Four Days in Vienna

“Slow down you crazy child”, I listen to this song in 13 Going on 30 while tearing up because Matt will marry and Jenna couldn’t do anything about it. After the movie is over it doesn’t only leave me the strong believe that at 30 I will be flirting and thriving and a happy ending that adds up to my hopeless romanticism but also an obsession with a new song.

It seems written directly for me; mentioning my anxiousness and fear for the future “If you’re so smart tell me why are you still so afraid”, and also pointing out my tendency of wanting to do everything today, now: You’ve got so much to do and only so many hours in a day. Of course, it also gives me a solution to everything, the answer to the big question:

“When will you realize Vienna waits for you?”

That’s all it took for me to become fixated that someday, somehow I had to visit that city in Europe, a continent that seem like a platonic love back then at 12.

I would love to say that my love for Vienna was ignited by it’s history, it’s music and artists… but no. I learned about all those months and years later and even though they were great points I must be honest with all of you. Vienna was stuck in my head long before I became a fan of Gustav Klimt’s mastering of the gold foil.

And well, Vienna waited for me and contrary to what’s expected of a love based on ideas, pictures and others’ opinions when the encounter became reality there was no disappointment but the affirmation that dream cities do exist and Vienna is one of them.

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New Beginnings

Pack all you have learned (no, not those college lectures), pack the falls and the healings, the ups and the downs. Wrap carefully those bonds that grew not with the years but by coffees, shared books and conversations till sunrise. Don’t forget the person you’ve built during these years and tie to it the good wishes of those who love you and want nothing but the best for you.

Don’t put in your carry-on those kisses that had no end and left you breathless and thirsty, they could try to take a them away saying you can’t bring with you dangerous weapons. Fill your bottle with energy and desires to begin again. Leave the photo albums behind, they’re extra weight, better take all the memories and a bit more of space for new ones. 

Hey! Wait! Don’t even dare to leave without the keys to your future, your power and right of deciding what to do next, and all those dreams you’ve had since you were 10. Is there’s still more space in your luggage? There better be, because we’re still missing your mom’s recipes to cure a brokenheart and the smell of your favorite coffee shop.

Take all the hugs and smiles in case of nostalgia. Bring your home inside you so you don’t get cold. Remember you always have somewhere to go back but pretend you forgot the address because right now is time to just move forward. Make sure you have your global visa because there’s no frontier or wall to keep you away from your goals. Just keep your eyes forward and your heart strong.

You might be heading on your own right now but you’re never alone. The stars look upon you and the wind blows your sails. Where are you going? That’s right: NO IDEA. But wherever you end, that’s the right place to grow roots or maybe just charge up your batteries before the next flight. Don’t be afraid to do something wrong, because there’s no one that has lived your life before so whatever you do it’s the best someone will ever do.

Run! This is the last call!

Fight 103, Destination: New Beginnings

South East Asia Taught Me…

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Rice field at Hoi An

Where to start from? First of all, I don’t want to bore you with the itinerary of my 35 day journey throughout South East Asia since you can find that in lots of blogs and travel websites around the Internet. So, let’s keep it simple and I will try to do my best to make your time reading this entry worth it (or at least entertaining).

I won’t deny it has been one of the coolest things I’ve dared to do in my life and also accept I was missing my bed by day 10. Travelling has become one of my favorite things to do since I moved to Taiwan but it was the first time I left home for so long with not much planned and just 7.42 kilos (that ended up being almost 10) in a backpack. So yeah, I was everything but ready for all that happenned and more than a couple of times I thought to myself “Why am I even here doing this?” but now I can tell you this from the bottom of my heart: it was all worth it. As every experience this trip was full of lessons, so this is what I will share (today) about my trip.

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Halong Bay

Get your tickets, solve the rest later. Before leaving to this trip I had lots of issues, especially with my passport, that lead me to think I would end up staying home for the winterbreak. Thanks God (and my amazing

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TukTuk friend in Phnom Penh

family) all this was solved on time… then I realized my savings were not going to make it, so again I found myself in an existencial crisis… but then again, I was saved (this time by art). The thing is, that once you have your tickets you’re already one step out of the country, if any of these problems would have happenned and I didn’t have my tickets I would’ve probably stayed at home thinking there was no possible solution.

