Tag Archives: Karaoke

Hualien at night

An eerie cycle along the Pacific boardwalk after a vege buffet. Nightime is less hot. I wouldn’t say cool. Sporadic lightning flashes light up the ocean. Dim silhouettes of parked scooters, their owners having a nightime fish or a romantic tryst. Mysterious crenelated lines of concrete shore defences give way to sand and brush and deeper gloom. Black dogs linger by the wayside. Others chase me barking threateningly as I coast through a somnambulant hamlet. Indifferent locals in dimly lit doorways.

Rainbow market at the centre of hualien is a bemusing low-key carefree criss cross of cheap snack stalls and busking singers; aboriginal Taiwanese and disabled in wheelchairs. The spirit of the noble art of archery lives on confirming Confucian teaching: couples chancing their eye and luck at bursting balloons pinned to boards a couple of metres range. If there is a prize, a cuddly toy nobody is winning. The rifle range and pistol shoot are the same set up. To the south of the square perform locals – and mainly those taking a break from serving snacks, still in their aprons and caps – with gusto, emotion and passion to karaoke local pop songs, their stage being the plinth on which stands a retired mig fighter jet. A small appreciative crowd clap along and wiggle their bodies. A father reads to a child sitting in the aimer’s seat of an anti-aircraft gun; more dogs lollop around and doze underneath the couple of tanks to the left of the jet. An eerie cycle along the Pacific boardwalk after a vege buffet. Nightime is less hot. I wouldn’t say cool. Sporadic lightning flashes light up the ocean. Dim silhouettes of parked scooters, their owners having a nightime fish or a romantic tryst. Mysterious crenelated lines of concrete shore defences give way to sand and brush and deeper gloom. Black dogs linger by the wayside. Others chase me barking threateningly as I coast through a somnambulant hamlet. Indifferent locals in dimly lit doorways.

Rainbow market at the centre of hualien is a bemusing low-key carefree criss cross of cheap snack stalls and busking singers; aboriginal Taiwanese and disabled in wheelchairs. The spirit of the noble art of archery lives on confirming Confucian teaching: couples chancing their eye and luck at bursting balloons pinned to boards a couple of metres range. If there is a prize, a cuddly toy nobody is winning. The rifle range and pistol shoot are the same set up. To the south of the square perform locals – and mainly those taking a break from serving snacks, still in their aprons and caps – with gusto, emotion and passion to karaoke local pop songs, their stage being the plinth on which stands a retired mig fighter jet. They hurry back to their stalls after their cameos. A small appreciative crowd clap along and wiggle their bodies. An elderly man dances gracefully trancelike his moves evidently rooted in tai chi. A father reads to a child sitting in the aimer’s seat of an anti-aircraft gun; more dogs lollop around and doze underneath the couple of tanks to the left of the jet. It’s nice to be in a place where people have fun without having to get pissed up.

Thankfully there is no repeat of last night’s torrential rain.

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