Friday, June 20, 2008

Trip to Taipei

My wife and I took the bullet train back to Taipei today. I actually did a race today - that of catching the bullet train. We arrived at the station just over five minutes before the train we wanted to get was about to depart. At the ticket counter there were some 20 people lined up. I knew we couldn't make it. So I asked my wife to take my place in the line and I ran to the special counter for pregnant women and other people with special needs. Since there was no one waiting there and being a foreigner, they served me right away. I then shouted "Run!" to Hsiu-chin and we ran as hard as we (or rather she) could, including a long downward staircase for her in shoes with heels. We jumped on the train and within 30 seconds it departed. It certainly got the adrenalin flowing. I guess we could have taken the next one and still got what we had to do in Taipei this afternoon done, but I don't like to miss a train if I think I can still catch it.

Today may be the last time we visit our old apartment in Taipei. I had the opportunity to take a picture of the neighbor's playful dog. There are a few things we will miss, but I will still be able to walk the hills occasionally without having a place here and it won't be like we will never visit this area again. However, I like our new place in Kaohsiung, so I don't have too many regrets.

This morning I had a normal swim, meaning about 4,000 meters non-stop to start off, and then 4 x 50m (slow then fast x 2), and then a race of 100m (1m 29s - it felt good). I lost by about 1 second and basically it was the turns where I lost ground but gained it on the straights. I finished with a 50m cool down. My shoulder feels a little sore, not from swimming so much, but lugging some baggage with me on this trip. That's how it is easy to get an injury, not by swimming itself but by doing something else when some rest would be better.

I attach a movie, too, from the bullet train taken at speeds somewhere around 290 kph. This is somewhere in the Miaoli/Hsinchu area, and I can actually see the sea from here in the distance. The mountains are behind me towards the middle of the island.


Patrick said...

Nice video! I didn't realize how flat it can be. That train is moving fast! Hope your shoulder feels better.

They are trying to build an elevated tram system in Honolulu someday!

Randy said...

I had the same thought as Pat, I didn't realize how flat it is there (at least from that view). I have always wondered what it was like on those trains. Thanks for the video.