Badouzi is now widely known for its newly built National Museum of Marine Science and Technology (NMMST) and the many boats next to its fishing port. However, Keelungers’ impression of Badouzi is winding valleys and scenery from the hidden lives of a fishing village.
Badouzi Fishing Village Museum is situated in the tortuous alleys of Badouzi Street. The old houses you see downtown have a banner hung at the entrance that says “Tairyō “(good catch in Japanese). Even a quick glance will tell you there is definitely a story about a fisherman. Open the door, step into this museum, and observe the walls hung with paintings showcasing life in a fishing village. You will also see travel back in time and see tools that fisherman used in the old days. The storyteller Mr. Lan is the hero in that space-time.
When he was young, Mr. Lan worked on a swordfishing boat, and he became a swordfisherman. Though he’s aged, you can see he must have been a handsome man through his face! He took the model ship to show us how he used to stand on that swordfishing-designed deck while being shaken by big waves from the northeast monsoon. The only way he could stabilize his body was by using the slipper-wrap! The “trigeminal maw” was used for spearing the swordfish when it surfaced at a critical moment. After spearing it, the fish could not fight only with force, but with wit; the swordfish struggles until it is tired, then the fisherman pulls it back on the boat deck. The crew wants to avoid an alive and giant swordfish hurting anybody.
Watching Mr. Lan take a broom stick to demonstrate how to do swordfishing, it seems like he is back to his days fighting on the sea. His smiling face also shows me the fishermen’s mentality of optimism and courage. Perhaps nowadays, very few people are willing to participate in dangerous swordfishing like him, but these stories in any case deserve to be listened to. Like the words written on the gate, “the past thing rapidly disappears, gradually being forgotten, and now we only can save it, record it little by little.”
Walking out of the museum and into the fishing port, I still saw the docked fishing boats. Perhaps, the past has never disappeared; it just needs another way to go on.