Wind, Water, & Sand

October 4-5, 2014

A few weeks ago I was invited to go to the beach to learn how to surf by a Taiwanese guy, Lee, that I had met through LE (language exchange). The Taiwanese are very welcoming for the most part and he suggested I invite other friends as well. So on Saturday, my new friend, Dan and I set out to the Da’an district. Thanks to Google maps I was going random routes, but it was a fun drive either way. There is supposed to be a typhoon coming or passing by Taiwan. Due to the upcoming weather it was very very windy the entire scooter ride there. When we finally arrived at the beach and got out we would get random gusts of sand in our face that is how windy it was. The beach that we were at was surrounded by wind turbans, and they were going full power that day. Dan, Lee, Alex, and I probably spent an hour or two at the beach. It was too windy to surf and the riptide was so strong that we didn’t dare swim out far for fear of getting dragged under. It was still nice to be out in the sun even if we had to deal with the wind as well.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Having enough of the ocean, sun, and wind we hopped back on our scooters to go eat some seafood. For 300NT (10 USD) each we had a nice spread of oysters, clams, fish, and a few other things that I’m unsure of the names. It was enough food to fill us up and more. It was also a great time to have another language exchange opportunity, but in reality it was more like Dan learning Chinese than me (he is much more enthusiastic and determined about learning than I). With plans to meet up later at an event in Taichung we said our goodbyes and headed home.

The Spread  Photo cred: Dan

The Spread
Photo cred: Dan

I was able to get Dan and I home within an hour, and I am sure glad I did because Fall has finally arrived in Taiwan, which means when the sun goes down it is very chilly scooting. I was wearing my swimsuit, shorts, and a t-shirt, so I was not prepared for the cool ride back at all.

Back in Fengyuan I was able to finally shower, and then Dan and I had dinner at a Japanese BBQ grill that has recently opened up in town. After eating we said our respective “see-you-laters” and went home to get ready for the evening. We had made plans to go into Taichung to a music event and then spend the night at a friend’s place. Well at the last minute we decided to scooter into Taichung, so we were back on my scooter in no time. This time we were much more prepared to face the cool drive.

Forty minutes later we were at Alex’s apartment (a friend of Dan’s), and getting ready to go to a High Society event. We walked there and met up with Lee and Alex and another foreigner friend, Kamila. We were at a classy bar called the Mirage. The entrance fee was 800NT (27USD) and drinks were 150NT (5USD). These are all not very bad prices at all, but I just graduated from college where you made everything as cheap as possible for yourself. “College Vanessa” was cringing at the prices when in reality they really were not that bad. The event included electronic rock bands, which was more like a bunch of foreigners that got together and decided to start a band. The house music finally started at 1:00am so we were able to dance, dance, dance. The best part about Taiwan is that they do not have 2:00am bar close. The bad thing for me is that by the time we could dance I was tired so I didn’t get to dance as much as I wanted to. The whole evening felt very strange to me because there were so many foreigners at the bar that I felt like I was in America when I really was in Taichung. The weirdest part for me is when I said “excuse me” and people actually moved because they understood me. It is crazy how the littlest things can be so mind-blowing! Around 3:00am we left for home and went to McDonald’s to enjoy some classic drinking food. There we were able to get some more language exchange in, but I don’t know how much Dan actually remembered. We then said our goodbyes to our Taiwanese friends and went home to pass out. We were all asleep by 4:30am.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Not getting nearly enough sleep we all woke up the next morning by 10:00am to go to a HESS event. They planned a free movie at 11:55am on Sunday. As much as I love free movies going to one on a Sunday morning after very little sleep was not exactly what I was in the mood for. Even after a cup of free espresso I wasn’t happy to be awake or at the movie theater. I was so crabby that I was complaining about Taiwan’s efficiency. In Taiwan when you buy a movie ticket you get an assigned seat. Well I was sitting on the side all by myself and my other HESS friends were on the other side of the theater. I just wanted to choose my own seat! The movie was This is Where I Leave You. It was an alright “life lesson” movie, but I more so enjoyed it because it had Tina Fey and Adam Driver in it.

Once the movie was over a bigger group of us wander around a food fair outside to eat a late lunch and chill out in the sun. At this point I was ready to be in sweatpants and watching Game of Thrones, but I didn’t want to leave my friends that I hadn’t seen in almost a month. However, I did drink a delicious watermelon smoothie and ate a tasty oyster omelet. After about an hour we said our goodbyes and departed separate ways. I picked up my stuff and scooted home.

It was pretty late in the day so I only had time to take a shower and change my clothes before I had to pick up my friend Anthony, give him a quick tour of my apartment, and then head off to a group dinner meeting with my co-workers at 6:00pm. I don’t know the name of the place but we had sushi-mi, grilled fish, and noodles. It was all very good and only 200NT (7USD) per person.

After dinner was over I dropped Anthony off at the train station and went home to grade homework and get my exercise playlist ready for kindergarten that week.

I think it was a thoroughly deserved weekend after I had just worked 29.5 teaching hours that week. I don’t know how much more rested I felt by Monday, but it was worth it. Work hard, play hard, right?