Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jun 28 2005

wanli hotsprings

wanli hotsprings
Originally uploaded by Poagao.

We were planning to film in Danshui later Saturday, but I’d been invited to go to some new hot springs with my friends Harry and Otis, so I gathered up all my camera equipment, light, tripod, etc., and headed for the NTU Hospital MRT stop. We headed north to Danshui on the riverside highway when Dean called and told me the shot was cancelled. Oh, well.

We drove through Danshui, around the coast and on to Jinshan, where we stopped at Harry’s favorite temple restaurant. The place was packed, as usual, with tourist families gulping down cheap MSG-laden noodles. I could just make it though two small bowls.

The day was brilliant, but we passed through some clouds on our way to Wanli, where the hot spring was. Harry said that the place was run by the owners of Huayicun, which was reassuring. When we got there, however, we found that many parts of the complex were still under construction. For example, the men’s open baths. We were allowed in the women’s open baths, but there were no women there. I don’t know what they did with the women. There were hardly any men there, either. One patron was lying on the edge of the hot spring pool; the rest was empty.

We poked around the future men’s open baths for a bit. Later we learned it would be open in a week; we were a week too early. The water was nice, though, and the loud cicadas along with the rest of the natural orchestration one hears in the mountains was soothing.

A couple of other patrons came in later, but that was it. On a Saturday Huayicun would be packed with dozens of bare-assed Taiwanese men.

We left after we started pruning up, and headed back through Danshui, where it was raining, and on to Guandu Temple to have a look at the caves there. On both sides of the caves are little alcoves, each with some god’s statue in it, and a many-armed major god at the end, overlooking the river. I was surprised to see that they’d gotten rid of the rickety old food stalls perched on the riverside. It’s a clean railed sidewalk now.

I was in the mood for some western food, so we stopped in Tianmu for Jake’s Country Kitchen sandwiches, and of course I loaded up with goodies from Wellman’s Market while we were there.

I got a call from DJ but the reception was bad, so I called back later. He didn’t recognize my voice, and we two ahdoghas went on in Taiwanese for a while before establishing who the other was. Then it just seemed natural, so we kept it up. Turns out he had wanted to know if I wanted to go out earlier, but now he was too tired and wanted to crash.

I was too, actually. It was a long day, but nice. Wish I hadn’t had to lug my camera gear all over the place, though.

posted by Poagao at 4:23 am  

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