Day 1 in Taiwan

There are times in Korea when things work out nicely, and this Chuseok my school finally made the sensible choice and gave everyone in the school the Friday off work, allowing a 6 day holiday! Huzzah champagne corks fly, and everyone is happy! Well 6 days in long enough to go abroad, so having missed out on a mini holiday with Jayoung during the summer because of a Typhoon that didn’t realise Jayoung had booked her holiday for the Monday and Tuesday,  we took the chance to visit Taiwan. Well Typhoon Fanapi just cleared off in time for our arrival, so we got our flight to Taipei and found our way to the hostel. There we were greeted by a chirpy young women called Vanessa who showed us to our room, and then helped us plan our itinary a little. Vanessa had chosen to wear a pair of hot pants that more closely resembled a belt (the weather is hot in Taipei!) to which Jayoung wanted to know if I liked her choice of clothing. Jayoung always does this, actually I was a little surprised she didn’t mention the other girl there who was wearing a rather low cut top, and seemingly liked to lean down…. The minefield of having your girlfriend with you eh!

After settling into the hostel we had the rest of the afternoon to explore a little of Taipei. I’d chosen our hostel location fairly well, we were close to the 101 building so it was off to what was the tallest building in the world until those in Dubai got penis envy and decided to erect and even bigger phallus, you’ve got to love skyscrapers. Having got to the top, well the 87th floor, of the building the views from the top were quite magnificent. The view was made all the more dramatic by the way the sun was lighting the clouds in front of us sending rays of light down onto the city below. Next on our list of 101 building things to do was to hike up a nearby hill to get a decent view of the building, as opposed to a decent view from the building. Try explaining that to a Taxi driver when you can’t speak mandarin Chinese! Our trusty friend Vanessa came to our rescue though, and after a quick phone conversation between Vanessa and the taxi driver we were on our way. It’s quite a few steps to the viewpoint it must be said, and Jayoung just loooves those steps, added to that it was still pretty sticky and we were both soon sweating profusely. After a little time we made it to some rocks where several other photographer had set up, so up I scrambled to get my 101 photo.

The 101 building behind us we headed for a dumpling restaurant that Vanessa had pointed out to us on the way to where we were staying. These dumplings here were excellent, and by the end of the holiday we’d become part of the furniture of this restaurant. We ate dim sum every day, a little like my trip to Japan where I started to eat miso ramen at every available opportunity…. Well if the foods good why not, but I think we should have been a little more adventurous. Anyway on the wall of the restaurant was a picture of the chef holding a trophy for his masterly dim sums, well if it’s good enough to win prizes it’s good enough to eat every day! Finally we headed for the night market, and a chance for Jayoung to spend all my hard earned cash, this is a forte of hers. It was also a chance for me to get some street portraits and try a few other photos out. As it turned out the market was a little boring for finding nice cultural souvinirs, so I think I ended up happier than Jayoung having taken some photos in the market and had Jayoung model for me as well! So busy first day, and now it was time to go and rest our sleepy heads.

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About Simon Bond

A photographer in SE Asia
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