Russian illustrator impressed by landscapes, people in Taiwan
Taipei, Sept. 23 (CNA) A Russian illustrator invited to Taiwan for her offering of leopard cat designs that were used to decorate a special train running in central Taiwan as part of the transport ministry's tourism campaign, said she was impressed by the country's landscapes and welcoming people.
Katya Molodtsova, whose creations are depicted on a train running on the Jiji Line between Changhua and Nantou counties, said she was amazed by the easily accessible mountains and oceans in and around Taiwan.
"I was impressed by every corner of Taiwan," Molodtsova told CNA."
Molodtsova, who is from Moscow, said she enjoyed the mountainous village of Jiji, where she attended the inauguration ceremony of the train Sept. 18, as well as the raging sea on Taiwan's northeastern coast Sept. 20 in bad weather.
Molodtsova said she took a lot of photos of scenic spots introduced to her by Taiwan's Tourism Bureau, including Sun Moon Lake and Rainbow Village in central Taiwan, and Jiufen, Keelung and Fulong in northern Taiwan.
She said she wanted to share the memories with her family and friends, and that she hopes she can bring her family to Taiwan in the future.
"I have always been interested in Asian countries and have considered visiting Tokyo or Hong Kong. It was a surprise that the first Asian country I visited was Taiwan," Molodtsova said.
Molodtsova also said her experiences in Taiwan might become the topics of her future artwork to promote travel to the country.
She lamented that she could not spend more time in the country due to her tight schedule, but added that she will extend her trip to Sept. 27.
Molodtsova came under the spotlight of Taiwanese media since August in the wake of a scandal in which a Taiwanese designer initially claimed illustrations by Molodtsova as her own to decorate the train.
However, after the news broke, Molodtsova produced three new leopard cat illustrations that she said Taiwan could use free of charge.
Transport Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) then left a message on Molodtsova's social media account thanking her for the new designs and inviting her to visit Taiwan.
Molodtsova arrived in Taiwan last week for a five-day visit, during which she said she was overwhelmed by the passion of the Taiwanese people.
"Taiwanese people are very friendly," she said.
Molodtsova said she also enjoyed Taiwanese food, particularly seafood, roast bamboo, bubble tea and dragon fruit.
What added even more color to her visit was a test earthquake alert she received via cellphone, the illustrator said.
"I looked around and saw everyone calm and not fleeing and thought the situation might be OK. But I also think that since I have seen the ocean, it would be great if I could feel a minor earthquake to complete my Taiwan experience," she said.
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