Seen: Sunset, Northeast Taiwan

by Owen James Burke

Somewhere between Fulong and Jiaofen, Taiwan

I’ve managed to find myself living in a dirty, dingy, sprawling city outside of Taipei with nothing but concrete (it would seem) as far as the eye can see. The nearest water access, besides the toxic torrents that sweep up anything and everything in their paths and push them through the center of the city, is called “Garbage Beach” by locals and foreigners the same. It was the first thing I saw as my plane broke below the clouds before landing into Taipei/Taoyuan International Airport. The name says it all; waves coming from the East China Sea gently and continuously push a constant stream of trash and other flotsam from China and beyond, evidently giving the beach it’s rightful name.

Fortunately, on the other hand, a few hours’ train ride and I am here. The air is clean, the people are fewer, and the scenery: enough to turn you blind.

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