Taipei in four acts: Scene II

by on Thursday, 22 April 2010 6143 hits Comments
Rate this item
(0 votes)

II - Night and Morning

So here we are, in the city, and before we even can see it we feel its blood, the place where it is, its inclusion in the surrounding landscape, in the bright sunshine; light as a traveler, we watch the grid of roads and avenues, we see how they lovingly shape the hills, how the streets lose their perfect neat order from the center and start climbing the hills, how some manors push their fatty protuberance and bend the concrete lanes, we see where the ground is deep and moving, in those pockets of small, old houses forgotten by the city planning, we see the floodable areas and the new districts, far away, rational, arrogant, just tall. Each district has its own voice, planes landing in the north, roaring constructions answering innocent singing exotic birds, sometimes the mere whispering of trees, when everything else has turned quiet, sometimes, for no reason, a pause in the night, constantly pushed away by all instruments, water pipes, water heaters, fridges, taps, choking windows spreading their life while humans quietly sleep, all the small metallic articulations of the city in the warm quiet hot summer nights, all windows open, dreaming about the magic of some secret places we just discovered, the places where you would bring your girl, maybe, if the time is right, where it’s not too crowded, if it’s not too hot, like that moment you just surprised in the morning, where the city will devote you a small shrine for love, protective, touching your heart. You dream of the places you don’t know yet, your imagination wanders between what you know already and what is likely to appear, once you’ll have understood the idea behind the glass and the stones, the concrete and the clay, you’ll be a living architect for the city, you’ll put high rises and nice parks, and you’ll watch it spread around, grow bigger, you’ll see the prices soaring then the people move further, you’ll smile and put more high-rises, you know they are love it here, you’ll also clean the rivers and restore old barracks. That’s it; maybe you love the town already.

But you wake up, you’ve got to go for food, you’re back in a tiny fraction of this city that just a while ago appeared so huge, you can’t embrace it all anymore, you’re left with foggy thoughts and fragments of reality murmuring you the city, you’re not sure, you see the trees are still there, you hear some noise in closed shops, you breathe deeply ‘cause you know it’s gonna be hot, you watch old men meditating, everywhere they are more of them, exercising in public parks, slowly moving their bodies to the Qi Kong, lost in their tiny world they still can call the World – nothing awake yet, you slow down the pace, turn into a new street, greet old temples fuming with incense some mysterious visitors have put at night – you didn’t hear that – once again the feeling emerges, this is all an old theater scene, the city there, not exactly like another neighborhood, not perfectly what you think it ought to be, but this cart, there, on the corner, the 包子, the 豆漿, the 水果汁, you forget already. For a moment you won’t remember the city, just enjoy what it has to offer, the Real gets suspended before normal life starts again, stressful, crowded, fluid, a sea of men assaulted with threatening silent “small yellows”, like many sharks slowly, slowly patrolling the city looking for a prey in their long, long slender, long long low carcass, everywhere up to the darkest alleys, everywhere slowing down when they see you, turning their necks; endlessly patrolling.

This is where you live now, nothing before and nothing after.

(Photo: B. Girardot flickr.com/photos/litanies)

For mainland readers:

Read the third part

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 17:34
Benoît Girardot

I'm Benoit, a French guy, arrived in Taiwan around 5 years ago, and it's already hard to remember what I did in my old life! Maybe I lived in Germany? I used to have a weird job, selling breast implants all around Asia, but I quit and am now learning Chinese. I love Taiwan, and I don't really have any words to describe why Taipei is such a cool city... so I'm taking pictures instead.

I have a blog about Taiwan, the idea is to get a deeper understanding of Taiwan-as a foreigner, with language barrier and all kinds of pre-conceived ideas, it is not always an easy task! I post a mic of pictures, videos, articles about the cool people and things I meet on the island! You're welcome to come have a look by yourself!

Website: litanies.net/blog/

Help us!

Help us keep the content of eRenlai free: take five minutes to make a donation

AMOUNT: 

Join our FB Group

Browse by Date

« July 2019 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

We have 3016 guests and no members online