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August 4, 2012 / windlessly

Taiwan Travels: Day 22

So now it’s all about adjusting to the tour schedule- each day is pretty much filled with some sort of fun activity, with scheduled meeting times and regular meals. I guess today was our first full day- after a wake-up call at 6:30 and breakfast at 7:30, we left for one of the few amusement parks that we’ve seen in Taiwan. It was called the Aboriginal Cultural Village but was themed around One Piece? I don’t really know either. All I do know is that Ryan, Leon, and I had an awesome time: accidentally going on the cable cars twice, surviving the Mayan Adventure (intense hanging roller coaster), smooth-talking an arcade game manager, and having a dance party on a merry-go-round.

 

 

Me and Ryan going down on the first cart…

 

Going on the cable cars over Sun Moon Lake gave us an AMAZING VIEW.

 

 

 

It was actually a pretty large amusement park- near the bottom were the standard rides and roller coasters, but after taking a cable car to the top of the mountain overlooking Sun Moon Lake, there were a lot of aboriginal themed restaurants and shows.

The two shows/performances that we saw were pretty good, but merry-go-round dancing was obviously one of the highlights of the day. Seriously, start dancing anywhere and not care about what people think of you, and you’ll have a ton of fun.

 

Here’s the footage: I only wish I could’ve gotten all the delighted/horrified expressions of the people around us had as Leon and Ryan went around.

We had a good time just wandering around, going on kiddie rides, getting soaked on the log flume, and checking out all the arcade games.

Ryan getting stuck on the UFO ride…

Ryan still getting stuck on the ride, and now panicking that he’ll be stuck there forever…

Ryan being saved by the lady

Gotta give props to Leon for sniping 5 targets out of 15 at the air pistol station. Well, only 2 according to the lady at the desk. But Ryan would have none of that. He marched up there and gave her a good talk, questioning the three that were right on the border of the target. After some discussion, the lady told him to ask the owner who was in the back fixing up some air pistols. To our surprise and amazement, the owner casually told the lady to count all 5! So Leon walked away with a functional air pistol after only spending $1.75, all thanks to Ryan. Funniest thing I ever saw- just goes to show how bargaining works in Taiwan, and how stingy some arcade workers can be. Next time we go to a night market, I’m bringing Ryan along with me =P.

After we met up again as a group, we went on the cable cars overlooking Sun Moon Lake and then chilled at the Ita Thao wharf. There was a lot of food and small shops, but we decided to just grab some milk tea and then relax out on the platform next to the water. What happens when you add two breakdancers, one camera, and an hour of time? This.

I got some pretty good shots of their skills. Just ridiculous. But then again, we didn’t care what other people thought so it made it all the more fun. There was a clown nearby performing on the streets- I totally think these two could’ve beat him out. I wanted them to put down a hat and see what all the onlookers would do.

Anyways, we returned to the Youth Hotel and ate dinner. I napped for a bit (much needed, I get grumpy when I’m sleep deprived haha), then went back out for our scheduled event at 7:30. A group of aboriginal dancers were there, who led us in some cool dancing and also performed for us in their festive wear. They got us all to participate, which was fun. Ryan and I were so pumped for it… we REALLLY wanted to learn some of their authentic dance moves- it looked so cool earlier that morning! Something about the tribal style, deep pool of energy, and inclusiveness of it all made it seem really interesting.

After that event was over, we got some free-time to hang around with our fellow AID volunteers. At this point I’ve met so many people that I wish we had more time to just play games, talk, and hang out with each other. Traveling around and being led in a tour is fun, but you don’t interact with others as much. Each day is tiring- lots of traveling and time on the bus, and we still have a very full week ahead of us. The only problem with being on a tour or vacation is that you lose track of the day. But I’m not complaining- just chilling in our hotel room, watching Terminator on TV, enjoying air conditioning, and hopefully (later) getting some rest.

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