After a wonderful night's sleep post-earthquake, I head out for my last day on the town. The typhoon had begun and it was rainy, windy and pretty miserable. I head back to the Shinda area for a wonderful panini and wine brunch and stop back into the Chocolate Box Backpackers hostel again to use their Internet to figure out the days' plan. I'm locked out because I'm not staying there, so I get some boys who are walking up to let me in. They're wasted [it's 12 in the afternoon] about to head out to the airport. Turns out the four of them are also teachers in Seoul and are in town for Chuseok. On their way into Taipei they had bought a giant bottle (perhaps 3 liter) of whiskey and were really close to finishing it. Between Ting Ting karaoke and dancing, we take some shots. They leave and I'm left to figure out what to do with my last remaining day.
I decide to take the subway to the end of the line, Danshui. It's a cute town on the river with lots of shopping and street markets, but the wind is really starting to pick up, my umbrella has flipped inside out so many times it's now rendered useless, so I go back to Taipei city. I find a hostel in Shina, Eight Elephants, where they don't have any room available but say they can hook me up with a spot on the couch. I have to get up for the airport pretty early so I agree.
Neel and I meet up on our last night in the middle of the typhoon at Gordon Biersch of all places. Yum real pizza and good beers! Who knew they had them out in Asia!? Then we go to find Brown Sugar (the place we looked for a few days earlier). We know it's a jazz club but apparently Sundays are Latin night! There are a bunch of Taiwanese (one Western looking dude) guys up on stage salsa-ing and singing Latin music. It was hilarious and amazing at the same time. We call it a night and it's back to the hostel to prepare to leave...
I meet this great girl Trista who has a flight back to Seoul 30 minutes before me so we decide to take the bus together to the airport. She's fun and has been in Seoul for 2 years so has a lot to tell me. We're going to start taking Korean classes (me beginner her not so much) next weekend. anyway, she turned out to be an awesome person to travel and hang with for the hours before the flight back.
Thai Airlines is amazing. It's a 2 1/2 hour flight where I got my own row each way, English newspapers, an MJ documentary, special veggie meals each way, and wine! Perfect.
Now it's back to the grind in Seoul. Upon coming back I finally feel that Seoul is home. I don't feel like a tourist, this is my hood now. It just takes leaving and coming back to finally feel at home; and I have learned that this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now.