When I woke up and the sun was shining and the taxi I entered had the friendliest old chap, blasting classical tunes from the radio, I just knew it was going to be a good day! Everything ran like clockwork. I took the high speed rail from Taipei to Kaohsiung, which sped me past green fields, as well as industrial zones. As soon as I arrived in Kaohsiung, I couldn’t believe how chilled it was. Even more laid-back than Taipei. Boiling hot and at ease, I followed the map that Cozy Planet Hostel had given me along the lazy streets. It was easy to find and very cool. The owner, Sam, is one of the friendliest guys ever. He was greeting everyone as they woke up and was ready to provide you with any info you might be seeking. Again, just like in Taipei, I felt like I had just arrived home. It became pretty apparent how small this world actually is, after I met one of my dorm mates. She told me she was from Macau and I instantly thought of Turtle Giant and queried as to whether she knew of them, seeing as they’d be playing at Spring Scream. The lead singer is her boyfriend, of course! Just like in Taipei where I just happened to bump into a guy from my hostel three days later on a random MRT. Then there was the time I was having my Sunday morning stroll, and a friend from dinner the night before was the only other person on the street. You see, Taiwan is so cool that it actually enables stuff like this to happen easily. It seems to be a society built with a strong sense of community, and so bumping into people you know everywhere is just a part of that. It’s lovely.
I spent the majority of my day in Kaohsiung exploring Pier 2 Art District. It was incredible! From multi-coloured statues, to giant transformer-like figurines, to exhibitions regarding protest against building factories in people’s hometowns. It was just buzzing with eclectic creative vibes. I wandered in deep admiration at all the original ideas. They even put a lot of thought into simple things such as benches for chilling on. Everything was a piece of art. Even the cracks in the cement on the old worn-out warehouses looked artistic. Also, it was a bluer-than-blue sky day, so everything just shimmered under the glow of the sun, brighter and more enthusiastic than if it had been a rainy day. I had lunch in a Chinese restaurant, and even the vibe there was arty. They had old movie posters hanging from every nook and cranny, and even an old red-telephone box inside. These minds, wow!
Dinner was delicious in Dog Pig Art Cafe. This is an art/music/movie/restaurant/bar vibe. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any live music or movie screening tonight, but there was still some cool art work hanging on the walls and some tasty passion-fruit Belgian beer to be enjoyed.
As the sun set, and the moon came out to play, me and the girls from the hostel wandered through the night market taking Lomo photos and eating ice cream, bought from a 7/11 playing the ‘Amelie’ soundtrack. I love this place.
Now it’s about time to hit dreamland, before I head to Kenting for Spring Scream early tomorrow morning!