November 26th, 2006 § 0 comments § permalink

I’ve returned safely and uneventfully to a Taiwan I dimly recognize as having lived in, ticking off, like the taxi meter and its miles, the landmarks between the airport and home: the signs to Taoyuan, the toll plaza, the freeway flanked by elevated routes, the buildings I remember being grey as warehouses hiding their grime in night and laying claim, with countless lighted windows, to the animation of newness. Be they wrecks in the day, patched with corrugated awnings and bristling with scaffolding whose ragged bamboo edges seem a frame exposed by rot or breach, by night they are freighters on a dark sea. We haven’t crossed the river yet, I bet myself, and when a few minutes later we do, the sight of Taipei 101 congratulates me. On a hill to the left, the Grand Hotel bright as the bathhouse in Spirited Away, and then we’re swerving southeast into town.

Yuánshan Dàfàndiàn by night.

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