Sundays are usually straightforward, but yesterday was the most complicated day I’ve had in a long while. It started off well: I met my private 1-on-1 student on time and had a very informative conversation about civil law systems and common law systems, then went home to hang out for a bit.
Everything started to go wrong when I began to study my planned route to the hash in Sanxia. My co-worker was resolved to go, and since he intends to buy my scooter and I wanted practice before I make my way to Jiufen by scooter, I thought we’d scooter there together, especially since I feel much more settled and comfortable on a scooter when I have someone on the back. It seemed the national freeways didn’t allow scooters, but I wasn’t quite sure, so after consulting with him, we set off on the scooter. We made it to Banqiao without problem, but then I asked a person beside us at a stoplight if we could go on the 3. It was good I did, because my suspicions from earlier were true!
After getting some ridiculously complicated–or just in Chinese too advanced for me–directions at a 7-11, I decided we should just go to Banqiao Station and take the train like the run’s organizers suggested. At this point, we would have been only a little bit late, and my hopes were still high, but once we got off the train in Yingge, we couldn’t find a single taxi. We walked down toward the center of the town, and when we finally found a taxi and hopped in, he kicked us out because he didn’t go where we were heading. A gas station attendant recommended a bus, which we caught pretty quickly, but it was after 3pm by this point. We quickly got a taxi, but we were supposed to follow flour from the freeway exit, and I couldn’t make that clear to the driver. After trying to call a few people, we just had him take us back to Yingge, where we walked the pottery street and took a much needed break at a restaurant.
A bus brought us back to the MRT, and we parted ways as I went to pick up the scooter. I thought I was safe, but no. It had started raining while we were on the bus chatting about politics and such, so I got on my scooter a soggy mess. I set off and had a strange problem with the engine just sputtering out. Throttling up seemed to help, and so I proceeded until I mistakenly believed myself to be at the Sanchong bridge which would have taken me home the easy way. I had missed the turn, so I started a long loop through some side streets and alleys where my scooter died for real. An old man in front of a grocery store couldn’t really help, so he directed me to a scooter repair shop, which, it being Sunday, was closed. I left it in a parking spot and trudged off to a bus stop.
The bright side? The bus home went by Longshan Temple and I got a lead on a Christmas gift for one of my brothers. Also, I saw a little bit of a traditional puppet show that was just puppets fighting each other to the clamor of cymbals and possibly live music. It was part of a festival, and I’m totally going back before it ends.
And that was Sunday.