Coming home on my scooter after watching an opposite-of-upbeat set of animations collectively titled “Abused“, I found that I was not able to take the usual roads home as a policeman was diverting eastbound traffic on Hankou St. to the north. There’s a lot of cops around and some military uniforms, so I get a little nervous and figure there might be something going down in the area. I get closer to Taipei main station, and am then stopped to let some vehicles go by. Military vehicles. Lots of them. Like over 12 or so.
It turns out (and I figured it out) that this is part of the rehearsal for Taiwan’s National Day celebrations, also known as Double-Ten Day due to its being on October 10th (10/10). According to the great and powerful Wikipedia, this day marks the beginning of the Wuchang Uprising, which led to the fall of the Qing Dynasty(China’s last Imperial dynasty) and the eventual creation of the Republic of China, which most of us simply know as Taiwan nowadays.
The military show is being criticized a bit due to the fact that military parades on Double-Ten stopped after the end of martial law. This year, the motivation for having a show again seems to be both internationally and domestically political – it’s to show the world that Taiwan is a country, and ready to defend itself if China loses its shit and goes nuts. It’s also to garner votes by showing the Taiwanese people that the politicians are doing their thing to promote Taiwan to the world. For me, it’s kind of like something they don’t really need to do, but it’s neat nonetheless, and Taiwan really needs to communicate itself to the world in ways other than through offbeat news about a man who got his scrotum stuck in a buckle, random fist fights, and food fights in the legislature.