Slower Steps in Taiwan

Da’an (大安), Taichung (台中)

April 2013: I spent 14 days, 14 rolls of films, 4 analogue cameras, 5 cities, some savings, in return I came home with priceless moments & few extra scars!

I’ve been delaying this blogpost for nearly a year, too much to express. Haha! 😀

It was yet another spontaneous trip and it’s the longest trip for me by far. Bought the air ticket 2 weeks before the trip and booked only the first night room to stay. I’m not flying there alone, I will be with 5 other friends for one week, then another week all by myself.

2013 been a really tough year for me. As in everything I did, nothing went smooth. I need a “get-away”, to get away. Was really wanted to experience a journey to Thailand by train, but realised it’s a little bit dangerous to do it alone as I need to spent a lot of time on the train. Friends not really recommend it to do it alone as I need to overnight all by myself on the train. Then, Taiwan seems like a pretty good venue for my little get-away this time. Ok, packed my backpack. I’m excited.

I’m flying to Taipei, and overnight at Taipei on my first night at Taiwan. Taipei greets me with the rain. It’s April and it’s the raining season at Taipei. I packed some shorts, light weighted clothes as I checked the weather forecast the night before I fly here, it’d be around 24-28 degrees which make no difference on Malaysia weather. But who knows, it rains. It rains almost everyday in Taipei. And I freezing with my shorts and light clothes. Lucky I did bring along my polka dots sweater, I wore that almost everyday on this trip! Haha. Taipei is a great city. I love it despite the rain that pour down almost everyday when I’m there. I love the food as well. I enjoyed it very much. I had Taiwanese famous “Pearl Milk Tea” almost EVERYDAY! It’s selling everywhere! And it’s superb cheap. RM3 for a large size milk tea with pearl. I did not shop much even thought  I visited a lot of night market, I’m with backpack this trip, it makes no extra room for shopping and I’m on a tight budget too. It’s ok Taiwan, I will be back soon with my extra huge luggage next time, with my girls perhaps. But somehow, those stuff at night market were really affordable, something very similar with Bangkok, and those street food were really delicious. Then the next day, we will be start travelling around Taiwan! With Terence Tan, a friend who travels to Taiwan 2-3 times a year consecutively for 2-3 years, he’s knowledgeable enough to bring us around without the help of travel guide.

First stop, Luodong. Where? Luodong is such a beautiful country side of Taiwan, with less car, less traffics, beautiful paddy field and clean fresh air! I never heard of this place before, but it’s gonna be very very memorable for me. First it’s the beautiful scenery that captivates me, second is that I met a car accident and I admitted into Luodong’s Hospital Emergency Room. It’s not a major car accident, but it’s “great” enough to spoilt my journey in this beautiful country. I had stitches on my leg, hurt my knee and my head where I need to shaved a little hair for it, and throughout my whole journey on my next 13 days, I had to wear hat (to cover up my wound) and slippers along the way as my leg is pretty swollen for shoes. I had short memory loss where I asked Alex the moment I saw him when I’m at hospital, asking him “Where am I?” Just like what I saw via TVB drama. I totally can’t remember that I went to Taiwan, and everything I saw was really dull and almost in grey color. They said I shocked after the accident that’s why I loss some memory. But I appear to be very calm. Anyways, I discharge from the ER and we went to Hualien by taxi. It’s actually pretty “potong-stim”. I pretty much just spent my whole Hualien trip in the hotel room. That was pretty disastrous. I was wish I can take lots of photo and experience a lot of Taiwanese food/drinks/culture/hot spring/discover awesome stuff along the alley and after the accident, everything is different now, as I have to walk slowly now with my stitched leg and there’s a lot of “not-convenient” stuff happening. I need to cover up if it’s rain. Sigh. Anyway, things happen for a reason. Perhaps God wanted me to slow down my pace, to have a slower steps.

After Hualien, we went to Kenting. That’s the place where I can rest but I can’t swim even though I went to the beach. Arghh! Anyways, my mood is getting better, my wound is still pain, but I can still walk around, visiting places, taking pictures. And I’m super thankful for Alex, to help me carry my backpack along the way. Thank you. 🙂

After Kenting, we went to Taichung. We visited some night markets and the beautiful Rainbow Village. Taichung is a busy city, but with lesser public transport compare to Taipei. We spent our night at Alex’s friend’s home. And thanks for the hospitality, we all had great rest that night.

We went back to Taipei after this. And I spent the rest of my trip in Taipei. Alex and friends going back to Malaysia one by one. Then, I stay in a Japanese guesthouse in a dorm with other Japanese girls. (woohoo!) There, I start my own solo trip as well as met some new Japanese friends.

Terrence Tan is still around Taipei, so we kinda meet up for some sight-seeing too. I meet up with my Taiwanese friends as well. Shanti and Jeansman, my ex colleague back at Lomography whom based in Taiwan be my tour guide and bring me around, to take some pictures nearby Taichung and feed me with some nice local food. It’s a superb beautiful day, beautiful sunshine, beautiful place and great conversations. Thank you for everything, both of you. You guys indeed my fav couple!

Besides, I manage to meet up with ccwu as well, (and his very cute and famous girlfriend – Yui) at Lomography Gallery Store Taipei together with my Malaysian friend Jeff whom happen to be at around Taipei by the time I visit Taiwan. I did meet up with Valence Sim as well, a lomo friend whom I met online (haha!) and he’s actually a Taiwanese but work and stay in Singapore. He went back to his homeland by the time I visit Taiwan, so it’s a good chance to meet up, to catch up and have a short photo-walk together. In this one week, I’ve conquer few tourists spots in Taipei as well. Some night markets, 9fen, 10fen, 101 tower, camera streets (where I manage to buy some cheap films there), old temples, beitou, Damshui Fisherman’s Wharf (oh, I enjoyed my silence moment there watching sunsets. beautiful!), some art center (somewhere similar with our very own KLPAC.) and others.

I’m glad that even though I met some obstacles in this trip but yet it ended up nicely, and (very very) memorable indeed. I definitely will be back again, there’s so many places and stuff I wanted to do but can’t do it this time, so perhaps next time?

Taiwan, I’ll see you again soon, alright?

Whole travelogue series is taken by film using Lomo LC-A, Lomo LC-Wide, Nikon FE2 (special thanks to Ronald borrowing me his camera for this trip) & Fisheye Baby 110.

*Check out my friend’s (Alex, Ahleong & Terence Cheong) blog and facebook page for our Taiwan expeditions.

Love,

Eva Eva

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