What is even more infuriating is after the fallow farmland is expropriated for public constructions, such as the Central Taiwan Science Park, it is not used due to policy changes by the government.
The government is fickle and mercurial, one moment saying that the park is being closed down due to a lack of investing companies, then making a policy U-turn and saying that it is redefining the park’s purpose, he said.
No one knows what is going to happen, and the only people who are benefiting from the government’s indecisiveness are the land speculators, Chiang said.
Hsiao also said that village after village in Nantun (南屯) and Beitun (北屯) were disappearing due to ongoing constructions hoping to attract investors.
“The freedom that once symbolized [Greater] Taichung is disappearing,” Hsiao said.
“Life in Taichung has increasingly become similar to the oppressed atmosphere in Taipe,.” he said.
“People of my generation who have lived in an urban environment know what I’m talking about, that sense of indecision, of foreignness, of oppression and mild depression,” Hsiao said.
Most people try to cope with the necessity of life and stay in cities for work, but a majority of them are only trying to tolerate city life, he said.
One day they will find it to be too much, quit their work and leave the city, Hsiao said, adding that he was one such person.
However, Hsiao and Chiang said they have noticed a growing number of highly educated young people who have chosen to stay in the more rural areas of Taiwan, opening coffee shops or bookstores.
Naming such stores such as the Hung Ya Bookshop in Chiayi, the Huwei Salon in Yunlin and the Mango Coffee Shop in Cihtong (莿桐), Yunlin, Chiang and Hsiao said the shops help host communal activities and bring people together on a local level.