February 01, 2007

Episode XV: Sun and Space


During the weekend I have decided to visit some new places across the city as often as having some spare time. After the period of five months of my stay in Taiwan, there are still many locations in Kaohsiung that I did not see. It's pretty easy to waste time by watching television or wondering around the shopping mall, but I don't want to do that if I have an occasion to go and find some new interesting spots and venues in such an exotic place as Taiwan.
On Saturday I have paid a visit to National Science and Technology Museum on Jiouru Road. I was surprised because I found it almost empty and very quiet. As I already know something about Asia, I was expecting crowds of people who want to take a look at the fighter airplane, try the “moonwalker” or learn something about Taiwan's industry and its most famous products like computers, clothes or scooters. But I was wrong and actually I felt more comfortable in such an environment, where I don't need to force my way to go through.

Interior of museum is impressive. Massive spaces and long corridors make you feel like visiting an airport, not a spot of cultural interest. Most of the visitors were children accompanied by parents, because that's a great place for those young folks. You can push the button or turn the handle and learn how physics, gravity or electricity does work. It's gaining knowledge through experiencing the phenomenon. That's a wonderful lesson.

Then, on Sunday, to ventilate my mind, I went to pier 2, also known as pier of art. There, I have found what I was looking for. Wide, spacious and noiseless location, just at the harbour. That's a place, where modern performers of south Taiwan can exhibit their artistic visions.
I have seen some colourful and surprising sculptures and kind of theatre, where I imagine, independent young people enjoy being actors.

Sky was calmly blue, sun warm and kind, tranquil and vast area made me feel this specific pacifying mood. I felt even better, when I went for a walk along the pier. View of those huge used ships was striking. You could tell they have been through a lot, met some sinister waves and storms in their past. Its mildew could tell stories.

Finally, when I have stepped on the wooden terrace from where I faced the sight of the city, with sky-tower in the background and colossal yellow cranes in front of me, I felt the weight of the distance. Tons of surrounding air, city on my palm and heat falling from above. It was something stirring and solid.
Few blocks further, there was a humble in size but proud of its importance, tight and slender bright shape of cathedral. How many times I have been passing by and never stop to discover its secrets?

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