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The Very Definition of Abandoned

This is the first page of a Chinese-English dictionary I found in an abandoned building in central Taiwan 台灣. I found it on the floor of a derelict laboratory in the Chenchang lumber company plant in Chēchéng 車城, one of the most wondrous ruins to be found anywhere on this beautiful island.

Curiosity got the better of me and I started looking up some of the Chinese translations for “abandon” and “abandonment”: fàngqì 放棄 (give up), diūqì 丟棄 (discard), and duànjué 斷絕 (sever), and duànniàn 斷念 (forsake). Of course, we never mean anything quite so desolate when we use the word “abandon” in the context of urban exploration. We think more of the peace (hépíng 和平) and tranquility (ānníng 安宁) of forgotten and neglected spaces, of letting nature have her way with the works of man. There is something beautiful about giving a place up to the elements, especially when new life appears