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Hanoi Airport 4:00am

Every place is good enough to sleep if you are tired (or creative) enough. When you have really early flights and all the accommodation or transport to the airport goes way out of the budget spending a night in the airport is not such a bad idea… okay, actually it’s the worst idea you can come up with but it happens from time to time. I have to say though that Phuket airport is way more comfortable than Hanoi’s. Oh, and also: any commutting time can be nap time. By the end of this trip Laura and I could sleep in anything that moved: cars, buses, airplanes, ferries… you name it.

Cheap might end up being not so cheap. With this I’m not meaning that by buying cheap food or cheap things it might end up being something of bad quality… all the contrary. In Vietnam I had so much cheap food (Bahn Mis I miss you) that I ended up eating 4 or 5 times a day just because IT WAS TOO CHEAP. A delicious sandwich for 1 dollar? GIVE ME FIVE. Oh, this pair of shorts are just 2 dollars? I want them all! By the end of Vietnam I spent almost a third more than what I expected… So I would recommend a bit of self control in these situations. (I would do it again, though)

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BahnMi from BahnMi Queen, Hoi An

You might want to save your adventurous crazy stories for when you’re safe back at home. While in South East Asia I reported myself daily with my family. Even though they sort of had no choice but to let me go on this trip, I am pretty sure if I had told them we walked with Laura through desolated streets at 2:00 am, they would have come all the way from Honduras to bring me home themselves. So, every day I showed them the pretty pictures, told them the nice stories, and insisted on Skypping once I was back in Taipei to give them full detail about the trip.

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Hanoi Streets at 2:00am

Food is risky but yummy. I’ve been preparing myself for this type of food my whole life. I am not sure if I had told you, but I’m a street food lover… Once I made my mom take me to some (dubious) delicious hot dogs that were sold from 10pm onwards in the corner in front of one of the apartments I lived in back in Honduras and since then I’ve always tried anything I feel like eating. Baleadas from the market, pupusas from street carts, french fries sold in downtown, plantain chips with every sauce and salad you can think of, dumplings, danbings and fried onion pancakes from any source, etc etc. Now in South East Asia I didn’t stop to consider the risk of food poisoning and tried all the food that my tummy asked for. I am proud to say I survived through it all and I am back with nothing but good memories of all my cravings. Though of course, I recognized I was lucky since I know lots of people who have suffered from food poisoning and others, so be careful.

Traveling spontaneously is not for everyone. Throughout the trip we met lots of people who travelled spontaneously, they woke up and decided they wanted to leave to the next city (or country) and so they did… free as the wind. We had Vietnam and Cambodia sort of well-planned so we didn’t have the chance to try this travelstyle until Thailand and… it didn’t work at all for us. We got stuck in Bangkok for more time than what we would have liked to, we couldn’t find the train we wanted to take, we ended up having one more airport night than planned, and so on… so yeah, it’s not a travelstyle everyone can have.

Pictures lie. Have you seen the pictures people (including me) post at these amazing places that look empty with no other tourists? Well, most of them are just taken in a PERFECT PRECISE moment… tourist are EVERYWHERE (including me).

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The REAL Angkor Wat

Talk to strangers, befriend strangers. During all this trip I met many awesome people. I’ve learned so much from them, even when they were not trying to teach me anything at all… but just talking with them and seeing the world in a way I’ve never seen it before (through their eyes) was enough to move something inside me. I will go further on this in another entry since I believe they should have their own entry… but yeah, we were never alone and it was always fun. From our first night out in Hanoi, to drinking cheap beer and talking about friends of them we don’t know at all, to laughing about nothing in the darkness of the dorm room, to having “a big brother” on a club, and having a family breakfast in a morning on a small town. They just made everything better.

