Monday, July 20, 2009

Taichung is a Beautiful City...?

Since I've come to Taiwan, I've heard people say some peculiar things like:

~The words ambulance and excellence sound the same


~It takes over an hour to get to a grocery store in the United States

but one statement that really struck me as completely off the mark was this one:

"Taichung really is a beautiful city!"


I have been living in Taichung for about 6 months now, and I really can't find any reason to say that Taichung is beautiful... Sure it has some nice parks and some cool things to see, but the city as a's just not beautiful.

As far as the eye can see, Taichung is just a string of (ugly) buildings.

No sky-line to speak of, no apparent city planning or consideration for the aesthetic, just buildings, buildings, buildings.... Sure, every now and then it has an architecturally interesting building, but for the most part its just... blah. Nick and I don't even look up anymore because there's just no reason to.

From what I've seen, Taipei is the same - an endless sea of buildings with the world's tallest sky-scraper arbitrarily shooting up from the center.
(photo taken from this website)

Nothing, to be sure, compared with my home town:

(photo from here)

The sad thing is that Taichung is surrounded by some beautiful mountains; however, due to population density, pollution, and humidity, it is almost impossible see them most of the time.

Two weeks ago I was driving home from school (a drive which I have done 5 days a week for the last 5 months) when I caught my first glimpse of the mountains - poking out from between the buildings at the end of the street.
5 months, I had been driving on that same road every day, before I noticed them! And they were beautiful.

I was so caught off guard that I was only half looking at the road, half staring in amazement at the sight before me. I had forgotten how much joy I derived from ever-present mountains surrounding Denver. Mountains give me peace and remind me that my problems are small compared with the rest of the world, and just as in Denver, beautiful mountains surround this city, unfortunately the sightings are seldom and fleeting.

For those living in Taiwan, I do have to say that Taichung is a nice city to live in. I am thankful that we ended up here - It's close to the mountains, the weather is ideal (sunnier than Taipei and cooler than Kaoshung), it's not too crowded, the traffic isn't bad most of the time, and the people are wonderful...

Aesthetically speaking though, It aint no Pittsburgh!

1 comment:

  1. I'm visiting for the summer and was looking for some nice buildings to photograph. Have to agree. Not a very beautiful city.