Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection:
Primary Language: Chinese
Other Language(s): English
Background: This legend was commonly told in the area around Kaohsiung. The informant did not live in Kaohsiung, but nearby on the mainland.
Context: This story was performed in an Architecture studio, for an audience of two, in order to pass time while working on projects.
“There is a little island adjacent to my hometown called Kaohsiung. There are two ways to get to the island. The first is by ship, and the other is through a tunnel that we built under the sea. Usually the travel time using the tunnel is about half an hour, but for some people it will take up to two hours to get there. During that tunnel traveling people have found that the common thing is they have always met this grandpa biking. When they see that grandpa, it takes a longer time to travel. For some reason when you drive, you may be going 50 miles per hour, but the Grandpa is still biking fast enough to pass you. “
Car rides can be very boring, and in order to pass the time it is common to tell exciting stories. Providing a supernatural explanation to why your trip was is taking so long could be a welcome relief from that same monotonous travel.