Renegade Writings

The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Fictionalizing the News No. 12: Late Night Trucking

The dashboard clock showed 3:05 am, he tried to suppress a yawn then reached over and grabbed his cup of coffee. He took a swig of the drink, replaced the cup in the cup holder then stared out through the wind shield. He was alone on the road, not a single vehicle in sight, and all he could see was was the stretch of road lit up by the truck's headlights and beyond that, darkness. The window was already open but he rolled it down even further,  and opened the one on the  passenger side as well. The cool night breeze, now blowing straight through the cab of his truck, made him feel refreshed and he could concentrate on the road once more...continue reading

The Soda Can Stove

A little over a year ago I was unemployed meaning I had a lot of free time. I wanted to do something more meaningful with my time than just watching YouTube so I found a couple of craft project that I could do. One that seemed interesting was making a little stove, or rather a kind of alcohol burner, out of soda cans. To make it a bit more interesting I set myself a challenge. I wanted to see if I could build one of these soda can stoves using nothing but materials from the corner 7-11 and a Swiss Army Knife...continue reading

Fictionalizing the News No. 11: Trees

peered out between the curtains. The world outside was bleak and gray, the rain pouring down, turning the gutters into streams and lashing the sides of the buildings. Down below the branches of the trees lining the street were whipping back and forth in the strong wind and up above dark clouds were scudding across the leaden sky...continue reading

The Balcony, 12:08 am

I stand looking out over the seemingly sleeping city. There's a light breeze that makes it feel like the cold of the night air is creeping in through the gaps between my shirt buttons, and chill of the stone floor is seeping up through my socks. A new round of fireworks starts, I can hear the sharp cracks somewhere off to the right but they are hidden from view by the nearby buildings, all I can see is the colorful flashes of light on the surrounding facades. I stand there in the cold dark space of the balcony, the revelry and fireworks just on the edge of my consciousness, and feel that special kind of feeling that isn't quite loneliness but isn't really anything else either - clearing the mind from daily stresses and just absorbing the cool quite now, and yet, realizing somehow that you want to be where those unseen fireworks are. And that's the moment that I notice it, the fireworks are reflected on the windows of one of the buildings in the distance, the glass making the images ripple and become dreamy; a moment of beauty pierces my solitude and brings me back to reality. I listen to the fireworks for a few moments longer then let the cold drive me back indoors.

Unexpected Advice for Life in Taiwan

A little while back my son was born and I have some advice for parents in Taiwan. Considering that I’ve been a parent for less than six weeks you might wonder what credentials I have for giving out advice. The reason is that me and my wife messed up right at the beginning and I really wish someone given us this very piece of advice.

If you are a foreigner and you or your partner is going to give birth in Taiwan, chances are high you are going to apply for some kind of paperwork in your home country such … Read the rest

Text Snippet: The Riders and The Prisoner

As usual, Bran had been give a place at the edge of the camp, some distance away from the horses and all the gear, but close enough that the others could easily keep an eye on him. He was sitting on an old, half rotten log looking at the men and women setting up camp for the night. He raised his bound hands to his face to scratch at the stubble on his chin while he contemplated his situation. Continue reading...

Grandma Chosen One

Grandma Applebottom had just picked up her knitting when the door bell rang. Her grandchildren had just been visiting and she assumed one of them had forgotten something and come back. Knitting needles still in hand, she went to the answer the door. Outside was a tall slim man in a cloak the color of the night. ”Have you come to collect me?” she asked, a hint of trepidation in her voice...continue reading

The Opium Eater’s Library

I’m reading Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and I found a fantastic description of the library in his countryside cottage that I think is worth sharing. I leave it here without further comment:

“Surely every body is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a winter fire-side: candles at four o’clock, warm hearth-rugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies on the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without

Paint me, then, a room seventeen feet by twelve, and not more than seven and a half feet high. […] it Read the rest

The Secret Beach in Yilan

October 10 is Taiwan’s national day and since it was a Thursday this year, most of the country got a four day weekend. My wife is pregnant and some pregnancy related medical conditions have kept her cooped up at home most of the time. As luck would have it, she was feeling well enough to go out that very weekend, so we decided to take a trip to Yilan in north east Taiwan.

The first day we drove from Hsinchu over to Yilan then spent the afternoon on the beach in Dongao Bay. It’s a beautiful beach with verdant … Read the rest

Dongao bay 4:12 pm

I thought I could go swimming but it's too dangerous. The beach slopes steeply down towards the water, and when a big wave comes sweeping in it's like a giant trough of water that empties then fills back up in matter of seconds. Though swimming is out of the question I still enjoy the feeling of waves washing over my feet, so I walk a few meters down the slope, let my feet get swallowed up by the pleasantly cool water while the afternoon sun warms my back. I hesitate for a moment, thinking about taking a few steps more, then another big wave comes rolling in and crashing onto the beach with tremendous force; white foam rushing forwards, the water rising from my knees to my chest in an instant, the force pushing me back at least a meter. Just as I recover my balance the water rushes out again, pulling at my legs, threatening to drag me with it. Behind it, a million little rocks come rolling down the beach, filling the air with a rattling, rushing noise against the background booming of the waves.

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