Indulge Bistro Bar Review – Taipei


A collusion that began with two lab rats at work so silent, nearby ears heard squeaks mistaken for the wheels on office chairs.  We met under the cloak of darkness, checking another one off the list, similar to shopping for ingredients for meal preparation, however, we focused on the crumbs from the table.  I am the low man, learning to climb the ladder, checking off  various bars step by step, plotting to become the big cheese.  Agreeing upon the next escapade, we decided to meet at a common location that neither of us had previously solicited – Indulge Bistro.

He located the crack in society, peeked in and waited while I circled the neighborhood, and scavenged for parking – cat and mouse – patrol cars and eye.  Fortunately I was able to find a spot at the end of the street, just before the corner.  As is customary, located the closest 7/11 (which happened to be right around that corner) to get drinks from prior to going in the bar.

Usually purchasing a 350ml bottle for the price of a single cocktail allows me to feel good, while simultaneously hinders my urge to get caught in the excessive spending trap while going out. The convenience stores usually provide inconspicuous shelter and a relatively quiet place for conversation (in the instance that cats at the bar are slightly aggressive).  Scampering across the wire, having placed the call, he came outside and we walked up the residential street, where the neatly hidden bar seemed out of place.

Turning the corner and sitting outside of the 7/11, we noted that several luxury cars were pulling up across the street, stopping then pulling off again – pit crew style.  We talked over an entire 700ml bottle then returned to the Bistro.  Now feeling good, entering the ether state that puts me in tune with the universe, while blocking out the physical state of today, we scurried downstairs, gutter rats finding comfort in the warmth of the steam that is emitted from sewer grates, I naturally overlooked the upstairs environment for my place in this world – the dark lair.

Downstairs was sparsely populated and yet the tables and seating arrangement gave way to the perception of density.  True varmints, we found the darkest corner in the room with the most space, dimly lit with a single candle and proceeded to escort ourselves to the couch making it the happiest place on earth.


There was a fully stocked bar downstairs, and to our amazement, no one tending to its contents, we were questioned, and the response was repeated once again as if this were the second loop at an amusement park – “The signature cocktail from the head bartender or owner.”  Disappointed that he wasn’t present, I settled, and so did he.

Having fun, time flying roller coaster style, now vacant, the noise we produced echoed and attracted pounding footsteps from above.  The lights came on, and the crew began straightening up, with a whisk of a broom directed at us, we vacated the premises, fully satisfied with the scraps of enjoyment we were able to scrounge from this place.





酒水年 Bar Review (Tao Yuan)


He woke up feeling accomplished having spent the previous day being productive.  Looking to the sky in anticipation of what the weather would be…far from the ancient tradition understanding seasons, global warming has made forecasting the skies a daily artisan skill.  Dark garments worn loosely as uniformed urban apparel, conceal carry: a pen, notepad, camera, and the mind – from the teacher to silent warrior.


The sun, waking up, washing her face, hands slowly removed, revealing her dimly lit eyes.  Play time until the next shift of illumination arrives, the street lights, lazy and half-heartedly ushering her daily closure when the luster she shed on the earth begins to fade.



Precision fell, dark times moving about the village undetected in search of the watering hole that deceived me the night before…final hours before the New Year.  I passed by what would become a documented memory I carried with me, time traveling into the future.  Once again looking to the night sky and stars for direction, moonlight, a reflection of her beauty, magnetic forces controlling the tides, attracting me to overlooked signs.  Camouflaged butterflies day dreaming at night, mimicking bubbles of shooting stars in sporadic circular motions, seemingly chaotic, sequentially fluttering, indirectly guided by the reflection of her bright light.

Arriving at the destination on accident, he hopped off the white horse; adrenaline pumping, ecstasy, high, euphoria.  With the horse rested, tied to a nearby post, far enough to be out of sight, yet close enough to be visible from the smoking position upstairs.  He readied his gear, checking the cartiges and approached the temple, confident that he had found an untainted natural oasis in a mirage of concrete – a perfect place to meditate before frequency chiming of the midnight hour.

Empty bottles filled with spirits – genies and Djin – from the conjuring monks of a previous time blossomed, draped and dressed the hallway, daisies paralleling sunflowers, luminescent roses paving the way for ascension to the doorway of a new dimension.


There he stood looking back on the minutes, days, weeks and months that lead to the end of this year – a long journey for a short trip, this year was over in a matter of hours and the next would overlap moments later.


End of one experience, the beginning of another, a new creation on a continuum of a temporary existence.  The tranquil environment was slightly different than El.Sin.Say had imagined, but it had all of the raw essentials that were required to manifest the frequency of elevated ether.


Becoming acquainted with the grounds keeper, paying my tithes to ensure its maintenance, and reassuring that I would return – 30 minutes and 3 hours before midnight was all that was needed.



上 Café (Tao Yuan)

Being told that there was a bar in his city he had never seen, El.Sin.Say’s curiosity finally got the best of him.  Cleaning the house while no residents were inside, the hour glass was pitted against the weather, grains of sand transforming into cirrius clouds, raindrops preventing the motorcycle ride.  Premature darkness cast a shadow from the neighboring building into his living room.  Knowing that time was not an ally, showered the grit from a princess work – Cinderella.

P1180044A 10 year-old motorcycle with emphysema started loudly without hesitation, and yet it still smoked, tires screaming out the parking garage.  The knees squeaked on pads like an old man attempting to give the youngsters the business on court, eventually displaying remnants of respect from his glory days.

For 15 minutes, Alzheimer’s had them holding hands, escorted up and down the same street looking for signs that didn’t exist.  Now thirsty and fatigued, seeing two fat men outside of a watering hole, he gazed in, and in amazement, there was fully stocked bar staring back. through the key hole, bringing back memories.

The place – one that he had wanted to bring his wife to years before, but never got around to making the time.  Letting it seep through clasped hands, sand of a broken hour glass, now melded tightly, turning into glass. Sharp memories cutting deep wounds in the palm – braille clear enough to force hands open and release handle bars.

Parked, saddle bag ready, bursting through the doors like a salon, room silenced and music stopped, an outsider, clearly a foreigner that wasn’t from this land, although the spur laden boots glided across the wood floor as if a mystical unicorn awaited him outside.

Grabbing a menu by the throat, integrity threatened, it began to spit words in mixed tongue, regurgitating everything it had accumulated in the establishment, trying to seek his approval.  The bar tender rushed to its assistance, asking him to sit down and relax.  A cold glass of water warranted a hot temper – a warm atmosphere.

Slightly at ease, but not relaxed, he was inclined to canvass the rest of the establishment prior to harnessing his sword and saddle bags.  Windows to the world on almost every wall, well shaded, chandeliers, couches and wall paper, all dressed up as a respectable gentleman, or perhaps a quick talking conman with a sharp tongue.

Impelled, the 12 year Sherry Cask Scotsman, silenced his mouth, warmed his throat and pierced his stomach.   The essence of the concoction impaled his spirit , satisfying the thirsty curiosity and yet created a hunger for the establishment.

Time stood still, but hours had passed.  The duality of understanding that each moment increased the probability of not arriving at the next destination dry, while also ensuring that he would be driving dry, food was taken out before the clock struck 12 and he returned to his previous lowly form.