April 20, 2005
so... i guess its time
i guess its time i explained the pictures i posted the other day.
well... not having a computer to sit in front of for two months, really did a number to me. kind of changed the pace and direction of my daily life. did a good amount more things outside... well... when i wasn't sleeping in incredibly late or moping about the house. did a bunch of that. too much. not to mention the obsessive file-sharing problem i had highlighted in my roommates livejournal criticism of me....
edit: on reflection, i don't recommend reading this unless you want my roommates account of the horribly morbid depression i sunk into last month. if you do read it, keep in mind this had been resolved... and i wasn't listening to music because my burner didn't work and if i ran winamp for more than two minutes the computer died (not that he isn't still right about what he said... i was consuming music, not enjoying it. but i knew my time on soulseek was limited and soon i'd be back on the poor excuse for p2p on my mac. there i go giving excuses again. shit.). i can hardly defend myself... i was a mess. I wasn't really planning on sharing this episode with anyone, but seeing as its public anyways... um... the depression wasn't just the computer, but rather something that had been in the makeing for a few months, and related to several things i'd rather not discuss. the spill was more like "the vodka lime that broke the camels back". oh yes... and i have ADD... not ADHD. though i can hardly blame that for my communication problems, i can be outright unbearable sometimes with or without medication.
so i just got distracted by livejournal.
anyhow... i've rented a motorcycle, and quickly became addicted to riding my 'bike', as i like to refer to it now. anyhow... two weekends ago, i took it on a trip to kenting. unfortunately that weekend ended up being my week to clean, so i didn't end up leaving until 4:30 in the afternoon. sure enough, by nightfall i was lost in the mountains....north of taipei city. luckily i had brought along a compass, and could still see taipei 101 sticking up from behind the mountains. having only ridden a bike for two days... and using a clutch for the first time, i had a rather difficult time evading the wild packs of dogs that would ambush me on every slow turn around the mountain. i got bitten in the leg a few times actually, but they never got through my tough biker jeans. i did notice, however, that most all of the dogs were limping, nursing, or missing legs. ha. foolish animals. i think cats will always be far superior in that aspect.
anyhow... by 10 i had found myself on the main road south, winding and weaving through mountain passes and seaside cliffs. im sure it was all really lovely, but of course it was pitch black and i spent most of the trip blinded by cars that obviously assume a lonely motorcycle is not worth turning off the brights. so.... i don't know what got into me. i had just planned on going as far as taroko gorge and then finding a ditch to sleep in... but something just told me to keep going. it was interesting riding through all these towns when everyone was asleep and all the shops were closed up. the only sign of life on the whole trip was from the 7-11's that fueled me with hot coffee and rain ponchos (at one point i was wearing 4 layers and had them firmly duck-taped to my body.... I didn't know riding bikes got that cold at night). anyhow.... 7 o clock in the morning i arrived on the beach. The picture of that sun rising (i know it didn't turn out at all), that was the last thing i saw before passing out on the beach behind a giant rock. four hours and several strange biker dreams later, i dusted myself off and turned around to go home. This time, however, i had a dogs skull from the beach to tape to the front of my bike to intimidate the dogs awaiting my return.
so... it was absolutely incredible!!! i got really awful sunburn (which just about every taiwanese i knew had to point out to me and express their concern for) and nearly suffered from heat exhaustion... but that only lasted until 8 when i was lost high in the mountains around taroko gorge where there were still patches of snow on the ground. thats when i really thought i was going to die. its hard to use those mirrors on the tight mountain turns when you can't even see them. anyhow... i climbed the mountains with my bike for about 4 hours, before reaching a gas station that told me the mountains only got higher, and taipei city was still 8 hours ahead. so... i turned around and went back down the mountain to try my luck on the 'not so deathly cold and windy' east coast stretch. which turned out to be a good decision. going down the mountains was incredible. of course, watching the sun set in the gorge was about the most incredible thing i've ever seen... but tearing down the mountain with the engine on idle... but still going 60 KPH... and with a dead dogs skull on wheel, made the whole trip worthwhile. at this point all the tourist had been replaced with giant commercial trucks that were bigger than the road itself, but of course all those patches of fallen rocks, spontaneous waterfalls, and hairpin turns seem a lot less threatening when you are pretending to be a zombie hell's angel... or ghostrider. i had my share of fun hiding around corners with my lights off and then turning them on in front of unexpecting cars, and revving my engine... and other silly things like that. looking back at it all... its rather embarrassing. but... i was feeling a little crazy. at this point i was wearing black gloves, a black ski mask, and a black jacket and scarf all bought at the lifesaving gas station at the top of the hill.
um... so my story is really more of a stream of consciousness... sorry if it is unbearable.
so... riding back home was great. i finally had the hang of driving a motorcycle and got really good at tearing around corners with my foot dragging to keep myself from toppling over. this is something i had to learn fast, because the cars on this highway do the most absurd things if you dare drive less than 75 KPH, even when taking the most absurdly sharp corners. i really felt like i was racing, or playing a video game. i have never been more excited or scared in my life...
anyhow... to make a long story short... i got home at around 3 that night, completing the round trip to kenting county in only 34 hours... and on 4 hours of sleep. of course, i did suffer terribly form the extreme temperatures, exhaustion, and sun poisoning... what have you... i ended up being horrible sick all week. but... well... it was worth it.
it was a great trip. i think i'll do it again after orlandos closes. but next time i leave early in the morning, and bring warmer clothes. and color film.
oh wait! i've been finding random rolls of unprocessed film all around my room... so i think i will share some of those before i start doing my chinese homework.
Posted by james at April 20, 2005 6:34 AM