The River

One night, I went down to the river. I don’t know, maybe it was the huge moon rising in the night, maybe it was the typhoon that was about to swallow Taiwan. The air was warm, comfortable. Friday night. It felt good.

The DadaoCheng Pier

The stream of the Danshui river was bringing a sweet melody, the waves were falling on the shore softly, but I could hear it very clearly, news from the world were flowing in my mind:

“When the soldier was put to death, all 16 surveillance cameras stopped working. This is absolutely normal. It happens all the time in the army, the cameras are old. This is an accident”
“There is no contaminated water leaking in the pacific. The situation is well under control”. “Nuclear is absolutely safe. MOX has a half-life of 25.000 years. This is safe. It cannot leak. We are doing tests everyday. This is safe.”
“We have never been spying on citizens”. “The NSA has never had any secret program”.

How bitter is it to live those days, I thought! You could think we’ve never been in such a comfortable world, but how to forget about all the inequalities this has generated. Scandals, rising temperature, natural disasters, each and every day, again and again, a huge, powerful, daily, tide. Who to believe? But it was so peaceful by the river this night, almost like a strange dream in a stream of worries.

I suddenly remembered that the current world order is based, not on NATO, United Nations or development programs but on the multilateral threat of nuclear bomb. Nuclear Bomb. Hiroshima. The horror has stopped massacres for a while, but, now, so-called “rogue” states are building their bombs without consent from Nato. But what is a rogue state? Everyone looks at each other in the mirror. I looked at the waters of the river, so perfectly mirroring the sky that it made it glow in the night. We think the other one is wrong. We fight, we make the news.

But fortunately, against all those plagues, capitalism is here to help you, I thought. You can grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks, you can buy a Montblanc pen or a Swiss watch, that will surely help poor little kids get a better education somewhere in a remote country, promote fair trade coffee or even just plainly, like this, make you a better person, you know, because we all care. I guess that’s the solution. And of course, no more food stamps for the poor. Of course.

Slowly, the stream of the world was fading in my mind, I was looking at the moon and it was beautiful, and cold. The air, when a typhoon approaches, is special. Nothing moves, there are fewer people outside, and the temperature drops, because of the wind. The sky was clear, and I could see the first clouds gather in the sky, pass by quickly heading for some unknown destination. Soon, the banks of the river would close. The water, so still now, would rise so much that it would become a threat. Things would change. Was it me? I could feel people rushing home a bit faster than usual. The sun had set already. Things were dark. Dogs were barking, here and then.

All of this looked very real, time suspended, the landscape spread before my eyes was almost real. It made human activity lose meaning. Typhoon was coming.


5 thoughts on “The River

    1. blf_taipei Post author

      Merci! A vrai dire, il y a du monde pendant la journee car les amenagements sont bien faits mais la nuit et la proximite du typhon changent completement le lieu, c’est vrai!

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