in taiwan

desire path

you know when you when you’re walking along a path in a garden or forest and you see a shortcut that people have walked on over and over again, so much that it became a new, more convenient path? it’s probably a straight line, an efficient way to cut a corner. we actually have one of these really close to our place: the “official” sidewalk goes around the space, but there’s an “unofficial” shortcut that goes right through the middle.

these paths are called desire paths. i don’t even remember how i came across this expression, but i’ve known it for many years and always remembered it because of the quirky, endearing name. i had never heard anyone use it before though, until our walk in yangmingshan:

the proper cobbled path goes around the corner for a bit longer, and over time, people have created a shortcut through the middle, to save some steps. it’s a silly thing, but it was the first time i saw the expression being used and it made me look and smile. :)

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