Elijah and I wrapped up our last few days in Hong Kong with a trip to Lamma Island, a couple trips to Mong Kok, a random trip way out to the middle of nowhere, and then we attended another service at The Vine. Lamma Island was one of my favorite moments of our time in Hong Kong. We took the ferry out to it, and then spent a few hours just walking around and taking photos. It was nice to be somewhere away from the masses. It was a lot of walking and my feet and knees were killing me but it was very peaceful. I was also glad we got to attend The Vine one more time. We sat with our new English friends, James and Alexa. I hope to visit them again someday. They are wonderful people.
Flash forward -- We are now in Taiwan. We are based in Tainan City, which is in the southern part of the island. Kenny is staying with his grandmother, and Elijah and I are staying in a mens dormitory owned by the aforementioned grandmother's church. The living conditions are not quite as nice as they were in Hong Kong, but the cost of living is much cheaper here and, so far, I've really enjoyed the people. The weather is pretty rough due to typhoons. It's actually kind of nice to have rain for once. Living in L.A, I don't really miss the humidity, but every now and then I kind of miss the rain. In Taiwan, they have a long period of typhoons, but once they're done, they have 2-3 months of no rain which is kind of nice. I wish I could combine that weather schedule with the dry heat of L.A.
We've had the opportunity meet quite a few wonderful people. Elijah and I have gotten to know two of the guys in the dorm well -- Li and Louis. Li has kind of become our point man for living here since we are not staying with Kenny. He has done a great job of showing us around, and we eat breakfast with him every morning. He's a funny guy. He's getting better, but he's been quite nervous around us as he speaks in English. Today, Louis took us to lunch, and then showed us around their campus. Their school is called National Cheng Kung University. It's quite nice.
The most fun I've had so far since being in Taiwan was over the last couple days. Kenny's friend Joan and a couple of her friends took us up to Taichung, which is in between Taipei and Tainan along the west coast of the island. We stayed at Joan's alma mater, Tunghai Univeristy. The night we got there, we walked around the night markets and ate new, interesting foods, and then drove to a lookout point to look at the skyline of Taichung. The next day (yesterday), we drove 2 hours into the mountains to a hot springs resort. I forget the name, but it was really nice (only cost 7 or 8 USD!). Kenny, Elijah and I all bought speedos because people don't wear board shorts to the springs. I never thought I would ever wear a speedo, let alone buy one, but I did. If you haven't seen the pictures on my Facebook page yet, check them out. You should get a good laugh. I know we did. After a few hours at the hot springs, we drove out to a flower farm. Our time there didn't last long because it began to rain, but it was nice nonetheless. We took Kenny to the high speed rail station in Taichung after that because he's spending the weekend in Taipei, and then the rest of us drove back to Tainan.
That's all for now. I'll post more of my thoughts later. To sum Taiwan up so far though, it's a great place -- great people, great food, great prices, great sites, etc. We'll see if that assessment stands after my time here is done ;)
Until next time!