I’ve missed the park since the weather changed. When I first started classes at the end of April, I only knew one route to school and it required me to walk across the biggest park in Taipei: Da’an Forest Park. It’s a wonderful oblong close to the center of the city, and passing through it made my commute just that much better. There were many paths to choose through the trees and fields, and people were always doing something.
Of course there were the standard stretchers and muscle-pounders and tai-chi-ers, but the most amusing was an old man in a wheelchair. His carer must have stepped away for a moment because he was sitting alone facing a bench. However, slightly atypically for a wheelchair-bound person, his feet were propped up on the bench, and atypically for anyone, his pants were down around his ankles. He was wearing boxers, 謝天謝地, but his spindly old legs were just basking in the breeze for all and sundry to gawk at.
Most of the sights are much more refreshing and pastoral: birds and squirrels, shaded and root-riddled spaces under groves of slender but wide-spreading trees. There is a man-made hill that really adds to the texture of the park and some spreading grass that’s lovely to see. There’s also a pond up in the north corner, but I don’t usually get over there unless I have a lot of time. It’s fenced, and that takes away from the magic. Anyway, my own little Lanzhou Park has a great pond with the loudest frogs I have ever encountered.
In addition to the weather, I discovered a bus stop right in front of school that saves me walking in the sun and humidity, but I’ll give up the convenience as soon as fall comes again just for the pleasure of spending time in the park.