The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Author RenegadeTourist

Abandoned Hotels Around Shimen Reservoir, Part 3

I’ve previously explored two abandoned hotels near Shimen Reservoir (read about them in Part 1 & Part 2). There is one more abandoned hotel near the reservoir that has been on my list of places to go explore but I haven’t been able to find the time. Last weekend, me and a friend decided to go to Buddha World which I have written about here. When we got there however, we discovered that the place was closed. Neither of us was really up for breaking in to a Buddhist temple, so we had to think of something else. … Read the rest

Bar Resurf, 10:22 pm

This place is all atmosphere. It's dark, only a single dim spotlight over each table and a few warm yellow lights behind the bar, nothing more, the tables like islands of light in a sea of darkness. Soft jazz in the background, so low you almost don't notice it but loud enough to fill the silence and bridge the gaps in your conversation. Limited customers, only two people at each table and a few pairs spread evenly along the length of the bar, the gaps between them enveloped in shadow. No beer, no wine, no shots, only cocktails, mixed with precision from quality ingredients, served in stylish glasses, well balanced subtle flavors. Low conversations float through the room, it almost feels rude to laugh or talk too loud, and looking at your phone must be sacrilege. Three bartenders, dressed in black shirts and suspenders, calmly working their craft, serving the drinks in a laid back but friendly manner. This is the coolest bar I've ever been to, it could be some kind of hipster place but it doesn't feel pretentious, the coolness is genuine.

The Arm

The four young men had been casually observing the stranger at the bar for over an hour. Jared gave Simon a nudge:
– You should go talk to him.
– Why me?
-Cause you’re fecking starin’ at him.
-Nah, I don’t wanna be rude.
-Come on, you wanna know about his arm, just go and ask.
-I can’t, it’d be too weird, even for me.
-Don’t be such a wimp, just do it.
Simon took a swig of his beer and thought for a moment then he got to his feet. “Alright,” he said giving Jared a look, “I’ll do … Read the rest

Taiwanese Cultural Quirks

I’ve been living in Taiwan for close to ten years now and despite feeling at home here there are still some aspects of Taiwanese culture that baffle me. That’s not to say I think the way people here do things is wrong, or that we in Europe are better, it’s just that from my perspective these cultural practices and behaviors are kind of quirky. Mind you, some of these might be common to other countries in Asia, it’s just that I never lived there long enough to notice. So without further ado, here are some things about Taiwanese culture that … Read the rest

The Failure of Netflix

One evening a short while back I felt like relaxing with something that doesn’t require too much thinking. I figured some mindless action movie should do the trick so I logged in to Netflix and searched for Transformers 5 but couldn’t find it. “No problem,” I thought, and switched over to Amazon Prime but couldn’t find it there either. So, I went for the third option, HBO Go, but to no avail, they didn’t have it. I’m not subscribed to any other streaming services so I witched to another movie, Fast and the Furious 9 if I remember correctly, but … Read the rest

Pandemic Travel 2: The Return

About two months ago I posted about my experiences of traveling by flight during a global pandemic. Now I’m back in Taiwan and since the pandemic situation has changed a bit since last time, I think I should write a bit about how it was to return home to Taiwan.

As you probably know, the corona virus situation started becoming worse in October. Because of this, Germany went into a partial lockdown which meant a few things. First, places where people gather such as museums and most restaurants closed temporarily. Second, rules regarding mask usage and social distancing became stricter … Read the rest

Is There Really a Pandemic?

It's been a couple of weeks since my last post about tourism in Germany during the Covid19 pandemic. Me and my colleagues spent most of those weekends exploring the southwestern part of Germany, checking out a lot of different sightseeing spots. To my surprise there was a fair amount of other tourists at several of the places we visited; except for the fact that museums were closed and we were limited to eating fastfood in the car, it didn't really feel like there was a lockdown. Granted, Germany was only doing lockdown light but in some places it felt so normal it almost made me question if there was any lockdown at all. Don't worry, I have not become a Covid denier, it's just that the overall experience has mostly been like normal, pandemic free tourism.

So, just like in my last post, I want to share some of the more worthwhile places with my readers, enjoy: read the rest

The Most Unintentionally Hilarious Scene Ever

A couple of days ago I found myself on a twelve hour flight, unable to sleep. With time to kill but no motivation for anything "serious" I decided to watch some braindead action flick. Swiping through the menu I found Fate of the Furious (or Fast and the Furious 8 if you prefer) which seemed to be the perfect pick. It turned out to be a far more interesting movie than I had ever expected.

The Fast and the Furious franchise has always been known for over the top car action so I knew what I was getting in to, but this topped all of the previous ones... read the rest

Airport shuttle, 5:03 am

The same road that I've driven every day, passing the same houses, the zebra crossing with the orange light, the pizza place at the corner, the house covered in vines on the way up the hill; all so familiar, like home yet it's not. Every day for two months but now it's the last time. In a few hours I'll be sitting on a plane on my way home and it's unlikely I'll be back. I'm happy to leave, but also sentimental. It's strange, this may just be some insignificant village in the German countryside, a boring little town not worth caring about, but the place has gotten to me somehow, the tiniest part of me will miss it. Goodbye.

Road B327, Germany, 5:12 pm

The fog is so thick, I can barely see the road ahead of me, it's like driving through paint diluted in water. All I can see is the red glow from the tail lights of the car in front and the swirling mists, lit up by my head lights, bright white against inky darkness of the forest. Dry leaves keep falling from the branches above, mixing in with the fog as it flows around the car like smoke in the breeze, sweaping up and over windscreen or creeping along the sides, only just revealing the next few meters of asphalt. I concentrate, focusing on what little I can see of the white lines along the edges and that glow up ahead in order to not go flying off the road. Part of me thinks thi is crazy, wants to slow down, but part of me wants to stick to that other car, let it guide us through this soup like an ever moving beacon. I choose the latter and keep a steady pace, that red glow at a constant distance, but one thought keeps spinning through my mind: this is just ridiculous.

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