Elyse Sewell (elysesewell) wrote,
Elyse Sewell
elysesewell

it was a strange lookin mountain

Q: Do I have more pics and shit from Taiwan?
A:



On my last day in Taipei, I took the subway to the northern outskirts of the city, where the 'burbs give way to mountains. At the subway station, most people were boarding buses, but there were a couple of different routes and I wasn't sure exactly where I wanted to go, so I decided to just walk uphill and see where I would end up. I got a rhythm going, spaced out, and didn't realize for hours that I'd been speed-hiking up sidewalkless, shadeless, pedestrianless roads without getting anywhere picturesque at all.


Oh yeah, and my sunscreen had been taken away at Hong Kong airport security (RAGE!), so it was an especially florid piece of sweaty hag-gristle that finally gave up and hailed a passing taxi.


Good thing I did. I was still so far away from any kind of summit. It would've taken all day to walk. We passed through a traffic-choked hamlet where a big calla lily sale was going down. There were flower stands lining the roads, and crowds of stamen enthusiasts carrying huge bouquets back to their cars.


At a higher altitude, the heat and oppressive sunshine gave way to cool green tufts of ferns and malodorous mists from the geothermal springs all over the mountain. The taxi driver let me out to trot around the trail for a while.


When I was ready to go back to Taipei, I got in the taxi and said, in my nuanced, precise and gorgeously-accented Mandarin, "OK, I don't want to go to Xinbeitou Station, I want to go to Beitou Station." The taxi driver said OK, and we started the descent. The taxi was unmetered: there had been no timer or odometer totting up how much I owed as we cruised around Yangmingshan, and as we drove, I steeled myself for the inevitable ripoff situation that occurs in unmetered taxis all over the world. I was silently rehearsing Chinese haggling phrases and assorted dismayed and incredulous bitchfaces, ready to go apeshit on that taxi driver the second he tried to overcharge me. O, did I ever feel like a cynical twat when we arrived at the station. I turned to the driver with my wallet out and my lips pursed into a tight little asshole, and he just waved me out with a smile and a Mandarin "'Bye!" Roadside taxi rescue and tour of Yangmingshan, NTD0=US$0.


Anyway.

They forgot the fifth best thing: Gettin' laid. Philatelists lick it and stick it, amirite?







Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.




I still have more to post about this trip (including stinky tofu, do not fret). Another day, another day! Check you later.
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Stinky tofu... i'm fretting.
I think I need that New Mexico shirt.
My thoughts exactly. That's fantastic.

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lieseldenver

7 years ago

Anonymous

7 years ago

we_like_you

7 years ago

jessicaem

7 years ago

elysesewell

7 years ago

Anonymous

7 years ago

emianne

7 years ago

daniela

7 years ago

lol sounds like the taxi driver found you extraordinarily charming!
It must have been love at first sight. Can you imagine a taxi driver checking to see if you are okay walking down a trail. This guy fell in love with Elyse. If I was the driver the only payment that I would have insisted on was a picture of Elyse and I in front of the cab. What a lucky guy.
Wow, are they doing that stupid security "no liquids" bullshit over there, too? *sigh*
YES. They don't do it at every airport, but at Hong Kong International they're still messin' with the stupid Ziploc bags. Ugh, they need to repeal that irksome shit. Not only was I allowed through with more than 100mL of "gel" because the quantity wasn't marked on the bottle, they totally missed a huge (forgotten) pocketknife in my handbag because they were so busy taking away my toothpaste. I hate that ridic rule.

PS My excellently aggressive friend (and personal hero) told me a story about trying to take a small tub of expensive foot cream through security at HK airport. When the officer tried to confiscate it, she snatched it back, opened it and smeared it all over her face and neck before striding through the metal detector. I'm sure it wasn't exactly how I'm imagining it (her beady eyes glaring out through a cream pie-thick coating of foot cream), but still, hahaha.

and now...

Anonymous

7 years ago

feat

crooksandlucy

7 years ago

Very cool (especially like the last picture). Although I must've been out the day they went over "New Mexico, Land of Enisimthent" in school.

Do the calla lilies have any special meaning (like funeral or Easter flowers in the US), or are they just pretty flowers to look at in the spring?
Probably just because I'm in a love-the-world mood right now, but I would like to hug that taxi driver.
When I got in his taxi I gave him a look like, "Hot out there, eh?" and he turned up the air con and aimed the vent on his side at me...aww! I'm still smiling thinking about him.

