It’s Monday and I’m in Taipei. I wear the most serious looking clothes my dorm-wardrobe has to offer, and I tried my best (but failed) to iron away the wrinkles on my skirt. (What’s up Taiwanese ironing things?)
It’s lunchtime and I’m already done with The Important Meeting. My classmate says goodbye and heads back to Hsinchu again. After a small stop for Wun-dun noodles for lunch, I google up a list of the best cafes Taipei has to offer, and start going towards the green MRT line.
Then something strange happens. I am just feeling somewhere deep within that I do not want to visit another big city cafe. I just want to go somewhere. Somewhere else. And my feet start taking me in the other direction.
A few seconds later I’m at a train, heading as far away from Hsinchu as I can possible come.
It is not really that I am running away. I mean, I live in a so-called “foreign” country already. What does it matter if I move myself from one town to the other, anyway? And who would I be running away from? Anyways. The mountains outside the train window looked tempting blue, and a Buddhist monk smiled towards me. Whenever I am out travelling alone it seems like random Taiwanese people starts to talk with me, everywhere.
“So you are going to Tamshui?” A tired-looking lady said next to me. She gave my touristy looking camera a smile. “You should have come on a sunny day instead” she scolded me. “It’s too dull today”. Then she waved out of the window, with the hand that was not holding the groceries bag. “That is my house”
When I got of the train I found of that Tamshui was a crowded and touristy place. I tried to get of the tourist street and find a place to get some work done.
I went into a tiny alley, and soon found winding staircases leading upwards. A stray cat looked scared at me, beautiful potted flowers and street-art seemed to be everywhere. I guess this was some artsy style of area.
First I was trying to use my GPS to walk towards a promising cafe logo on my map. But the soon the ap crashed and I started to feel like that there could not possibly be any cafes in an area like this.
And then I looked to my right: and there it was. The perfect cafe. With a small door, the most unexpected furniture and walls covered of good photography. “Excuse me” A man approached me, speaking in Chinese. I think you have gotten lost. This is a cafe”. He smiled politely at me. I don’t know what he thought I would be searching for, if not a cafe, inside a cafe. “Yes, I would love a cup of coffee” I replied, and soon I ordered random things from the menu without having any clue what it was.