The last day of my travels in Taiwan, I decided to finally bring the cat out of the bag (if that’s the correct way to use that phrase). I decided to go to…(drumrolls) Jioufen!
It’s supposedly the background setting of Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away (though Hayao Miyazaki has denied it), and it is also the reason that I wanted to come to Taiwan in the first place.
I mean, weird to leave it to the last day, but I’m go glad I did, because if I’d gone there on the first day or even in the middle of my trip, it would’ve made all the other stops seem very boring.
But before we get into that, let’s go over my day in detail.
I wish I could flip the photo for you but it says “Gold Museum, New Taipei City Government”. Yes, I went to the gold museum at Jinguashi first thing in the morning (noon?) because it’s nearby Jioufen and I wanted to touch the gold there. Literally. You’ll see what I mean.
This is the Mine Worker’s Lunchbox, food that apparently the mine workers actually ate while they were working there. Pretty good, if you ask me. At least better than some of the food I used to get in high school. You can order the full set lunchbox, where they give it to you in the lunchbox and you can take it home, or you can order the one in the wooden box, where you throw out the box later but it’s wrapped in a handkerchief that you can take home. Since I was running out of money I decided to get the cheapest one, where you can just eat it and then scram.
There was a ‘No Pokemon GO’ sign, which made me wonder about the story behind the sign 😛 Who got hurt? Why? What Pokemon were they trying to catch? I’ll never know..
Ah yes. The infamous gold. That yellow brick-like thing you see there is solid gold, and those red numbers underneath are the price in TWD. I changed it to KRW and USD, and it’s about 100억 in Korean won, and about 8 million (If I counted the zeros right) in US dollars.
Yes, mom, I touched an 8 million-dollar worth of gold!
Of course you notice I didn’t put a picture of me touching the gold, because I looked at the pictures and I look horrible.
I shall attribute it to my face being full of greed and want for moneyyyyyyyy but ehhh I probably just smiled weirdly. (which is because of greed.)
See how pretty I look when I’m not being greedy? And yes, I wore Fusion Korean Traditional clothing. (must spread the mother culture)
Anyways, with Jinguashi behind me, and my heart pounding, I headed towards JIOUFEN
I bought myself some peanut ice cream because I was hungry,
Then bought myself not one but two ocarinas (because I always wanted to have one)
And then walked around.
Mind you, this is only about 3PM, and that is the only reason why there are so little people in this picture. The lights weren’t on yet, and I expect that everybody else would come later on. There is a famous teahouse, but I heard that (whisper whisper) you can get better pictures if you go to the not-so-famous teahouse across from the famous one, so I headed there and enjoyed a cup (or ten) of royal milk tea.
This is me, enjoying my tea in peace and quiet while also laughing at the horde of people gathering at the bottom of the not-so-famous teahouse to get a good picture of the famous teahouse (the teahouse owner blocked the entryway so that people couldn’t just barge in).
And this is the picture that I managed to get.
Jioufen is so beautiful, and the lights woke something in me, something very asian, I must say, but there is something so nostalgic, so comfortable about those red lights that I find myself tearing up. I mean, I went through so much during these past 8 days, what with me not being able to speak a word of Chinese, traveling alone for the first time, barely getting enough sleep, but this view made it all so worth it.
The lights are so beautiful, see?
I headed home afterwards, but I’ll upload a final post maybe tomorrow, regarding my general feelings about the entire trip.
Also, I only realise now that it may be a problem; you can save my pictures or whatever but if you make money from them without my permission I will summon all of my American-ness (even though I have none) and sue you thanks bye.