Monday, May 22, 2006

This past Sunday...

on a surfboard...lying down; never even tried to get up! But it was a fantastic day on the beach. Met up with a wonderful couple called Doug & Sherry at the BullPen. {A local 'sports bar' where the staff wear more bling than I do...and much better hair!} Kim [Canadian fellow teacher] & I were going to the beach anyway; so we hooked up with Doug & Sherry and Xiao Pang (black lab "Little Fatty!").

Such a treat as they fetched us in their Venture and drove us to a beach - no busses, no hand gestures, no anxiety wondering how much and when to get off!
Found a magic beach - fairly trash-free with some sand to lay a towel. Magic to throw a ball for their dog and just play in the water - the Pacific is really warm and the waves were tiny....that is until I borrowed Doug's 9ft surfboard, then the waves were HUGE and WILD! Much, much harder than I thought! Despite the small surf, waxed board and lack of spectators being ideal for a beginner - I really battled just to lie on the board, which is about as wide and buoyant as a small boat! After being pummeled by set after set and suffering from upper arm fatigue - I took a break! It was worth it though - finally got my balance right and found a spot where I didn't have to paddle for 10mins just to get out 1m and be washed back 3m! Now I hurt all very - upper arms and ribs especially - feel really old!
Everyone was so easy to get along with and once again, I laughed for ages...a very special memory.
Just to top off a superb day; Sherry took us to a local spot at Fugi harbour - you choose your dinner from numerous buckets of assorted weird seafood! Some of it is trying to escape and some of it is totally unrecognisable.
Sherry, being local, organised us a feast of clams, prawns, lobster, soup, rice, veg and little battered whitefish...then you go up to a really basic locals restaurant and your choice is whipped up how ever you eat off a rubbish bag - literally - and just pick 'n choose; leaving all the shells and debris on the table. Great to truly 'dig in'! Then they throw the whole table "cloth" away!
On the way home, we popped into a temple built to honour a loyal dog - very freaky and rather ominous looking if you ask me! It was on the way up a lush mountain so it was such a pleasure not to have to walk everywhere and go where you want! Felt like royalty - funny how ones standards change!
Sherry bought us grass jelly by the side of the road, which was quite a weird novelty taste - not like anything I've tasted before and not too bad - actually quite refreshing!
So far BEST day in Taiwan by far!

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