of Taliao. Just because it is small, doesn't mean that vehicle and
densities are low.
In contrast to the dirt and noise outside, it is quiet and clean.
knit the side roads together. Traditional-style housing on the right.
| It is
easy to see how
urbanized this "rural" small town really is. The utter lack of planning
has resulted in cramped, ugly, living conditions, with cars parked
The lack of sidewalks forces foot traffic, scooters, bicycles, and cars
to use the same space. As the woman in front attests, helmet laws
are ignored in small towns.
town has a fascinating
| A local
readies for the evening traffic.
| A Chinese
store. Don't be fooled by the wooden cabinets; that's part of the decor
to give it an authentic ancient feel. This one is quite new.
blocks, tiled for maximum hideousness, tower over the
When the Nationalists left the mainland, hundreds of thousands of
came with them. The government settled them on land seized from wealthy
landowners to create military villages all over the island. Every small
town has one. The purpose was to provide housing for the army, and
blocs of die-hard ruling party supporters in local areas. Since the
was composed largely of illiterate peasants, the result was that these
soldiers were largely left out of the economic miracle, and forced into
permanent living on government handouts, sinecures, petty crime, and
No demographic group has been more harshly shafted by the KMT regime
the old soldiers, and no group has been more enthusiastically
of the former ruling party.
of tiny homes
for the soldiers were shoehorned onto the land.
| Many old
elderly and poor. Some who have made money have returned to China, but
China has changed so vastly, and they often come back to Taiwan
that their relatives are greedy for money and don't care about
on the one
main street of Taliao, noise and color define the world.
every small town
towns are replete
with neighborhoods like this. Note the barred windows. You can't leave
your house unlocked here.
| Taliao is
for several kilometers along the main road. Once you leave the
on either side, you're back in the rice fields and factories that
the classic Taiwan scene.
zone between town and field; the two abut each other.
their income with gardens.
children play in
the park, some jackass next door decides that the air in Taiwan is not
like this are clean and quiet.
Without a front yard or sidewalks, all activities, from perambulating
kids to conducting funerals, takes place in the street. Note the utter
lack of garbage on the street, in contrast to the world outside.
cheerfully litter, but not in their own spaces.
are fanatic gardeners.
| A family
of stray dogs
enjoys some quality time together.
| A shop
local conception of fashion.
the traffic does not abate.
| A common
in every town, making aluminum bars for windows and doors to keep out
| A betel
and customer have a chat.
for a little extra income.
| A family
small business selling steamed buns on the street.
| No road
is so small
that it can't take herds of buses.
| Fruit and
sellers line the road to the evening market.
is the most crowded place in Taliao.
| A fruit
vendor in the
| A drinks
knows me, mixes me a freebie while we chat.
ability to simply vomit up people is shown in this picture. Even a
in a small town is packed almost beyond belief.
interior of the
steakhouse, just the right note of kitsch. One almost expects the steak
to be served on velvet paintings....
lights up. At
night Taiwan's cities, even the small town, are lit with restless
| A cram
one teaches Chinese, math, and other subjects. Not all cram schools
hope these guys
are never used.
School, a typical English cram school.
| A local
serves an early evening customer.
| With no
the schools serve as community parks in the evening.
a common and reputable local chain.
| A small
to eat at the local convenience store.
|This shot was taken on a normal day. "Small" does not mean
Taliao is almost always like this.
||This shot was taken from roughly the same spot on a rare
after several days of rain.
Hope you enjoyed our tour!
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