Living statue in Danshui

Danshui is a seaside tourist destination in the north of Taiwan.  It has many attractions including temples, a waterside walkway, restaurants, shops filled with junk  trinkets, souvenirs and other sights.  I was wandering around the old street, trying to see if I could decipher any of the Mandarin characters on the store signs when, out the corner of my eye, I saw a group of people crowding around something.  Seeing this flocking, I was naturally curious and went over to take a look.  I saw this guy:

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Holy coolness Batman!  A Taiwanese mime!!  Or is he?  He was standing absolutely still – like a buddhist monk meditating.  I walked up a bit closer, and not even his eyes were moving.  No wavering, blinking – nothing.  Wow!  Definitely something I’d never before.  I’d stumbled across a living statue.  In fact, if it wasn’t for that small patch of visible skin between where his sleeve ended and glove began, it would be easy to mistake him for a real statue.  As I was examining him, he suddenly moved:

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Even though I knew he was alive, I was still a little taken aback by the sudden shift in posture.  Bugger probably did it to scare me, but now he was standing stock still.  So I stood around waiting for him to move again.    About 3 minutes later (a LONG time for someone to be so still – try it!) he hadn’t moved.

My gf told me that if we gave him some money, he would move again.  I put some cash into his money bin, and TA -DA!!  He posed for this pic:

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I couldn’t help but chuckle at the ubiquitous Taiwan (or for that matter Asia) picture pose – the V sign.  He looks like a hardcore warrior, but is flashing a sign that Taiwanese princesses usually reserve for pictures.  How cute.  So I thought I’d put my own tribute to Taiwanese cuteness to complement his – hence the Hello Kitty face mask (although I think my gf is much cuter than that nefarious cat, but she didn’t want to show her face).  After the handshake, he went back to one of his stock poses.

As I walked away, I was quite impressed by the stillness of motion that this living statue could achieve.  It can’t be comfortable holding those poses for that long a time.  I wonder if he goes around from place to place, or if he’s a Danshui fixture.  If so, it’s doubly impressive that he can do this in the cold Taiwan winter!

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