52 Weeks 52 Tests – Week 22 – Taiwanese Experiments

As with any new destination, there is a huge number of new places, faces, things, foods, and everything else to discover, and I have a way too big backlog of posts to write a novel, so here you go, an unpretentious bullet point-type of photo reportage about my weekend in Taiwan in May.
I landed and headed to Jiufen, where I had read Taipei people like to go for the weekend because in the mountain. Got dropped off by the bus in the middle of nowhere, seriously lacking sleep and caffeine, after having overshot passed my destination.

 

 

 

But luckily, I immediately met two European artists, waiting at another bus stop. They recommended I go check the Hualien county instead of spending time at Jiufen, so I took the same bus as them and took the speed train from Ruifang to Hualien.

 

Patrick and Irene

By the way, Patrick and Irene do some great art! Check out some of their works at
www.irenepascual.com
www.morarescu.de

Was pleasantly surprised by Taiwan’s east coast scenery, blessed by the collision between high mountains and the sea.

I visited the Taroko Gorge in a taxi with 3 young lads

and then the night market at Hualien.

On the next day, I decided to do a big scooter roadtrip to discover more remote places from the Hualien county

Hualien Sugar Factory
Baci

 

Hualien

 

 

 

 

A good day to be on the road!

 

 

 

Then, moving on to Taipei…
I had my first AirBnB stay at Mr Garlic Love‘s place. Garlic was really awesome to show me around the neighborhood and took me to dine some delicious dumplings at a street side restaurant that I would never have found (or dared trying by myself).

 

Then, the plan was to go out for some live music, so we had a few warm-up drinks, in the form of shot glasses in which were dropped Ice Cream balls (cleverly used as mixers + ice) and Vodka shots.
I am going to keep this idea, it was so convenient (if only I can find these ready made ice cream balls in Singapore)

 

We then went on to listen to minimal and progressive techno until 6 AM at Pipe.
A really awesome experience compared to the somewhat bland Singapore nightlife scene.

 

I struggled to come back by myself, under the rain, not speaking mandarin, and quite intoxicated. I had to hike two different taxis and walk in circles for 20 minutes before I could find Garlic’s place, and the well deserved bed.
I was served with a nice early bird view of Taipei 101 though, coming back to the ‘hood

 

On the next day, we (my hungover and me) went to visit the Contemporary Art Museum,

 

and somehow ended up in a gigantic Cosplay gathering.

For the second night, we had a more quiet one, staying at Garlic’s place, listening to music, drinking more vodka and having fun.

Wang Wei and Polly, two nice Taiwanese friends, who had just crashed their scooter and themselves on the floor

Eating crazy spicy snacks with Pepper Flower. So special and unique that I bought a whole pack of it!

And I rounded up my trip by a visit to the leather shop Ivan, in order to buy some important tools I needed, and of course: leather!

 

 

It was like being in a candy store and I wanted to buy everything. Well, I ended up buying more than I should, of course, but the damage was contained by the time that was running fast, and I had to go back to the Airport and catch my flight.
That was a pretty rad weekend, and I would be pleased to go back…

Thanks Taiwan!

For the comprehensive list of my weekly tests so far this year, click here  

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