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August 8, 2012 / windlessly

Taiwan Travels: Day 24

Regret. Lots of regret. I totally wish I remembered to bring my umbrella on the tour lol. I don’t know why I figured that I wouldn’t need my hat and umbrella at all on the tour- it’s only rained for the last three days or something. But yeah, the hike that we went on today ended up being nothing at all. It was still cool, though.

 

They started with a little flag raising performance, with the appearance of these forest pals? Then we walked on the roads and hiked up a looong trail of steps, surrounded by massively tall and incredibly straight pine trees. I really wished I hadn’t worn long pants, but it wasn’t bad- the hike ended up being about 5km total. At the peak we went on this skyline which was pretty awesome. The view was great and the only thing that we theorized would make it better was if the bridge were instead made of rope and rickety old planks. Anyways, the nature around us is beautiful. The bridges, the fish, the trees, the rocks… very peaceful and serene.

 

 

 

We all survived the hike and went back for lunch before we headed out to the buses. I always nap a little on the bus because I go to sleep so late, but it works out because we go from location to location and there’s some downtime in between. Today we visited this train station, which of course had a lot of awesome shops around it.

Random sign I saw on the streets lol

Took some pictures,  looked for Kevin, and tried the four banana egg roll cookie shops that were all basically in the vicinity. Two competing stores were literally one shop away from each other on the same street, lol.

 

Crossing from 7-Eleven like a boss

Another short rest on the bus, and then we arrived at Lukang Temple, where we got to explore the streets and great food on our own. There were so many tea shops it was ridiculous. I was very sad that I wasn’t able to really order anything though- my chinese was so poor that when they asked me about the milk and sugar and ice, I just said whatever and ended up getting the more expensive kind.

Pearl! and PEARL milk tea ahaha

Good thing was, it tasted good and sooo much cheaper than in the states. Mine was $1.50 and that was considered expensive here. As long as I have bubble tea in my hand, I’ll be happy =] There was also some really good fried stuff here as well- including these shrimp poppers and fried mushrooms. The mushroom were SOO good. Add some hot chile pepper and mmmm.

 

Dinner was excellent today as well. We ended up eating in this warehouse/restaurant, and we finally played Assassin as a meal table. It’s basically the perfect setup for assassin… 10 people in a circle with nothing to do for a couple of minutes before and after the meal. I got to practice my winks, which was the important part xD.

Pouring during the night market…

After dinner, we continued at Feng Chia Night Market, where Ryan Leon and I had the time of our lives. Time of our lives getting soaked, that is. It was pouring rain and none of us expected it, so we basically got drenched. Trying to fit three people under one umbrella was… interesting. I basically gave up trying to keep dry and focused on being less wet. Leon did get this awesome green tea drink though, and Ryan stumbled on an amazing discovery- soy bean fries! It basically tasted like tofu, but so much better. Taiwan is awesome for all its creative foods and drinks… not only do they have all drinks and combinations of flavors possible, but it’s cheap and pretty convenient to find. The soy bean restaurant was just genius though- the sandwich, pizza, tortilla chips, and crème brulee all looked delicious, and were all made out of soy bean.

 

Our Bus B was also playing a fun game- essentially Secret Santa, where we all were assigned a person to watch over and surprise. People were wandering around, looking for small gifts or food items to give to the other person. It was really fun. Someone gave me a nice bracelet that I’m wearing now. I looked around for the gift for my person and ended up with something pretty nice from this shop.

After that, we recollected on the bus where we entertained ourselves immensely playing Contact. The hotel we’re staying at tonight is really nice. We did have to walk up 4 flights of stairs to the 6th floor (no level 4 here haha due to superstition, equivalent to the number 13 in the US), but all my friends were in rooms next to mine. We taught Literature to some of the other guys, and David, Richard, Alex, and Leon actually picked it up really quickly. It was intense, and they were all pretty good at it. Wi-fi cleared up after people started going to sleep, which was good for me since I was staying up this late anyways. It’s really hard to imagine how fast the days have gone by. I met even more people today playing mafia on the bus, and just in general hanging out with everyone. The thing with these tours and vacations is that everything starts to blend together. Take these past 20+ days- every single day was spectacular in its own right, and I’m so happy and thankful for them. But now it’s going by too quickly… all these friends I’ve made, I want to keep hanging out wit them! I’m so sad. The only thing I can do now is enjoy what time we have left together and finish blogging on what I have done and experienced and felt.

Ryan and Leon getting matching shirts at the night market… I’m gonna miss hanging out with these two =/

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