Monday, July 03, 2006

Off to greener islands

Right now I am going to Green Island. To be specific, I am on a little van going to the ferry. I paid some van company, composed of a real nice family (with dog) to make this easier, and I must say it is easier. They set up my tickets and its cheaper than a taxi.

PTI: Okay, now I am on the boat to Green Island. I met some great people on the van, one of which had spent a lot of time in America, but did not speak English. It was a good confidence builder because we spoke pretty fluently and without much of a problem.
The chops are pretty harsh on this boat, lot of up, and then a lot of down.

I was pretty excited because I got a small chunk of a free wireless access point from the wharf, which was simply shockingly random. I tried a one sentence, very silly post, and I look forward to seeing if it got off, right now the window is still stuck sending.
Which leads to a good question, why am I spending so much internet on wireless? Because wireless says a lot. Wireless is optional, no one really has to offer it outside of high class hotels. Yet so many people do. Partially because its cheap to set up. Partially because the company itself uses the wireless. Nevertheless, I find hotspots to be a big indicator of the nature of the people.
Taiwan is pretty hooked up. Many hotels have wireless (some have wired, but many have wireless in the lobby). China? I don't expect to much but I would love to be surprised.
Anyway, off of technology and on to the basic.

PTI: This boat is rocking, and with it my stomach. I am mad hungry, but its probably good that I did not eat.

I am excited to go to Green Island and drive in some scenery, it all hingers on whether I can get a scooter. If I can't, I don't think I can make of the only four hours I have there.
If I do get one, I can make the loop and check out the sights I want to see (a white sand beach, lots of cool rocks, and a natural salt water hot springs).

PTI: Okay the boat has twice now gotten at least a little air-born. I need to sign off, typing this is making me far too sea sick.

PTI: Now on flat land on the island, that last paragraph was the beginning of a terrible terrible trip, oh man. I am shocked I did not vomit. I only have three and a half hours, agh! Gotta go to go.

PTI: Wow, this PTI thing has gotten out of control. Now I am at an all you can eat ice shavings place. A little child is reading this (six years old) as we speak, amazed at the awesome and wild power that is a 蘋果 (Apple) 電腦 (computer).

Oh man am I burnt, I am sporting a look not unlike Nick, Miranda, Allison and the other super whities that compose my friends. When we got off that horrid, horrid boat, I put my luggage into a van that my friends had put their luggage into. Then, the van drove away, very much driving away without us inside. Suddenly I realized that this had been a bus for a specific hotel, not just some company that did scooters or something of the like (I thought maybe we were disconnected from the main island and the bus took us to the main island).
Anyway, the hotel that my friends are staying at helped me get a scooter (despite me not having an ARC = it being illegal) and are protecting my main luggage. Then I tore around the island.
Despite my dad's claims as I came to Taiwan, there are some interesting rocks in Taiwan, at least to the layman.

PTI: Just found two man sized hairs in my ice shavings - before I shaved my head this morning I could at least pretend they were someone else's, ewwwww...

The road that encircles this island is a driver's paradise, but I ended up with the worst scooter on this island. At points I was pumping the gas up and down. It killed out a few times and was always a bitch to start. That said, it was still fun, and I really got around this island.
I took at least a hundred photos of the scenery, went into a temple/cave, saw what I believe to be grazing yack, went to apparently one of only three natural salt water hot springs in the world, and generally rocked out.
I am resting at this little ice place, the first, and the last, buffet style ice shavings place I have been to. Then I have to take that horrible, horrible boat. I am dreading that trip. Last time, two kids puked, and at least a handful of adults, I was far too close.
To close on a more thought out note. I have no idea the status of foreigners ability to speak Chinese in Taiwan. I want some figures damn it. In Kenting, the owner of a local beach place said virtually all the foreign customers could speak, from a little to a lot. Here, the bus driver who took my to Ludao said virtually non could. Sometimes people stretch the limits of their English in morbid fear of me. Sometimes people assume I speak some, though this is rare and its clear they are sort of testing me in a way.
This has been great for my Chinese on the whole. Most vacationers seem to speak Mandarin over Taiwanese. Furthermore, they are feeling more open, so its easy to start conversations. Lastly, I am more open, so there are more conversations.
Hmmm...eating these ice shavings was a mistake, my stomach already hurts. I am going to hit 7-11 for something a bit more solid and some water. Wish me luck on that boat. Though I guess there is virtually no chance of me posting this before I take aforementioned boat.

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