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Sunrise at Banyon Temple, Siem Reap

Sometimes the must see’s can be skipped, SOMETIMES. It happenned a couple of times we quitted the must see’s to try something different and every time it was worth it. Of course, the must see’s are must see for a reason but sometimes, just sometimes… it is good to take a rest. After having a crowded sunrise in the dunes of Mui Ne we decided to go to a different place rather than Angkor Wat for the sunrise and it was perfect, quiet and peaceful. We also stopped the temple tourism after a couple in Thailand and changed them for good conversations in the hostel’s lobby. And have you heard about the beauty of Hoi An in the night? Well, it is even more beautiful at 7am when just a couple of locals are up and around and the streets are peaceful and with enough space to dance around without bumping anyone.

Music is necessary. I try to quit Spotify for this vacation break… what was I thinking with bus rides of 7+ hours?!

Sunrises and sunsets are a thing. Normally sunsets make me feel nostalgic, I don’t really know why but I just end up feeling a bit blue inside. Anyways, they’re also great for inspiration and to make a close up of chapters. The sunrises I got to watch where in really espectacular places (in the Sand Dunes and the temples), but still I think my favorite sun-moment of the trip was in a bus entering to Cambodia. I was trying to fall asleep when I noticed all these crazy colors in the sky and the orange sun setting behind the mountains. I had no other option than to wake up the Argentinan sitting next to me since it was not possible he would lose such an amazing sky show.

The small things, it’s all about the small things. Have you ever felt the softness of your towel against your body while it dries you up? Probably not… but after using a microfiber towel for more than 2 weeks that was a real experience. Lowe bunk bed?! Wow, I must be the luckiest today. Hot shower after a long day? The nirvana. A fruit smoothie under the killer sun, sitting down under a tree after walking for kilometers, having free water at a hostel, Thai food with the right amount of spicyness, having WiFi with decent speed to load a video or making a call…. oh, the difference these things make.


HAHA, STYLE, WHAT IS THAT?!
I confess I lost my hair comb before the third week of this trip, didn’t take any make up or accessories, and by the end of this trip as long as I had showered I was already good to go. Looks, hairstyle, matching clothes… there’s no space in my backpack for all that.

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All the patterns, black leather and don’t dare forget the flip flops, of course.

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The Bombfire of Deep Conversations, Pai

Everyone has a story or something interesting to say. At some point I was tired of all the “Where do you come from? Where have you been? Where are you going to next?”, but what comes after that is so worth it. I had deeper conversations with people I cannot even recall their names (or that didn’t even tell me their names) than with people I’ve known for years. I talked with someone about our dreams and goals, one man told us his story of superation all the way from jail to being a master graduate, other told me about his family and way of seeing life, one girl gave us fashion classes, and with other I spent at least half an hour talking about food. Talks about death, fears, life, love, meaning, the past, the future, estability, society, politics, history, literature… and all these with perfect strangers.

History class is nothing. Okay, I did learn a lot in history class and I had good teachers but… how come I didn’t learn almost nothing about the war in Vietnam? Why did I learn NOTHING about the genocide in Cambodia? This are really important events in history, so many lives lost, countries totally destroyed. Of course, this is also one of the amazing things about travelling you get to learn the history, step on the same places, feel it… but still I’m still surprised and disappointed of the small coverage that is given to those countries that are not in the mainstream spotlight (even today it’s still the same).

There is no age limit. Travelling I saw and met people I can say they could be my grandmas or grandpas, and there they were exploring, discovering and amazing themselves just as I was (probably with a better hotel and a bigger budget but it is still tiring). For example, in the boat we stayed one night around Halong Bay, the last one standing dancing all night long was a grandpa who had just ONE dance move and there he went all night long dancing through disco, to rock, to pop and techno.

Invest in moments, experiences, memories, all the rest is secondary. Even though I regret (a bit) not buying a GoPro and a Kindle before this trip… It also proved to me how the money invested in experiences like this one is so much worth it than the other I’ve used for material acquisitions. After travelling around with one single backpack and being able to survive from it all this time I come back home and look at my closet and all the stuff in my room and it really makes me think how much of all this I really need. I accept I wouldn’t be able to live as a backpacker forever, but at least this trip openned my eyes a bit more to the person I am being during my routine. All this buying, consuming, trying to fill spaces with things that I don’t even need… 

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Dancing at 7am, Hoi An

Finally, this trip helped to the biggest lesson I’m learning throughout these years: LIVE THE MOMENT. I know it sounds like a cliché and it might be, but it’s also one of the best things we can learn to do. Hakuna Matata life a bit, forget about what might happen or

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Koh Phi Phi

could have happenned, leave the worries behind and breathe the
present. It will take me a while or maybe a whole lifetime to stop being an overthinker tiny human being but meanwhile that change takes over me I will keep on enjoying and exploring this amazing place called Earth and also this universe I was given upon birth: myself.

