Taiwan Fun Magazine, December 2002

Edge Feature :

By Ken Lin, translated by Annie Chen and Matthew Godsey

Breeze Center
39, Fu-hsing South Road, 2F, Section B
Free Admission
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11am-8pm (Closed Mondays,
national holidays)
(02) 6600-8888, ext. 3890 or (02) 2752-5589
Guided tours by appointment

Hey Song Pavilion

       It was a quiet afternoon at the Breeze Center, and I was enthralled as the "shopping queen" I was with nonchalantly charged a five-figure purse and matching pair of shoes to her account. It seemed as though these purchases were free for the taking, with little concern for cost.

       Then, by accident, we wandered into the Hey Song Pavilion, a museum established by Hey Song Enterprise to commemorate their many years of business in Taiwan. It felt like stumbling into the 1950s, back to the days when a bowl of soup cost just NT$1, and a movie ticket (considered a luxury) was NT$5.

       Strolling down the mock street display, I felt nostalgic. Everyday things from my childhood, but which have now vanished, were on view ¡V vinyl phonograph records, wooden electric poles, shadow puppets and underwear made from flour sacks hung out to dry.

       A film, replayed every half hour, provides a glimpse of one small Taiwanese alley from morning to midnight, complete with croaking frogs, chirping birds and crowing roosters. I slipped into memories as I watched, but felt a bit embarrassed when I picked up the extravagant purchases that lay at our feet.

       If you share similar memories, then a visit to the Pavilion is a must. Of course, visitors to Taiwan, and even the "XYZE generation" will enjoy seeing how our society has changed over the past fifty years.