Finding a Chinese watercolor brought to life
By David Poulter
December 2, 2011, 12:16 am TWN
Before arriving in Taiwan I took the time to consult a guidebook that I found in my local library. Living in a rural area of the Republic of Ireland and generally being behind the times and not au fait with computers and the Internet, a book was the best choice. The edition was published in 1994 and I was instantly captivated: a tropical island with the largest number and density of high mountains in East Asia, aboriginal tribes, huge urban areas with massive populations, expressed as "that close together feeling" and sultry and exotic beaches. I envisioned skiing at Pine Lodge Resort then traveling down the peninsula to while away the hours lounging in Kenting, eyeing up the Bikini girls. Where in the world could one find such possibilities? Of course after arriving in Taipei I discovered the real Taiwan, or my version of it.
I have lived here for more than seven years now and have acquired permanent residency, the majority of my time has been spent in the south. The terrain is truly amazing, as an Art major who specialized in landscape art, I really appreciate the views, and they are unbelievable. Witnessing the sunset in the central range, with row after row of peaks fading towards the horizon one certainly sees something unworldly, fantastic; a Chinese watercolor brought to life. Indeed the Bikini girls are beautiful too. But the thing that strikes me most is the friendliness and good nature of the Taiwanese, also their hardworking disposition. Even though the population density is very high, public order and the general convenience of things are excellent. The family, the traditions, the culture and festivals all combine to make Taiwan a safe, genial and easy place to live. I now know why Europe is in debt.
Still I never did find Pine Ski Lodge.
Occupation :English Teacher