So, yeah! South East Asia trip was AWESOME! I will keep on posting about it for a while (hope you can keep up with me and I won’tannoy you… too much) Have a nice day and leave your comments or thoughts in the comments! Meanwhile I will go to the laundry to dry my covers and read Pedro Páramo. Oh routine,  sweet routine…

 

Cycling Around Taiwan: Episode 1

Some days ago I posted I had an accident while riding bicycle around Taiwan. Just that small part of the adventure took me a whole post so let’s see how it goes trying to summarize the whole trip.


2sZW4m5.gifDuring this winterbreak I decided to stay in Taiwan to be able to save up money for my tickets for the summer (it did not actually work, damn it). Luckily, one of my best friends and 學妹 was also staying in Taiwan so we decided to plan something together. I came up with different “budget” ideas, such as being couch potatos for two weeks, going to an island in Taiwan, or even traveling to Okinawa and backpack around there for a week, which she thought were cool, but then I decided to share with her one of my crazy ideas. I had already shared with others this plan and always received an answer such as “You are crazy”, “Sounds cool but… no”, “Good luck with that”. So here I went:

“What about cycling around Taiwan? Like, around the whole island.” Oh my God, she will think I am crazy and run away…

OMG. WHEN? YES!!!!!“, and that my friend is how I got my adventure buddy for the next crazy adventure.

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When you think about cycling around Taiwan, you think of fit persons… so, we needed training. Training that did not happen. When you think about cycling around Taiwan, you think of meeting and planning thoroughly every detail. Meetings did happen but theefwd.gif planning was lost among eating pizza, going to tattoo parlors, watching movies, and so on. But somehow a couple of days before the scheduled date we had our bikes reserved, all the gear bought, 30 granola bars each, and our route sort of traced plus tons of CouchSurfing requests sent and friends’ houses along the route. Not bad for last minute planning, right?

The night before the date of parting we went to pick our bikes (before that we almost set fire to my house while making a tomato soup, but that is another story). We did not count with the massive rain though, by the time we were back in my apartment we were soaking wet. Nata (Guatemala) was using the clothes she was going to use for the first day of cycling and our backpacks were dripping water… We had eight hours to wash and dry our things for the adventure of next day. So, there we went at 11:00pm in the look for 24H Washing and Dryer Machines.

Of course, we had Google Maps and Nata gave a look to the location where the place with the machines was… the thing is “giving a look” is not understanding exactly where and none of us took her cellphone. So it was cold, still rainning, dark and we were both tired, but we spend approximately one hour roaming around the streets of Taipei until we found the small shop with the coin washer and dryer machines. It took approximately one hour for the things to dry up (we had already washed them at my place, at least)… Did I mention we were tired? Well, we ended up sleeping on a 0.5×1.0 meter table… Yes, both of us in one single table.

At least this proved a point: we could sleep A N Y W H E R E.

(…and that is good if you are planning on backpacking)

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We were planning to leave at 6:00am and it was already 4:00am by the time we got back home. I slept an hour and woke up to have a champion’s breakfast. Eggs? No. Bacon? No. Peanut butter jelly sandwich? No. Tomato soup and spagghettti? YEEEES. Two hours later we were ready and since it was still raining we had to be witty and create our own waterproof technology gear.

Two hours later we were on our way…

Let’s remember that we were two unexperienced girls on the road, so it did not take long before our first near-death experience. Somehow, when trying to exit crowded Taipei we ended up on a highway. Yes, you read that: A HIGHWAY. Speeding loud cars passing a couple of centimeters right beside us, with no space for motorcycle or bicycles. I am not sure how long it was before we found the first exit but by that time I was already sweating ice cold and praying inside my head. Could have been just ten minutes but I felt it as a long eternity.

