Thursday, March 20, 2014

International Orchid Show

A couple weeks ago I heard about the Taiwan International Orchid Show happening in a city nearby and I *begged* B to take me. After months of stumbling around in a haze of bad air pollution, I was dying to lay my eyes on nature-wrought beauty. We ended up going the last weekend it was open, along with thousands of others, walking our legs off the entire day. But it was so worth it.

Unfortunately we forgot our camera at home in a confused rush to get to the train station on time. But when we got there we looked around at all the ASIANS taking photos EVERYWHERE that we decided it was probably for the better. We witnessed visitors trying so hard to get a good shot that they weren't even looking at the flowers themselves.

Taking the train was probably the best decision ever. I was enthralled by the picturesque scenes rolling by my window; each montage bringing fresh new surprises. When we took our lunch on the train I felt like we were having a picnic. Groves and thickets, vegetables cropland--corn, leafy greens, rice paddies. Mango trees and fish ponds, a blue and green river--green from some kind of plant--maybe watercress.

The romance was enhanced rather than detracted by the old, dilapidated buildings left abandoned since bygone eras of railway history. The oldest and most decrepit of which inspired a sense of mystery and magical melancholy--all but dead and brown with rotting, fallen beams and hidden stories of lives long buried.

A pristine white egret in a vibrant green field, docile brown cows standing in a patch of yellow grass, an old banyan tree standing tall and strong over a crumbling brick wall as if loftily saying, "Let's see who stands the longest." A burst of fiery fuchsia blossoms amid a garden of green, a small canal of water shaded on both sides by rounded trees, thick with green.

The poetry followed us to the festival itself, and although less pastoral and organic, the show was nonetheless dazzling. It was truly amazing to see such a grand event dedicated to just one kind of flower--and how many different species of that one flower there were! Orchids flat, frilled, tendriled, cupped; orchids spotted, striped, blushed, solid; orchids orange, green, gold, magenta, and every shade of purple -- as well as ruby red ones, before unseen, in the "New Breeds" section. My favorite was the orchid clouds and golden jungle, where orchids, massed together, hung upside down to greet and delight admiring eyes.

B and I came home physically tired but aesthetically satisfied. I never really realized how my soul craves beauty until I moved to an urban jungle. I know it still exists in different forms around me, but I have to be more vigilant in looking for it. From now on I want to go about with my eyes wide open in order to see it right in front of me.

I looked for some pictures around the web for you from the show. Enjoy!

Image from Taipei Times

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