Waking up on January 1st in Taichung turned out to be relatively relaxed. While the streets were a bit quieter due to possible hangovers, life continued on as normal. This was a relief since I needed to fix the battery on my phone; it rang in the new year by conveniently dying on me. Thankfully, the repair store Google led me to was on the way to our route, so we stopped off there. Of all the places for my HTC phone to act up, I’m glad it’s in the country of origin, as parts are more readily available than Moscow.
The main destination was one of Taichung’s, and arguably Taiwan’s, famous places-the Rainbow Village. In short, one retired soldier originally from mainland China came to Taiwan, and decided to take up his paintbrush. Coincidentally there happened to be some old homes that were set to be demolished by the local government, so he decided to paint them. And because they were so remarkable, the buildings were preserved and have since been kept as a tourist attraction. The area itself wasn’t too large, but it was neat seeing the extent of his artwork. We strolled around for half an hour or so, avoiding the throngs of people taking pictures, then decided to walk over to the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. Along the way, we passed by several interesting statues in parks, and the most notable one was from the game World of Warcraft. Turns out the sculptor was from Taiwan, which would somewhat explain why his statue happened to be in Taichung.
The NTMoFA was free, which was wonderful. As a plaque informed us, it was because the founder wanted to make art more accessible to everybody, therefore by eschewing a ticket fee, nobody would be left out. One of the bigger themes was about flowers, but we’d seen enough of them a few days earlier in Taipei. However, the other displays were awesome as well, and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing underrated Taiwanese art. As you can see in the pictures at the bottom, the colors popped out and were generally brilliant! Admittedly we didn’t stay around too long since the gallery was relatively small, but we left with a better appreciation for what this country contributes to the world of art!
After a few hour’s rest in the hotel, it was time to head back out, this time to the same night market. While we did a good job scoping out food the previous night, we still had some unfinished business. There’s really not much more to say here, other than we got the same sweet potato fries, a troika of my wonderfully fresh donuts, and sausages wrapped in a rice burrito thing, while my mom opted to wait a bit for a delectable chicken with cheese dish. Yes, I sound like a broken record but I want to reinforce the notion of how damn good food is at these markets. After about roughly an hour and half, we headed back to finish the night early; after all, we were getting up to head further south to Tainan. And thus concluded our two days in the second city of the country.