12592496_10153903195776948_190081193327582707_nOnce we were out of Taipei everything got better. We went on the wrong way a couple of times, climbed some pretty steep hills, had dumplings for lunch in a small restaurant close to Taoyuan (yes, where the airport is)… but then it started raining.

As we got closed to Hsinchu it started raining a lot. Poor Nata was all dirty with mud since she was riding behind me so all the dirt of my wheels was flying directly to her. It was getting colder but I would lie if I told you we were feeling cold, when you are pedalling for over half an hour nonstop it is impossible to get cold, but as soon as you stop you would freeze. Soon enough, we started seeing buildings and there we were, at our first stop.

Welcome to Hsinchu City. 

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We smelled like wet dogs. We were soaked in rain and sweat. We were tired and hungry. But we had a nice apartment waiting for us. Juan (Panama) had given Nata the keys to his apartment where a hot shower, a big bed and… two hosts were waiting for us! We entered and talked a bit about the adventure of the day with our hosts: Jovane  (Panama) and Luigi (Nicaragua). Then I ran to the bathroom and discovered the nirvana in that hot shower. I could have stayed there all night under the hot water…

Our host Juan was not home but he left a whole arsenal of new toothbrushes, mini toothpastes, a list with food we could take from the refrigerator, the wifi password, and clean towels for us. He took seriously the role of being the greatest host, even if he was an absent host.

Dinner, of course, was nothing but a huge Costco pizza which we shared with Jovane. Plus one ice cream and two churros. (Hey! Come on, we needed extra carbs! Don’t judge)

Oh, and let’s not forget that we had no Processed with VSCOappropiate clothes for the windy weather in Hsinchu except for the one we used during the day which was dirty, sweaty and wet… So we were saved by fashion expertee Jovane and had some really nice outfits to go to Costco in, including shoes which dangled around since his feet are way bigger than mine.

Tough first day, really tough…

Next day we tried to wake up early but our hosts wouldn’t let us leave (we are that good guests) so we got on the road until  9:30am after a quick visit to the washer-dryer machines and a breakfast in delicious gourmet restaurant 7-11.

Our next destiny was Taichung which was 95km away… and we were supposed to be there before 7:00pm since we stayed with a host we found on CouchSurfing but she is currently in New Zealand so the ones receiving us were going to be her parents. The road of this day was specially full with steep slopes and my knee was starting to hurt. I kept on telling myself “mind over body” but it got to a point in which every time I saw a mountain coming I would rather just stay there and wait for… anything, but ride my bike up. Of course I could not do that so I found myself cursing under my breath and riding while Nata did small stops to let me catch up (have I told you before how amazing my adventure buddy is?) 

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We did a stop in Miaoli to have lunch, it was close to Chinese New Year so ALL restaurants were closed but we saw one Vietnamese restaurant in the road and we stopped to check it out. Our surprise was when we asked for our menu and they just started laughing and they said “There is no menu, we serve what you see here”, what we saw in the glass showcase looked like cold pork knobs, chicken legs, other unrecognizable meat, transparent noodles and next to it inside a boiling cauldron a weird soup… Nope. This was not the place to eat at. We slowly went back to our bikes and escaped.

12646926_10153903219871948_4896531704592050731_o.jpgA couple of kilometers later we saw another open restaurant where they sell 便當 which can be translated to “lunchbox” which normally is: white rice, meat of your choice and vegetables. Everyone there seem really happy to see us and after answering the common questions they served us soup, an extra piece of chicken (I told you, EXTRA CARBS IS THE KEY), chocolates and candies. We were back on our way but time was flying by and we were not even half way to our destiny.

Faster, skip some red lights, faster, faster… and itProcessed with VSCO was 6:00pm and according to our guide Google maps we were 2 hours far away from our destiny when we took the decision: we had to ride a train. NOOOOOOOO… But yes, it had to happen. To our surprise what we would have made in two hours of mountain trails the train accomplished it in 15 minutes. Yes, three train stops later we were in Taichung train station in the search of the address we were given.

