Today, the big, yellow rubber duckie will finally leave Kaohsiung Harbor. The duck, designed by Dutch artist Florentijin Hofman, has been afloat near Glory Pier since mid-September.
While the duck has created more than $30 million in revenue for the city, I, for one, am happy to see the thing go. I’m tired of the traffic and the hordes of people that prevent leisurely bike rides near Love River and the harbor. I’m tired of my students bringing in stuffed yellow ducks and having to pretend they are the best thing ever every time. And, most of all, I’m tired of the gaudy yellow ducks scattered throughout the city from stalls at the night market to the umbrella shops of Meinong.
Now would probably be a good time to admit that I did go to see the big yellow duck…twice. How else did we get the picture? But, I’m still not sure I get it. What’s so special about a yellow duck that we need to make a giant version of it? Why do so many people want to see it? Why do most of those people feel the need to buy some variation of duck paraphernalia? Please, feel free to share your insights in the comments below.