Someone took a P on 4th Street

The entire 25 years of our residence in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, from 1982 to 2007, were near to that city’s Central Park. Nowadays it is a pleasant oasis of green. We watched it “green up” over the years. When we arrived in Kaohsiung, the park was home to a stadium, an indoor arena, an olympic size swimming pool, and a flower garden sponsored by the local Rotary Club which promoted the political philosophy of the Nationalist Party and glorified the military dictator Chiang Kai-shek. On one corner of the park there was an anti-aircraft artillery battery with quad 50-calibre machine guns on top of a tower, and on another the city’s Nationalist Party Headquarters. Those structures were removed and not replaced. Nowadays the park is green and clean.

Screenshot 2020-04-12 at 21.08.03

Across Chung Shan Road, on the southeast corner of the park, the biggest department store in town stood until one Saturday in 1996 it burned. The park corner had several hedges, some of which led pedestrians to gates, and others of which led to dead ends. Wandering into one of those sometime in the early 80s I was driven out by a very strong odor. Apparently more than one of the men of the city had turned the spot into an improvised urinal. 

Screenshot 2020-04-12 at 21.12.49

I was reminded of that spot while on a walk in Holland, Michigan, my retirement home, recently. We went along 4th Street between Pine and River Avenues. The street passes along one side of the giant Padnos Iron and Metal Company. On the other side there’s another industrial building and an open piece of land where the chipped remains of trees are piled. Apparently the 4th Street side of “Padnos” used to be more active. The buildings there appear to have once been more central to the scrapyard’s commercial activities. One wall is graced with the company’s name spelled out with individually attached metal letters. But time has not been kind to that building. What is left of the sign reads, “ADNOS IRON AND METAL”. 

Apparently, as in Kaohsiung in the 80s. Someone took a “P” there. 

David Alexander now resides in Holland, MI after 39 years in Taiwan.

%d bloggers like this: