Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Friday, November 26, 2010

We Live in Camera


     Do you feel that Taipei is a dull place in the winter time?  Do you find time hanging heavy on your hands with your social calendar at its lowest ebb and are you willing to pay any price for something to enliven your day?  Here is a solution to the curse of “Taipei tediousness.”

     Make a safari through the “greatest show on earth,” Taipei New City Park.  And be sure to take your camera because whether you spend an afternoon, an hour or only five minutes you will see sights that will make wonder additions to the “Taiwan memory” section of your album.

     I will let you in on a little secret first.  When you are travelling around the streets of Taipei -- or anywhere in the Orient for that matter – you learn the uncomfortable feeling of being self-conscious; being the focal point for thousands of pairs of eyes.  This is true!  But remember this, anytime you get an audience you earn an unforgettable opportunity to observe mankind.  Who has more fun than the monkey in the zoo -- whose enjoyment comes from watching the silly antics of the people hanging around the cage?  And the monkey can’t take pictures.

     So now we are in the park.  We came in through any one of the dozens of little “maze” entrances which are designed for what purpose I can’t imagine.  Armed with our camera, we are on our own.

     First there are the flowers and trees.  At almost any time you will find enough flowers to keep you in a “spring-time” frame of mind.  Even in the dark depths of winter, herbiage and blooms are alive somewhere in the park.  Walk past the fountains and statues; all of these are excellent picture material.  And, if you don’t like to take pictures, either camera or mental, of statues – there are always the children.

     One thing in Taipei for sure, you can always find plenty of kids.   Kids little, kids big, kids in various stages of dress and undress.  Kids playing on swings and teeter-tooters, kids playing marbles and kids just playing, sitting, fighting or just being kids.  

     They are noisy and impolite, they stare and whisper and giggle.  And, if you are on the bulgy side, like myself, they will puff out their cheeks and giggle the louder.  They are friendly, however, and you will be surprised to find how many of them speak English in varying degrees from the limited “hello, how are you?” style to conversation that can surprise and astound the listener.

     And they do provide a lot of enjoyment for a casual wanderer who is just looking for something to fill up a dull day.

     And let me tell you something else.  When you feel that you are ready to return to the boredom of your home, don’t be surprised to find that the few minutes you intended to visit in the park have, in some mysterious way, gone into hours.  Whether you have taken pictures or not you will always have a part of the Far East, of Taiwan, and of Taipei that will never leave your mind, your memory – or your heart.

     And it’s even more fun next time!

Reprinted with permission
Joe Brooks writes of the "Taipei New City Park" as it was in the mid 1950s.  The park and atmosphere of those days has changed considerably since Joe's article, but the memories never change of Taipei and this wonderful country. 

I had an earlier Blog post discussing the park. You can read that post HERE
A Wikipedia article about the park can be seen  HERE

To better understand Joe Brooks and this series of articles, please read a previous Blog post HERE

1 comment:

titojohn said...

Kent, Thanks to you and Ted for these pictures. I worked with most of these guys.