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Frosty circumstances

To be honest, I’m getting rather tired of this cold. It begun roughly two weeks ago, after I got back from my New Year celebration with Vanessa in Gaoxiong. It’s not that it’s cold outside; compared to Sweden it is stiflingly hot (the coldest I’ve seen is six degrees, but that was five o’clock in the morning on the coldest day, usually it’s been around 15-20 during the days). The problem is that Taiwan is built for the warmth of summer; buildings are designed to release as much heat as possible, often with the aid of air conditioning.Nobody seems to mind that this has a reverse effect in the winter.

Regardless of the fact that the winter is very short, it’s still cold indoors. I count everything above minus five as agreeable outdoors, but for indoor temperatures below fifteen degrees another word altogether is needed. It’s alright if one keeps moving, but sleeping, studying or anything like that becomes a pain.

Today, we realised that this cold has some really impractical implications. We left Sun Moon Lake this morning at eight, and although I was close to writing “fortunately with another driver”, I’m not sure that “fortunately” is the right word, but it seemed to be true then. The problems increased as the height of the road above the sea rocketed and temperatures plummeted. First, fog obscured the road and forced the driver to take it very, very slowly. Then the snow began to fall.

We met cars coming in the other directions, all bearing signs of much worse weather farther up the road; an increasing number had snow chains attached. Climbing up the road piercing Taiwan’s central mountains from east to west, the driver soon realised that he would have no way of going down the other side, because ill-prepared as he was, he had no snow chains of his own. In the highest pass, he somehow found another car who would take us and our luggage down to Taroko Gorge and our hotel. The vehicle happened to be a four-wheeled jeep with snow chains, so even though the journey was slow, I was never worried after changing car (and driver).

As we descended, the snow melted to a cold drizzle, which refused to give way as we reached our new hotel. It’s called Cloud Village and is a small place very far up the valley. There seems to be no other guests so far, the room is freezing cold (this explains my rant above), but at least the food is good and the staff are friendly. My parents just returned back from a short hike, but I felt weary and decided to stay on our room, catching up some studying I’ve been neglecting and beginning to write this text. Right this moment, I’m tired and don’t feel like I’m on vacation at all. Perhaps it’s because I’m not used to being responsible in this way (I am, considering that I’m the only one here who can communicate with most natives). It will be a lot easier once the beginning of the Chinese New Year is over (roughly when we get back from Green Island on the 29th or so).

The fog didn’t only envelope the road, it also hid the allegedly fabulous view.

No comments.

It’s colder than it seems, and the food is more tasty than it looks.

Another possible reason is that I miss Vanessa. We haven’t met since the beginning of the month and right now it doesn’t feel good at all. We have been in contact a lot, but she’ll soon leave for Japan and we won’t meet until the beginning of February. However, I still look forward to lots of things we have planned to do before then, so I’m sure that I’ll be able to keep myself busy. Having my parents here is also nice and, disregarding the cold, I’m very satisfied with our vacation so far! Green Island is also tropical, so perhaps thawing is coming up.

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  1. Martin’s avatar

    Jag kommer för alltid hålla det här inlägget emot dig när jag säger att jag föredrar värme framför kyla och du säger emot… :P