Friday, September 16th, 2016
This week has been a bit of a washout. We had Typhoon Meranti's hors d'oeuvres, main course, and leftovers; now another typhoon, this one named Malakas, is expected to make landfall in Taiwan just 3 days later. Today the sun actually came out so I jump on the bicycle and head for Wanlin on the north coast. It's only about 40 kilometers from Taipei but there are a couple of big mountains in between which will make for a good workout in this heat.
Descending down the other side of the mountain I meet some Chinese cyclists at a crossroads. They ask me where I'm going, they tell me to follow 28 all the way into Wanlin. The conversation happens completely in Chinese, and I actually understand what they were saying. Minor miracle. I'm sopping wet with sweat from the climb, my grey cotton shorts look like I've had an accident. I should only wear black when climbing in the heat (not doing Spandex, just not going there).
At a 7-11 in Wanlin a guy with no teeth asks me where I'm from. I think he's a betel nut chewer. At any rate he's ripped on something. Practicing my Chinese with drug-addicts is a tough task, I can barely understand my teacher, never mind someone who slurs their words.
I arrive at the Yehliu Geopark to be told it has been closed due to the impending arrival of the typhoon. Oh well, a good excuse to make the ride back up here some day.