WEIGHT: 50 kg
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Physical and psychic reserves empty. Some of the glittery sheen of travel was starting to give way to the needs of my introverted tendencies. The hostel I was staying in was pretty shitty. The entire building smelled like feet and the person in the bunk across from me snored like an airhorn going through an incinerator. I met a nice guy from Israel there and wound up hiking Taroko Gorge with him and in meeting him I also learned something about traveling and about myself.
I want people to like me and I want people to get along and I want people to be happy. Fuck me, right? For this specific situation, this meant that I exerted waaaay too much energy into getting along with the Israeli guy. I should stress again that he was nice enough, no major personal defects or glaring instances of being a raging bigot, nothing like that.
In fact, I really enjoyed hanging with him the night before at the night market. I said left and he heard right sort of thing. But I sure tried and man, it drained me. So when we returned to Hualien from our day at the national park and disagreed about where to eat, I knew conclusively that I needed to be alone to properly recharge, lest I risk falling into the black hole of overthinking.
He went his way and I went mine to a solo meal of noodles. It seemed like the perfect way to recharge, to undo the accumulated physical and mental stress of the past few weeks. So I scoured the streets of Hualien for a suitable massage shop. Easier said than done, turns out.
Nearly all of the massage shops I encountered seemed to be, well, not massage shops. Frosted glass windows or sheer curtains obscuring a casual glance into the store front.