Taipei: Yesterday, in a Land

Sometime last year I wrote about a sadness between worlds following the racist attacks on Chinese students in France. This time it is inbred malice and pointless murdering. It was already a day of relentless rain and a moderate earthquake shook Taipei into the 21st of May, unknowing of the horrendous events that would unfurl later in the day.

While I haven’t had the best of times in Taipei, it has none the less been a very safe city to walk around, even at night. When I returned home yesterday evening I was somewhat surprised to see a post on a friend’s Facebook page alerting me to the terror that had occurred on the cities MRT near the Banqiao district. I had myself been on the same line earlier, though thankfully in the opposite direction. One of the stations on the blue line is my local, so I know it very well.

Most of us go about our daily business unscathed, though I cannot imagine the shock of either a knife entering me or seeing someone else innocent being murdered for no reason whatsoever. I am reminded of Phil Collins song ‘Long Long Way To Go.’ An individual’s comfort is someone else’s demise. I can only hope the repercussions don’t affect the rest of us using the otherwise wonderful and efficient metro system we are fortunate to have. Airport style security is never fun, let’s hope it doesn’t have to become a necessity – as is the case in China and shopping centres in Turkey.

Sadly, there will always be defects in humanity. These stories are isolated incidents but are still shocking when they occur. For most they are glossed over, barely a mention on the BBC but for the relatives of the slain this is something that will never go away. Their lives changed forever by the actions of one violent idiot.

Respectfully dedicated to those killed or injured yesterday, in a land.



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