[This is the final post in the series Smiling Kodiak Laps Up Taiwan}
Our last day in Taiwan was another brilliant day, sunny and warm with a nice breeze. Over the previous three days we discovered another world existed just steps from our Taipei hotel. The banks of the Tamsui (or Danshui) River are cut off from the city by a double-decker superhighway atop a flood wall four stories high.
Determined to lay eyes on the river, at first we walked a mile before we found a break in the flood wall under the highway. Then, walking back along the river, we realized the stairs that appeared to deposit one on the superhighway were actually the access way for the river, immediately adjacent to our hotel. We used those stairs daily or more since.
The river bank offers a myriad of delights. Continue reading 09. Recycled
The midnight fireworks display was over in five minutes. After hours of waiting, a half-million smiling Taiwanese arose from blankets laid on the hard city streets, and headed for the subway, en masse. I knew this was going to happen.
Earlier we had purchased daily tickets for the ride home to avoid needing to buy more tickets after the fireworks, when the stations were sure to be mobbed beyond capacity. Realizing that “daily” tickets might be just that, expiring at midnight, I had asked the ticket lady.
“They expire at midnight.” she confirmed. She also said she couldn’t sell us tomorrow’s daily tickets until tomorrow. I was incredulous.
“Really? Everybody taking the subway home after the fireworks will have to buy tickets in the station? There’s going to be tens, if not hundreds of thousands of us.” Continue reading 08. A Free Country
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