(This video was given to us by Joe's older brother Nate. Thats right Nate, I'm not taking credit for finding this.)
Channa got up around 8am to bring in the new Couchsurfer. About 30 minutes later in came Carla. She was planning on staying in Taiwan a whole year and study Chinese. She told me that her reasoning for wanting to learn Chinese was lame, but eventually I got it out of her. She thought the characters were beautiful. Well, why do people like to learn French or Italian rather than German or Spanish? Because French and Italian sound beautiful. It is just an added bonus that most people who like the language also like the country.
We started telling her about our travels, and she told us that she was so glad that we didn't end up going to Mexico on the motorcycle. She was either part Mexican, and her parents travel back to Mexico with her often, and she said that even she wouldn't ride a bike though Mexico. So, there you have it.
Channa had to head out to a doctors appointment, and Carla had to be at a meeting about getting settled into Taiwan in a few hours, so until then she said she could walk around with us a bit while we did some last minute shopping before going to Japan. First on the list Joe wanted to get some new shoes. The first store we walked into we actually found the exact same sandals that I was wearing! These were the sandals I bought in the Sedona, and they even had the little Native Indian symbol on the heel of the hand with the swirl! However, they were $30, and I only got mine for $20 (but they were on sale from $80, but I think that was just the Sedona markup price). I contemplated it a long time, but in the end I decided to same the money. My sandals were pathetic looking, but they still functioned, and all I was going to do was destroy this new pair too. Then we stocked up on toiletries so we wouldn't have to pay Japan prices for those, and Carla had to head out.
Part 2: Internet. But wait, whats this? Theres magic in the air! Whats this? Theres music everywhere! Whats this?
In the window of this pet shop were the cutest puppies! I wish I had a video of Joe playing follow my hand up and down the glass with this white shaggy haired puppy. The atmosphere of the day just seemed to sing with the store keeper came back and opened the store. He let us unlock the cages, and at first the puppies were terrifies and ran away. Come on guys! You were so excited to lick the glass pretending it was really our fingers like two seconds ago! But then they warmed up to the idea, and Joe and I both fell absolutely in love with this little black one. It was the puppy I was trying to explain to Joe that I wanted all the way in the Boarders back in... what state was that? I had the car, and Joe had the bike, and Joe got really sick, and we got the churros at the Mexican Supermarket... this sounds like California. We looked at a dog book in California and I couldn't find this dog, but this was the Beany Buddy dog that I fell in love with and never knew what kind of dog it was. As it turned out, this was exactly the dog Joe wanted too. “Lets get him! Come on, lets just do it!” I'm pretty sure he was serious. “You see those people with the little dog carriers on planes! And it would be so good for him to go walking with us everyday while we tour!” “Yeah, and what about when the temples say no dogs, or there are signs on the metros, or the parks, and what about dog food, and dog poop?” “I've had a dog, I can do this.” He finished with his voice trailing off as if he knew what he was saying a part of him didn't even believe. “But when we settle down, we are getting this dog!” “Okay!” Then I told Joe that he had to give the white one in the other cage some love too b/c she was whimpering, and after he did that, the black one started making the cutest little barks! It was the first time any of them had made a sound, they were so well behaved! Anyways, enough about the dogs! I'm freaking out about them b/c it really was the highlight of our day.
Well, that, or maybe the store we stoped in next which had some magic in it as well, a decently priced battery for Joe's old as poo camera! Of course they had memorie sticks for it too, but a 256mb memory stick for his camera cost about 4 times as much as the 4GB stick for the newer models. So we settled for the battery, and guess what! Now we have enough batteries to use the zoom and flash again! With Joe's old battery some where in America we lost the ability to use either of those functions even with a newly charged battery. And to top it off, Joe's memory stick had failed somewhere in China and we could only access about ½ of the 128mb, which was great b/c that ass in Hawaii stole Joe's other memory card, but now with the new batterie all of the sudden the memory stick is allowing us to access the other half of the card! Now, back to the other half of reality (I don't want to say back to reality, because good things and happy things happen in reality too, we just forget that sometimes b/c the bad things are what we remember and what loom in our minds, darkening memories and seeping in to every other range of emotion causing a stillness to settle in like mixing paints from rainbow to dark brown).
