La (deuxième) Journée

We woke up at seven in the morning on Sunday, our legs aching from the day before, and our backs aching from sleeping on a hard wooden floor. Two gray cats agilely climbed and jumped their way around the bodies and through the thin curtains to the bar, on the tables and up and down the counter. Through the red curtain and down onto the uneven wooden block that functioned as a step and a shoe rack, and onto a cement floor and down the small hall where the floor became brick, then up another wooden step into the bar where the light shone through the clouds onto all the bottles and glasses and chairs and clutter half shielded by a tent roof.

2015-02-21 08.35.08 2015-02-21 08.35.39 2015-02-21 08.36.59

We got some breakfast and then began the second half of our ride, which brought us to Taitung (“East of Taiwan”), from which we took a train back to Taichung on Monday.

2015-02-21 09.07.38 2015-02-21 09.08.00 2015-02-21 09.08.16 2015-02-21 09.30.30 2015-02-21 09.37.10 2015-02-21 09.43.52 2015-02-21 09.53.38 2015-02-21 09.57.04 2015-02-21 10.18.32 2015-02-21 13.22.09 2015-02-21 13.23.36 2015-02-21 14.15.45

You can’t tell from the photos, but the truth is that Taiwan is very built-over. I think the last picture tells the whole story; roads and buildings and signs and 7Elevens and thickly clouded skies dominate human life, while the mountains stand proudly in the distance. I often think to myself that people here live for ‘the destination,’ and not ‘the journey.’ Yet as I pushed through the transient pain in my legs during all the uphill climbs, just looking forward to arriving at the next stop, could I say that I was any different?

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