I hadn't seen the scenery on the way down. Now I could see for miles; each side of the freeway the fields were flat and green.
Some alto-stratus clouds streaked the sky. There was no piped music on this bus, yet no-one could talk above the straining engine and rattling windows. The air-conditioning was almost as powerful as the fridge-like seven-eleven shops. The lady next to me sneezed, I shivered and put on a jumper.
The field-hands worked late into the evening. In one field I was certain I saw a Westerner. He was taller than the others, and although tanned from his working environment, he appeared fair by birth. Then he was gone.
Many Westerners chose to teach English in air-conditioned blocks in Taipei, but to toil the soil in such hostile heat seemed a drastic step to take to finance a continued stay in Taiwan.
There were no connections to Alishan from Chiayi until the following morning, so I would miss the sunrise over Mt. Morrison after all.