‘Trail arrows’ draw NT$6,000 fine for visitor from China

The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff–A visitor from mainland China has been fined NT$6,000 for painting arrow signs in Ximending, a popular shopping area in downtown Taipei, with a felt-tip marker to help him find his way home.

Wu Daotian (吳道天), 61, was in Taiwan visiting with his sister, who is married to a Taiwanese man. On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Wu was left to his own devices as the sister had to work and could not go with him on his Ximending adventure. Starting from his sister’s home, which was two kilometers from his intended destination, Wu painted a double-arrow on each column he came across. Half way to Ximending, Wu came to Section 2, Changsha Street, where he painted his double-arrow on a concrete column right in front of a building he did not recognize. That was where he was caught.

As soon as he was through painting the arrow, a man yelled at him from behind, took him to task for the graffiti, and took him inside the building for an interview. Once inside the Wanhua Police Station, Wu explained to police captain Chan Teh-yang (詹德揚), the man who had yelled at him, that he was just painting trail markings as swordsmen in ancient China would do in unfamiliar places, professing his ignorance about the appearance of a police station in Taiwan.

However, the police did not buy Wu’s story, but considered his “graffiti” an illegal eyesore and fined him NT$6,000 in accordance with the country’s “Garbage Disposal Regulations.”

The double-arrows, some signed with the second character of Wu’s given name, were still visible as of yesterday afternoon.