• Shona McCarthy

Don't Drink on Trains in Taiwan

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While I was in Taiwan, I got to see the inside of multiple train stations and the train system itself. It was all more beautiful, clean and sophisticated than what I was accustomed to seeing in Australia. By this point, I hadn’t yet gone to Japan. I had only seen parts of China and Taiwan itself. But even now, after everything I've seen, the train systems in Asia seem slightly magical and marvelous to me.

(Various shots I took in and around train stations in Taiwan, 2014.)

There was a moment when I sat with a friend in a station. We drank water out of a strange jug. It shot the water out of the spout when we pressed a plunger down in the top. While I sat in one of the trains I was very thirsty. I wanted to drink water from a bottle in my bag. In Australia, it’s only against the rules to eat and drink on a bus, and even then they will allow it so long as it’s water. I had thought the trains in Taiwan would have a similar rule. But an old lady in a beautiful Chinese dress scolded me when I took a swig from my bottle. “It’s only water.” I told her. “You can’t drink here.” She repeated.

I don’t remember much else. I really regret not being so photo crazy on that trip as I am these days. Back then I used to think I'd be happier just remembering the trip in my head. I had seen so little of the world that even a trip to a mall still seemed like a magical mystery tour to me. Now these few scant images seem like a window into a world I once knew.

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