Downtown Hsinchu, near the Sogo building and in front of the train station. Taken on the 31st of December with a Nikon D200 and a 18-35mm Nikkor lens. Part of The Ghost City Series.
I guess we have been well initiated into the transport mysteries of Taiwan. The new High Speed Rail line has just opened in Taiwan and is offering 50% off ticket sales for the next few days. I think I might get a few tickets for later this month to go to Taipei. I don’t know if I can buy tickets so far in the future. Maybe it would be more interesting to buy a month pass. I don’t know, I will check that out.
I have recently gotten a small LED flashligt from Energizer. After much happiness, I have decided that I need a better and stronger one. A multi LED flashlight would do fine. I have seen 2 people in Taiwan with those, they have between 5 and 12 LEDs. I did a bit of research on them and will look into that too during the week.
I am definitely writing again. Most of my goals that I have set last week have been accomplished. For sure, I will be publishing at least two stories or story chapters tomorrow morning, once I get to a decent internet connection, because with the one we have at home, I have trouble multi tasking with my bandwith. It seems that I can not download and go on WP.com at the same time. I was just able to, after trying fruitlessly for a few hours, on and off. Not that I would consider stopping my downloads either. No way! I have a terabyte of data storage that needs desperately to be used!
I have found out the culprit in my food poisoning of last night. Orange juice gone bad! It’s funny, because my wife drank some of it and had no problems. Her conclusion, I have a sensitive stomach. Could be true. Speaking of the wife, I am compiling a series of expressions that she tends to use. I am not planning on compiling one on the things that I say. I will let my wife do that one if she wants to.
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On our way to the RT Mart yesterday, I dropped my water bottle while riding a scooter. No biggie, though the wife didn’t like it too much, I ran back for it and stopped a bit of traffic in order to retrieve it. I have seen the Taiwanese do this on multiple occasions and everybody thought it was perfectly OK. This happened to us last week, when one of our Taiwanese friends was waiting for his SO while she got some milk. He was parked in the middle of the street pretty much, at an intersection while cars were speeding by. I got a bit itchy and just drove on and waited for them in a safer spot. Safer than the middle of a street, with cars and scooter passing you by on either side.
On the way back from the RT Mart yesterday, one of our grocery bags dropped on the street. I made an immediate stop and this time the wife ran and got it. I promptly emptied part of the groceries under our seat and we drove on, though now I was a bit worried about dropping the groceries again, and drove very slowly, not that I was going fast. Miraculously, we did not loose anything!
Today I cooked some beef and veggies. They didn’t have any minced meat in the RT Mart, so I had to try and make some burgers without minced meat. Then, of course, they didn’t have any hamburger buns, so I had to improvise. I also cooked some salmon again, and it was pretty good.
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There was a chance that our travel plans to Thailand would be postponed. Kind of stupid, since it was very lucky for us to get tickets leaving on the 15th of February. We will be leaving as planned. Our flight lands in Bangkok and we will be making our way over to Phuket, roughing it out a bit. I am planning on taking my camera and maybe the laptop in order to dump our photos. I am somewhat jealous of Mr. Angry’s new purchase, a clean black Macbook. I haven’t seriously considered getting one yet, but maybe later on. I will look into the prices here in Taiwan, maybe they are more affordable. Although, an Acer should be pretty damn cheap since they are made here. An Acer 12″ Ferrari sounds nice, but we will see. I just found out the price in NTD, it’s 67000NTD (2050USD). The Acer Lamborghini VX1 is 107000NTD (3275 USD). A Macbook should be about 32000 NTD (1000 USD) in Taiwan.
I still want to get a 18-200 mm VR Nikkor lens and the full National Geographic backpack for our trip to Thailand. I think that we might take the bus from Bangkok to Phuket, since we could not find any trains yet. It is funny because we could take the bus to Cambodia and visit Angkor Wat. Naturally to go there, I need a multi LED flashlight! BTW, check out this high res satellite picture I found of the site.
For the trip, I actually plan on lugging around my uncomfortable Compaq 17″ widescreen desktop replacement laptop. It’s a good laptop, but a heavy one. My wife uses it as our spare computer why I get to play on the Terabyte Workstation.
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Speaking of which, even though I am somewhat overworked, I plan on going to the High Speed Trainstation this week and snapping away some night pictures. I know just about where it is, and have seen some designs for it. It looks amazing and I am sure that it is well illuminated for nightime photography. Another place I plan on exploring this week is the science park. Or parts of it. I know that they have some big illuminated buildings that will look cool.
We will probably try and explore Taiwan through the HSR system, it looks cool and funky. A standard fare ticket to Taipei from Hsinchu is 290NTD (9USD). Business class is 640 NTD to Taipei (20USD). Normal train fare to Taipei is 180 NTD (5.5 USD) and takes an hour and twenty minutes. To get to Zuoying, right next to Kaohsiung is 2000 NTD in business class (62 USD). And 1200 NTD in normal fare (37 USD). Kaohsiung is on the southern part of Taiwan. It’s supposed to take 90 minutes from Taipei to Kaohsiung. I will have to test that out. Normal train times to Kaohsiung is about 4-6 hours. After our nightmare delays on our last train trip to Taipei, I guess we will be traveling exclusively on HSR. I am looking forward to this.