I kept a short diary in Taipei from December 25th, 2013, to January 6th 2014. I had no purpose for writing, other than to chronicle my observations, thoughts, and feelings from each day. Taipei in a city of nostalgia from an untraceable source, inextricably tied to its mood, which changes every moment, as the weather.
December 26th, 2013 Taipei Xindian Starbucks 9:30 pm
Down a rain soaked ally, lined with motorcycles tipped against red doors, building and the wire windows lean into the street, five stories high in every direction. At the end of the street, the buildings surround you on all three sides. The sky is only visible if you look straight up. Even then, it’s coated in a thick mist. Like a forgotten mirror in the attic. Reflecting light from the city streets. You can see yourself in this mist, if you look long enough.
We woke up early and sauntered down the rainy streets to get breakfast. When we found it, we ate on a rickety wooden bench, sitting on plastic buckets that had been turned over and used as chairs. The rain was still steadily playing drums on tin roofs when we returned, and we slept two hours in the afternoon rain showers, the sound drumming us to sleep.
At dusk the city is painted over in grey, making the hour of the day indistinguishable. Defying time.
Winter here is just a kiss of cold air, just a light cold breath on your neck.
And when the sun sets there no theater of light dancing across the stage. It’s a slow performance. Without anyone noticing the sky, always an expanse of monochrome, changes from a muted shade of pale blue, to the stillness of a pale grey, to a smoky charcoal color, then dimming low enough for the city lights to overpower it. The pinks and oranges and yellows come only with the neon of night.