VT Art Salon Bonanza In Taipei

Taipei Main Station taken on the 30th of December 2006, with a Nikon D200 and a 18-35mm Nikkor lens. Part of the VT Art Salon Bonanza Series.

Today is the 31st of December, but for some reason, we had our New Year’s Eve party a day earlier. It might be because not everybody had the 1st of January off. Today, we are planning on having dinner with some friends at an Indian restaurant.

Yesterday was a really wasteful day, filled with trials and tribulations. We both fell asleep last night during On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the worst James Bond movie in my opinion. Naturally, the wife enjoyed the romantic bits, I just found them totally ludicrous. The action sequences are filmed terribly, the camera is always shaking, the editing is dodgy and the acting sucks. The music is the worst as well, and all the references to the older Bond movies suck as well. The only good thing is that the credo of the Bond family that appears underneath their emblem is “The World Is Not Enough”. Remind you of any newer James Bond Movies?

I woke up at around 12PM, that meant that I had gotten 13 hours sleep. I needed that. After that, I lounged around before starting to get ready to leave for Taipei.

We were invited to celebrate new year’s in some bar a day ahead of new year’s. We wanted to leave at around 6PM so that we could have some dinner with Carrie and John in Taipei. We made our way to the train station and bought our seated tickets with more than half an hour to spare. So we decided to go gift shopping for our friends and take a few shots of Hsinchu.

I was able to haggle the street vendor down almost 100 NTD to 700 NTD for two scarves for our friends. It was surprisingly warm, especially after the cold snap of the previous day and night. We were overdressed!

We made our way back to the platform and took some shots while we were waiting for our train. Our train was supposed to leave at 6:24PM and its number was 1030. As usual, we got the wrong train. It was number 1032, I knew this. She knew it. But in the end, I made the wrong decision of not staying on. I blocked the doors while we got out and we waited some more for our train.

It was actually delayed 41 minutes. Then, some nice fellow travelers told us in a surprising British accent that the train we were planning on taking had broken down. So we ran with them to exchange our tickets for the next train. We got some money back, because that train was the slower train. On the way there, the train made all these strange noises and made a 15 minute stop somewhere along the line. I just said, “Oh well, can’t cry over spilled milk.”, and started rereading my book, Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds. I had forgotten my iPod at work again; I will have to make sure that I always have in my pockets from now on. It is an older 40 GB model and since newer 100 GB models are out, I might upgrade sooner than later. The wife was feeling stressed. I reminded her that we were in no hurry and even if the night at the salon started at 9 PM, we were in no hurry to arrive there.

We managed to arrive in Taipei at around 9:10 PM and met our friends. We were somewhat disappointed to learn that most restaurants would be closed past nine o’clock, so we made our way to the bar and tried to find a place to eat nearby. We ended up eating at Subway because it was the only place open at that time.

One the way, we met one of our acquaintances drinking in her friend’s car and having a grand old time. We came back and went into the bar. It was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. I thought that it would be a giant club, filled with lights and lasers, house music pounding out of giant speakers with go-go girls all around. Nope. It was a lounge. The reason why I was expecting this is that the girls wanted to dance the night away and I thought that it would be logical for the bar to be a club. Nope. It was a lounge, playing experimental minimal techno and ambient music. I liked the music and the DJs, reminded me a lot of SAT in Montreal Canada. The DJs name was Lin Chen, I’m not sure I am spelling it right, but he was pretty good. The DJ before him wasn’t that good, but the music was still right up my alley.

The girl in who’s car we were supposed to drive back was passed out drunk, sleeping it off. Not a good start. It was a bit boring in the beginning, but it got more interesting as the night went on. I offered the girls to be their designated driver, since I do not drink. They accepted, but later on there was some confusion because most of them were drunk and one of them was tipsy. Liezel, Iutian, Gitte and Chris were quite tired and left around 1:30AM.

Later on, at around 2 AM we were ready to leave, and the girls situation hadn’t improved. I offered to drive them back to Hsinchu. I got confusing responses. From what I gathered, they wanted to go to Luxi. My wife and I didn’t feel up to that and planned our exit strategy. We managed to find a taxi and drove back to Hsinchu. The drive to downtown Hsinchu took about 40 minutes and another 20 minutes to drive to our place. Total cost of the fare, 1800 NTD.

It reminded me of the times right before I left for Taiwan, when my car was in storage and I was picking up my passport from the Taiwanese consulate in Ottawa. I knew I was not going to make it in time for our flight to Taiwan, so I chartered a taxi cab back to the Montreal airport. It was a harrowing experience, not because of the travel time, but when we hit traffic entering Montreal. Gridlock traffic. My original plan was to pick up the wife and the dog and make our way together to the airport, but that couldn’t happen because of the traffic. I made the cab turn around and made my way to the airport directly. Total cost of that adventure, 7500 NTD.

Sometimes it really sucks when surrender control of a situation to another person. You never know what will happen. I was glad that we chartered the taxi and got back quickly. We might have to buy a cheap car in the next few months because traveling to and fro from Taipei will become necessary.

This whole Acer Ferrari Microsoft Vista controversy has been making me think of actually getting an Acer Ferrari 1000 in the next few months. We will probably end up getting two 12” laptops next year, to get a better deal, because in Taiwan, there is always room to bargain and deals to be had. I am pretty sure that they will be a lot cheaper than in the States, because Acer is a Taiwanese brand and 60% of the world’s laptops are made in Taiwan.

I have actually seen a few of the leather covered laptops that the wife would probably enjoy. I plan on getting a smaller one that will fit in my camera bag so that I can lug it around and upload photos onto it whilst traveling.

Speaking of traveling, I think I will have to figure out how to blog when we are in Thailand. We are going to be there for over a week. Like Mr. Angry, I think a mixture of time delayed posts and mobblogs would be the best solution. I have to find a SIM card for FET that allows email messages. If I have that, mobblogging won’t be a problem. As much as I would like to buy a Nokia N73, they are very expensive here. About 15000 NTD. However, they have a 3 MP camera on them and that would be useful when mobblogging.

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me!, me on flickr.

Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

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