Friday, August 05, 2005

Friday, Aug 5 Blog Round-up

Friday sort of snuck up on me, busy this week running back and forth to the hospital, and listening to the pelting rain as the typhoon fills our backyard with water.

Wandering to Tamshui has a great tour of the island in Walkabout Through Formosan History.

......The name Keelung comes from the Spanish mocking of the indigenous people's language. To the Spanish the incomprehensible language sounded like "Ketagalan ketagalan" and was shortened to Keelung. In Keelung you should walk the harbor with the mind to imagine the waterway choked with corpses following 228. It was in Keelung that the KMT first landed troops to win back Taiwan and Keelung suffered the greatest number of casualties........
I'll never look at the port the same again. Don't miss the post on the winning entries in the bad writing contest.

Freedom Slopes blogs the Summer Soccer tournament, and another class act by the local tourism industry.

The weekend of the 23rd and 24th were spent in Taipei. It was my first time attending the Taipei Summer Cup soccer tournament. It was a decent weekend but bloody hot!

Our trip began with the typical Tainan Phoenix 40 seater bus filled with some young, and other young at heart, beer hungry folk.

Sounds like a blast.....

Anarchy in Taiwan blogs a wild concert affair and some tart comments on the media:

I think I see something! Yes....yes! There it is! Some balled-up tissues...and....could it be? It is! A used condom! Get the tongs! There is no doubt in my mind that there were people having sex on this very spot not too long ago. C'mon! They can't have gone far.

Yes, it is easy to drink underage here. If only I had grown up here....teenage booze, teenage prostitution....what fun high school would have been.....of course, there is all that studying.

Formosa Online posted a moving account of his journey in southern Taiwan, and into his family.

Despite all this drama, I did manage to escape into the cool and calm of the surrounding countryside. In Baihe 白河 (White River), I enjoyed the serene beauty of lotus fields. In Guanzhilin 關子領, I bathed in a mud hot-spring, while overlooking the great rice fields reflecting in the sunset. In Beigang (北港, North Port) and Mamingshan 馬鳴山, I trailed the paths pilgrims from afar have graced throughout the centuries by paying homage to ancient temples and sacred sanctuaries. In Janfushan Theme Park 劍湖山, I rode thrilling rides, watched acrobatic performances, and displays of 'dancing water' and laser shows, and walked along colourfully lit pathways at night.

Southern Taiwan can be wonderful.

Ryan at The Lost Spaceman blogs that sad tale of driving without a license.

Few foreigners in my town take the time to get a driver's license, myself included. Most of the time the police are too flustered by the fact that they need to speak English to me to bother with isuuing a ticket. And the odd time that they do more than wave me past, they simply give me a warning and tell me not to do it again. This had worked for generations of foreigners. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying.

Yup. Most of the foreigners I know don't have a license. It's the kind of lottery you don't want to gamble on, though.

Poagao presents one of his patented encounters with the strange and unusual people whom foreigners seem to attract.

The other day I was crossing the bridge carrying the baritone I picked up in Tainan, just back from the repair shop. The guy did a pretty good job fixing the dents in the bell, but not so much on the dents elsewhere...I suppose they were more difficult to get to. I also had no luck in finding a new mouthpiece, as it seems to require a special size they don't carry here. An old guy and a woman I took to be either his wife or caretaker saw the ratty baritone case and almost did a little jig of happiness. "What is that? A horn?" he asked excitedly....

There's something about the mental image of a foreigner walking around carrying a large baritone that seems almost surreal.

Taiwan Tiger discusses how local baseball players become the pawns of mobsters in baseball gambling scandals.

Troubles abound in the Taiwan baseball league. A gambling scandal has hit, and the fallout isn't too clear yet. I recently sat down with one of the assistant coaches of one of the major league teams and talked with him about what exactly is going down. Here's how it usually happens, supposedly, though he insisted that he doesn't know of the guilt or innocence of any player in particular.....
The Tiger puts his finger on a recurring thread in so many similar situations in Taiwan

There were a number of players identified as suspects in the scandal. A few foreigners were mentioned prominently BY NAME in all the newspapers, while the 10 Taiwanese players suspected of involvement were treated anonymously. Next all foreign players were required to be questioned by the police, WITHOUT LAWYERS, where at least a few of them spent the night in jail, despite any corroborating evidence. The league decides to halve the number of foreigners that are allowed on any team (from 4 to 2), portraying the foreign players as the "bad apples" in the bucket. Odds are much better, in fact, that those 10 Taiwanese players have a lot more to answer to.
Again and again, whatever the problem is, it must be a foreign problem. Remember several years ago when the hapless Mayor Ma of Taipei arrested a Japanese man and a Chinese prostitute over concerns that Taiwan had become a stop for Japanese sex tourists?

If you are interested in fashion, Taiwan Fashionista is the way to go. Here's a sample:
Taiwan fashion in late July? The island's top design house Shiatzy Chen presented its collections for Autumn/Winter 2005, and both Patty Hou in her TVBS fashion report and the Taiwan News in its Saturday fashion pages paid attention to the event. Shiatzy Chen is famous for its clothes inspired by traditional Chinese styles, and its exalted position in Taiwan's fashion scene is made clear by the location of its main boutique - between the unfortunate Gucci and the reconstructed Louis Vuitton on the toniest part of Chungshan North Road.
I remain an unreconstructed midwestern caveman, and just can't stand fashion. People need to do more important things with their lives, like play real-time strategy games on the internet.

SHORTS: Kerim at Keywords also posts on Savage Minds, another excellent blog. There he offered this nuanced post on religion, terrorism, and public discourse in the West, which I missed last week. Andres offers his usual collection of beautiful pictures. Last month Barbaria offered us a course in how the Chinese make fake eggs. David alerts us to the new magazine Xpat aimed at local expatriates. Certainly looks nice. Brian discusses the ethics of Elizabeth Loftus' new therapy for weight loss: implanting false memories. The Gentle Rant brought us this comic image:

No comments: