We make holes in teeth!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Taiwan Day 34 - Chinese New Year's Eve

So let's kick off the day with the traditional Chinese new year celebration which is...a bike ride!

Ok, maybe not. Actually, let's kick it off with the video of the market from yesterday.

It was cooler in real life

Terren says he likes the videos. Props yo, I'll keep them coming. In a few days it may be nothing more than me drinking bottles of wine. But I'm fairly sure that will be entertaining in some fashion.

My sun lasted 1 day, and the rain was back again today. I headed out the door around 7:30 or so, thinking maybe 4 hours today. I took a different route down to the river, which was faster and dumped me onto the bikeway in about 30 minutes. Nothing amazing, I just rode my bike. Eat me:

Up the river, cross the bridge, down the river, and take a right. Yeah, save for the fact I was supposed to take a left. Sometimes the path gives you 3-4 options all at once. I took what I thought was the right one, and with no sun your sense of direction doesn't really have any effect. It's solid gray in all directions.

No big deal, but then Nat texts me saying that we actually have plans in mind. Ok, no problem, I'll be home in 1-1.5. Shortly after I see a sign for Xindian and think, "Um...fuck."

You see, Xindian is almost at the top of the river trails, at the base of the hills which climb up and over back to Luodong. Crap, I turn around, and start to press myself to get back. The bikeway sucks for this, and my pace is incredibly bad. What's more, I really don't know the best way to get back up the hill and back to the apartment.

Eventually I say screw it and get off the bikeway, which is like this hidden fantasy world which has nothing at all to do with reality. I wasn't getting any closer to home, so I hopped off and just did the "go that way" method using the GPS compass to make sure I went west. Despite some really old streets which drew some looks like, "WTF are you doing here?" I eventually made it back to the base of the hill I came down and back to the apartment in time to get out. 3 hours and 48 minutes later, I rolled back in.

Quick shower and we're out the door to meet Calvin & family in Yingge, the pottery village. We get close then wing it, which of course gets us lost since we don't know where we're actually trying to go. We eventually work it out and make it to the shop where they know the owners and who give them good deals on the stuff. We head out for lunch first, pork noodle soup for me:

Back to the shop and we end up buying glass dragons, tea cups and a teapot, a thermos that we've seen a few times, and some incense. We had gone with the idea to buy some stuff for people, but we end up buying just stuff for ourselves. However, we did not buy this:

After 300 hours of Grace and the woman talking while Nat, Calvin, and I ate snacks and tapped our feet, we left. Grabbed a quick coffee and hit the road back to Calvin's. We were there maybe an hour and change then had to get dressed up like a Texas monkey and head to dinner at the American Club, which is what Calvin does on Chinese NYE.

Dinner was a buffet and Julia ate 4 small tubs of spreadable butter, strawberries, and dessert. I ate enough then started taking some pics for Terren. She is Jewish:

I expected more white people but it was mostly Asians. The white people there all look at the other white people like you're an offense to their security. Losers. On the way out, we took pictures of each other and had some dude take a pic of all of us:

After we left we went to look for something and I took another pic for Terren. She is not Jewish:

I'm on my 3rd glass of wine in the last 30 minutes so sue me. There's 1 more, not great quality, in the picture set, which as usual you can find in the link below.

Tomorrow I think I have to take a day off the bike, so I hope it pisses rain all day. I'm so exhausted I may sleep until noon. But it's how I keep my sanity and what gives me the rope to eat like a moose on speed. Ok, off to get my 4th glass.

Full picture set of the day here: Flickr set or slideshow.



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