Taipei blues. This name occurred to me couple of months ago whilst walking around Prague. I knew I had something in there, something I wanted to examine and explore. Back then, I also knew that unless mother randomness shuffled the cards, I was going to spend ten months in Taipei. Having the name was great, but the name of what? That I did not knew and regret to say I still do not know. Fragments of images flow by and yet the well of imagination runs dry. Is it about writing a book, a series of blog posts, short Facebook statuses? Is it about other media forms & platforms?
So far, I have only a handful of observations, little snippets of a bigger picture. Among the amusing things are garbage cars playing various melodies “tempting” the citizens out with their garbage; ice cream van ringtones serving as signals to bus drivers that you want to get off; slow drawl of Old streeters. Others are of different sort, sometimes amusing, other times annoying, often times indifferent: constant hum of a four-lane highway just behind the campus; imminent war on cockroaches; the rat menace (this requires more investigation). Last group is formless and shapeless cloud consisting of high level of (almost pedantic?) rule obedience, which is an ugly child of the need to keep things in order, combined with modern and efficient systems and gadgets. The result is a charismatic, muscular supercar that never breaks the speed limit and always drives itself as economically as possible (and prefers to use a bicycle in morning hours, because the V10 engine could, after all, wake up some people). I will skip the specifics, let me just say that I have been penalized for “illegal bicycle parking” in the campus. This hints well enough at the issue.
Taipei blues, the creation of my lovely brain, then continues to remain a mystery. To wrap it up for today, this is my current view on China – Taiwan brother from another father situation. China is an entity of two identities unified under the red flag – the poor China and the rich China. Taiwan, as I see it now, stands between them, perhaps on par with the rich China, and, unlike the other two, has solved its attitude problem.