Dahu Park

Visit Dahu Park in Taipei! It's a great place to ...

... see some very attractive person!


... see some squirrel!.
I mean, it's probably a squirrel, butt I can't see the head,so.

... see some cranes!
~Very Asian.~

... see some little girl trying to hunt a duck!!!
Little girls and animals. A must-see.

... see some people hunt fish!
Ha! Get them fish before they get you.

... see some lady take pictures of her dog like it's a person!!
Spoiler alert, lady: puppies turn into dogs who get old and die.

... see nerd(s) LARPing!
Spoiler alert: your dreams will take you as high as that broom, kid.

... feel like you're at a classy park!!
Duck (goose?), crane in tree, people. *nice*

... butt last, butt not least, see this cool bridge!
The Moon Bridge is very cool. Very must-see. Very must-stand-on.

As you can see, we all need to go to Dahu Park. It makes you feel super classy and it's v v cool. #Taipei #ShareThisPost


Elephant Mountain

You’ve heard of elephants, you’ve heard of mountains, but have you heard of Elephant Mountain? Elephant Mountain is a mountain in Taipei (A mountain in a city! What is this, Lord of the Rings?). But before I tell you what it’s like to visit, let me give you a little history.

Taipei is also known as “Elephant City” because of the elephants that rule there. It all goes back to when Babar the first elephant king came to Taiwan.  People and elephants used to live in peace. They co-owned businesses and threw parties and stuff. It was pretty cool.

Anyway, Babar crossed over from (wherever elephants are from) and was like, “We can do so much better.” So he started a war with the humans. Since elephants are so much bigger than ordinary people, the elephants won and they continue to rule Taipei and most of Taiwan (but mostly just Taipei) to this day.

It’s not a big deal. They just get to cut in lines and have preference in elections (1 elephant vote = 1,000 people votes and there are only, like, 4,000 people in Taiwan anyway so) and offer human sacrifices sometimes. But it’s mainly whatever.

Anyway, so hiking Elephant Mountain is a real snap. There’s a set of old stairs that take you to the top of the mountain in about 20 minutes. It’s a fast hike, but it’s very steep and it’s (of course humid), and (depending on when you hike it) can be pretty hot. All this translates to SWEAT SWEAT SWEAT.

I mean, it's just a bunch of stairs going straight up.

So, to be prepared, the most important thing to have is water and sugar water. I’d say have a half or a whole liter of normal water. Sugar water is water with electrolytes and junk added to it. Usually, I don’t approve of non-water drinks, but you’re gonna sweat so much that you’ll feel pretty terrible (I got an annoying headache) if you’re not replacing all the stuff your body’s sweating out. So, bring a bottle of sugar water (I recommend dolphin water – it tastes like a very mild Sprite without the carbonation).

What you wear doesn’t really matter. It’s not a real hike because it’s so short and it’s paved the whole way, so just wear something breathable and comfy (or maybe something you can run in if the elephants get in a sacrificey mood).

The selling point of the hike is the view you get of Taipei 101. It's almost impossible to get a bad picture of it from on top.

I hiked it with my friend Spirit Sword (middle) and my new friend Xin Yi.


The hike up is real pretty too.
So it's a draining hike, but the views very very pretty. There are plenty of trails to explore on the way up and on top of the mountain too, so plan to look around for a bit.

And watch out for dem elephants.

Here's a sweet vid of the hike:


If lost, return to

So you know how when you’re a little kid, your mom makes you memorize your phone number just in case you get lost? (I had my childhood phone number memorized for fifteen years until I was talking about it with my sister a couple years ago and she was like, “That wasn’t our phone number at all. Mom must have told you the wrong number cuz she hates you.” So either my mom hates me or my older sister’s a jerk AND I’M NOT PREPARED TO BELIEVE EITHER OF THOSE THINGS.)

Or, for a different example, you know how you put collars on dogs with your address and phone number just in case they get lost?

Or, like, when your mom sews your name into your underwear, etc., etc. ????

Well, I’m not a child or dog OR UNDERWEAR, but this kinda applies to me.

I work at four different schools, so I need to take the bus to get from one to the other. Unfortunately, a lot of the buses here only have their schedules and names written in Chinese characters, so I can’t read them. So, the first time I got on one, one of my bosses gave me a note in Chinese explaining who I was and where I was going, walked me to the bus stop, showed me which bus to get on, and told the driver to tell me when my stop came.

I appreciated the help, but at the same time I was rolling my eyes thinking, “These people don’t know who I am. I’ve been to EUROPE and back on my own. I am NOT a little kid/dog/underwear. I’m a BIG BOY.”

Anyway, yesterday, I had an hour to get from one school to the other, so I ran to my bus stop, found my bus, and jumped on it. I was just a little bit jet lagged, so I thought I’d take a power nap before my stop. I knew roughly how long it would take to get there, so I figured I’d time it in my head and wake up before I got there.

(You know this isn’t going to go well.)

When I opened my eyes, I didn’t recognize anything outside. I’d never seen any of the buildings or streets before. I knew I hadn’t had my eyes closed long enough to miss my stop, so I figured I just hadn’t learned this route yet. I sat and waited for something I recognized to show up outside my window, but nothing ever did.

So then I knew I was lost. I ran through all my possible options. I still don’t have a SIM card (another story) and I didn’t have wifi, so googling anything wasn’t possible. I don’t speak Chinese, so explaining my situation to anyone was out of the question. So I had no options. I knew the bus would eventually come to the end of the line and that if I didn’t recognize any of my surroundings, I’d be in the middle of nowhere without a way to contact anyone.

Anyway, so I was sitting on the back of the bus, silently hugging my backpack tighter and tighter (INVOLUNTARILY). I noticed that the bus driver kept glancing at me in his rearview mirror, so I tried to act natural like, “I just really like this backpack.”

We got to the end of the line and the bus driver told everyone to get off. I started to get off, but he must have noticed the worry in my big, gorgeous brown eyes and asked (in English) where I was trying to go.

I was grateful he spoke English, but I didn’t know how to explain which stop I was supposed to get off at, so I showed him the paper my boss had written for me. He told me I’d gotten on the wrong bus, kindly drove me to the correct bus stop, and told the driver where to take me.

The sign says: “I’m a sad American. Please help me get to the right stop. Don’t rob me. Peace!!”

I arrived to my class a half hour late. Thankfully, another teacher covered for me and I was able to jump right into the lesson as soon as I arrived (“Who here has read Harry Potter?”).

So, I guess I’m not as internationally adept as we all thought.

And, when you get down to the deets, I never would have made it to so many places in the world if people hadn’t helped me. I’d have been lost a million times, stuck without transportation or money more than once, and had to sleep on the street if friends and strangers hadn’t helped me. So thank you, world, for treating me like a lost puppy.

But, of course, I AM an adult, and I PROVED it to myself when I got home by eating ice cream on the toilet. #adulting #winning