First of all I have to say Taichung, in my opinion, was the least bike friendly place of all. Or maybe I was already in a bad mood since it was COLD and my knee was seriously killing me. We arrived to our host’s place to find the most cheerful sweet lady I could have think of. We were going to stay on the third floor of her office which the family has exactly for that purpose: to receive guests of CouchSurfing. We had a comfy big bed, warm water, shower, washer machine, sandals, shampoo, toothpaste, everything ready for us. But before I could die in bed she asked us if we wanted to go have dinner with her and our tummies roared YEEEES!

We went to Taichung night market where she invited us to different night market snacks, we played darts, walked around, met one of her friends who is owner of one of the boutiques, and then she drove us (so weird to go around Taiwan in a car that is not a cab) to her home where we met her husband and their three dogs.

Did I metion already that my knee was KILLING me and that it was COLD? Well, there she gave me ointment and some special patches for my knee, and then she gifted Nata and me a coat and a pair of warm tights for each of us. Since she believed we were going to die otherwise. Yes, you read that: food, medicine and clothes. Plus, her husband made a really nice tea and had chopped fruits waiting for us. Kindness to its maximum exponent. Welcome to Taiwan.

We went back to our home for the night. Shower. Bed. Sleep… Next morning we had a trip to continue.


So I just found out our adventure has TOO much to put on a single entry. So I will divided in 3 or 4 parts. I hope you liked Chapter 1! 

Special thanks to all our hosts and people we met on the way! They are the highlights of all this crazy trip.

Oh and that day I discovered why my knee was hurting. I wasn’t using the changes of velocity and gear properly in my bike, specially when going uphill. So I was technically killing myself. At least we made this discovery in day 2… further on I also discovered my seat was too low for my long ch0pstick legs. For real, riding a bike around an island is no recreational activity for amateurs (meaning, me)… still… IT WAS FUN. 

 

When You Fly, but Fall…

…against concrete and rocks and boom bam BOOOOM… blood.

champagne-celebration-gifFirst of all… HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO THE BLOG! Well, it is not today but it was in February, a couple of days before of Valentine’s when I wrote my first entry while I was in one of Inese’s class which were taught in Latvian so I did not understand anything. Since then it has been a year of writing nonsense but feeling great about it, plus thanks to this blog I’ve gotten to know better more people and all of you have gotten to know me as well. Just in time for this special date someone wrote an inbox to me, she is not my friend, I have never seen her before and I got this amazing inbox in which she told me about reading me and liking it a lot. Her words were so beautiful that made me realize how worth it is to write all these messy thoughts and share them with all of you.

So, thanks to all of you. I am really happy about this small blog and hope to continue it through the pass of months and years.

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Recently I was on a trip around Taiwantumblr_o0p9rn4CUP1v3tw04o1_500… on bicycle. It has been one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. The goal was to go around the whole island but on Saturday, pass half of our way I had an accident in the middle of nowhere. Thanks to God no bones were broken but I swear I flew from my bike and for a moment I felt like time stopped and I just thought “This is it”… but it wasn’t pheww.

Now my knee has a hole, or well it had a hole now it is just full of stitches. My right hand is not really useful. My chin has a scar… and I am traumatized after having stitches being made without local anestesia or anything to soothe the pain (yep, that badass I am… ignore the fact that I cried like a baby during the whole process and I was trembling like a chihuahua after that).

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The whole point of this is that:

I am thankful for all the wonderful people that exist in this world.

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetStarting with my adventure buddy Natalia who has been with me through all this mess and now is taking care of me even when our trip ended (because of my fault). We took two rides and three trains to come back to Taipei, the accident happened in the middle of nowhere and it felt like the end of everything, we were rejected from buses and trains since we had our bikes with us, I am pretty much an invalid so I can’t help with anything… and she does not hate me but keeps a strong positive mind.

Let’s continue with the scooter man who stopped in the middle of his way to somewhere just to help two foreigner girls. One almost dying but eating a protein bar because she did not want to faint and the other one having a nervous laughter attack. He called one of his friends to help us get to the police station after seeing that I had no way of gettin back on the bike.

