~ 20th March 2014 ~
|The old Taicung Station...|
Early in the morning, we woke up and started dragging our luggage to the main road not exactly at where we stayed at. We bought our breakfast from 7-11 the night before and we had to sit on the floor in our room to have our breakfast. I know, it didn't sound like a vacation that you would like to take but we were really okay with that. Pinky has made some research on how we could travel to Nantou, another county somewhat in the middle of the whole island country. We took a taxi to the old train station to board a bus to another county. The taxi taking us to the station actually wanted to take us to Nantou. Traveling from one county to another county wasn't cheap as you would have to consider that the taxi driver would have to travel back to his own county, let's say, in an empty taxi. So, you will have to pay for the driver's trip to and fro. That would cost around NT$2000 for the whole taxi. If we were to take up that offer, we would be broke again. We were still loaded with cash at that point of time, but we refused to spend the cash unwisely.
We walked into the train station to look for the bus' ticket counter. The counter did not exist there. It's not to be found. We asked the men sitting there, most probably all taxi drivers. They were not that helpful as they would prefer us to take a ride in their taxi. In some websites, it's written that Taichung Station is an old building and it appeared as one of the 'must' visit places in Taichung. There's nothing in there okay. It's just plain run down and I did not take any photos inside because we were very busy looking for the bus.
|Waiting for a bus that never exist...|
Pinky called the number of the bus company, so whoever picked up the call must be able to track down the bus. The man on the line asked us to wait at the bus stop as the bus would be there. That's the only bus we saw but it wasn't the bus that we were waiting for. Then, we called again as the man on the line said the bus should be there at such and such time. That particular time came and went away. We called again, getting anxious by the second. Apparently, the bus has left and according to the man on the line, that was the only bus for the day. At that time when Pinky was on the phone, there was this other taxi driver who kept on asking us where were we going. At first I refused to answer him. Pinky was on the phone and I did not want to be tricked into taking a taxi and being charged exorbitantly. The Holy Spirit is always around just that we did not realize it. We were actually trying to run away from the taxi driver as he kept on 'forcing' us to take his taxi. I have to use the word 'force' because he was really pestering us. We walked up and down the bus stop and he was following us. He kept on saying that no bus would come and take us and it's better to follow him.
|On a road trip to Nantou County...|
When we knew there wouldn't be any buses, we tried not to take his taxi also. We did not like to be pushed and forced into something that we did not want. But none of us wanted to take a taxi ride from any of those taxis waiting at the station. You might think we were three crazy, undecided people. That taxi driver insisted that he wouldn't simply charged us. Then, he went on to say that he himself came from Nantou County as he just dropped off a passenger, so he needed to pick up passengers who wanted to go to Nantou County so that his trip home wouldn't go to waste. We were really hesitant but in the end I agreed.
You see, this is the power of the one holding all the money and personal documents. I was prompted to agree. I did not feel being forced anymore. None of us felt threatened as I see it. The only point of argument that I had with Pinky was, we needed a transport badly and the bus we waited for, somehow or other, such big vehicle, could come and go without us seeing it. Surprisingly, Pinky did not argue so this must be God's arrangement. When you're at the mercy of others, you cannot deny that God existed. Whether you believe in Him or not, He's still there.
|My international travel buddy fascinated with the sunroof....|
It was a pleasant ride and fancy travelling in a taxi with a sunroof. So, you might wonder whether we went bankrupt or not with just one taxi ride. We were not. He did not charge us exorbitantly. He honoured his words. And he really is from Nantou County. He only gave us his name card when we arrived in Nantou. He did not lie like some other taxi drivers that you've met.
We arrived at Nantou County safely in a couple of hours' time. It was a long journey. It's just like travelling from one state to the next state. In Taiwan, the word 'state' is not used. The word 'county' is used throughout the whole island. He charged us NT$705 only. Come to think of that now, it was only RM25 per person, cheaper than taking a bus. I don't know how the NT$5 came about. It was quite an odd sum. He sent us right to the doorstep of our hotel. May the good Lord bless you and your family as how you've blessed us.