Seven and Holdings in Syuejia Township, Tainan County, Taiwan
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I shot this in Tainan County, a few hours south of Taipei. This was in 2009 before I moved here. I was helping a friend shoot a film, and this was one of the last days on location. While we were wrapping up, the assistant director and I walked to 7-11 to grab some refreshments, and I remember being utterly amazed at these women doing aerobics/tai chi in the parking lot. They even had a instructor of some sort and a boom box playing music. I literally stood there watching for a few minutes. I made the assistant director stand in front of me so I could “pretend” to take a picture of him when really I was aiming for them. I only took two frames from two different angles, shot on a medium format camera handheld with 800 ISO film.
Place you live: Currently, Taipei, Taiwan.
Place your photo was taken: The parking lot of a 711 in the Syuejia Township, a small town located in Tainan County.
Can you sum up Taipei: I live in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan. I would say, Taipei is a great mix of relaxed metropolis, you have the bustling downtown areas but just behind in the quiet alleys you can find hidden gems of restaurants and bars. It’s amazingly down to earth and people are genuinely nice. Of course, as most people who visit Taipei can tell you, the food is great. I also love that within 30-45 minutes outside the city, you have access to this serene tropical island with geology that is so unique.
Preoccupation: Video Game Tester, Subtitle Media Technician, Associate Producer, Production Artist… yes all the above.
A perfect day in Taiwan? In an ideal setting, it would be a day trip out of the city with some good friends and some cameras to the coast. Followed by dinner with whatever we were craving that day. Inevitably, drinks would be had, be it someone’s home or a favorite bar spot. All really depends on the mood of the day!
Best place to eat? My hands down all time favorite, is a local spot called 藍家割包, I’m not sure the English name, but it’s in the Gung Guan area close to the MRT Guting Station. They serve Gua bao, or a steamed bun filled with marinated pork belly and pickled greens. You see this being modernized and westernized in America with places like Momofuku, Ippudo, and Baohaus, but this is the original real deal. In its full $1.50 glory. Think of it as a Taiwanese taco.
What is the best thing about your spot? Where I live? it’s close enough to be convenient to everything, but just far enough so it’s not too noisy. Lately, there have been a lot of new things opening in Taipei that have been making it well, cool. Cocktail bars, decent Mexican food and I believe a modern farm to table style restaurant soon as well. It might sound silly, but you crave certain things being a westerner. As much as I love Taiwanese street food, I also love tacos.
What is the worst? Not being close to family and certain friends, as they all live in the US.
What would be surprising about this place to an outsider? People are always surprised at how friendly and warm Taiwanese people are.
A place you want to visit before you die? Space.