caught in a whirl of taipei, especially hostel living: close quarters with a slew of foreign accents ranging from aussie to argentina, also a couple squeaks and creeps from some unwelcome vermin friends, while adjusting my ear to the up n down tones that is mystery chinese whilst my tummy adjusts to eating rice, rice, rice, eggs, eggs and ...we'll see which strange meat, from which strange body part i'll try today, all the while getting over on my stranger in a strange land complex equaled out to a day of self rejuvenation. this in 'megan terms' meant temple... first and foremost. this perhaps due to my fondness for the religiously ornate and extravagant, which i credit to growing up with cathedrals... yawn... hehehe. i first found myself lured to the famous Longshan temple. walking up you'll street carts filled with everything from frisbees with magnolia/ lotus flowers (sold as offerings) to buddhist caravans selling cds with religious chanting. it was a saturday and absolutely bustling. walking in you find a two charming waterfalls framing the entrance and inside, despite the amount of people, it is as if a golden/redwood opium haze has settled. everyone becomes lost in a prayer tizzy involving lots of bowing, lots of incense, lots of offerings (everything under the sun: fruit, flowers, chips). i watched for about an hour, and while the anthropologist in me should recapture the details... the anthropologist in me knows that i will need more than just an hour.
after Longshan i decidedly got lost in the back alleyways, and though dim and shanty the smell of woodchips and fresh herbs carried me through the shadows and curves. then to Da An Park, which is more or less the central park of taipei, very relaxed and very green which is a nice break from the dirty concrete and shabby food stalls. i was suddenly drawn to the sound of a drum... then to many a women carrying bundles,bags, bouquets of flowers. i followed, finding myself in first in the most massive warehouse (lets say 5 blocks) flush with bulbs, blossoms, cacti, and seeds of every color and shape. i couldn't see it all if i wanted... especially when i got to the end where a second 5 block warehouse filled with brown, emerald, yellow, pink jade necklaces, rings, watches, stamps, statues, beads, ect. ect. ect. i had stumbled upon taipei's weekend flower/ jade market... and i was awed to say the least.
and yesterday was beach day. escorted by new friends, one a richmond local, and his lady who is a taiwanese local... nice match for us i think, we hopped on a train to Fulang Beach. beers on the train, ripetide like crazy, and lifeguards high and teeth stained with betel nut. we made a day of it... lounged, raged, and just plain had fun on my first trek outside the city. but now its crunch time, and after soaking up rays i should have enough battery to last to survive this grinding job hunt.
on a side note we also purchased a phone today
... we'd love to hear from you: 011 886 922454365
keep in mind our 12 hour indifference