Not too long ago I was running some errands and on the way home I took a bit of a detour along some smaller side streets. While I was riding along I happened on a small park by the river and stopped to look around. It seemed to be little more than a path next to the shallow, partially overgrown river. I strolled along it for a few hundred meters until it ended then turned around to see where it led to in the other direction.
After passing under a bright red bridge I came to what can best be described as a lawn. Right there in the middle of the river is a plot of land with grass growing on it. I had planned to turn back after the bridge but this was odd enough to pique my interest and I decided to keep exploring. It was lucky I did because a short distance down the path from the red bridge is the reason this park ended up on my growing list of strange places in Taiwan: a seemingly random collection of pot plants. There’s every kind of pot you can imagine, from discarded old paint buckets to Styrofoam boxes to glazed ceramic ones, and they’re lined up along both sides of the path. The plants in them are just as varied as the pots, from snake plants to roses and everything in-between. There wouldn’t be anything strange about it in someone’s backyard but here in a public park it feels extremely out of place.
Just a short distance from the pot plants are a number of chairs that look just as random; a couple of office chairs, a few wooden ones and an old leather chair. This is not particularly strange for Taiwan, you can find plenty of old chairs that people have dragged out to their favorite place to sit and chat, but in combination with the pot plants they make this look more like an extension of someone’s backyard than a public park. There’s even an old faded welcome mat nearby that adds to this impression.
This is perhaps not the most spectacular odd place you can find in this country, but I still think it was fun to look around and I’m glad I stumbled on it.