New Taipei City Days

It’s only my second day here actually. I walked over to a nice park called the New Taipei Park which is a large mixed use area in Sanchong District. It has beautiful grassy open areas with a slope that kids slide down on cardboard, lovely walking trails, and then a river walk area with km’s of trails to bike and walk. Simply a beautiful city area! I did not see any western tourists until this evening outside a convenience store and then saw like 5 of them. Pretty sure that’s enough for a day :-).

The weather here is really nice this time of the year. Much cooler days. Only gets to about 26 degrees here during the daytime. At night down to 20 or so. Makes for very nice walking weather for me. I did about 6 miles today all around the part of the city I just decided to walk on the spur of the moment.

There was also a flea market under one of the bridge overpasses with clothing, jewelry, street food stalls. Very nice little market area. Very crowded though so I only spent a few moments seeing it. From there I walked over to the river walk area which like I said is km’s of paved trails all along the border of Sanchong District and beyond to other mixed use areas. Walking it is very peaceful. There are mostly bicyclists along the trail.

I did not go to any temples or historic or cultural sites today and will not tomorrow either. Tomorrow I will explore in the other direction I believe after some coffee. I am having a cold Taiwan Beer now called Gold Medal Taiwan Beer. Very nice end to an evening after eating dinner at this beef noodle restaurant that I walked over to. There are lots of restaurants but many only have signs in Chinese so I am not sure what it is they have from the outside. I got really spoiled going out with L in Vietnam translating all the stuff for me and AV in Phnom Penh always doing the ordering for us.

Trains, and trains, and more trains

Soon I will be able to order my four train tickets down the western coast of Taiwan for 7 days in each place and then back for 2 days in downtown Taipei before going to Manila. I don’t know that I will know the city any better. It’s a huge and very concentrated city and if I did not have a phone with mobile data, it would be easy to get turned around here. As it is, I got a 30 day plan with unlimited data and some talk time. I cannot top up or recharge the card, so at the end will find the next cell phone shop and get another 30 day plan. For US citizens visiting on tourism or sightseeing, there is no visa here. I got 90 days for free here but will only use 60 of them so two SIM cards will work out just fine.

The train trips I just selected on the spur of the moment because I wanted to ride a high speed rail here and then decided to go down the coast on the train. It should be pretty cool since it goes almost 200mph. I just have to wait for 4 weeks before I can get the tickets.

kicking the can forward

I always think of kicking the can forward a bit but I try to not plan too much on a day of walking and photography with the iPhone. I always think its up to the day to tell me where I go next. The plan always is to get the 5 to 7 miles every day walking in and then relax with a few cold local beers of wherever I am. There is something of balance and equity walking the miles and feeling so used up and then enjoying the beverage.

I may not see all the places here on the A list but I will see a lot of alleys that are not I think. I don’t really do the big attractions usually until the last week or so. I want to kick the can down the street or streets for a few weeks of wandering with no goals before I measure up a museum, temple, or historic site. This works for me because I get to see the things in no order or balance at all and its kinda the way I go at things anyways.

Now its about 7pm and my legs tell me I did good today out walking. The relaxation of the beer and the beef noodles and the time to kick back and not forward is right around the corner. I did want to mention how much easier it is doing this wandering thing with just an iPad Air 2019 and the Smart Keyboard to do things along with the iPhone 11. It just makes all the difference in finding things to tell you about. It’s a lot easier load to carry as well. The laptop and power brick, the camera and all its gear felt rather substantial at times. L asked me if I would be happy without the camera and I have to say that the iPhone 11 satisfies my desires to find and record things. I only really want to share the albums and then photographs on Mastodon and Facebook.

So there you have one day in the books. No temples, wormholes, time space continuum devices. Just a city that shows itself block by block to me and only asks me to walk another block to see. Tomorrow will come and I will that can down the street and then tell you in the evening perhaps awash in the beer glow of my adventures with the can.

October 20, 2019