[Day 6] This Is Why I’m Hot

Distance Today: 86km
Total Distance: 594km
Maximum Speed: 37kph
Average Speed: 18kph
Time in Saddle: 4hrs 55min
Journey: Da’ Lin – Tai’ Chung (via Provincial Highway No. 1)
Accommodation: Friend’s Apartment

Money Used Today: NT$257

HOT is a word used to describe something, someone, somewhere with a high degree of temperature and that word portrays us fittingly. Our day started with a buffet breakfast in the Da’ Lin Tzu Chi Hospital, which did not fail us to be on of the best cafeteria we have ever been to. The remaining hot day continued as we cycled towards Tai’ Chung, the third largest city in Taiwan. YING EN will be having her exams tomorrow, an examination for her to switch majors from Life Sciences to Mass Communication. She would have to compete with students all around the nation for the only two places provided for this intake.

The heat must be doing something to my brain because I was confused the signboards. At first it showed that Yuan’ Lin was 11km away, but after cycling for at least 5km (I had a distance counter to prove it), the sign showed 9km, and then followed by another one showing 10km. I wonder how the distances to the towns change as we cycle, are they nomadic or something?

THE PUZZLING SIGNBOARDS didn’t keep us for arriving at Yuan’ Lin supermarket. The shopping mall wasn’t a big one, but they have a food court with a variety of food to choose from, and a McD for us to sleep in. We took our naps in the air-conditioned McD, escaping the heat outside.

Highway No. 1 wasn’t scenic at all, the roads were wide, yet nothing but shops and buildings and anything man-made surrounded it. When we entered Tai’ Chung (台中), the buildings got higher and the traffic got more crowded. Although having a great reputation as an educational and cultural centre, Tai’ Chung’s traffic is just like any other big cities, jammed and packed to its fullest.

RUO CI’s university is in Tai’ Chung so she played host today, and found us an apartment to crash into.  Many big universities set their campuses here so it is easy to know a friend studying in Tai’ Chung. The apartment belongs to four foreign students and one of them was a neighbor of mine from Malaysia. Unfortunately, when we arrived, all the four owners were not in, and we got a friend of a friend to let us in.

The apartment wasn’t a big one, and considering that the ones staying here are only students, it was fairly clean. RUO CI led the way downstairs to streets and streets of vendors selling food. This area is filled with students because the Chung’ Shan Medical University (中山醫學大學) is nearby. I can’t appreciate the convenience of being in the city more because we just had to walk for less than a couple of minutes before arriving at our dinner place. Shabu Shabu is personal steamboat served the Japanese style. I had the hot and spicy version and loved it very much. This restaurant Yanagawa Shabu-Shabu (鍋藏西碮) was one of the best ones I have ever tried. I truly recommend it for those lingering around Tai’ Chung to come taste it for yourselves.

We called it a night early and returned to the apartment to find even more students in it, all ready to play Mahjong all through the night. We skipped entertainment and went to sleep in the non air-conditioned rooms, which I sweated all the way to dreamland. It was a hot night, but regarding the generosity offered (we need not pay any rent), a bit of heat makes me warm at heart.

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