who needs dictators?

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Met up with a friend from China today to take a walk around Taipei. First we went to the Presidential Office Building:

Presidential Office Building

We didn’t go in, though. He’d already done that, but he showed me his visitor pass, which had a nice slogan on it:

visitor pass

It seemed like a wink at the “People’s Republic” of China.

Then we went to the Taipei 228 Memorial Museum:

Taipei 228 Memorial Museum

It was about a 1947 massacre that had cost thousands of lives. Think of it like June 4th 1989 in Beijing, just with even more casualties. The “228” (February 28th) incident had been taboo during the greater part of Taiwan’s history, but following the democratic transition in the late 1980s, the country had started to own up to the darker parts of its history.

The memorial museum was okay, albeit a bit bland:

inside the Taipei 228 Memorial Museum

They had photos, videos, and statues on display:

monument in Taipei 228 Memorial Museum

And they had historical artefacts:

historical magazine in Taipei 228 Memorial Museum

But I would have preferred it if they had introduced a few of the victims, those who weren’t very involved in the politics but got hurt nonetheless. I think it’s important to do this in order to give meaning to the numbers.

Anyway, I hear that there is actually more than one 228 memorial museum in Taipei. Maybe the other one would have been more interesting?

We went to Liberty Square after this:

Liberty Square

They had a memorial hall for the late dictator Chiang Kai-shek there:

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

I thought it was odd to commemorate the dude who had lost China to the agitation and propaganda of Mao Zedong and then ruled Taiwan with an iron fist:

photo with a dictator

Why didn’t people pay homage to his son and successor Chiang Ching-kuo instead, the man who had brought about democratic reforms in the 1980s?

It seemed absurd.

Anyway, the square was smaller, greener, and nicer than Tian’anmen in Beijing:

view across Liberty Square

We decided we wanted to look at the skyline for a bit, so we went to Xiangshan, a hill near the Taipei 101 building:

Taipei 101

We didn’t go all the way up, though. It was too hot and too humid and there were too many mosquitos and we were too lazy.

We went and played VR games instead:

VR games

This was the first time that I had ever tried a virtual reality helmet, and it was pretty fucking amazing. That being said, though, I have to admit that I got really nauseous from it:

trying VR

Before we said goodbye, we had dinner at a famous beef noodle stand:

beef noodle stand

The place was super crowded, and rightly so:

beef noodles

Because those were some excellent beef noodles.

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