Cori vs. Nature

Cori standing in the road in 貓空.

Some amazing tea was had that day.
On our way to Taipei, we realized we had forgotten both of our cameras. Our friend Mei was kind enough to both ask her husband to give us a ride to the HSR, as well as to let us use her camera. We were very grateful.

The Kings of Convenience show was fun. They played at a nice modern venue that was recently built (on Google maps it is still an empty lot) called Legacy. The surrounding shops and bars in that area are really neat, but we didn't have time to explore. The line for the show was huge, and after the show we were exhausted from standing on a concrete floor for several hours.

Erlend Øye was sleepy. He had to go offstage for a minute to recoup because he was so tired, leaving Eirik Glambek Bøe to hold the fort for a few songs until Erlend came back and they finished off with a fantastic rendition of "I'd Rather Dance With You."  The encores were amazing too.  The hard part was getting the audience to not be shy, but they tried, oh they tried.  When the audience sang together it was beautiful.

We got back to the Tango LinSen (天閣林森) and promptly took soothing baths in the jet bathtub and passed out.

The next morning we were prepping to get ready to check out the MaoKong (貓空 maokong4, named for its lack of cats,) area.  We discovered a CD on the table:

Its hard to express the feeling I got when I saw this.  Track 3 is "Hotel California," (this is a CD supplied by a hotel, mind you.)  Track 4 is "Killing Me Softly With His Song."  When we put the cd in, we were treated to some very well performed lite jazz versions of everything we'd ever heard.

I was laughing at every other track, I won't lie.

Now, if you have an opportunity to check out the Tango website you'll note that one of the features they list for almost all rooms are televisions.

One in the main area.

One in the bedroom.

That combined with a stereo system with the speaker wattage advertisement still on it and a dvd player made the whole situation really funny, since Cori and I don't tend to watch tvs or movies when we're at hotels.  Still, the hotel does not hold back.

Before I even left for breakfast, I had already tackled the beverage tray.

Seriously, an entire thing of oolong (Ten Ren's 烏龍茶)

and coffee (咖啡), and powdered milk tea (奶茶) AND tea bags of black tea (紅茶,) green tea (綠茶,)

and puerh tea (普洱茶.)

The puerh was a little weird because I'm not used to it in tea bags.  It wasn't bad, but the loose leaf is better, and if you have a cold, get the loose-leaf tea.  Your muscles will thank you for it.


Why, might you ask, am I going on about a tea tray so much?  The whole point of the trip was to see Kings of Convenience and then go to the tourist tea area of Taipei via the 貓空 gondola (吊籃 diao4lan2,) and here was a full tea set in the hotel room.


Or not.

So we made our way to the gondola (我們在貓空吊籃去來... ok, fine, I'll stop.)  The hordes of people running screaming from the cars convinced us that it was a great idea to get on.

This gentleman was not pleased with the idea of travelling across a mountain in the rain while being held up by a single wire.

His girlfriend was comforting him frequently.  I mean, let's be honest, the gondola has had an interesting history, so I wouldn't say his concerns were completely unfounded.  However, it had just reopened after a full inspection and testing.

I'd say the risk was worth it.

Fun fact: when in a gondola, you're not necessarily level.

I was still acclimating to Mai's camera, but its interesting that you can travel across the entire Taipei Zoo (台北動物園 tai2bei3 dong4wu4yuan2,) to a temple/mountain stop and then to MaoKong.  For the gorgeous scenery, its a relatively functional method of transport.

No shortage of impressive vantage points.

As well as no shortage of adorable animals painted on the cars.

After serious issues with erosion and landslides, it looks as though extensive steps have been taken to support the surface level of the hills that the pillars rest upon.

Or there's going to be a new waterpark with concrete slides opening soon called "brush burns."

"Hi, while I may be an important structure, my primary function is to be photogenic."

No really, those are TEA fields.  TEA.

In Taipei you may only cross the street if you have been doing proper upper-body exercises and are wearing a fedora.

It was rainy.  The hotel loaned us umbrellas.

There were many walking paths, but the conditions were less than awesome for hiking.  Cori's boots severely disagreed with brick pathways as well.

So we found a tea house with a patio, an all-Chinese menu, and a man who spoke very good English.

Then we went walking, and came upon the "Cat's Got Nothing To Do Cafe." (in Chinese, MaoKong4Xian2, MaoKong leisure/calm,)

and although the design was awesome, we had just eaten and overdosed on tea and coffee, so we passed by.

We seriously had seen signs for "Pothole" every 50 ft.  It was a destination on every path we were near.  At the tea education center we found some photos of it, which sadly convinced us that it was not a destination for us to check out... because its a big sinkhole of rock.

Then we found a tea house that had amazing design, really cute decor, and we both loved the tea.  So much so that Cori and I bought some in a cute little tin, similar to the white one in the bottom right of the above photo.

Tea service for two, complete with towel, clay pot, strainer, holding pot, smelling cups, and drinking cups.

Then after returning to the hotel, it was time to meet up with Pamela and make new friends... but that's for next time. 


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