I once traveled an hour in a taxi through Beijing traffic to find a cafe decorated exactly like the one from the tv show “Friends”.
In Zagreb, my number one tourist destination was the Museum of Broken Relationships, which included old sex toys, handwritten breakup letters, and seemingly meaningless mementos of love lost and won, and then lost again.
I tried my best in Korea, but i couldn’t convince anyone that going to eat dinner in a pitch-black, novelty restaurant, where we would have to read aloud our secrets was a good idea…
Some travelers are thrill seekers, but as for me, I’m a weird seeker.
I seek out the abnormal and the experiences that will make a good story in an effort to keep things interesting. Travel can become boring, I’ll be honest. How many temples and cathedrals can one person see?! I’d rather go find the fabled nuns who sell secretive cookies through a hole in the wall in Madrid. Or go check out the so-called “Rainbow Village” in Taichung.
I’d read some articles about this “village” before going there this February, but the pictures I saw were what caught my attention.
See what I mean? Bright, sunny, colors cover every available surface…it’s an Instagram addict’s dream.
Although my attraction to the Rainbow Village was mostly to it’s quirky character and rustic looking charm, I knew I had to go when I read that the whole thing had been started by a “Rainbow Grandpa” or Huang Yung Fu, who was a veteran living in the run-down military housing, which is now swarming with tourists and color. The Taiwanese government wanted to demolish the buildings, but thanks to Rainbow Grandpa’s artwork, it was spared.
Lucky for us, because Rainbow Grandpa’s aboriginal paintings of people, animals, and fun designs are definitely worth the taxi out to the middle of nowhere. We were lucky to have a sun-soaked afternoon in which to wander around the village, take photos (obviously) and rock out with a street performer of sorts, who was dressed as Iron Man on acid and played guitar for the small crowds.
The village would take 5 minutes to walk through if you were in a hurry, but take your time, soak it in, buy a t-shirt or poster from the small stand selling them, and you can easily spend an hour tasting the rainbow.
Kasey and I came to the backside of the village and saw an elderly man crouched down and painting white onto the walls. RAINBOW GRANDPA OR MAINTENANCE MAN?? We shall never know. Now, I know, run-ins with famous grandpas and brightly colored walls aren’t really all that strange, but it was exactly the kind of weird I had been seeking.
I’ve heard rumors that the government has, yet again, decided to take action to tear down the buildings, and I really hope this isn’t true because it’s a lovely little piece of happiness in the middle of dull suburbs and empty fields.
Besides, there needs to be a haven for the weird seekers to go..please don’t make us see another temple.