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Wandering Tainan at Night – A Taiwan Travel Blog

It was Friday night, I had just gotten off the bus and started walking home to change out of my work clothes. I’ve been trying to stop going to Lola’s during the weekdays, it has been getting a little expensive visiting the bar throughout the week, but going on the weekend should be fine. After changing I took my usual path through the alley to get to Lola’s. The staff is pretty familiar with me by now and we’ve had a a few conversations in English. I’m always trying to find more artists to listen to and they’re always playing obscure Japanese psychadelic records that I’ve never heard of. I’ve added a couple great records to my collection because of them.

I’ve been trying to work my way through their menu. I usually have their Super Long Island first and then try a few new drinks afterwards.I hung out at Lola’s until 1 or 2 am. Usually I would go home but I didn’t feel like it tonight and decided to wander around. I wanted to see what Tainan is like at night. I stopped by 7-11 to get some food to help sober up a little and then started walking towards Anping.

It’s interesting to see the types of people out late at night. Everything here is still new to me, so mundane things like the types of restaurants open attract my attention. When I have a better grasp of Mandarin even more things will open up and I’ll be able to have more interesting conversations with people.

I didn’t get back home till 4 am and ended up sleeping for most of the day. I had an impromptu language exchange at a restaurant I frequent. The owner’s daughter is studying English at a university in Kaohsiung so we help each other out on the weekends.

That night there was a concert at Seetys that I had invited my friend to. We met at my place and walked over to the venue. My apartment happens to be in a incredibly convienent location. A lot of the interesting parts of Tainan are close by. I’m also far enough away from NCKU that I don’t run into any foreigners.

Two artists were playing that night. 蘇文劭 and Savulu&Laway. The first artist was a solo acoustic act with a slight jazz style. I enjoyed some of his songs, it’s hard to really appreciate it when I can’t understand the lyrics but it was still enjoyable. The second group was a Taiwanese aboriginal acoustic duo. They were from 台中 but studied in 高雄. One of the members had to leave for military service right after the performance, which is a shame because they hadn’t recorded an album yet. I found their style much more pleasant and would definitely be interested in checking out their album if it’s ever recorded.

After the concert I stopped by my apartment and said goodbye to my friend before heading to Lola’s for the second night in a row. I got sufficiently drunk at Lola’s before continuing my intoxicated wandering. While I was walking down the street a group of Taiwanese called out to me and invited me over.

I walked over and they offered me a cigarette and we started eating and drinking together. Through my limited Mandarin and Google Translate we were able to communicate fairly well. I’m able to answer most of the basic questions and have limited conversation and for whatever reason I understand better when I’ve been drinking or at least I think I do.

We chatted for about an hour before I headed off. Across the bridge into Anping there’s a massage parlor that has a bunch of wealthy Taiwanese and Chinese visitors. I went in and asked for a massage. The staff were laughing because they probably thought I wanted something more, which I’m not opposed to but this place was probably out of my budget for the full service.

Suprisingly, the massage was really cheap, only $700 NT an hour. I paid for two hours and then she asked me if I wanted to sleep since it was 6 am by now. For whatever reason I said yes, and had to pay another $700 NT to sleep in a massage chair. I was still a little drunk and after she left I realized I how stupid that was. I could just walk the five minutes home and sleep in my own bed. So, I got dressed an thanked the staff and made my way home.