07. Kaboom with a View

  1. 01. A Breath of Fresh Air
  2. 02. Traincatching
  3. 03. Dutch Retreat
  4. 04. The Deep South
  5. 05. Dust in Time
  6. 06. Fire in the Sky
  7. 07. Kaboom with a View
  8. 08. A Free Country
  9. 09. Recycled

Three days earlier, the old man in Taitung who had helped me try to get a refund for my unused train ticket made me promise to try again when we reached Taipei.  Actually, it was his English-speaking son who had me promise. “He wants you to promise…” the son had relayed.

“Okay, okay, I promise, really.”

To tell the truth, I had completely forgotten about it. As we headed for the exit from Taipei’s Central Train Station, Frank reminded me. I shrugged it off. Frank stopped in his tracks.

“But you promised!”

I rolled my eyes, murmuring the lord’s name in vein. “Fine. Where is this ‘foundation’ or whatever it was that is supposed to be so helpful?” Continue reading 07. Kaboom with a View

06. Fire in the Sky

  1. 01. A Breath of Fresh Air
  2. 02. Traincatching
  3. 03. Dutch Retreat
  4. 04. The Deep South
  5. 05. Dust in Time
  6. 06. Fire in the Sky
  7. 07. Kaboom with a View
  8. 08. A Free Country
  9. 09. Recycled

If you consider me an incessantly cheerful gunzel, you may be shocked to read I had reached the end of my rope with Taiwan Railways. This was to be expected, I suppose, after a week riding their rumbling leviathans.

Today, the train arrived on time, the interior was spotless and comfortable, the passengers polite, the scenery splendid.  Nothing had changed, and perhaps that was the problem: the magic was gone. Today I saw only the disgusting black soot spewed from a roaring diesel engine, passing villages of villagers whose way of life was being trampled by “progress”. I called my lawyer to file for divorce.

Not really. The end of our rail travels was approaching, so I could look past this three-hour journey.  Furthermore, I was looking forward to four days in the Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, after a night in Ruifang, only an hour outside the big smoke. Continue reading 06. Fire in the Sky