Couldn’t sleep after waking up around 4am, so I decided to go for a short run/walk… that turned into a 3 hour run/walk.
I ended up running by the riverside and found out half way down that there was only one other exit anywhere remotely close to where I’d entered the park and that it was still a few kilometers away from where I was. I said screw it and decided to finish up the run there. Once I managed to get onto the other side of the large concrete fence separating the city from the riverside I kept running. I don’t know why.
By then I wasn’t even winded or hurting, I’d gone beyond that and I was just enjoying the shops opening their doors and greeting the old people with a nod from my head. I vaguely knew where I needed to go so I kept running East and turning every once in a while North.
Before I knew it I was facing Longshan Temple. No longer the packed and thriving area, it was full of the prior evening’s trash and the night market vendors setting up once more for another long day. I decided to weave in and out of the small alleys that comprise the area and found myself on a cleaner street where the morning vendors were setting up their vegetables and fruits for the day.
Continuing on my way, I eventually found myself passing the Armed Forces Museum and turned the corner to find myself in front of the Presidential Office Building aka Taiwan’s White House. The sun had begun rising over the buildings and looking far down the main street leading away from the Presidential Office Building I could see Taipei 101. For a few seconds I wondered if I would be able to manage to run all the way there. I knew the answer. If I somehow managed to not die on the way there, I would most definitely not be able to make my way back with jellified legs and lack of energy. So off I went in a different direction, ending up at 228 Peace Memorial Park.
Running through the park with only old men wandering around, I ended up in a visually busy block of streets. Deciding to partially double back on my run I went down the narrow streets and found 2 cafes that I definitely would like to check out in the future. I was in such a good running zone that I accidentally ran past my hostel and didn’t even notice. A few blocks later, once I noticed, I said screw it and decided to try to see how much longer I could go for.
Eventually I found myself back at the hostel ready to start the day. I got in contact with Angela and we decided to take advantage of the super nice weather and have a picnic at one of the large parks in the city. We met up at one of the metro stations and bought ingredients to make salsa and sandwiches at Carrefour and then proceeded to the park.
We met up with another friend of Angela’s and we had a blast talking about their experiences living abroad in the US, Canada, and Germany. There were so many people around, there was even a small group of little kids learning how to rollerblade around the area.
Back at the hostel I thought I was going to call it another early night but instead I ended up befriending a young Korean girl whom I practically demanded to stay at her house if I ever went to South Korea. I was also cajoled into joining a group consisting of an old Korean man (the leader of the operation), another Korean girl, and a Japanese guy into grabbing some beers and snacks from the 7-11 next door. The old man was all about the drinking and got a bottle of wine and a small bottle of vodka as well. Once back at the hostel he made sure that our tiny tea cups never went empty and I listened as they all spoke in Japanese mixed with a bit of Korean and English for my benefit. I’m sure we were an interesting sight to see and hear.
The following are just a few shots from my morning run and while I waited for Angela to arrive at the metro station.
I think I’m going to start a collection of random things left on bicycles.