I'm actually not sure about the blog etiquette of how far you are supposed to let your blog lag behind the real pace of your life. Perhaps I should take the high road to blogging as Bissie said (mind you this is paraphrased with a pinch of reading in between the lines)- some people are skilled at chronicling every day life. You are not one of those people.
Danshui beaches. Danshui is actually on a river. We caught the bus in Danshui to go to the beach. The beach we choose was an hour bus ride away. I believe it was called White Sands Beach. I didn't get the Chinese translation for a couple reasons. 1) My teacher trainer, George - Taiwanese, brilliant (phD from Cambridge in linguistics) recommended this beach. Here is a reinactment of the conversation:
A:"George, do you want to go to Fulong beach?"
G:"Ewww, so dirty. When are you going?"
A:"We'll probably go on Saturday. Ewww? Why, what beach should I go to?"
G:"You should take the MRT (Taiwanese BART) to Danshui. Get off the train. Walk across the street. The bus you want has no number. It is all in Chinese. So, you must rely on the kindness of strangers. They will help you go to a nice beach."
A:"Why don't I rely on the kindness of you?"
G:"I can't swim."
A:"You live on a fucking island."
G:"I know how to put on a life jacket."
I have met a lot of Taiwanese who don't know how to swim. Curious, curious indeed. Harold, our other teacher trainer, proceeded to tell me that going to the beach in Taiwan is like putting on a hot, moist blanket to bake in the sun.
However, I think the trip was totally worth it if only to see this...
Oh man. You have got to love speedos. Most of the women were in t-shirts and shorts. I'm not sure if this is due to modesty or a fear of getting tan. The Taiwanese women (in general) are anti-tanning. The whiter, the sexier, which I just love. Being beautiful is a very confusing endeavor. Beauty product companies have of course jumped on this desire to stay pasty. There are a multitude of skin bleaching creams and products available. Yipee! I wonder if they turn you a weird really light shade of orange instead of a dark shade of orange like the tanning creams in the states...
The beach was lovely. We were able to rent some shade (tent) and a beach mat.
The water was perfect. Cool enough to give me some reprieve from the heat, but warm enough to make it a pleasant experience. There was only 1 problem.
Jellyfish. Hundreds of tiny jellyfish.
I spotted the little buggers early on. My roommate and I seemed to be the only ones concerned about them. Everyone was laughing and playing without a care in the world. My roommate, Eric, and I both got stung. It wasn't traumatic and life threatening, but it definitely wasn't pleasant. And also was definitely not something I would be excited to endure more than once.
One girl was swimming next to us. She also seemed to be looking at the jellyfish, so I asked her,"Do they sting?"
"Can I touch them?
She then proceeded to go back to frolicking in the water without a care in the world.
Regardless, the beach was beautiful...
It was strange because all the people at the beach were concentrated in one area. There was a section for swimming that was buoyed off and everyone pretty much stayed in that area (full of jellyfish). We couldn't find anyone to ask, but there was plenty of beach area without 50 billion people. We, of course, stayed in this area. When in Rome... I found out later that Taiwan doesn't have a continental shelf, so the water gets really deep, really quickly. Because of this, there are some nasty undertows and currents swirling around the island.
It was a pretty awesome day. I absolutely loved the Danshui area. So much so, I'm probably going to get an apartment there. A beautiful, beautiful apartment. In fact, I'm signing the contract in just a little bit. YAY!!
More on that later, too. I think it's safe to assume anything I write about in here actually happened about 2 weeks ago.
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