fact that it is December. No matter, there’s a small lake (large pond?) with a pagoda terrace in the middle, and for me this more than compensates for the lack of grass. Also I know for a fact that whoever manages park aesthetics in Tainan is really, really concerned with what I think is beautiful. Right.
Visiting Taipei 101 was not at the top of my list. Huge tourist attraction? Crowds and tour buses? I figured I would give it a pass, and would instead find a sweet vantage point from which to view the tower under the stars.
More so in places like Taiwan, and less so in places like wherever your job interview is, it can be very enjoyable to have no idea how long it will take to get yourself from Point A to Point B. There is definitely merit (and logic…and responsible thinking…) to looking it up on Google Maps, but then there’s a bit less mystery wrapped up in the whole “the journey is the destination” thing.
As a general rule, the Taiwanese people are a ‘live to eat’ bunch.
Recently, I was chatting about dating and societal norms with a divorced lady here in Taiwan. We aren’t in the same age demographic, but I was curious – now that she’s solo dolo, is she at all interested in mingling with available suitors?
I had three books with me, about fourteen pairs of underwear and a compass, but only one pair of socks. The friendly convenience store attached to the temple interestingly sold beers, but no socks. The one pair I did have was mismatched, polka dot, and dangerously close to becoming a pair of little waft bombs.