Taiwan, an island nation known for its stunning landscapes and intricate architecture, draws numerous tourists each year. However, among its famous landmarks, two seemingly ordinary mailboxes stand out. Situated in the Zhongshan District of Taipei, “Little Red” (Xiao Hong) and “Little Green” (Xiao Lu) have captured people’s hearts due to their peculiar appearance – a distinctive tilt.
Taiwan is no stranger to typhoons, as it experiences three or four cyclones annually. In 2015, Typhoon Soudelor severely impacted the island. During the storm, strong winds dislodged a billboard, causing it to strike and bend the mailboxes. Despite the damage, they remained standing.
After the storm, Taipei’s residents discovered the newly tilted mailboxes and were instantly charmed by them. Not only did they look endearing, but they also symbolized resilience and survival. The mailboxes seemed to convey the message, “You can strike us, but we’ll stand tall with a smile.”
The leaning mailboxes quickly gained popularity on social media, drawing people to visit and take creative photos with them, similar to how tourists pose with Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa. Recognizing the significance of the mailboxes, authorities installed a plaque recounting their story in Chinese, Japanese, and English instead of repairing them.
The plaque states, “On August 8th, 2015, Typhoon Soudelor struck Taiwan. We were hit in the heads by a signboard as a result and couldn’t help but lean over from the pain…But we persevered: we didn’t fall over after all. We have to take life as it comes…Take a picture with us to remind yourselves that we are all survivors and can persevere no matter what.”
What makes these leaning mailboxes even more special is that they remain functional, with deposited letters receiving a unique stamp featuring the famous Taiwanese tilted mailboxes. For those interested in visiting, they can be found near the intersection of Nanjing East Road and Longjiang Road.
In embracing the tilted mailboxes, Taiwan’s residents have transformed a typhoon’s aftermath into a symbol of resilience and survival, drawing both tourists and locals alike to admire their endearing appearance and inspiring story.