Monday, November 7th, 2016
Serious gluttony at the breakfast buffet this morning. Afterwards I feel like going back to bed for a nap but the show must go on, there are big Buddhas to see and miles to be ridden.
Underneath the big Buddha is a desk where a woman asks us if we want to trace a Dharma quote. Not really sure what that means but why not. We each pick a little stick with a number, like drawing straws, to get a random quote. She then gives us a piece of paper that has the quote written in Chinese characters. Inside behind the desk we sit at pupils that have a sort of script in English of what you're supposed to do: meditate for three minutes, say such and such three times, bow three times, etc... then trace over the Chinese characters we have been given with a felt pen. Afterwards I realize I traced mine upside down!
All the tourism has put us in the hole distance-wise. Running out of light and far from Chiayi, night ride it is. I know it's a bad move. Sure enough about 30 kilometers into it I take a bug straight into my right eye. I can't get the thing out, there's nothing around that would have a mirror, I ride with one eye shut for another 10k until I find a 7-11 where I can extract the damn thing. We finally roll into Chiayi exhausted and cranky around 8, get to the hotel, shower, drop our stuff, take a cab back to the night market in Chiayi for dinner and a bank run. We are forced to break out the Chinese tonight: with the hotel staff, the cab drivers, and the people at the night market. Pretty painful but we manage to get there, eat, and get back to the hotel okay.