Monday, February 12, 2018

Taiwan 13: Odyssey from Kaohsiung to Tauyuan (21. Jan. '18)

Around Kaohsiung Station

Sunday late morning.
I didn't really have any plans or anything I wanted to do in Kaohsiung. Remember, I'm not supposed to walk a lot, and my backpack was not the slimmest (but neither was it the thickest and heaviest). That and my train was scheduled to leave around 13:52 or something like that.

Hmm, my hostel was 1 MRT stop from the station. Why don't I just walk there? It's not too far. Let's!

Kaohsiung Station behind the bus terminal

Apparently, you cross diagonally.

Coconut bubble tea for TWD 45 (USD 1.53)

Chang-Gu World Trade Center in the distance


I had about 20+ minutes for my train's scheduled departure. I sat waiting on a bench at the platform. The train arrived, as you can see from some photos below.

I can read that.

I cannot read that.

Either the route or the kind of train it is.
I boarded and arrived at my seat--or was it? Someone was sitting there. I showed that person my ticket, then another guy explained I was on the wrong train. That was the 13:35 (or so) train, but mine was after that train (13:50-ish). Oh.
I thanked him and went back to the door to get off.
The door was closed.
The train started moving.

. . . Oops.

I'm sure the friend I was Skype-calling was fighting the urge to laugh hysterically. I'm glad he did. Looking back now, that was pretty funny; just not for me at that moment.

I believe the train was heading the opposite direction of where I wanted to go.
Anywho, my plan was simple: get off at the first station, grab a cab, and try to bolt back in time to catch my train. Simple enough, right?

My cab driver drove like a true, law-abiding, unsuicidal chauffer. I was definitely not in Korea. I knew I was not going to make it back in time to catch my train. So why fret? Besides, I had all day literally to get to the airport. If all else failed, I could always get the HSR (High-Speed Rail) train which would get me there in 90 minutes.

Yeap, my train left. All I could do was sit back, calm down, and enjoy the two very rare luxuries I was experiencing: a calm and responsible driver, and English-language oldies (from the 50s - 70s).

I still don't know which one I enjoyed more.

Falling up

I returned to Kaohsiung Station, went to the main desk and explained my situation. They found another ticket for me straight to Taoyuan Station. That train would leave by 15:30. It was a little more expensive, so they had me pay the difference (fair enough). But this train happened to be better.
My original train was going to take almost 7 hours to get to Taoyuan. This one took me in 3 hours--and I'd still arrive at Taoyuan before my original train!
As my step-mom would've said, "Joa, you fell up!"

My seat

Seriously, in the photo above, my legs were stretched out as far as they could be. I wonder if that was so passengers with suitcases could have them between their legs and the seat in front of them to free up the aisle.

Yeap, that's where we were.

Ugh, I'll trust that reads: "Kaohsiung."

Bottle holders on the wall, not the seatback in front of you.

The next post will be the final one on my "Taiwan" series. It will cover how I arrived at the airport and some of what I did while waiting there.

No comments:

Post a Comment