American Theater Director John Maloney Adores Shoushan
◎English translation: Hou Ya-ting ◎Photo by Pao Chung-hui
American John Maloney has been residing in Chaishan's Taoyuan Village for the past 11 years, having discovered it to be a marvelous coastal area at the back of Shoushan (also known as Chaishan). This neighborhood is adored by many who come here to appreciate ocean scenery. The side of Shoushan that faces the city has a number of tourist attractions, including Shoushan Natural Park, Shoushan Zoo, and Martyrs' Shrine.
The back of Shoushan has a crucial geographical location. Because it faces the Taiwan Strait to the west and guards the Port of Kaohsiung and the city to the south, access to this area has been restricted by the military since the Japanese colonial period (1895-1945). Because this military zone covered the coastal area, the scenery and appearance of Taoyuan Village hardly changed until the lifting of military restrictions a decade ago. Nowadays, many tourists flock to the area to look at the sea, enjoy the gorgeous sunset, and sip a cup of coffee. Many Kaohsiung residents take advantage of the well-planned hiking trails that criss-cross Shoushan Nature Park, a place treasured as the city's backyard.
Maloney is a theater director. He used to lecture at National Sun Yat-sen University, near his home. He now lectures at Tainan University of Technology. Apart from teaching and participating in theater events, he regards himself as a homebody. "Some may feel it's inconvenient to live here, but I enjoy living in a suburb," he says.
Actually, Taoyuan Village is not so far from Kaohsiung's downtown, but here Maloney enjoys some respite from the crowded urban jungle. On weekends, he often takes a leisurely walk from Taoyuan Village to a market in Hamasen.
Explaining the joy of living where he does, Maloney points out the intriguing ocean scenery beyond his window. Despite having lived in big cities such as New York, and also in California, he says residing in Taoyuan Village is a sweet home incomparable with others. "Taoyuan Village is a quiet community on weekdays, but on weekends boisterous visitors bring a vibrant ambiance to the community. Yet, overall, the place is calm and peaceful," he casually mentions while looking out his window.
Maloney's favorite aspect of Shoushan is without doubt his home, from which he can appreciate beautiful sunsets. Since his home is not open to public, he highly recommends the entire Shoushan Natural Park as worth visiting, yet feels a little sad that some nearby areas continue to be off limits for military reasons. Maloney also recommends the nearby Coast Coffee Shop, where visitors can take in magnificent seaside views and drink a delicate cup of coffee.