Here we go, Taiwan/Hong Kong digest. Like per usual, hyperlinks point to the relevant timeline post, with lots more pics. Like not per usual, full-res photos haven’t been despatched to Flickr, on account of the latter jacked up their prices, so I don’t wanna deal with them no more. So, I’m hosting the pictures on my own site — it’s a very basic interface, but, okey, at least I don’t gotta pay extra for that. Therefore, all Hong Kong and Taiwan photos are now online here at ze Durian Apocalypse.
This WILL be on the quiz.
This WILL be on the quiz.
Posted by Eddie Tews on Thursday, January 3, 2019
They’ve got lanes painted into the sidewalks to keep the bus queues very nice and organised-like. And you’re all, “Oh, that’s neat.” So then you find the lane for the route you want, and when you look up, it’s like, “Holy fuck, this shit is longer than the line for Space Mountain!”
A timely reminder from your friends at the Lands Dept. (reads: “TRIGONOMETRICAL STATION Do Not Deface Or Damage”).
Coconuts. If they only had Coconuts in Hong Kong, I could consider living here full time, just frickin’ sending my dimpled ass hiking by day and guzzling down Cocos by night. And to think, I might never’ve even visited here in the first place if not for Asiana Airlines’ forcing of my hand with its inscrutable blunderings. Three cheers for inscrutable blunderings, gol dammit!
The hiking opportunities here are basically limitless; so it’s kind of a cross between deer-in-the-headlights indecision and kid-on-Xmas-morning anticipation when choicing where to instruct one’s dimpled ass to on any given day go to. But, natch, getting a ferryboat to one of the outlying islands was a must. Going ’round Cheung Chau is more country stroll than hike, being that the trails are almost all of the paved variety. There are some nice hillclimbing, though, so it’s still a good spot of exercise, and all. But, anyhow, with scenery like these, it’s almost beside the point that you’re also leaving the cigarette smoke and noise pollution of the city behind you — though that’s certainly not unappreciated!
That’s a lot of Buddhas. To be honest, though, the Buddha museum at Nakhon Si Thammarat is about 10,000 times better — but then, I’ve never been a fan of Chinese Buddhist iconography. Also, give that CEDD graphic designer a raise!
Worn out your copy of Voulez-Vous and looking for a replacement? Fear not, friends: I’ve got your dimpled asses covered!
N.B., motherfuckers! (Although there does appear to be a loophole for female owners.)
Presenting the newest superhero the cool kids are in a few months’ time all going to be going crazy over.
If I could afford to live here, this would be my routine every day from now until the End Times™:
~ Listening on the new Bassekou Kouyate ‘longplay’ record album.
~ Hiking my dimpled ass utterly unto oblivion (or close enough as makes no difference).
~ Eating four-bazillion-and-three of these little MiniMangos™, here. They’re about twenty-seven U.S. cents apiece; that’s not exactly great value for money — but neither is it piss-poor. Anyway, that angle doesn’t matter a jot, because these things are so goddamned cute and so motherfuckin’ delicious that you can’t ever stop eating them — even if you wanted to (which I don’t).
~ Listening on the new Ladytron ‘longplay’ record album.
My admiration of and gratitude for the sheer magnitude of and ease of access to the trails system here knows no bounds. But that said, just imagine how indescribably beautiful this place must have been before the developers got their hooks into it…
Also, I seen the biggest eagle I ever have to-day — but only for a few seconds before it disappeared into the mist. I dunno, might have been a CIA drone, or something.
Passing Jogger: You’re barefoot.
Me: That’s correct.
He: There’s broken…broken glass all over the floor.
Me [There wasn’t; but…]: Yeah.
He: Very dangerous!
He: [Jogging away.]
I’ve been issued this very same frantic warning so many times over the years, perhaps it’d do to declare the following Open Letter To All Well-Meaning Citizens: Your concern is appreciated. But the thing is, barefooters are, despite their condition, able to see the ground in front of them. If there’s broken glass in their path, they will endeavour to manoeuvre around it — or, should that strategy prove untenable, throw on some sandals until the danger has passed. Please don’t lose any more sleep over this issue (and please do have a pleasant tomorrow).
When you pass a Chinesian person on the trail, he or she always merrily chirps, “Good morning!” Nice and friendly, to be sure — but they use the same greeting irrespective of the time of day. Of course, I don’t know how to say Good anything even in Mandarin, let alone Cantonese. So, “Good morning!” I merrily chirp in response.
Fawking crazy day on the trails to-day, combining the features of many of my favourite locations of recent traverse — the spooky, ethereal fog and mist of Haputhale, Sri Lanka; the gigantor trees of Sepilok, Sabah; the cool, autumnal temps, endless miles under the canopy, and large elevation gains of the Issaquah Alps; the stunning mountainous scenery of northern Bali (mostly socked in on this day, but the glimpses were almost unimaginably tantalising); the steep/tricky climbs and descents requiring rope assistance of Penang Hill and Mt. Kinabalu — into one, big, massive superhike the likes of which my dimpled ass has very rarely ever before experienced.
It’s still no match for Nepal, mind you, but it has altered my perception of just what hiking in Taiwan can really come to mean. Alas, the winter/spring bugaboo of shite quality air is slated to make an unwelcome return this week, which will probably end up slowing yon roll for a while; but hopefully not for too long: Striding these hills is frickin’ habit-forming!
Second visit to Xitou, and I still haven’t come close to unearthing all its wonders. I’m beginning to realise, however, that I may have made a strategical error in planning and partaking of these waterfall hikes during low-flow season. They’re still purty, and all, but…gotta try come back after a typhoon has passed through.
It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, by the way, when being in amongst Chinesian peeps. On the one hand, they love to move their dimpled asses through space-time, so it’s deuce easy to find public exercise equipment in the neighbourhoods. And, up in the hills, their trails systems are truly stupendous — planning, execution, maintenance, access, the whole of the goddam shebang. But but but but but, on thee other hand: When they’re out in the bush in their droves (just the same as in town), the thought of allowing more than four seconds’ peace and quiet to occur just creeps them the ever-loving fuck out. They’re loud; they’re obnoxious — dare I say downright boorish? — they arrive at the scenic overlooks before you do; and they work in tag-teams, so it’s impossible to wait them out. The only way to experience a respite is to keep climbing higher. They do like to exercise — but they don’t wanna get left behind by their tour buses, so there are built-in limits…
And that puts a wrap on this week’s episode of GET THE FUCK OFFA MY LAWN, YOU PISSANTS! — make sure to tune in for next week’s thrilling edition, won’t you?
Completed the two-day circumnavigation with near-perfect weather both days; totting up right at 100,000 steps on the ol’ pedometer for the two days combined. In case the photos all look more less the same, please don’t allow thus to dissuade your dimpled ass from visiting here: When walking alongside, the lake and its surroundings look so fugging beautiful, tourist can’t NOT take a picture…but that doesn’t mean it’ll do the scene justice. It just doesn’t mean that, bitches!