Taiwan Day 371: White Rabbit - Sept. 6, 2014 | Travel in Asia

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Taiwan Day 371: White Rabbit - Sept. 6, 2014


If I will be asked to describe the Philippine Rabbit, I will say that the Philippine Rabbit can carry 50 people. I’m referring to the passenger capacity of a bus in my country. If I will ask my mom what is a ‘White Rabbit’, she will definitely say that it is a candy. Here in Taiwan during the Mid-Autumn Festival, the ‘White Rabbit’ has a special meaning and the 2014 Taoyuan Land Art Festival has a message from the ‘White Rabbit’.

This was my first Taiwan Day Adventure after my much celebrated Taiwan Day 365 and on this Taiwan Day 371 I officially start the "Travel Buddy season". Every week I will invite or nominate friends to join me in my exciting adventures in Taiwan until the rainy winter season comes. My Travel Buddy or Travel Buddies will serve as a ‘guest’ in my weekly travel adventures and the shared experiences will become part of Luo-Mu Jie’s treasure of memories.

My Travel Buddy that day was Myrron. He is the friendliest Filipino I’ve ever known in Taiwan. I supported him in his campaign as the TIGP Dorm Representative in Taiwan Day 278 (Dorm Rep Election) and I became his unofficial campaign manager. Sadly, he didn’t win the election but I know for sure that he have won the hearts of many TIGP students in the dorm to vote for him as the next responsible Dorm Rep.

Myrron and I took a train from Nangang Station to Taoyuan Station to see the art festival. From Taoyuan Station we walked to Tonlin Department Store (統領百貨) and waited for a free shuttle bus that took us to the venue of the 2014 Taoyuan Land Art Festival. After 30 to 40 minutes, we arrived at the Taoyuan Naval Aviation Base. The Taoyuan Naval Aviation Base is said to be the nearest military base of ROC to mainland China. The military base was moved to another place but due to the historical significance of the Taoyuan Naval Aviation Base the airplane hangars and runways were preserved. It is also near to the Taoyuan International Airport where my AirAsia Flight PQ 7357 landed in Taiwan Day 1 (“The Pilot Episode”).

We saw different artworks at the festival and had fun taking photos. There was an airplane hangar that was transformed to a cat’s eye and nose. Another airplane hangar featured the ‘Black Cat Squadron’. The Taoyuan Naval Aviation Base was the home of the U2 spy planes of the ROC and the fleet was called the ‘Black Cat Squadron’. I lifted one of the ‘Black Cats’ and asked my Travel Buddy to take a photo. It was very heavy!

The highlight of the festival was the giant white rabbit created by the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. He called his creation the ‘Moon Rabbit’. This artist was also the creator of the ‘Rubber Duck’ which I saw in Taiwan Day 147 (Fowl Play). According to Chinese folklore, there was a rabbit living on the moon and this rabbit pounds the elixir of life for the Moon Goddess. I googled images of the moon and I was surprised to see a rabbit figure on the face of the moon.

In Hofman’s creation, the 82 feet Moon Rabbit was leaning on an old airplane hangar. It looks into the sky with a smile on its face. “Dream big! It’s free!” said the White Rabbit. Happy Mid-Autumn Festival everyone!

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