Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Misadventures of Taiwan: Drizzle and Tinkle

Waking up on the morning of Chinese New Year's Eve the Harrington's phoned a previous CS guest who resides in Taipei and made plans to meet up for coffee and a history lesson followed by a walk in the...graveyard.  The Harrington's friend Mark has lived in Taiwan for nearly 20 years and is a wealth of knowledge regarding numerous subjects but especially the history and politics of Taiwan which he broke down into an hours worth of dialogue before leading the Harrington duo to the outskirts of Taipei where the trio and Mark's pup took a four hour rainy, Sunday stroll through what is best described as 'The City of the Dead'.




Unlike the typical American burial grounds which involve the lowering of a body into the ground, covered with earth and marked by a tombstone, Chinese/Taiwanese graveyards are an above ground tomb and tombstone which often feature photos of the deceased, a statute of the "middle-of-the-mountain" god and occassionally images depicting filial piety among other gravesite sentiments.  The setting of the gravesites follows the rules of feng shui which results in a nice winding path with fantastic views of the city below.  Overall, the cemetary was impressively large and truly had the appearance of city with the variety of colors, and sizes of the multiple gravesites, truly an unbelievable sight to behold.

However, four hours of trekking through a steady drizzle with plans to meet up with another CouchSurfer for a Chinese New Year's meal left the Harrington's feeling a little antsy toward the end of the walk.  On top of soaked feet and places to be the Harrington's found themselves holding back the forces of nature as graveyards are not appropriate places in which to relieve oneself. So with ever quickening steps and near tears, the Harrington's, in particular the Mrs. quickly and excruciatingly made her way to the subway station near the zoo to enjoy sweet relief.

The duo then set out to meet up with Sophie, their host for the evening meal, and Pierre Luc, another CS guest for the nights celebration.  The evening was then spent throwing tofu, dumplings, meats and veggies into a hot pot before enjoying the boiled foodstuffs around a small table in Sophie's flat. The evening wore on and sooner than desired it was time to head back to the hotel for a restful nights sleep filled with the sounds of exploding fireworks around the city welcoming in the New Year.


Micah and SaraJane said...

I am sorry, but I had to laugh out loud to the "forces of nature..." Too funny!

Melissa said...

It's all good and funny now...but in that moment, I was seriously ready to cry - I've never been so desperately in need of a restroom.


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