We looked and we looked and we looked for internet. Walked into every coffee shop, including Starbucks, and we had no luck. Unfortunately I had already bought a coffee at that point, so we paid kinda for nothing b/c the coffee was really bad. It was my absolute favorite flavor, black sesame, which works amazing for frapaccinos, but toasts and feels like someone dropped dirt into your mug. The hot liquid did not mix with the sesame, so they just floated and swished around in an unnatural manner for blended coffee.
Posters outside of Starbucks:
Eventually we just broke down and went to the Insomnia cafe that was really expensive, but we knew had wifi.
Joe playing in the automated mist system:
Puppy art on the walls:
Then what happens after we order 3 beers b/c it was buy 2 get one free... we can't log on. We had the bar tender/ waiter guy helping us, and another girl trying to get us online, and it just wasn't working. She finally just told me to use her computer that was able to log on, so I did my business. Guess what? My mom emailed me, the JR pass to Japan was rejected b/c you can't sen JR passes to Japan! So they sent it to the NY office. Then the NY office called my mom. "Do you know you have one JR pass for 2 weeks and one for 3 weeks, being sent to different locations, do you want them both sent to you? And do you want them for different times?" "Yes!" My mom kept the times the way I had planned them, she tried to contact me about it, but we were not able to get her emails in time to help her make the decision. Then on a whim she gave them a call back the this night and sorted out evereything. She mentioned that Joe and I were flying out the next morning for Japan, and they guy made sure that the passes were approved and stamped by this evening, even though they were closing in 10 minutes! B/c if they weren't stamped in NY that evening, then the next day Joe and I would have landed in Japan before they opened (Japan really is the land of the rising sun) and the passes would have been invalid b/c they were stamped after we landed in the country! Thank god! Or my mother! Jesus Christ! (God again, my mom is Georgi), I would have been $1,000 less richer, and with no way of traveling around Japan! Yay for people who still want to talk with us back home after everything we've put them through!
Then quickly called Joe to come over to her table and get what he needed done. But when I went back to our Mac I noticed that it miraculous fixed its problem all by itself (b/c thats what Macs do), and we were online. I think Joe spent the next 3 or 4 hours on the computer, and again, I couldn't sit that long. So I went out shopping and I found Jem and the Hollogram's earrings at the night market! They were plastic crap, not just the red stars, but the park that sticks into your ear was crap plastic too, but they were only $1, so I figured if I loose them, I loose them. The point was I was going to be super cool for at least the next week or two. Now it was getting really late and I begged Joe to shoe me where he found the hair salons. Everyone talked me into getting a Taiwanese hair cut rather than a Japanese one b/c it would be ½ the price, and the same quality. But, after checkin out one salon and going to the Sholin salon, they told us to come back in the morning. Everything but the nigh markets in Taiwan close really early.
So we headed back to Channa's and found the two of them in starvation mode. Time for dinner! But where to go? None of us were making decisions, but then when the other would decide, we would all go, “Well, I don't really feel like that.” We walked to about 3 different places, realized that they were either only lunch or breakfast shops, and then headed to where Channa had suggested in the first place, Eddy's Burgers. It was like a TGI Fridays, but with only burgers on the menu. I thought Joe and I were going to split like usual, but I guess we really hadn't eaten much of anything all day, so we each got our own huge burger with a mountain of fries. It was so good! But way too much food! But it was so good! I think I decided not to eat for the rest of the week after that mistake. Joe coudn't even finsish my food for me to give me the excuse to not keep going. I was so high off of food that I knew I should go to sleep so I would be ready to leave for the airport early tomorrow morning, but I needed to work off this food. So Joe headed back to the apartment hoping that one of the roommates would let him in, and the 3 of us girls hit up the 7-11 for some alcohol. I really didn't want any more bread, even if it was only liquid bread (beer), so I got a really good vodka and grape juice, and we drank under one of those park awnings made out of a tree that vines over the pillars.
Here, this is what I'm talking about:
See? Make sense now? Come on, how would you describe it?