I am at middle point in my Taipei times. I have two weeks to see whatever things I think are worthwhile and there are more than a few left I have marked on maps or kept. Many of the last week things are museums so will spend a day at each getting to them, seeing them, wandering around and taking photographs. Other places include one night market to see and the Taipei 101 World Trade Center area. I also may walk up Elephant Walk to see the sunset if its not too crowded.
Today though is Sunday and I did plan out an endeavor for today. I want to make it to the Botanical gardens here today and then wander around the area its in. My rule is to not get off on the closest station but to walk from whatever station looks good at the time. Any time works since I don’t go by time any longer.
steps and moments will rule
My favorite things are the steps and the moments. Each thing lets me see a place that perhaps is hidden in plain sight. Taipei is full of them really. There are the small blocks of shops and restaurants and the big blocks of shopping centers and malls. Each thing though has a thing next to it that may not be found. Maybe I won’t find them either. It’s hard to only have a month in this city. There is just so much of the ordinary to see. I told my friend L that Saigon is like that. You can go for a week and see the sights. Visit Independence Palace and Ho Chi Minh Square. Maybe see some museums. But let’s face it. Saigon is vast. It’s so big that big does not work for it. It’s Fucking Big! My darling L, who is Vietnamese and lives there, does not know the city’s intricate passageways and secrets sometimes although she can take me to places I would never reach without her. Restaurants are wonderful with her since I get lazy and her English is good and she just orders for us and talks with the folks waiting on us. She also guides the Grab drivers in Vietnamese which is quite handy. But yet I tell her of a place I am at and she does not know it. It’s because Saigon is so F’ing big.
But the real steps and moments for me in Saigon or not are the little steps and moments. Coffee shops like Lousia’s here down the street where I am so warmly welcomed and the latte and breakfasts are so damned good. The little breakfast places like Yummy Burger where the food is cheap and the menus have pictures. I like pictures. Easier to order. The places that serve American style breakfasts are varied here but I skip around to always get back to my favorites which are the up scale coffee shops. I just like those moments more here. In Vietnam though its the local coffee shops with the Iced Coffee with Milk that I love. So moments are moments and cities are cities.
Moving on is moving
I also know moving on will happen from Taiwan. No matter how much I enjoy the city and will soon see the 4 different cities I picked along the High Speed Rail route, moving on will happen and the moments will dwindle to a flight to Manila next. I don’t have any feelings about Manila at all. Not good or bad. I am just going. We shall see what three weeks is like in Manila, Cebu, and Davao. I do have friends that live in Manila to hopefully see. Friends from the other days. The .com days and the startup days from the way back machine. Will I see them? I don’t know. Moving on is moving. Sometimes I feel that those friends are the most transient and least established. With my wonderful L its easy to put a value on what we share. She is a dedicated, warm, loving person that will always call me, message me, ask how I am and worry about me at times. Those other friends have crossed the line to the other kind of friendship I think exists. They want to not hear firsthand but FB is fine. If I visit perhaps they will see me. I have two weeks in the US; anyone wanna bet how many of those friends I will see? I also want to see some work colleagues at my last place before I retired and left the US for good (almost).
But then I move on. Across the US on yet another thing I have wanted. To Florida to see my daughter force and then on to the Middle East for months. I end up back where I basically started from — Phnom Penh Cambodia. Just in time to see my friend AV there and take her out for a dinner. But I know that my moments are limited in Cambodia. I go for a few reasons but then I leave again.
Because moving on is moving and I feel I must slowly move. I own nothing of value. No home, no car, no pets. No big things to worry over or to get back to. So I move on.
And on. And its good.