Anonymous

7 years ago

elysesewell

7 years ago

waynefromlorain

7 years ago

dob

7 years ago

Ooh, how did you like Taipei? Is this your first trip there? I LOVE the food in Taipei. I hope you had yourself a bowl beef noodle soup. Mmmm.
I miss Taipei. And beef noodle soup. :(

madlemons

7 years ago

The taxi was unmetered, so it wasn't even a taxi, just a random roadside man who saved you, ya?
We might come to find out that the taxi was stolen and the man was a deranged stamp collector.

aritei

7 years ago

I hear you about climbing mountains and not getting ANYWHERE, especially for the amount of work put in to trying to get there. I went berrypicking in the Rockies with the beau last summer, and I nearly had three coronaries before we even got up past the foot of the mountain. and in terms of mountains, it was a tiny baby one!

all in all, mountains are kind of lame when you're up close unless you are superman or something, I guess.
Your posts cheer me up.
Is anybody else into Martin Amis?
Invasion of the Space Invaders.
taiwan people tends to be a bit romantic in their hearts, and yes, bad ones do exist though.....or may be the taxi driver was one of your fans, they just had the 1st seasons on two years ago i think ^_-
Well, car rental companies partially owe their existence to taxi driver ripoffs. It's the first time I hear that a taxi driver doesn't charge a foreign tourist, that's admirable. Still, I don't feel so lucky, I usually rent a car on my trips, I get to be independent and I have my own rhythm of exploring things. Back in US I had Fox Rent A Car to rely on, in Asia I am not too familiar with the car hire options.
Enisimthent?

What's New Mexico up to with that? And what sinister connection have they with Happy Town and Awning of Colorado? I swear Louis L'Amour could have gotten a whole series of novels out of that one shirt.

Calla lilies rock.
hahaha!

gucci_bag

6 years ago

Oh my god those mountain pictures are gorgeous!!! And congrats on the free cab ride, that is awesome.

Did you buy a calla lily?
Nah, I don't know what I would have done with it. This comment made me remember that I pressed a bunch of ferns in a book which I returned to the library yesterday. Dammit!

imyewneek

7 years ago

Anonymous

7 years ago

squeak

7 years ago

omg. that New Mexico shirt is so hilarious. I plan to move there eventually and I would proudly wear that shirt every day
and those boys with the telescope are too cute!
I totally need some Young Antlers Liqueur.

I hope you picked up that shirt & sent it to your mom. If I lived in the Lani of Enisimthent, I would be fucking PROUD of it.

Deleted comment

In trad. Chinese medicine deer antler = big vitality booster. I was fed huge quantities of it as a kid to combat my skinniness and bouts of asthma.

pinsandbeetles

7 years ago

This a tad non sequitur but do you drink chinese tea and if so is it mega cheap there?
I do and yeah it is. I think my tea palate is getting more refined: I'm starting to appreciate more bitter varieties of oolong tea instead of the jasmine tea that I used to get.

BTW, especially in the Mainland, but also in Hong Kong, the popular tea style is to carry a jug of water with some tea leaves at the bottom. You can add more water as necessary and sip on it all day until all the flavor is leached out of the leaves. I do this with a huge Tupperware protein-shake-mixin' jug that some model left behind in the apartment in Shanghai.

happyhoneydew

7 years ago

haruhiko

7 years ago

Trust one fan of huge stamens to recognize others of the kind. You've really got a head for greenery.

Steam shovels can be skittish beasts. I hope you obeyed that sign and didn't stampede any of them over the cliff. It's bad enough when it happens to lemmings.

I think the taxi driver must have mistaken you for the largest semi-boiled lobster ever. "I just have to find a big enough pot, and I'll be eating free lobster for weeks!" Little did he realize how close he came to the dreaded Sewellian stalk 'n' kill instinct; you even admit to having the means.

Well, you certainly got taken for a ride, if not the kind you were expecting. I can sense your disappointment from thousands of miles away. A day without rage is a day off your diet.

I can just imagine the expression on my philatelist grandmother's face were I to tell her that the jig--among other things--is up on her little hobby.

Lani of Enisimthent? Whoever designed that t-shirt has been putting locoweed in the peace pipe.

That Taiwanese distiller has sadly misinterpreted the aphorism that booze makes one horny.

Mamy Poko? More like Baby Pooh-o Poop-o. Judging by the baby's expression, sa has progressed to the anal phase of self-expression.
Hey! Thats awesome you were in my neck of the woods. I hope you enjoyed Taiwan.
You are really lucky with that taxi driver! I do not usually get cool taxi drivers (they will sometimes try and cheat foreigners) but sometimes you are lucky and get a super cool one. I once I got one where we ended up singing the John Denver song "Country Roads" together.
Stinky tofu! Would the experience also involve Shiling market? I, for one, cannot wait for that post to happen.

Also, that's the Chiang Kai-shek memorial (I think they changed the name back)'s door! It was closed every time I went. Too bad. But the grounds sure are gorgeous at dusk.
Watch out. Too much choco cake can lead to Mamy Poko. OhYes, it can.
And,one really shouldn't eat it in the same meal as stinky tofu - looking forward to that post.
This post is seriously funny.
ahaha so are you:P
If anyone took my sunscreen I'd be ENRAGED. -_- But what an awesome cabbie. :D
Your life is so awesome.
my thoughts exactly!
your posts always make me smile.
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