His friend came with his blue truck, and let me in even when there was a high risk of me messing his car seat with blood stains, taking us to the nearest police station which was not that close at all.

Following this hero, we have the two police Processed with VSCO with t1 presetmen and the lady of the police station. They gave me first aid, and then asked us if we had eaten anything. So they shared their lunch with us (the greatest fried rice and sesame noodles I’ve had), made us peanut butter, chocolate and jelly sandwiches for our way back home. Packed lunch for us, gave us cookies, candies and everything they could find in the station that was edible. Then they packed our bikes, and took us to the nearest town.

Snapchat-4228567293218695639In Hengchun (the closest town) the police man who drove us there helped us contact SongGe, a guy who has a mini bus and takes people around all the South area. For a minimum fee he was going to take us to the station which was actually really far, but then he decided to take me to the hospital where a doctor healed me really badly (he filled my knee hole with cotton… technically, and told me stitches should be made three days after). While this happenned SongGe was taking a nap on the lobby of the hospital waiting for us. Before taking us to the train station he made a stop and bought us three types of different breads for us to take on our way home since we would get hungry. Oh and on our way he kept on singing and dancing and teaching us Taiwanese. Cool guy, right?

We arrived Kaohsiung in train, since no trains went directly from Fangliao (the station SongGe delivered us to) to Taipei. There we received the terrible news that no train left for Taipei that night and the HighSpeed trains rejected us since they wanted us to take off the wheels of our bikes, fold them (how the hell was I supposed to do that?), and put them inside some fancy bags (that we did not have). Oh, and I was still bleeding during all this time… so I was pretty much weak, stressed, crying, hopeless and planning to stay on a 7/11 convenience store until 10am to wait for a train that would take us… but I decided to bother Maru.

Person #8: I called Maru and in less than an hour she was there… scolding me for not calling her before and taking me to the hospital in Kaohsiung which is a bigger city than Fangliao. In the hospital I had X-rays taken and… No broken bones. Then they tortured me for what seemed to be an eternity but at least my wounds were closed and I had pain killers. We went to sleep to Maru’s house and next day we were on our train to Hsinchu.

5 hours later we were on Hsinchu, taking another 2 hour train to Taipei… and finally back home. Where Jose Mario went to pick us up to the station and helped us take my bike to the store we rent it from while I took a cab home. Oh, by the way… it was Valentine’s! So when they came from the store we decided to celebrate with two pizzas and a movie.

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During all this time I walked around through train stations half hopping and half cursing so I decided to leave shame aside and ask on Facebook if anyone in Taipei could lend me crutches. No long after, Aura had already commented offering hers and Irina brougth them to me the day after… in bicycle.

Adding to this I have not been alone in all these two days back home. Natalia is staying with me, Irina has spend all day with me today also, Luisa came to visit and brought me Oreos (I LOVE OREOS), Ari (my roommate) dropped by to say hi and prove with her own eyes that I was still alive, Laura (who also lent us her house while our stay in Tainan during the trip), Adela and Michelle came on the afternoon bringing cheesecake, coffee and a cat (no, we did not eat the cat)… love, love, so much love. (and food)

And last but not least… the persons who have kept their love and caring coming through phone calls and messages, even when they are far far away,  travelling around the world, or somewhere in Taiwan. A thousand million infinites THANK YOUs.

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In conclusion, I can’t help to smile for all the love and caring I’ve received during this mess. I hate the fact that I cannot do almost anything on my own but… it is not so bad to be pampered for a little while, I guess.

I am blessed for all this. Still alive. Had an amazing trip even though it finished a bit earlier than expected. With a future pirate scar on my chin. And with hell of a story to tell to my someday to be grandsons and granddaughters.

Oh and of course, with Natalia we are still thinking on finishing the whole island in bicycles… someday.

Meanwhile I will read all the books I have on my list, finish my painting, write on my blog more nonesense, have serious long meetings with Netflix, and jump around in my crutches.

 So, see you soon! And for real guys, thanks for being soooo amazing.


PS: Blog entry of the AMAZING trip is coming soon. Wait for it.