The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Month October 2010

Road in Hualien ca 6:20pm

The night is dark, the road is straight and I keep my hand firmly locked at the 50 kilometers an hour mark. The wind is ripping at my rain cloak and the rain drops pelt my body like little stones. The helmet’s visor is covered in droplets that cloud my view, I have to concentrate on the white lines to see where I’m going. Lifting the visor to see better is not an option as the drops hitting my face will sting my eyes and my soft exposed skin. The rain is so heavy I can even feel it drumming … Read the rest

Hualien coastal road 1:15 pm

The road curves about like an asphalt snake and I have to adjust the throttle carefully to flow smoothly through the bends. My clothes flutter in the  wind and the sun glares in the scratched surface of the visor on my helmet.  The touch of my girlfriends thighs against mine remind me of her presence. The high pitched roar of the scooters little engine accompanies us as we zoom through the landscape’s bends and turns. To the right, the high, light green mountains of Taiwan’s eastern seaboard, to the left the pacific ocean. Far out a  bright sapphire blue, followed … Read the rest

Beach in Hualien 12:25 pm

The sky is blue and the bright sun makes the clear blue water dazzle. Under my bare feet is a mass of smooth, palm size, sea polished, round stones. The stone beach stretches out to my left in a sort of natural pier between the sea and the river mouth, and curls a little towards the tip where the river meets the sea. I sit down to watch the waves for a little while. Close to the coast the water brings with it sand and stones and turns from a brilliant blue to a darker, more muddled hue as the … Read the rest

Somewhere in Hsinchu 11:50 am

“The road ends here!” The black and yellow striped concrete barrier makes the message as clear as can be.  Beyond the barrier, a sheer drop of several meters then a vast expanse of rice fields and trees, and on the far side, the outskirts of some satellite city.  I really cannot understand why there is a stump of wide, newly paved road out here in the dilapidated farmyard and industry back streets of the city. There are no construction works nearby, no half-finished support columns for a road out there in the fields. Just this short stump of black asphalt … Read the rest

Jiao da scooter parking 2:38pm

A thousand scooters neatly lined up in rows, a thousand handle bars locked to the left, a thousand pairs of rear view mirrors reflecting the sky. Although similar, the scooters are different: different make, different size, different color. The mirrors are all the same, a vaguely rectangular shape on the end of a crocked stick, the silvery surface colored a bright sky blue. To a foreigner like me, this mass of two-wheeled vehicles is both amazing and bewildering all at once. Newcomers inevitably ask themselves how can there be so many of them while we have so few?  How do … Read the rest

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