A Travellerspoint blog

This – Is – Cake Town!

Today is our last day with a scooter, so of course we took it back to the gorge.

Leaving Hualien:

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Doesn't Joe look like one of the guys from 300? (- 4 packs)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNqiSkd1M6k
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We had this temple all to ourselves for about an hour, so we filmed 4 of the Daoist postures, The 2 red birds and the 2 black turtles:

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Then, back on the bike for maybe 5, 10 minutes, then as if a jolt of lightning just struck Joe (and conveniently avoided me), the scooter came to a screeching halt!

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Joe: "Waterfall!"

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Here we are at 9 Turns Trail. It used to be for driving traffic, but then they decided that the cars were spoiling the view for all the hikers. So they built another tunnel into the mountain that is closed off from the gorge so people could walk the gorge without breathing in exhaust gasses. Also, this section of the gorge is famous for the special wind current that blows through it causing the birds to act like daredevils riding the waves.

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Then on the way back into town to turn the bike back in Joe needed to make a pit stop to see this one of these ridiculously bright looking temples. We've seen them scattered along the coast as we took the train, and we've seen them as we drive past on the bike, but we have yet to see one of these Taiwanese temples, so while we still had our freedom to go where we please, we went.

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After turning in the bike we walked to this cafe and Joe got a typical Chinese dinner and I got waffles and fruit! It only came with half of a waffle (what did they do with the other half?) and a few slices of fruit with some melted ice cream rather than the huge plate of waffles loaded with a fruit salad, but it was still better than eating any more fried food. Sure waffle makers can be considered frying, but they are not deep frying at least, so I was happy. And we got the best banana milk and papaya milk smoothies! I'm pretty sure that after we ate at this place, even though we were only staying in Hualien maybe one more day, that we got banana milk and papaya milk smoothies about 3 or 4 more times.

Back at the hostel we realized that we had gotten back kinda late to move our stuff to the other dorm. Last night we moved into the 6 person dorm again b/c our single room was booked for the rest of our stay by the couple from Singapore, but tonight we had to move to the 10 person dorm b/c a group of kids from Taipei university booked the whole room like 2 months ago. When got back though the girl who was working there (the hostel lady's first day off in a week!) had already put our things in the 10 person dorm for us (up 3 flights of stairs, I felt kinda bad). But she didn't seem to mind, and was in fact more worried that we would be upset that she moved our things. I didn't mind. She missed a bag or tow, but that wasn't a problem.

This evening Joe was really set to “party” so he awkwardly asked some guys if they were “partying tonight.” Then he said that he was almost done with the computer, so we could go out soon. I cringe at the thought. I suppose it was Joe's awkward social interaction with strangers was one of the things that attracted me to him after a while. At first I found him ridiculous shy, so much so that when Marge, our Kung Fu schools most senior student, asked me to see if I could get Joe talking and part of the group... I really didn't want to. “Why me?” “Because you are always breaking the ice with everyone! I've never seen you not go up to some brand new person and treat them like you've know them your whole life.” “Yeah, but I've talked to Joe... he's kinda off a bit.” (As I discover later, he thought I was mentally unstable, touche.) Then I got to know him, and started to get him to come over “The Kent House” (the place where me and my 5 closest friends lived) for parties, and watching him try to make friends was endearing. My favorite line of his was when we were teaching him to play Never Have I Ever. We shouldn't have let him be the first one to do it, but he pulled the fist Jack, which for those rules, meant you had to play Never Have I Ever. Joe: “Never Have I Ever... eaten 5 pounds of food.” We all stared at him in wonder (what was he thinking?), and so he elaborated. “All at one sitting!” This didn't make it any better. So then Laura gave him an example, and if I have ever seen Joe blush, it was right then. Anyways, I really digress.

Now I don't find it so nice because at parties when he would say things in a strange manner, we just thought Joe was strange. But now, if he says something on this trip, it is immediately reflected upon me. Nobody looks at the two of us sitting at the table together and thinks, wow, whats up with that guy? They look at both of us and thin, wow, whats up with those two? Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I was facing them and saw the leaned in whispering after Joe turned back around to work on the computer. And to top it off, I didn't even want to “party.” Joe likes partying when we fight, while I... I don't like anything while we fight. I guess thats just one of the many things thats pulling us apart, these small differences that get in your face when you spend 24-7 (does this line of blogging sound familiar? Southwest trip? Maybe?)

We didn't end up going out with those two guys b/c I got to talking with one of the student's from Taipei University, Ala I believe, and made it pretty simple for us to tag along for dinner. We wanted to find a good restaurant to eat at, but we got lost a bit and ended up at a vegetarian attempting to order some meat. Then when we figured that one out we ordered some fried rice (well, the Swedish guys and the French girl did), and they came out with a huge bowl of soup, which may have been fine if they didn't just eat a bunch of really bad soup for lunch. I saw the look in their eyes, the look that says I'm so hungry, and I don't speak the language, and I really was excited about the fried rice, and I would really almost eat anything but soup right now! I singled to them not to make any more, and that the one was fine.

After an uncomfortable dinner where only half of us ate we ended up going to McDonalds. “I hate being that foreigner, you know?” Ala said, and I couldn't agree more. So I took my chance to hide from the crowd at the counter and I went upstairs to use the restroom. I got stuck. Inside the stall with a door that only had about ½ opening at the top, and about the same on the bottom, and no openings along the walls, I was stuck. I couldn't figure out how to open the door. I was panicking! Claustrophobia set in like the evil menace it always is, on top of not wanting to be that foreigner knocking on the door for help w/o knowing how to say help, or I'm locked in; and even if I could get that across, I wouldn't be able to follow their instructions on how to get out! Then I had visions of getting stuck on the bathroom ground trying to pull myself through the opening under the door. “Yeah, if you didn't eat so much McDonalds, maybe you would fit!” I could see them say, and I wouldn't even know that was what they were saying because it would be in Chinese. I was all alone in the bathroom a the moment, and I was ready to do the only thing I could think of. I was going to tear this mother fucking door down! I started with the lock. It was circular with a rectangular hole cut into it. I tried turning the circle by placing my fingers into the rectangular hole and twisting. I could feel plastic start to crack under the pressure. But it wasn't enough, I would really have to tear into it to break it, and then I might really be locked in. So I calmed myself, thought rationally. Sure, it was an unfamiliar lock and handle, but there was a way to get it to work. I reached my hand inside the hole again and felt for something. Something to pull, something to push, something to unlatch, and on the far left side of the hole I felt that the plastic was a different texture than the other inner walls. I couldn't see it b/c it was about an inch deeper to the left of the opening, but I applied pressure to it, and it gave way! Pushing harder the door unlocked, and I rushed to the sink to splash my face with cold water. I felt the room spin a little, and then I was okay. Outside at the table Joe had a McFlurry for us to split, and the world was a little less scary.

Posted by - Rain 06:45

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