The time had come to go. I set my alarm for the first time since arriving and packed my bags. In the back of my mind I’d felt the strong pull of home for a while but somehow managed to suppress it with all the plans I’d made during my stay. Now with no plans, the pull was strong again.
Friday, December 17, 2010
|Throwback: Ice block delivery|
|John Shen undies for your johnson|
|The ugliest mannequins....EVER|
|Look closely - it's paper|
|The neon lights scream "Betelnut Here!"|
|Sleepy shop owner|
|With their soft heads, kids don't need helmets|
|Space teaches the North American neck hold gesture.|
His eager student goes straight for the double.
|Taipei's worst named hotel|
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Space gathered the group for one final round of drinks at Surfer Ken’s Lounge. Many of the people I had met over the past few weeks were there: Rob,
Nicki, Chad, Passion, Harmony, JF, Brad and to name a few. When asked what the best thing about my trip was there seemed to be only one appropriate response… “All of it!” People who had been there upwards of 3 years hadn't been to all the places that I’d been to, or experienced what I’d experienced. Free from work obligations, life didn’t get in the way of my travels. Such is the beauty of a vacation; it can be a complete escape from the everyday. Some people choose to go to a resort; others choose to go on an adventure. As they say, different strokes for different folks, but I think my resort days are probably behind me. Bello
|Puppies always make Johnny smile|
|Space and I try out the puppy "lean back" stance|
|The puppy is scared stiff by the hat|
Note: Just in case I haven't explained it already, What we know in North America as Karaoke is known in Taiwan as KTV. Technically, karaoke only takes place when you rent a small room and sing in front of a small group of people. I will use the terms interchageable since I believe that they represent a distinction without a difference.
For all the shyness of the Taiwanese, one activity seems to be immune for causing them embarrassment…singing. There are Karaoke machines here that operate much the same way as jukeboxes do back home although I can’t remember the last time I saw a jukebox. Put in your coins, select a few songs and sing your heart out on the sidewalk. A video with girls in a bubble bath provides the background to the lyrics.
The teens give it their all, but it’s no use. Every person I heard caused me to cringe; they were that bad. It’s like tone deafness is widespread. I can’t for the life of me picture teens in
exposing themselves in this way. Maybe in the confines of their homes or in the safety of a private karaoke room in some seedy basement joint where the threat of an Asian mafia assassination is very real, but certainly not out on the sidewalk in full public view. The group of teens I met that night was even unphased by my photography. That’s one of the things I love about Canada Asia, people aren’t put off by the lens and I’m not viewed as a weirdo, only a guy who like to take photos.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Previous plans for surfing were out of the question, unless by “surfing” you actually meant "drowning". In my condition I was up for the latter. A much better decision for the morning would be to speed along some unfamiliar mountain roads on the Irony Horse.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I don’t know how last night ended, but today began with me as a crumpled mess on the couch. It took a while for me to open my eyes, and when I did I saw that I had been penned into the living room like some kind of farm animal. By way of explanation, Space and Iris use folding bamboo gates to keep the dogs off the couches when they’re not home. The strange part is that Ginger was penned in with me and
Milo was nowhere to be seen. I overdosed on water in an effort to stop the Pantera jam session going on in my head. Then I figured that I would proceed with my regular morning routine, just more slowly.
Pen in hand and ready to write I tried, but the words wouldn’t come out. All I could put together was a nonsensical string of words consisting solely of “it”, “for”, “and”, “to” and “the”. Clearly, this wasn’t going to work. I hadn’t pictured my last day starting like this, I was supposed to pack in a full day of “stuff”, but I was forced to resign myself to the necessity of sleep and retreated to my bed for a little more rest.
It was all for nothing, the guitar-based Pantera jam session had morphed into a full-on Neil Peart drum solo…man, that guy can play!
Milo was nowhere in sight, odd since he had gotten used to my early morning routine and was usually around to greet me.
Space must have some ultra sensitive connection to coffee because no sooner than I had finished pressing some did he appear on the steps.
“Dude! You penned me in like an animal, and even worse, you penned me in with Ginger.”
“Look, I tried to wake you but you were having none of it…wait, where’s
Milo?” And with Space speaking his name, we heard Milo yelp from outside. Space had left one dog outside and caged a guest in with another.
Finer moments have been experienced by few.