My Journey to Taiwan–Pit Stop in Xiamen

I am now comfortably settled into a small, nice hostel for the night in the rather large city of Xiamen. It was no easy trip getting here, though. In preparations for the trip, I purchased a large travel book bag from taobao to act as a second piece of luggage. I over-packed it and had some issues with straps–mainly that they unwound themselves from the small plastic device that held them together. Because we only had an hour and a half to catch the train, I decided to bother with the straps later. On our way out of the dorm, a wheel fell off my carry-on. I checked to see if would be fixable, but it seemed irreparable and we now had about one hour and twenty minutes to get to the train station. So instead of wheeling one bag and carrying another on my shoulders, I ended up carrying them both to the station. Fortunately, I had a 26 hour train ride to rest my weary muscles.

When I woke up this morning on the train, we were in Southern China and the view outside the window had changed drastically. It looked sort of like Jurassic Park out there. I grabbed my bag to find my camera and take a few photos, but could not find it. I apparently left it in my dorm, along with my beard trimmers. By this point, I was fed up with this trip. When we got to the Xiamen station, we grabbed a taxi and gave him the directions for the hostel we wanted. He took us to the correct street but not to the hostel itself. We asked shop vendors in the area where it was, but no one seemed to know. We opted for hostel number two then, but our “hostel” according to Google turned out to be an apartment complex. At that particular point in time, I just wanted to rip my beard off my face. My luggage was broken so I was carrying everything around a few large streets in a large city I didn’t know, and we couldn’t find a hostel for the evening. I was ready to call it quits and traipse my way to the nearest McDonald’s (they’re open 24/7) and camp out there for the evening when Dannysha miraculously got the address for a different hostel on her phone. When we finally hailed a cab, I told him the street and he took us to the hostel. I didn’t even mention the name of the place or the address besides the street name–I guess being foreign travelers is enough sometimes.

We got a place to stay for the evening at a decent price, and I found a new carry-on that seems of decent quality for a decent price, so I’d say things are looking up right now. As for forgetting my camera, I brought my iPhone so I plan to just use the camera on that. The photos won’t be as good, but they’ll suffice. Wish us luck for leg two of the journey!