Taipei Fine Arts Museum...or not?

Fulbright gave us a Thanksgiving dinner this past Friday night. A little early but still cool! We all skipped school on Friday and went to Taipei. First, we listened to a presentation about going into the Foreign Service to be diplomats. It was actually a really interesting presentation, but I don’t think it’s for me…you have to move every 3-4 years, your spouse has to find new work in a foreign country, and your kids will go to around six different schools before they get to college. Good for some people, but not what I want I don’t think. Interesting anyway though.


Then, we went to the Sun Yat Sen Memorial (where I have already been) and ate lunch.

Then, we went to the Taipei Fine Arts Museum…sounds good right? WRONG. SO VERY WRONG. There was no fine art…none. It was a museum of all modern art. Now, I do not understand modern art but this was like no modern art I had ever seen. The first floor was pretty expected…blank canvases with some nail polish thrown across them and a picture of a woman glued in the middle. A canvas with some acrylic nails glued on. A bunch of scribbles on framed paper. Don’t get it. That does not represent the finality of the world we live in or the struggle of the modern woman….it’s nail polish that you spilled and then framed. A two year old could do it. We quickly moved onto the second floor hoping for some fine art…but it only got worse. I wish I had never left the first floor. The next two floors were just plain creepy.


Paintings and videos of people getting graphically murdered, scary music playing in the background, demons and blood. Not my cup of tea. It gave me a very uneasy feeling the whole time. I know modern art as what I saw on the first floor…never have I seen art that made me so uncomfortable. In almost every gallery there was a pitch black room playing a violent short film. We could only watch a few before we had to walk out. Then, we came to a big empty room with a turtle in the middle. It caught my eye when it started to move…I was impressed with the robotics…it looked so real! Come to find out…it is. It’s a live turtle that is forced to sit on a cold hard floor all day every day. It sits directly under a light hanging down to keep warm. We asked if the turtle could walk around. The guard pointed to this tiny little inlet in the wall with a heat lamp, a bowl of water, and a tiny pile of hay….barely big enough for the turtle to fit in…and told us the turtle could go in there whenever he wanted. It was so sad. The poor turtle is probably lonely and hungry and wants some grass to sit in with real sunshine. Instead he gets this. Of course, this is the only exhibit in the whole museum that you cant take pictures…probably because they don’t want you telling people about it. Everyone else was upset about it also…but being the animal lover I am…I emailed PETA South Asia and reported animal abuse. Hopefully they can look into it and save my poor turtle friend! So long story short….NEVER go to the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. It’s miserable and sad and creepy haha


Anyway, after that, we went to the Shangrila Hotel for Thanksgiving dinner! It was delicious! I ate two plates of mac and cheese and mashed potatoes!! (: A meal made for me for sure. I ate pumpkin pie too. YUM. I ate way too much but what else can you expect on Thanksgiving?!


Everything else is going well…soccer is great! This last Thursday we actually played something that slightly resembled soccer! We talked about offense and defense and how to actually play a game and then we did some one on one. Before this they have just been doing skill specific drills…like passing, dribbling etc. But, they did really well!!! I’m really excited!! (:

I am also trying to get involved in Human Luodong, which is an animal rights advocacy group in Luodong. The amount of stray dogs I pass every day is heartbreaking and the treatment of stray animals in Taiwan is truly appalling. So, I emailed them last week. I’ll keep you updated!

I am starting to feel better. I think I have a sinus infection and it’s a pretty nasty one. I have been consulting with Dr. Mom for remedies and will be receiving a package full of nose spray, sudafed and mucinex soon (thank goodness!) I left school at noon on Monday and then missed Tuesday and Wednesday. But, I made it through the day yesterday and even ate a cucumber sushi roll for dinner! Not a lot…but the first time I havent eaten whole wheat bread since Saturday so huge improvement!!

©2019 by Sammie Herrick | sammie@sammieherrick.com