So after lunch with Joyce, we took a cab to my new home in Xindian (south part of Taipei) and she dropped me off to be all by myself. How exciting! At first I didn’t have ANYTHING set up. I had to go to the lobby to use the internet. Later I figured out how to get on the internet in the rooms (It’s a poorly named access point, guys!) and didn’t have to use the lobby for anything. Phew, obstacle one, overcome.
Then I tried to get money. FAIL. My debit card wasn’t set up to withdraw money from a bank ATM. Go figure. I would have to call my bank at some point and see if I could get them to set me up immediately. Nick’s gotta eat, son.
At this point I would have tried to do more administration things, but my dad’s buddy Steve picked me up for dinner. When I say picked me up, I just mean he met me so we could walk to the indoor/outdoor restaurant where we would eventually have hot pot, cigars, and duck testicles. Yes, everything is THAT close.
So yeah, we had ciagars, Taiwan beer, and various animal body parts! It was crazy fun :D It was also one of Steve’s best friend’s birthday. There were 6 of us altogether. I feel somewhat bad for crashing the party because I stole the spotlight most of the time just by being foreign. Oh hey look, that foreigner is trying this crazy awesome Taiwan favorite that most westerner’s would puke at (all body parts, when cooked, taste like meat, what’s the big deal??) But I suppose it was also just another night for the boys. They were all in their upper 30s and lower 40s, and this was their way of life. Work by day, hot pot** and stories by night.
** Hot pot, for the uninitiated is a DIY dinner where you cook raw food in a boiling pot of broth with sauces and tofu mixed in. It’s very delicious and very fun.
When all of this was said and done, I had to rush off to the next event of the night: pregaming for the club. I met up with Ruby and friends (all but one are Chinese kids I know from America) and we played kings cup and just shot the breeze for a bit. Ruby’s place is super awesome and had a fun hang out room. We turned up the music, got our drink on, and prepared ourselves mentally for the awesomeness that is clubbing in Taiwan.
Fastforward to the club: It’s all the same great music in the states with WAY more dancing. We got to SPARK, a club at the base of Taipei 101 (2nd tallest building in the world, dear readers) where we immediately got ushered into the club (still not sure why we didn’t have to wait in line). I threw my stuff in a locker and put my game face on. It was dancin’ time.
But it wasn’t. At least not yet. So I enjoyed the free alcohol and orange juice lying around. Now this, dear readers, is a note to all who might drink with me at some point. If you challenge me, I will accept. I was preparing a drink for a friend and in the process appeared to be double fisting two whiskey-orange juices. Someone noticed this and dared me to down both instantly. YES! I love this club already. And so I became ever more inebriated after a dinner of drinking Taiwan beer and playing kings cup with vodka sprite. I was so ready for dancing.
And dance I did. For hours. It was FANTASTIC. Why had I never seriously gone clubbing before? I dunno.
Finally, I hopped in a cab with my new friend Johnson and made it back home. We somehow got on the topic of running and I, of course, spilled my heart out about how inspirational the book “Born To Run” was for me. We both discovered we were runners and decided to set up a running date at a later point in time. God I love this sport.
Overall my first night in Taiwan was thoroughly and ridiculously awesome. How can I ever leave?