January 9, 2007

The smell of burnt car tyres at the East China Sea. The medicinal air in the outskirts of Taipei: like smashed aspirins. A wall painter steps sidewards on his extension ladder as if they were stilts. In the underpass the er hu, the high- pitched singing. The garbage man with big tongs to lift the garbage, just like one eats with chopsticks. 

Theft has no place in Taiwan. In alleys at night, the supplies stay, alongside gas stoves and electric cookers. In a park an open dancing lesson- through a microphone on a headphone a lady instructs dozens of elderly. Dogs are pulled into T-shirts, their front feet are sticking through the selves. On bill boards there are cartoons, manga and animal faces. Even the ambulances have a nursing figure with a beak on their side. Metal tubes are bowing in and out of the asphalt at the entrance of a cycling path. In front of the fire brigade the pavement colours red.

Vendors push with their whole body the trolleys onto the night market. A scooterist wears a helmet over the hood of a raincoat. Girls make peace signs against their cheeks in order to appear to have longer faces in a photo. A vendor shows his customer the price with a mobile phone. Above the trolleys bent wire circles in order to keep the flies away. Calligraphy, colour pigment. Sugar cane swished into juice. From a white piece of dough a man shaves noodles into the pot. A CD as a reflector on the back seat of a bi-cycle.  A man drives a tray of cut fruit held up by his right hand on his scooter.

No-body seems annoyed by me in the city. People walk close by each other, sometimes brushing my shoulder. When someone prays, others are walking easily in front of them. At a table next to a temple a man is predicting the future while smoking and drinking tea. Folded paper envelops for drinking water. Dentists working in a vitrine. Kindergartens designed as toyshops.

Two giant wooden shoes in a fortress at the mouth of a river. Signs show regulations against bird flu. In the sea little black rocks. A group of eight stray dogs is walking on the beach. When one of them goes into the dunes, the other seven wait for him. What is washed up on the shore is made by human hands.