Dec 23, 2010

Scene: Kaoshiung

Kaoshiung, Taiwan’s second largest city, the southern-most stop before Ken Ding (beach party anyone?). It’s according to Robert, a German traveller whom I’ve met in Tainan, “a very relaxing place.”

It shows. The city is leisurely and strangely empty.

Scene: Kaoshiung (art district)

Even during rush hour, the streets are relatively scooter- and car-free, while a fair number of shuttered shops open for a scant 3, 4 hours a day. The most people that I saw in a place was along an art gallery stretch where they posed and preened under a door sign.

Scene: Kaoshiung (people posing)

I liked the arty bits in this industrial port city.

There was a smattering of graffiti,

Scene: Kaoshiung (grafitti in a tunnel)

Scene: Kaoshiung (art district)

a smidgen of pop-art sculptures,

Scene: Kaoshiung (sculptures)

and plenty of fish drying in the sun.

Scene: Kaoshiung (drying fish)

Look out for vegetables in styrofoam boxes. According to Roman McNamara, owner of Sea Art Hostel, “The Taiwanese are only 2 to 3 generations removed from being a developing country. That’s why you’ll see people growing whatever they can, wherever they can.”

Scene: Kaoshiung (people growing vegetables)

Now that makes all sorts of sense.

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