8 Dec 2023
Video by Archie Kenward
Archie Kenward and Slaughterhouse present, 'Taiwanted'.
Ever ride a spot only to then find yourselves on the national news and hunted by police? Yeah, us neither... Unfortunately Archie Kenward and friends found themselves in exactly that situation while out sampling all the incredible spots Taiwan has to offer. Read on for the full story and hit play to catch an immediate case of spot envy. Archie killed it on this and those visuals are off the hook. Enjoy!
Featuring: Archie Kenward, Robin Slootmaker, Allen Liu, Ed Mayhew, Rich Thorogood, Chase Quantrill, Joe Exley, Panther, Shane Zang, Hikaru Funyu, Masa, George Senger, Fabian Bader, Andy Liu and more.
"You know that innate gut instinct that kicks in when something’s about to go completely sideways? As we walked away from the bulky TV camera welding news men I knew something was amiss. Over ten years in Taiwan and six of them living in the sleepy southern port city of Kaohsiung, I know the 24 hour, gossip filled news that is pervasive here, has a habit of blowing these things out of proportion. A block away feeling like all eyes were on a group of foreigners, knowing something we didn’t. George joked, “oh man wouldn’t it be so awesome if we made the news”. My apprehension spread to the rest of the group and we decided to split up and head back to Taipei. That's when I got a call. It was the Kaohsiung police asking to meet me. I would soon discover I was being hunted for malicious destruction of property. I phoned fixer of fixers Chen and he quickly discovered the news that the police were hunting down a group of foreigners who were being sued by the bureau of tourism. I was sweating as I was the main suspect.
The possible charges were pretty heavy, so instead of going into the station straight away, I stalled out with the help of Taiwanese friends and was able to move my meeting with the police to a different date.
Everyone was safely able to dip out. By this time the story of the evil foreigners destroying the beloved golden shell was all over every news channel and internet gossip rag. I took a day off my regular 9-6 office job to head back down south. I reached out to some Taiwanese contacts who work in the court system to come with me. I was stressed but when I arrived at the police station, in a clean cut suit and tie, permanent residency visa, professional job, basic Chinese, they had the “these are not the droids we’re looking for” look on their faces. A model foreigner by all accounts, not the foreigner devils that had been portrayed all over the news.
I sat with the police, who had collated all their evidence against me, and I prepared to give my account. I received a text from my contact saying the police sergeant had me dead to rights with CCTV witness accounts and all, and if I made a public apology they would possibly drop charges. I had texted them a photo of my ID the week prior, so I knew they had a picture of me. I sat and opened the book of evidence against me, and not a single photo was of me.
In each picture, including CCTV, inextricably, I was absent. Their main suspect was of similar features, height and build. The police around me all chuckled nervously as they all seemed to realize they had prepared all the evidence around some other foreigner. My contact smiled, laughed and said “well, you do all resemble each other.” I was exonerated, I offered to make an apology on behalf of BMX being misunderstood by the public. I took photos for an anti DUI campaign to get in their good graces, and I later had a tall Sapporo at the Hello Kitty 7-11. I love Taiwan, I’ve been here over a decade - if I didn’t love it so much I would have left. Things like this happen when the media blows something out of proportion and the government is forced to respond. The police didn’t want to be in the situation as much as I didn’t. Taiwan is the shit, it’s why this crew keeps coming back. The spots, the people, the food, the frantic cities, the peaceful nature, it’s all here on this special island. Thanks Taiwan 🇹🇼
Thanks to Stash BMX and Allen for being pillars in the scene. For Taiwan spot porn peep @taiwangothellaspots " - Robin Slootmaker