Wherein Chris is not allowed to ride the Escape Sling

Wednesday, March 15th

Historical artifacts taken from mainland China!  Giant memorials to people who took historical artifacts from mainland China!  Politics in Taiwan is hard to escape.  Even if they let you use the Escape Sling.  Which they did not.

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial

Fabulous ancient Chinese sculptures at the National Museum of History in Taipei.

We took the subway and then wandered through Taipei Botanical Garden, peaceful but a bit hollowed out by winter, and into the adjoining National Museum of History.  Several exhibits were closed, but what remained contained some gems.


Back in ye olden times, it was decided that maybe killing and burying the servants, horses and other possessions when the master died was perhaps not efficient nor humane. So they made figurines to bury instead.  “Yung” are the human ones.

“Pottery jar with two handles, painted with spiral design”, 2650-2350 B.C., neolithic period, Banshan type of Majiayo Culture.

Look at these fantastic pots!  Which also happen to be over 4,000 years old.  My brain has trouble with those timelines.

“Tomb-Guardian Chimera”, A.D. 618-907, tri-color pottery from the Tang Dynasty.

How old does a grave need to be before robbing it goes from act of desecration to an act of historical preservation?  Same question applies to museums all over the world and I’m glad I don’t have to answer it.  I just like seeing cool stuff from previous ages.

“Vase with ladies design in underglaze blue”, A.D. 1644-1912, Qing Dynasty.

It is a neat museum, definitely worth visiting.  Having tea in the cafe overlooking the botanical gardens was also a good choice.

We then wandered down the street and randomly into the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute Taipei Branch.  This is a neat building which I didn’t take any decent pictures of but we did ascend up several floors and out unto a stone patio which contained this:


I am totally sure using one of these is basically recreating Jolie’s office escape scene from “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and Christy had to drag me away before I started pulling fire alarms and screaming “Giant Japanese Monster Attack!” in an attempt to justify using it.  Alas.

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial with Topiary

Down the street from this is an enormous plaza of buildings, gardens and even bigger buildings as a memorial to the leader of the ROC when they were defeated by the communists, retreated to Taiwan and imposed a harsh dictatorship there.  Yay?

Taiwan: now more of a democracy but still with all these rules!  Fortunately I only spit with intent.
Admittedly, it’s an impressive memorial.
The current state of the government means thinking long and hard posting a photo like this when Christy is still there.
Looking out into the memorial plaza. Or maybe a memorial plaza.
The big man.

You know what’s a good cure for politics?  Hot springs…