Sea of Shite

Aborigine boat from Lanyu, Orchid Island. About as good as this exhibition gets.

Aborigine boat from Lanyu, Orchid Island. About as good as this exhibition gets.

I try to see the best in even the rubbishest of things, I really do.

OK, that’s not true. I don’t.

Some things are just so rubbish that there’s is no goo whatsoever to be seen in em.

The Evergreen Maritime Museum in Taipei is a case in point. I strolled in there the other day a little before closing time to see what was going on. The museum is in the Chang Yung Building on that circle near the gate and across the road from Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

I’d walked past umpteen times over the last couple of years and wondered what was in there but couldn’t be arsed to go in as I suspected it might be utter crap. I should’ve followed my gut instinct as it really was a complete waste of even the seven minutes I spent in there.

Granted, I didn’t get stump up the entrance fee so didn’t see the further thrilling four floors which includes paintings, more models, some historical info. and a bunch of contraptions, but for NT$200, there was no way I was going to, based on what was on offer on the ground floor.

OK, the models of boats were nice enough, though a very odd and random selection, including as it did Taiwanese aborigine canoes, large Chinese boats as sailed by the explorer Zheng He, small Arab boats and long boats from Thailand and even a model of the of Nelson’s HMS Victory. But, seriously, NT$200? This is the kind of shit that they’d have to pay the general public to visit back home.

I remember visiting the Royal Maritime Museum in London as a kid and that was a serious museum, not a pile of substandard shite like this. And, the basic ticket is free there. This isn’t the first time I’ve been to a shit exhibition in Taiwan where they are charging silly prices. When I got there the other afternoon, there wasn’t a single paying customer to be seen, just people milling about on the ground floor, which is free, before thinking better of it after about five minutes.

If Taipei wants to attract tourists with its museums, it will need to do a damn sight better than this. Complete bollocks.