today was the first day i actually did much that was "touristy". we started off by eating lunch at mos burger. it's a japanese burger place. burger doesn't necessarily mean a beef meat patty though. and although they have bread buns, they were originally served on sticky rice cakes. so i got an original style with the rice cakes. the meat was sort of like cheese steak. it was good. it's also the first time i've had a soft drink since i've been here. i got a coke.
i should point out here that it's been pretty chilly and raining recently. i don't like carrying an umbrella, so i decided i would risk not carrying one. it turned out to be an unwise choice. it never poured, but it sprinkled and lightly rained pretty much the whole time we were out. the ground got very wet, there were lots of puddles, and my knit cap, shoes, pants legs, etc., all got pretty wet during the rest of the journey.
ash left tim and i to our own devices at that point. tim and i walked to the chiang kai shek memorial. the entrance is a giant gate painted white (wall with multiple archways) which opens into a huge concrete/stone courtyard area (several acres). on the right and left are huge buildings. one is the opera house i think, and i don't recall what the other is. in front of you is the cks memorial building. there are probably 80 to 100 stairs up the front, then there is a building on top of that several stories high with a big open archway that houses a statue of cks sitting. you can't walk up to the statue, and there are two ceremonial guards on either side. (don't worry, i took pics of all this...i just haven't uploaded stuff yet. but it's not like you can't find pics of this on the internet.) from there we went into the lower 3 stories of the building. there are a few exhibit areas, plus one telling the history of cks. we walked through that, which was interesting. we also saw a couple of exhibits of a couple of contemporary artists. one was mostly paintings of tigers. a few were funny because they had a naked woman with the tiger. the funniest (to me) was a naked woman with a white tiger. that's funny because the term "white tiger" used for the zodiac or whatever sign is slang for a woman with no hair...uh...down there.
we left the cks memorial and started walking toward the longshan temple. or so we thought. i saw a phone store and we went in, but they didn't sell batteries. or maybe just not for my old razr. we stopped and got some bubble tea, then we stopped and got some kind of jerky. that's pretty much all they sold. they had pork, chicken, and beef, as well as something called "fusion" which looked sort of like bacon, but i'm thinking maybe it was pork and beef woven together. it's sweet, but they also have some that is spicy as well as sweet. we started walking again and then we were at a park. da'an park. which is one or two miles in the wrong direction from where we were planning on going. so we turned around and walked back.
we passed the cks memorial and started heading in the right direction. we went past something we thought was the south gate, but it wasn't. then we found it a little further down the road. except it looked exactly like what we originally thought was the south gate. kind of odd. we kept walking (man, i was tired of walking at this point) and thought we'd found the temple. but we weren't sure. and we weren't right. we went in and took some pictures. at this point i decided i didn't want to walk anymore, so we went into the subway and took the subway back to ash's part of town.
at the place we left the subway, we stopped at a dunkin' donuts and i got a donut. i got a square one with a hole, and it had boston cream filling on one side and chocolate on the other. it was covered in an icing that was semi-sweet. ash met up topside and we went to find a place nearby to eat. we ended up eating at an italian place called grazie or something. i got some bruschetta for an appetizer. maybe it's because i'd just walked like 7+ miles, but i think that was some of the best bruschetta i've ever had. i ordered some drink that was like blue caracou and something milky. then ash, tim, and i ordered pizzas and shared them: four cheese, margarita, and bacon/mashed potatoes/peas. they were all great.
once done there, we went over to 45's. i had a couple of white russians, then tim headed for the ash's place and ash and i went out to seek entertainment. we walked to roxy99, but they were closed. so we caught a bus to go to carnegie's, but they were dead. so we got a taxi to take us to the brass monkey, but he thought we wanted to go somewhere else. on the way we drove by brass monkey and it appeared to be dead, so we let him take us where he thought we wanted to go. it turned out to be this place called "my other place". there we ran into an american who was drinking at the bar. his name was lee. i had a malibu and pineapple, then he bought ash and i tequila shots. i had another malibu and pineapple, then lee bought us jager bombs (jagermeister and red bull). later, lee started talking to me all about taiwan, and asking if i wanted to experience the underbelly of taiwan. he evidently had a steady girlfriend (who was married), a side girlfriend, and two other girlfriends. and he went out all the time and knew places where, if you knew someone so you could get in, you could get a 20-22 yo girl to do whatever to/for/with you. while lee was busy hitting on some girls at the bar, ash and i slipped out.