Disposable Camera Project: Doris’s Taiwan

I gave my coworker and friend, a 24-year-old Taiwanese named Doris, a disposable camera.

39 exposures. No zoom. No chimping/deleting. Click and go.

She loves photography, so I figured she’d be perfect for my little art project. Her instructions were to take pictures of what she thought was interesting, special, unique to, or important to Taiwan.

I’ve given out 16 cameras. Even if no one else finds this project as fun as I do, I’m going to post some of the pictures here. It’s my blog, after all.

A rat ran into the sewer, and now a stray cat is waiting for it to come out.

Some days at work we all order drinks from a local drink shop. This is Doris’s bubble milk tea. My new favorite is caramel milk tea.

Doris took this to show how easy it is to live in Taiwan. Almost everything is convenient. Need a quick lunch? Family Mart, 7 Eleven, Hi Life, or OK Mart is right around the corner.

Parked scooters outside a residential building. The flowers are in full bloom right now.

Sitting outside a small, neighborhood temple. Temples are relaxed, communal areas.

Kids playing hide and seek. Doris: “They called me paparazzi!”

A very small plot of corn and a vegetable garden

Narrow, blind corners are a Taiwan staple

Doris took this picture because of all the exposed power lines. “Other countries try to hide them, but in Taiwan, they’re really obvious.” I also love that this showcases the blind spot mirrors that are all over the place.

No matter the size of the temple, the roof will have some kind of elaborate decoration.

At a local theater

Rice fields in Taiwan are as common as corn fields in the US.

Inside an open-air breakfast shop

This cartoon character, Tatung, is famous in Taiwan. Apparently they don’t make these porcelain figurines anymore, and the day after Doris took this picture, this one broke.

Before washers, clothes were hand-washed using wooden boards like the one in this outdoor sink

A “loofah” is an edible vegetable that looks a lot like a cucumber. After it dries out… or it’s baked… it’s ready to use to scrub dishes or skin clean. Yeah, so LOOFAH = VEGETABLE. Who knew? Apparently every Taiwanese person.

Old Japanese coins and makeup tins in her grandfather’s bedroom

Betel nut trees, which I initially mistook for palm trees, behind a clothes-drying rack

An unkempt field, once a vegetable garden

A field near Doris’s grandfather’s house. There were once more trees, but they were cleared.

The two red tins hold tea leaves.

Doris’s grandfather’s work truck. He puts up the roadside signs and announcements around Miaoli.

These leaves are cooked, then wrapped around Taiwan’s famous rice dumplings.

Rice paddies with new and older houses built next to and on top of the fields

A pedestrian bridge in Miaoli

Two blind men practicing using their canes near the pedestrian bridge

Huge lily pads, except not. Doris told me they were something else, but I don’t know what they are.

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