© 2006 Catherine. All rights reserved.

restoring my faith in humanity – a shout out to Ikari


I have some stories I haven’t told on here from my first span of time in Taiwan (May 2005 – August 2005) and since I’m short on material I figure I’ll start digging in the archives.

I worked really hard to get to Taiwan. I had a goal of coming over here with no debt and a bit of money in the bank. Around the December I started considering splurging on a new film camera. Merry Christmas to me From: me. I had been using the same Olympus that accompanied me to Bolivia. The camera is older than me and does a super job but the view finder is a bit messed up and my amazon trek in Bolivia filled any movable part with sand. My father actually bought the camera when I was quite young from a lady selling her sister’s goods. Her sister had been one of Noel Winters’ murder victims. No bad karma around the camera though 🙂

Anyway even though it went against everything I had been working for I decided to break down and spend the money on a new camera. My photos are always my favourite souvenir and I hadn’t been happy at all with how a lot of my photos were turning out.

I spent around 500$ CND on the Canon Rebel T2. I loooooooooooooove it. I was instantly grateful of my splurge.

Onto my story…

Everything exciting seems to happen to me on my way to Fulong beach. On our way to Fulong beach last year, sometime in July, Deb advised me to bring my camera since the mountains, ocean, and train ride are very beautiful. At the time I only was shooting film. I like digital but I still enjoy film a lot more. I looked around the apartment and my camera was gone. I was heart-broken but tried not to freak too much. I retraced my steps and realized that I lost it downtown on one of the days Meg and I were getting film developed.

I’ve always been a determinist (ie things happen because they are supposed to) but I was having a hard time swallowing that I lost a camera I hadn’t even owned for 6 months especially since it took me so long to justify the purchase. It was also the first camera I had ever bought myself (dad always gave me his hand-me-downs). I tried calling the place where I got my film developed, no luck. Then it occurred to me that Meg and I had stopped for lunch at Ikari coffee in the same area (Taipei Main Station area).

In a way I didn’t even want to go check. It had been nearly a week since I lost the camera and if I had just left it on the seat next to me, like I was thinking, I was sure it would be long gone. “Maybe some aspiring photographer got it and this will be their inspiration to pursue their passion?” I thought….. still trying to find a way to not flip out about this and look at this as being a lesson of some sort and not just a “don’t be so careless dumbass!” kind of lesson.

Meg went with me back to Ikari for moral support. I hadn’t even walked through the door when I noticed one of the workers making lots of hand gestures towards me. When I walked through the door she was making camera motions. I started nodding frantically. She disappeared into the kitchen and reappeared with my camera. I started crying and gave her a huge hug…. which seemed to make her uncomfortable. Taiwanese aren’t the most huggy of people. 🙂 Especially with strangers heehee.

So needless to say, after going through a period of having trust issues in general the whole incident really raised my spirits and restored my faith in humanity a whole lot. It would’ve been so easy for anyone working at the cafe to take and keep my camera. Especially since it took me almost a week to return for it.

Ya Ikari coffee! You rock. Even though you give me a hard time about getting a second tea cup when I order a big pot of tea. I forgive you.

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