Live from Taipei: Bite the Bullet
by disillusioned
(783 views) - 4/8/05
(recorded 4/8/05 @ 10:50:53 AM)
Let's start this round with just a hint of crazyfun:

Yes. Premade Jello shots. With Vodka. Sold in the aisle at checkout. Brilliant.
(Sorry if the photo's not the best.) They were right next to the Japanese parasol I nearly bought.

Now, after Taipei 101, we were scheduled for the National Park and Natural Springs Mineral Bath tour. Pretty exciting stuff.

Our guide's name was "JackieChanJustCallMeJackie"—Chan. He was a lot less "uhuhh", which right off the bat, was a tremenous relief and improvement. Uhuhhh. (If you don't remember what I'm referring to, or haven't heard it yet, clickmo.)

Now, we drive up the mountains for about a half hour until we reach the mineral springs. Once there, JackieCJCMJC tells us there's the mens and ladies rooms, wherein no suits are allowed. And also, the "family" rooms, where there's just one temperature pool. Now, some of you may know that, while I have lost some significant weight, I'm not the picture of perfect naked hotness. I know. I'll give you a minute. Still with me? You won't be for long...

Regardless, this was one of those bite the bullet times. And the water is pretty opaque, it being minerally. Sigh. So I did just that. Gah. Image, OUT. Either way, it's one of those personal growth things where I didn't just sit in the changing room watching OTHER people turn pink. Oh no. Gah. Heh. Needless to say, I kept the nakedness away with my towel up until the last moment possible. I'm not as comfortable as all of you are, sorry. (Or rather, were, before we started talking about this.) You all with your sexy bods. You make me sick. Oh, and my dad was there. Yeah, you get the idea. You might want it (the idea, natch) out, forthwith.

There were three pools. The largest you see in the picture was also the hottest, at something like 120°F. (Meanwhile, I've learned to convert Celsius and Kilometers to Fahrenheit and Miles in my head. Woo. They're easy, really. Quick: Anyone remember the C-F formula? Without looking it up?) It's not bubbly, but definitely a little opaque. And hot. It's pumped in directly from the mountain spring, where it's heated by geothermic activity. Craziness. And full of minerals.

To the left of the pool. Beyond the fence, you might not see the gorgeous green mountainsides. The views are spectacular. But you knew that already. More to come. On the views and such.

Now, the picture's pretty blurry and my hair's all, well... sextified, but damn if the pool doesn't make you all pink. Or if you're asian, some hue I can't even begin to describe... (Ba-ZING. I'm going to hell.) I was more pink in person, and didn't think I was making such a stupid expression.

This is just outside of the baths house. I figure since my dad is the one granting me this awesome opportunity, it's only fair I showcase him just a spell. Behind him is another one of those spectacular views I told you about. I swear, up there in the mountains, I just felt infinite. Truly, I get what that means now.

Our next stop before the national park part of the tour was at the volcanic crater—the same volcano supplying the hot springs water. This helpful sign was a godsend:

Both playing AND Hot Volcanic Springs Bar B Q outlawed? This trip sucks.

While we were looking at the steam coming forth the crater, JackieCJCMJC had this gem for us:
Click this. Listen all the way. It cracked me up.


Click it.

Listen to it all to the end.

Sigh... Jackie, you crazy guide, you.

Yeah, more of that gorgeous view. Now, we're at the national park.

This was completely amazing. It's difficult to describe to you. There are these walkways, shrouded in green, with creeks and bridges and flowers and trees and more trees and asians and just... it was completely perfect. I meandered along the paths, looking all around and just taking it all in. I really needed someone there with me, though. It was too much to take in on my own.

Someday, I will write this woman's biography. I swear I will. Feel free to start it off in the notes if you're so inclined. Give her a backstory. She deserves it.

Unfortunately a bit washed out, (and not from the springs. ha. ha.) here's me sitting in the park. Next to a guy eating something on a stick. A corndog, I think. Life is sweet.

Seriously, who doesn't ♥ juice? Juice makes me FAR too happy. My happiness is exceedingly disproportionate sometimes. You should *definitely* be used to that fact by now.

Okay, let's knock these three out, psuedo-collage style, left-to-right:

The elementary school had a GIANT pencil out front. Or several. Your tax dollars at work.
Our guide, JackieCJCMJC. And a woman who was on the tour with us.
A piece of coral. Real coral. The one on the right cost $45,000. US dollars. Nevermind that I could charter my own boat, take scuba lessons, purchase a dolphin, name him Atticus, and buy a plasma torch to take it off myself. I STILL can't wrap my head around that.

Okay, well, this is rather tragic. I seemed to have lost about 10 of my happy pictures of the night market we visited that evening during the transfer. Like, selecting, copying, THEN deleting. And not the other way around. Dammit.

Regardless, I'll end this bit on this note:
The night markets are insane. Think about the most busy downtown night life you've experienced, and now multiple it. Think about the State Fair, minus the rides, twenty times the food, thirty times the people, still with the games, and the opportunity to buy a brand new outfit. From the middle of the street. On a blanket a nice Taiwanese woman has set up, that she crouches next to hopefully.

Teeming with people, literally. Motorscooters all over the place, turn down this street or that alley and it just carries on, in all shapes, colors, lighted magnificent. And more people than I've EVER been around. It's just a *literal* sea of people. You move with the tide of the human experience. And other stupid custom-blended cliches. Regardless, I can only put it into that sort of term. You should've been here with me. Jesus, you really should have. It was completely incredible. Damn me for not saving the pictures properly. Here's what I *do* have:

No, you know what? I took other pictures of the other night markets we visited. I'll throw those up for the next piece. Plus, we brought our camcorder out and got some really crazy video. I'll compress and throw that stuff up later, too.

That's it for the experience of day... um... well, two, technically. But I'm sticking with three. One = flying into Taiwan/getting to hotel/initial explorations. Two = first tour, etc. Three = hot springs, Taipei 101—the stuff in this and the last entry.

We haven't even left Taipei, or our first hotel yet. And I'm in hotel number 4, in city number 4 right now.

Suffice to say, more to come!

Thanks for reading so far. I know it's a lot, but I hope I'm keeping it engaging and fun to read through. Leave your comments, kiddies.
Previous entry: Live from Taipei: 101
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That sound clip may have been funny to you, but I didn't undestand anything except a few words at the end like "hotel" "china" and "30,000 people". Maybe kill.

Hmm, could that be the Eagle's great new hit, The Hotel China?


No, thank god.

   [enlite (J:: M) 4/9/05 12:56 AM]

I worried about that.

He says:

Taiwan has many problems. Taiwan, we have typhoon, keel 300 people. Then we have earthquake, keel 3,000 people. Who knows, maybe we have volcano, keel 30,000 people. Maybe this year China come, keel 3,000,000 people.

Eh, maybe you had to be here.

Shut up.

   [disillusioned (J:: M) 4/9/05 1:18 AM]

Hey Chris, I am enjoying reading this, a lot. That is an awesome clip. Good work! I got a kick out of it.

   [TCcookie (J) 4/9/05 11:10 AM]

Awesome, Trev!

Oh, and your check is gonna be cut in two days.

Please email me with your mailing address and who it should be formally made out to.

I'm really glad you liked them—I was hoping you'd notice and enjoy.

I have a few more to post, yet. And hopefully some video, once I figure out how to convert them from the Nokia format into something more palatable.

(Email me @, btw.)

   [disillusioned (J:: M) 4/9/05 9:54 PM]

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