It looks like the weather is going to be uniformly unpleasant this weekend, so I am going to take this opportunity to post about a really cool indoor activity I wrote about recently (pdf link). You might have noticed Taiwan Storyland‘s (台灣故事館, tái​wān​ gù​shì​ guǎn​) outrageous facade across the street from Taipei Train Station:

Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館)

Ron and I used to stare at it on our way to various destinations and wonder what the hell it was. As it turns out, Taiwan Storyland is a museum that bills itself as an “historical experience.” A 1960s Taipei neighborhood is recreated street-by-street in the basement of KMall, down to the smallest detail (there are sparrows on electric wires and potholes in the road).

Taiwan Storyland
Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館)
Taiwan Storyland
Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館) Taiwan Storyland

Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館)
The neighborhood chief’s living room shows the furniture and accoutrements a prosperous family might have owned.

Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館)

Taiwan Storyland
The police station.

Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館)
A mailbox

You can peek into living rooms and storefronts, watch old films in a movie theater, play carnival games, buy old-fashioned sweets and toys in a corner store, take a mugshot in the police station or eat shaved ice in a dessert parlor.

Taiwan Storyland
Taiwan Storyland was founded by Franky Wu (吳傳治), who has been collecting memorabilia since he was a young boy. Nearly every artifact in Taiwan Storyland is authentic, from childrens’ shoes to a Mitsubishi Colt 1000 sports car.
Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館)

Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館)
A cart pasted over with fliers. In the top right hand corner you can see a flier for “Oyster Girl (蚵女),” the first Taiwanese film made in color.

Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館)
A peek inside a vendor’s cart that sold beauty products door to door.

Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館)
Elementary school textbooks.
Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館)
Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館)
Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館)
A cart advertises ice cream with a hand-painted Mickey Mouse.
Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館)

Taiwan Storyland obviously trades on nostalgia, but its view of history is not completely obscured by rose-tinted glasses. There are constant hints of what life was like under martial law, including this sign posted next to the schoolroom. It admonishes students to speak Mandarin, not Hoklo, Hakka or other dialects, a government policy at the time. Chinese Nationalist Party propaganda is also plastered almost everywhere you look.

Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館)
Taiwan Storyland (台灣故事館)

Taiwan Storyland has brochures, signs and a Web site in English, but it currently does not offer English-language tours. Most people just wander around by themselves, however, because the minimum group size is 30. I tried to include as many factoids and tidbits as I could from the guided tour in my article and the accompanying sidebar. For more information about Taiwan Storyland, check out Wandering Taiwan’s awesome post, in which the blogger, Micki, shares her own childhood recollections. I’m looking forward to bringing my parents there when they fly in next week and asking them how many things in Taiwan Storyland look familiar. I told my Dad that since Taiwan Storyland is a “living museum,” he and my Mom should sit in a corner and charge people to look at them. Ha ha hahahahaha! I’m kidding!

我爸爸媽媽其實沒這麼老。。。看起來比我更年輕!!!他們應該會覺得台灣故事館是個非常好玩的地方。。。讓他們懷念他們輕鬆(還沒有我)的年輕時光。(=^;^=)