My Journey to Taiwan

Hello all! I’ve been absent on here for a while, and I must apologize for that. I’ve become quite lethargic over winter break and have sincerely neglected my blog. Not much has been happening here in Kaifeng. Almost all of the students have left, so campus is incredibly quiet and empty. Because the school’s student body is the main source of business for the shops and restaurants surrounding campus, many of them have closed until the spring semester begins. Thankfully, my journey to Taiwan begins tomorrow which means a plethora of tantalizing food stuffs will soon begin their journey through my stomach. I’ve already done my research–Taipei has more than a handful of Mexican restaurants. I cannot put into words my elation at this discovery.

 

Even though the promise of Taiwan shimmers with the foods of the world and a thriving metropolis, the journey to this promised land will be long and arduous. No, really. My train from Kaifeng will leave tomorrow around 2pm and will arrive in Xiamen around 4pm the next day. Yes, that is a 26 hour train ride. China has these wonderful sleeper trains where they have bunk beds stacked three high instead of seats, but I was not lucky enough to get one of those. I only found out a few days ago that there’s a Chinese site where one can reserve tickets and then pick them up at designated location, so by the time I was able to buy tickets at the office due to the time restraints (refer to an earlier entry about this) the sleeper train was completely booked. Before hand, the only site I’d been able to find concerning train tickets in China charged an outlandish service fee and could not guarantee the actual tickets. Obviously, I elected not to purchase anything from that site.

After arriving in Xiamen, I’ll be staying in a hostel for one night. The next morning I’ll be taking a ferry to Kinmen Island and will then be taking a plane to Taiwan. Total travel time: about 48 hours from point A to point B. The reason I’m not simply flying with a commercial airline to Taiwan from mainland China is because a one-way ticket with one of those would have been more than my tickets to and from Taiwan.

 

Well, I should get back to packing. I may have dropped the ball on my train tickets, but I’ll be damned if I leave my lucky socks in Kaifeng. Look forward to some great photos from Taiwan, and possibly a check-in in Xiamen! Until next time.

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2 responses

  1. Godspeed, boyo. Have a great trip. Are you kidding me, “lucky socks?!” What, do the Chinese characters for Benjamin also spell “Fortunate Footwear.” You should include some photos of your stocking feet as part of the trip. Take care.

  2. We read your posts with pleasure and envy. Have you become a true bi-lingual yet? Do you make these trips alone? Our prayers are offered as a worthy travelling companian. Have a great day today and a better one tomorrow. Gerry and Art

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