Ok, I doubt that was the hardest, but despite the ease of the Taiwan train & metro system today definitely was not easy.
The first day is done. Holy shit, I am TIRED and the shower I just took may have been the most glorious shower of all showers. Getting friendly with the whole grunge scenario is definitely going to be a challenge for me.
Here were the things I thought and wrote about on my phone throughout the day (I also have some jittery videos on my Instagram story. More of those to come.):
I finally left the airport at 10am. I arrived at 6am-ish. No, it wasn’t because immigration took forever (it didn’t) or because baggage claim was delayed (I had a carry on). I couldn’t get myself to leave the airport. I was stricken with a paralyzing fear that manifested itself in regret. By the time I got cleared through immigration, exchanged currency and bought a SIM card, I had already been in transit for over 24 hours. The Zz quill I took on the plane had zero effect and although I did manage to get some sleep on my 16 hour flight, it was interrupted every hour or so. My point is: I was fucking tired. Combine that the monster fear of the unknown and you got yourself (myself) an unpleasant experience. I had planned to hangout in Taipei before taking a speed train to meet my brother, but turns out I was in a different airport – not exactly in Taipei. I had it all planned and boom, no more. I kept trying to coax myself out of the panic and trying to get myself to leave the comfort of the airport but I legit just couldn’t. I just wanted to curl up in the comfort of my own bed.
“Wtf was I thinking?”
I got some coffee & a bun with my favorite red bean paste… and continued to get up and walk towards the Metro only to sit back down. Eventually I just gave up, sitting down in the arrival waiting area. I decided I would wait there for the day until it was time to meet my brother despite the gnawing feeling of instant regret. I reached for my current Yoga pre-req reading (Yamas & Niyamas) and picked up where I left off, taking my usual notes as I went.
“… not only seek purity in ourselves, but to seek with each moment by allowing it to be as it is.”
I left off on the chapter on Saucha (Purity). I don’t love the word – it reminds me of nutty religious laws. But as with much of what I’ve read in this book so far, I’ve found so much that has lifted me up or caused me to reflect in a way that lifts me up. Reading and taking notes helped begin to gradually slow down my racing heart. By 9:45 most of the people waiting had said their cheerful hellos and took to the outdoors to continue their reunions. My initial panic had decreased with the help of my reading and my initial excitement began to seep back in. I repacked my already stuffed backpack and headed to the Metro.
The train has gradually grown a 20/80 unknown Chinese chicken dish/smelly feet aroma. Although I may partially be smelling the little bits of fish floss I couldn’t quite shake off from the plane meal (my curiosity got the best of me while trying to pry open a baggie of said FISH FLOSS). No, can’t say I enjoyed it… but also no idea how to eat it.
The train has whizzed by a few major cities of Taiwan’s west coast. Approaching Kaohsiung, I’m more tired than ever, but my spirits are back up and I’m stoked to get some delish non-fish-floss-food in my belly.
What would appear totally normal in NYC — street performer or in this case a lady with headphones dancing her dance all to herself — looks hilariously out of place here. Perhaps it’s the lack of sleep but her boogie-ing and her otherwise ‘normal’ appearance is giving me life right now…. and I really* need it. 48 hours of no real sleep. I def can’t do this on the reg.