The path up Nanshijiao Mountain twists back and forth the entire journey, tempering each successful climb with a sharp, narrow corner. An older man, perhaps in his sixties, with skin like leather in folds along the back of his neck, cycled up beside me. His calves tensed as he pushed down on the peddles, and he grinned jovially on the overtake.
For tourists and locals alike, Elephant Mountain is far and away the most well-known and well-travelled destination along the Taipei skyline. And for good reason; it’s a short hike, to rather spectacular views, made all the more surprising by the sprawling streets of Taipei in miniature below.
“Every year of my life since I was two,” Dominic Crapuchettes tells me, “I would go up to Alaska in the summer and my dad would fish.” A few years later, they worked the fishing boat together through long, challenging days, and the job, he explains, was hard. “If you go way back to when I was seven, I was miserable.”
A conversation with the designer of one of my favourite boardgames, Evolution.