Taiwan : Touch your heart
This was the expression that was all over the country. I was very sad to leave Taiwan this morning. I have lots of great memories from Taiwan. I met some incredible people and that made the experiences for me.
I felt a little sick while I was in Kaohsuing so I didn't get to see too much of the city and then I had to stand for 5 hours straight because I had not reserved a seat the day before. I definitely learned my lesson there.
Once back in Taipei, I did some more river tracing which is basically following the path of the river by hiking, climbing and swimming. Then I relaxed in an outdoor hot tub right off the water in Wulai. That was great and I got to experience the Taiwanese style sauna. Instead of the rocks at home, they have natural hot spring water coming into a tiny room and one person takes a small pot, collects water and throws it quickly and hard at the wall. The hot water bounces off the wall and creates steam in the little hut creating the sauna. It was fun because I got to do the throwing of the water! Because I was the only white man there, people came and spoke to me and one local guy who loves the Backstreet Boys actually took me out to supper which was delicious. The best thing was duck eggs!
My second last day was Taiwan's 100th birthday. A few friends and I went to the raising of the flag at 7:30am. Even though I'm not Taiwanese, it was pretty cool to hear the entire crowd sing the national anthem as the flag was raised. Immediately after, the crowd ran around the block with the mayor of Taipei and my friends and I were filmed on camera and we made the news! (I'm the guy with the beard).
That night, we watched the fireworks close to the water. The firenworks were great but watching the size of the crowd was more impressive. We watched the show from on top of a trailer that was parked close to the water. Some locals agreed to have us on the roof which was awesome. They even gave me a free beer, that's one of many reasons why I love Taiwanese people so much. At the beginning of the show, a police officer was trying to get us down but nobody moved. At the end of the show, the cop came back. The locals did not want to climb down the stairs into the cops arms so they reached over to a lamp post which was close to the trailer and slid down the post to join the rest of the crowd. I was a little nervous at first but once the first five or so people did it and made it look easy, I built up the courage and the crowd of thousands were cheering pretty loud to jump. It was awesome!
Last day was pretty darn good too. Took a gondola ride to see some tea plantations and get a great view of the city. Stopped by a temple and was told I would be a rich man. I'm not getting any richer doing this trip however. And the last thing I did in Taiwan was go shrimp fishing with a couple friends. Nothing better than indoor fishing in dark water with a pickerel jig, listenign to Justin Bieber, and drinking a beer with friends. I caught about 8 shrimp. After you catch the shrimp, you wash them in a sink then shove a skewer through their anus up through their nose, salt them and throw them on the old BBQ. Wait until they're the right color and then bon appetit! They were absolutely delicious. We caught, cooked and ate 21 shrimp between the three of us.