I met several new people this weekend, all of whom were delightful. One of my favorite things about living here in Taiwan is meeting people from all around the world. Friday night we met Hans who is from Taiwan but lives in Moscow. And last night we met Russel of Scotland, Carling of Canada and Katey and John from Ireland. We had a fantastic time eating, drinking, and chatting.
We ended up at various places this weekend. Some of which I loved and some of which I found absolutely intolerable. Friday night was dinner at the Early Bird Diner. One of my favorite places in Taichung. Although the service is sometimes slow, the food is consistent and tasty. It’s a great place to chat with friends. Usually the music is pleasant and not too loud. It’s the next best thing to being at home. Everybody knows us when we go in there. I love it.
Saturday night we ate dinner at Gordon Beirsch. Pricy but delicious. It’s usually a pretty crowded restaurant and this Saturday was no exception. The service is pretty standard for Taiwan, meaning good luck getting your bill at the end of your meal. But the atmosphere lends itself easily to chatting and generally pigging out.
After that we headed over to Matches which is probably my favorite bar in Taiwan. The cocktails are unique and the bartender is a true craftsman. Normally they play cool jazz in the background and you can sip your cocktail and talk with friends in a warm and somewhat sparkling atmosphere. As the night wore on, however, some DJ looking guy with headphones and a laptop started playing really loud music. It wasn’t entirely horrible, but caused everybody to have to shout. Terrible for conversations. And when I meet someone new and interesting, conversation is exactly what I’m looking for. So it was time to move on.
Next stop: dog park. We went to 7-11 to buy beer and sat for an hour or so in the dog park across from the Park Lane dept. store. It’s amazing the types of dogs people bring there in the middle of the night. We were hanging around on either side of midnight and must have seen twenty different expensive pure bred dogs come through the park, including an Afghan hound, a white husky, and a fat beagle. They were most entertaining.
Next we headed to a club called Amici. The twenty minute walk in high heels was not fun, and the blaring music coming through the door when we finally arrived was even less promising. I kept thinking of these lines from The Be Good Tanyas song, “Light Enough to Travel.”
Promise me we won’t go into the nightclub
I really think that it’s obscene
What kind of people go to meet people
Someplace you can’t be heard or seen
The techno dance music was so loud it hurt my head. This place had a few things going for it. Comfortable seats around low tables, and Stowford cider made Amici tolerable. I hope I never get dragged back there again though. It was nearly impossible to talk to anyone. The atmosphere was entirely unpleasant. I realize my idea of a good time is quite different from most people. I’ve never felt the need to go out dancing and drinking. It doesn’t appeal to me at all. Maybe I’m broken, but I just really prefer talking to people rather than screaming at them.
We finished the weekend with a late brunch back at the diner. It was full of laughter and good times. I truly hope we can see our new friends again soon. Maybe I’ll just have to take earplugs with me next time.