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Original (and bigger) picture here on Flickr.

Old Friends, Old Enemies


This picture represents a big part of life in Taiwan, and it’s a shot that I’m really glad I managed to take.

When I first arrived in Taiwan over 1 year ago, on the very first evening I went to a public park and I was shocked by the presence of kids playing with their families and old people chatting and dancing (!!!) after 10PM (!!!!!!!!). Taiwan is a country with an extremely low crime rate and public parks are perfectly safe even during the night. Needless to say, there’s no police or security surveillance. After spending the vast majority of my life in Europe and 2 years in Australia, that was definitely a welcome change.

At any time during the day it’s possible to walk in a park and find locals doing whatever they want. Chatting, boiling water to enjoy some tea, dancing, practicing Tai Chi or playing some traditional games. The couple in my picture was sitting there in the middle of the park during a late afternoon playing Go, a traditional Chinese game. I had to get very close to take this picture but they were so focused on their game that they didn’t notice me at all.

I passed by that park randomly on my grocery trip. Since I didn’t have to buy a lot of stuff and the sky was not looking too bad I decided to carry the camera with me, and I’m glad I did so.

The picture is a pretty big crop. The original shot was much larger, I wish I had the chance to walk in a bit closer but I was afraid they would have noticed me, and that would have ruined the spontaneous look of the picture. I really need something longer than 50mm.

I decided to keep the bottom right corner because it gives some depth to the scene.