To Tainan 台南, love Luna Finula.

Dear Tainan,

Before I had the pleasure of meeting you, I’d heard a lot about you. Don’t worry, all good things. It’s said that if you really want to get a glimpse into traditional life here in Taiwan, then you are the perfect location. Thus, as the train glided into your station, my head was abuzz with images of temples of grandeur and sleepy little back alleys filled with wise old men mixing potions to better mankind. I was not mistaken. Infact, you immediately had me in the palm of your hand. Not in a manipulative way though, I put myself there. You’re just too darn charming.

The way the sky is always blue, with the perfect consistency of cotton clouds. A palm tree is never too far from view even when stuck in one of your little rush-hour jams. I know you’re a city, but I prefer to think of you as a temple town. You certainly have enough of them anyway. I’d be walking down one of your cute alleys and if I wasn’t paying attention, I’d stumble right into a pot of incense at the foot of a temple. I especially like your Confucius Temple. The overall simplicity, and the way the wood is getting old, it creates the right effect. I like the purples and golds that you’ve meshed together. It gives the impression of wisdom, which I think fits nicely. And I appreciate that you haven’t re-coated the paint. I like it in it’s rustic, tarnished entirety.

I could have wandered your streets for days in my pleasantly surprised daze. And because you’re so flat (that’s a compliment), riding a bicycle along your cobbles is a welcomed treat. I cycled all the way to your Anping Tree House. What a marvel! The sun was beginning to set when I arrived, giving the exterior a mystical feel. It felt damp inside, but safe too, if you know what I mean?

I also watched an incredible sunset from your Chikan Towers. This is something everyone should have the pleasure of experiencing. I just perched myself on the balcony of your tower and caught the sun setting behind the tropical trees.

When night fell, I took rest in one of your many accommodating houses. I chose FuQi Hostel and it was a good choice. Perfectly located so that I could walk on foot to your nearby delights.

Oh Tainan, your night markets! It was like another world. A carnival for the senses. Everything was bright and there were thousands of people squeezing past with all kinds of foods that I could never even have dreamed up. I even saw someone chewing on a mosquito skewer!! You sure know how to put on a good show for the party people out there.

I like that most about you. You’re very chilled, but you also have that sneaky, lively side. I can tell that living in your land would be immensely fun! You have two sides, which keeps it interesting.

Your natural temples in all their glory, the way your palms tickle the tops of the chipped wooden roofs, your alleys and the way they wind and surprise every time. From bars with Scottish memorabilia, to magical little cafes, to the narrowest lane my body has ever had to scramble through, to cafes from eras gone by; you’re lovely.

Tainan, please retain your traditional charms, but feel free to continue pursuing your artistic dreams too. I’ll never forget walking down a slightly wonky-looking lane and catching sight of a yellow submarine. Behind this specimen were a group of graffiti doodlers prettifying your dilapidated walls.

I like this mix of old and new, the quirky and culturally-preserved, the art and the religion. It’s as if you threw them all into together, gave them a stir and voila! out popped Tainan and all it’s whimsical charisma!

Keep it kooky Tainan!

Love,

Luna Finula.

When did we stop…?

Do you have a little secret skill up your sleeve that you just can’t wait to share with the world? Or do you just love being inspired? Well, why not head on over to the Red Room’s monthly event ‘Stage Time & Wine’ which takes place on the third Saturday of every month in Taipei. Imagine a space where for five or ten minutes all ears (and eyes) could be on you. The lost art of listening, that’s what this wonderful event is bringing the focus back to. How many times have you listened to your favorite song on repeat, and yet if someone asked you to quote those lyrics, you’d quite frankly, be stumped?! Well, here’s your chance to re-learn the beautiful art of listening, and believe me, it’ll actually be a treat for all your senses. From poetry, to stand-up comedy, to ukelele-playing angelic-singing musicians, there’s something that will inspire every one of us.

So, last Saturday I went to their monthly event and it was truly awe-inspiring! There was one lady who positively oozed the epitome of contentedness. She took the mic and asked us a few questions…

*When did we stop dancing?

*When did we stop singing?

*When did we stop doodling?

*When did we stop storytelling?

Seriously, when did we stop doing all these things that make life worth living? When did we stop having fun everyday and making the most of every little moment? When did we stop appreciating the little things in life?

When did we start being such materialistic losers?

I suggest we start dancing again. In the shower, on your bed, in the street (in Korea, I saw this a lot- they’re cool!), on the mrt (underground), while you’re waiting in the line at the supermarket. JUST DANCE. You know you want to. And if we all start then it won’t be so embarrassing. We have a body that can move for a reason. USE IT. Thank you.

And singing. Well, I can’t sing (well), but for those of you who can, let us hear! But not that little singing voice that occasionally slips out, I’m talking about your REAL singing voice. Ground yourself and let it out!

Doodle everywhere. Because we all know an earth without art is just EH.

Once upon a time…storytelling was actually popular. Instead of writing an emo status on Facebook, rather go call a friend and tell a story, or write a letter, or make someone laugh with a hilarious adventure you’ve been on. Tell me your stories, I love stories.

The lost art of storytelling.

We weren’t given creative bones to just sit around and grumble with, so let’s be expressive and continue nurturing the creative catalyst that makes this world go round.

blue monday

OK, it’s official, I’m psychic. I wrote in my diary last week that I’d blog this song today because it’s epic! And it IS actually Blue Monday today, weird! As in the news people of the world said this Monday is supposedly the most depressing day of the year. I don’t agree, but woohoo to being psychic. No, but really…time to start channeling this power to my advantage.

This morning I was sweet dreaming, when all of a sudden a random Taiwanese man ran up to me, in my dream, and screamed XIAO XIN 小心, which means BE CAREFUL! I was like OK, that was weird, and then one minute later my bed started shaking and it sounded like my window was about to smash, and then I woke up and realised it was another mini earthquake. Yup. But it’s a good thing apparently, all these small quakes, my teacher so kindly assured me today…Rather these daily shakes and quakes, than a gigantic one. Hmm, yeah sure, or how about none?! It’s really unsettling and I’m not educated in this kind of thing. Last week we had quite a big one (or at least I thought so) and I jumped up, panicked and was like what do i doooo?

Despite the earth shaking me awake, there was nothing blue about this Monday. Oh, apart from the sky. It was extremely blue because summer has crept back in. YAY! As in, allow me to turn on my a.c and wear a summer dress again without a gazillion layers.

Taipei, you’re a little bizarre, but I love you.

beau bow

Girl to Girl: No, come on! You know who I’m talking about! That tall girl who always wears the bows.

Girl 1: Oh bow girl. Gosh, doesn’t she know they’re like, only for little girls.

Girl 2: Oh, yeah, yeah totally…(Girl 2 discreetly unclips bow from the back of her hair…)

Enter Bow Girl…

you see, she’s cool! bows are nat for babies.

red ones are not just for Minnie Mouse mmmk.

this isn’t one i’d wear to class, but for a party…

bow dresses, i love them.

i want this dress!

 men, yes, you should wear a bow tie everyday.

Bows really are quite lovely. Be it a bow tie, a giant hair bow, a dress with a bow, a belt with a bow, I’m all about the bows. When was the last time you wore a bow? I suggest tying a little ribbon bow to your bag, or trying to do your hair like this. Or just pop a little bow into that up-do. I promise it looks cool!