today was a lazy sunday, though not really as cool as a lazy sunday in the eyes of Parnell and Samborn. if you don't know what i'm talking about, check out this link.
i got up late and wandered out of my apartment around 1:30 or so... in search of the "local" ikea store. it was a futile effort. despite having directions from the internet and descriptions of where to go from my roomates (both local taiwanese), i couldn't find the store to save my life. in the course of this quest, i hailed a bus to my aid. actually i waited for like 25 minutes for the 685 to come while i waited in the rain. when it finally did come, (and i'm pretty sure this would only happen here in taipei) the bus driver didn't even stop... he merely slowed down and opened the door. now... i'm not sure if it was just this particular driver, if he was in a particular mood, or if he just looked at some young able-bodied lad and said to himself, "yeah, i think he can make the jump onto a moving bus" or what, but indeed, that's exactly what i did.
that, by far, was the most interesting thing that happened to me today. after i got onto the bus, i went to the east dexing road stop, got off, located the mcdonalds landmark, and totally failed to find the ikea which was supposed to be somewhere right around there. anyway, i decided to cut my losses and wander around a bit more, to further familiarize myself with my surroundings. i walked down zhong-cheng ave for many blocks, eventually intersecting with zhong-shan, which i followed over the river and down to shilin mrt station. long story short i walked a long way, never found the ikea, and ended up just taking the bus home.
yesterday was also spent walking around.... actually walking about 4 miles in the rain, to the coast at danshui. i made it out to the fisherman's pier by nightfall, where it was sheeting rain and blowing enough to make me cringe as the water dripped from my hair and down the back of my neck. i continued out onto the pier, where couples and groups of teens braved the blowing rain for some unknown reason. giving into the fact that i was already soaking wet, i decided to revel in the sensation of coldness... something i naturally associate with this time of year, yet haven't felt here since my arrival. for some reason, many public promenades here, including the fisherman's wharf, are paved with tile... glazed, ceramic, slippery-as-shit tile. normally i would view this as insane. however, on this dark and stormy night, i took the childish initiative to turn this otherwise potentially harmful surface covering to my advantage, and using my playful mood, i recalled a favorite pastime of mine that was introduced to me by my dad. for lack of a better name, i'll call it 'sidewalk-skiing'. now, sidewalk-skiing is typically done when a classic new england snow-fall of about 1/2" has just occured. the idea is to run down a sidewalk and then suddenly assume the pose of a surfer, sliding as far as possible down the sidewalk, leaving two parallel skid-marks behind you. ...anyway, i've discovered that the tile sidewalks here are an ideal spot for this sort of childish activity. i had a blast out on the pier, got a few awkward glances from folks out there, and then called it a night and came home. the real reason i bring this up is that while i was walking through danshui on my way out to the pier, i snapped the following pic of a young couple walking through a cobble back-alley.