Record
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Record: Kaohsiung & Kenting

Headed to the southern tip of Taiwan in December for a few days with my father and sister, and spent time in the port city of Kaohsiung and adjacent Kenting, which is a national park, and doubles as a top vacation spot during the summer. The off peak vibes were really interesting, and the weather as a moody mix of wind and sunshine. Here are some snaps from our daily walkabouts.

The most striking thing about walking about in urban spaces is spillage. Planned as they may be, city infrastructure and city dwellers never keep within the confines of the spaces they are allocated, and often the city itself shifts and moves with construction, creative traffic, legal and illegal extensions of private and public space.

I love the textures of urban spaces; they constantly remind me that life is sprawling and yet so unique to each inhabitant. Similarly, the life cycle of resort towns and tourist destinations is a fascinating oscillation. What are the systems of survival that locals in these transient places employ and utilize to continue to build lives for themselves? In off-peak season, I find these methods become more transparent and evident. It reminds me of all the different ways to live in this world, past the current trends of where to vacation, how to travel, and what kinds of travel services should be used.

Decay is a form of history. Grit is the residue of old stories. Sometimes history is monetized, and other times it is demonized. It all depends on the perspective being imposed on it. Regardless, stories of survival, of daily rhythms and habits are everywhere. I would like to bear witness to those moments, and reflect on my own way of living in return.

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Jasmine is an editor, poet, and community arts organizer. She comes to poetry by way of Chinese music. This blog is a mapping of ways.

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