Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Misadventures of Taiwan: Wrong Train

Having slept through fireworks and the constant patter of rain the Harrington's woke up in Pete's studio and lazily prepared for yet another day in the rain.  Seeing as Pete was also enjoying a break from work he agreed to join the Harrington couple on their exploration of a town a few miles north on the coast of Taiwan.  Little did Pete know that the Harrington's were carving out a trip of misadventures and today would be no exception.

En route to the train station, which had been determined as the best bet for getting to the desired destination of Chiufen, Taiwan, the crew grabbed some breakfast pastries and morning drinks before conquering the train ticketing machine, asking for guidance as to which platform the train would depart from and promptly boarding the train which was ready and waiting.

Not more than 30 minutes later the trio heard that the upcoming station was in fact Taipei, which unfortunately was not to be one of the cities through which the Harrington's should pass from Keelung to Chiufen.  So, realizing they had somehow boarded the wrong train (with the help of a train station employee) they disembarked, asked for help by showing their ticket and were soon back on the train with a carton of milk tea and a few more minutes of shelter from the rain.

Train debacle conquered, the trio heard the appropriate station being called over the intercom and prepared to disembark.  With empty milk tea containers in hand, Mike decided it would be more comfortable to hang on to these disposable items if they were to be crushed. So, like a man, he crushed the milk tea containers just in time to discover that a small amount of milk tea was waiting for such a time as this to escape from the straws and fly into the face of an unknowing, sleeping, Taiwanese passenger.  Horrified by his actions and lack of tissue to help the now, woman in distress, Mike kindly offered candies and apologies for this unfortunate blunder.  Meanwhile, Melissa stood by laughing through clenched teeth realizing that each outburst just cast her in an ever darkening light as an unsympathetic jerk of a foreigner.

Reigning in laughter and double checking the station name the crew disembarked and began trekking through the crowded rainy streets of Chiufen.  Lined with food vendors and shops specializing in tea, ocarinas, artwork, soap and other speciality items the streets provided an abundance of visual and olfactory stimuli. Wanting to get out of the rain and enjoy another aspect of the small town the trio ducked into a coffee/tea shop, sat down at a table offering a seaside and mountain view before ordering a tea service to enjoy together.  The next few hours we spent enjoying a total of 7 rounds of oolong tea before it became apparent that the rains were not letting up and since dark was settling in it was high time to head back toward Keelung for another round of street food fare and watching a bit of Godzilla before drifting off to sleep.



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