Day 03: The Long Road, Lost in Translation / by Sarah Kakusho

It's been three days since I started my loosely planned, yet less than spontaneous trip to Taiwan. As with the other countries I have travelled to, Taiwan has some things I've yet to experience. One of which mentioning is the abundance of scooters on the road. Just today, on the way to the Taitung station there was a parking lot dedicated to just scooters and for cars, probably only a quarter of that.

Visiting Green Island and staying in a very interesting and slightly unconventional guesthouse, I was able to get a hold of one of these infamous scooters and experience riding them around the 18km road around the island. One day, I would like to get one myself and ride around in it... if I ever decided to live in Asia, that is.

Perhaps, one of the more obvious wow moments I've had was the food. Now, we all know and have probably come to love the American Chinese food. Walking around the Shilin Night Market a couple of nights ago, I was able to see a range of food out for sale, from eye-catching goodness to possible PETA-enraging goodness. Hanging roasted ducks are one example. In the small villages on Green Island, some restaurants keep their deer out in front of their restaurants. Oh deer, oh dear. Another note on food, one cannot escape the smell of stinky tofu and msg. Mmmmmmmm...

The climate here is no joke. If I were to compare it to anywhere I've been to before, I would say it would come closest to Florida weather: humid and hot, with spontaneous wars between minutes of rain and sunshine. Walking around Taipei in this weather definitely serves as a great challenge to anyone who's used to everyday good weather, like in sunny Orange County. It was definitely a great reminder of my childhood summers.

But might I say, the view, especially on Green Island, is a spectacle during anytime of the day. Every moment is a picture moment.

Differences aside, public bathrooms still are traumatizing, especially if you're coming from experiencing bathrooms in Japan where you know they are well-stocked and clean. I could right a whole entry on this, but I'll spare the details.

Spending my first three days getting a taste of Taipei and then going up to the campus of Chinese Cultural University to see the night lights of the city, to taking the 5-hour train to Taitung, to getting on a ferry to Green Island and back, I'm now waiting to board the overnight train back to the city, where more adventure awaits. Let's see how far not knowing Chinese will get me.

Till then, zaijian!
- musings of an aspiring filmmaker