For many, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (CKS Memorial Hall) is a place to walk around, take pictures, exercise, take in a performance or two, and enjoy the scenery. It is a must-see attraction for tourists and a welcome oasis for city dwellers.
For me, however, CKS Memorial Hall once served as a reminder, as an indicator of where I was in the big, huge bustling city of Taipei. Yes, it helped me keep my location bearings straight and my heart beating at a normal pace. With this piece of architecture on my regular route, I was 99.9% certain to get off the bus at the right stop! Getting lost was near impossible with a structure that big with walls that seem to go on forever!
I remember my first solo adventure in that area of downtown Taipei. It was adventurous and exciting as well as fearful and terrifying. There I was, on the No. 20 bus making my way to XinYi Rd. The idea of exploring a new area and new territory on my own was thrilling, but I couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling of getting lost!
As the bus rolled along, I noticed a large compound surrounded with white walls with huge entrance gates. At the point, I could breathe a sigh of relief. It served as a marker, a GPS, an indicator that I was approaching Taipei Main Station. That memory of the first time I laid eyes on CKS Memorial still remains very vivid in my mind today.
This particular memory reminds me of how brave I was coming to Taiwan by myself and how much I have learned and grown while in Taiwan.
It goes to show that in an unfamiliar area where most of time communication is a barrier, you do what you need to do to cope, to enjoy, and to live the experience even though you are faced with challenges, barriers, and the unknown.
Have you ever used buildings ‘to map’ out your location?