Department of Parks and Street Lights

People in Taipei do dry their items in parks from time to time: http://patrick-cowsill.blogspot.com/2009/03/multipurpose-playground.html.

I took this shot at a park near the Taiwan Presidential Office. It's near to a White Terror Memorial I hadn't noticed before: http://plixi.com/p/91440631. If you want to visit, go to google maps and input 台灣臺北中正區介壽公園.

White Terror was a period of martial law that lasted in Taiwan from 1949 to 1987; I think it may be the longest official era of martial law in the modern era. During this time, some 150,000 Taiwanese people were either imprisoned or murdered, or both, by the ruling KMT. Their government, which was not elected, described White Terror as an action necessary to suppress communism and root out traitors. Of course, many were (and are) skeptical, seeing it as simply a license to secure power. The back story was KMT arrived in Taiwan after being defeated militarily in China by Mao and his communist forces in the late forties. As the positions of power, meaning those held by bureaucrats, professors, doctors, politicians and what have you, were already occupied by Taiwanese individuals, martial law became a means to remove them. Once they were out, unemployed KMT followers found employment.

But I'm afraid I'm meandering off topic. I wanted to say drying your clothes and setting up your own living room in one of Taipei's parks are, according to the above sign, fineable offenses. A couple of weeks ago, we faced a similar issue on the grounds of my apartment complex in Wanhua (萬華), which are, as far as I can make out, also public grounds. 

In the middle of the night, somebody dumped two good-sized wooden couches outside the doors to my building. Where the security guards were during this time is of course a mystery, especially considering if you park your bike outside for 10 minutes, they're on the scene. Instead of apprehending the culprits and getting rid of the couches, the security company affixed this sign to one of them: Please do not leave your furniture here. Then someone got the bright idea to add them to our playground for extra seating. That the couches were not secured to the ground and would, after a few downpours, be serving up slivers of wood for kids mucking around on them obviously did not figure in the equation. In fact, it wasn't until I showed the above pic to our building superintendent that the clutter was removed. 

My only question now is this: did the cost for removing the furniture come out of our building fees or off the lazy bugger who was sleeping at his post's (or, at the very least, not doing his job) salary? I think I already know the answer. To tell the truth, I like our security guards. They're just a bunch of friendly old guys who wave at me every morning and ask questions about how my fatherhood is going. If it has to be that the residents of my building provide them with their pensions, they should provide meaningful service occasionally is all. 


Jake said...

Great photo, Snakes. Speaking of things one shouldn't do in parks, don't get me started on the old guys gambling in our local park--there are dozens of them every day playing chess. The stakes aren't too large but the fact remains they are gambling and that is illegal in the park. Police turn a blind eye because they are old folks, but there are kids around. What do you think?

BTW, I think you can call the city EPA or "huan bao ju" to cart away your large furniture/items you want rid of for no charge--well, our taxes pay for it.

Terry J. Benzie said...

The park near me has, at least, a dozen prohibitions.

For a fun game, try walking from one side to the other and see how many such laws you can see being broken. If you see less than 9 try opening your other eye.

Patrick Cowsill said...

"Police turn a blind eye because they are old folks, but there are kids around."

It's probably pretty hard to prove though. If the cops wanted to write me up for gambling, I'd just say the money was for drinks or something. I'm filming a lot of things these days though; maybe that would be the thing to do if you wanted to get something like this sorted.

On the whole, park gamblers don't bother me as they don't harm / hinder / threaten others in the park (in fact, I hadn't really noticed). Or maybe I'm missing something here. Why do they get on your nerves?

Okami said...

Security guards are there to harass you and make your life miserable. Honest work and enforcement of rules is just for the people who run the apartment complex and mismanage your management fees for their own gain. If there had not been a fear of having to pay out cash and a free pick up service, those couches would of stayed there.

Sokak Lambaları said...

great photo never seen a sign like this one =)