Monday, September 7, 2009

Where can we swim?

Saturday night we went to Jhongli. It was pretty fun.

It's nice to explore the Taiwanese nightlife now and then. It's funny to me though because most well-recognized hip-hop is from the States. Also, given that trends start in one place and then work there way around, all the music they play at clubs is about four months old.

That's not to say I don't like it, but it's a switch. I'm used to going to a dance club and hearing a song for the first time.

We stayed out pretty late and I came home to find that my roommate and some friends built a couch fort in the living room. I couldn't help but laugh. I used to love making couch forts.

We hung out until extra early in the morning and I headed off to bed once I realized I needed to sleep before waking up at 7 a.m. to watch the Longhorn football game.

By watch I mean listen to it on the Internet radio and watch the play-by-play on the CSTV GameTracker. I drifted in and out, but I got to see most of the game.

After the game I came out of my room to find out that people were planning on going to the beach. I decided I wasn't going to let myself waste another Sunday because I partied to hard on Saturday night so I hurried to put on my swim suit, make myself look relatively decent and grab some dan bing for breakfast.

It was a two-hour drive to Baishawan which is on the northern coast. The drive was awesome.

Probably the thing I like the most about Taiwan (and I like this about Seattle as well) is that when you're driving along the coast, you can still see the mountains. Taiwan's geography is so peculiar because of the way the tectonic plates are converging and how "quickly" it's happening.

This results in mountains in the middle of the island and given the small size of the island you can see both at the same time. This makes for several scenic drives.

At the beach, we were slightly disappointed.

Foreigners always tell me that Taiwanese people can't swim. I never really thought anything of it, but I really think that there is easily a fear of water in this culture. They had an incredibly small area of the beach buoyed off. It's pretty normal to have a designated swimming area with lifeguards, but this was ridiculously small. You could walk all the way out to the farthest buoy and still only be waist deep in water.

There were easily 150 people playing in this shallow water and probably a good 30 lifeguards.

Every time we tried to go into the water somewhere outside the designated area the lifeguards would freak out and blow their whistles frantically at us.

We gave up for awhile letting our disappointment overtake us, but then we decided that maybe if we went further down the beach away from the lifeguards we could find a place where you actually have to swim.


There are two swimming areas at Baishawan. The first is the terrible shallow one with a thousand people. The second is far less crowded and has bigger waves. We played in the waves for awhile. It was glorious.

I love the beach.

I got some color while we were out. Unfortunately, it was red and not tan. My shoulders got really badly burned on the drive up to Baishawan because I forgot to put on sunscreen before we left. Whoops.

Also, while the days are still annoyingly hot, the nights are starting to get much cooler. I actually get a little chilly on the scooter after class when it's dark. It's probably something like 75 degrees, but I'm just so used to the heat and humidity that I don't expect it.

I can't wait for fall.

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