This is what I’m reading, and what I recommend for this week.
- Michael Turton writes about nanotechnology in Taiwan. I found this interesting as our own Saumen just finished his Ph.D. in nanotechnology. It’s a fascinating field and is rapidly advancing. As MT points out, it’s going to take a lot more than slathering concrete everywhere to keep Taiwan moving forward and productive with emerging technologies. Speaking of which, MT also has an excellent article about Economic Contrasts. One could say the contrast is between perception and reality. Taiwan’s economy is doing very well. I know I’m shipping more and more products each month. With each new customer and each new order, we bring more revenue into Taiwan. It’s not slowing down – it’s increasing and ever agent I know is experiencing this. Just because office and factory worker salaries are not increasing doesn’t mean that the economy is bad. It’s all part of the show folks. The show we call Taiwan Politics.
- Andres went to work one morning. By the time he got home he no longer recognized his daughter. She doesn’t have any hair now!
- Brunty takes us to a temple opening ceremony. I don’t know how he finds the time to do all this stuff and then write about it, but he does. He’s busy reading other blogs too. Here’s what he said to me last week in one of our comments:
“I have been reading Carrie’s blog, top class and fantastic pictures. Thanks mate as now I have another blog I am going to be hooked on.“
I am very happy to hear that I was able to make that introduction. That’s why I do Bushman’s Picks. Also noteworthy is this article about car rental scams which seem to involve the police.
- Speaking of which, Carrie had this to say about Brunty’s blog in another one of our comments:
“I just finished reading about all the drama over at Brunty’s blog. It kept me entertained for quite a while. I had a great laugh over Brunty’s responses. You were right again.“
This was in reference to Brunty’s response to his stalker. This week Carrie brings us another photo piece on Laos, taken in Luang Prabang. You’ll find an incredible footprint of Buddha. Carrie also pays special tribute to her friend Christina. I appreciate stories like this.
Carrie also has a article that we’ve all been waiting for: Taiwan Photo Journal: Tainan to Baolai Hot Springs. Carrie and John did something that a lot of people talk about, but few people do. As Carrie puts it: “We came back from our annual motorcycle trip around Taiwan just a few short weeks ago. Last year, we spent six days traversing the Central Cross Island Highway. This year, we decided to travel from west to east along the Southern Cross Island Highway.“
- One time, Michael Turton and I were joking about Chinese words invented by foreigners. One of them was particularly funny to me. It was the Chinese word for mountain, but the bottom line was split into two. Michael said this word meant “broke back mountain” and I spit my drink from laughing! Now, apparently some of these foreigner-invented words are making their way into the English speaking world and people actually believe they are real! Hanzi Smatter has a great example of this phenomenon. Can you guess what this means? Unbelievable.
- David Reid spent the day in the company of fantasy women. That’s right, he attended Fancy Frontier 11 at the NTU sports center in Taipei. Man that’s one cool way to spend the afternoon: photographing super hero looking women. A lot of work goes into the cosplay costumes and it looks like a lot of fun. Would somebody please tell me when the next one of these cosplay things is going on so I can go too?
- Patrick Cowsill informs us about yet another bone-headed idea by some decision maker in the government: Foreigners cannot buy train tickets online in Taiwan anymore. People complain about not being able to make money, and now the government is limiting how people can spend money. Real smart. Patrick makes this succulent point: “If the “foreigners” can’t even book a train ticket, how on earth are they going to get familiar with [the] country?” Yes, how indeed?
- Mark is in New England and is rediscovering things like idocracy sized drinks. Taiwanese ask me why all Americans are fat. Do the math. 64oz.
- Todd takes us on another trip and this time it’s to Zhuzi Lake. Make sure you don’t read this at night before bed though because he blindsided me with some food shots at the beginning of the article. Todd, I thought we had an agreement about posting food photos without warnings? It was a dreary day but Todd’s photos make up for it.
- David in Taiwan snapped some undercover photos of a girl’s shoes on the Taipei MRT. You’d better take a look for yourself. David, are you a spook?
- Craig Ferguson sure does get around! He had tea with the Dali Lama. The frickin’ Dala Lama! He writes about it like he went up to Taipei to hang out in some Thai club. Hey it’s other day’s work for what some people call The Best Photographer on Taiwan. Speaking of which, I want to publicly thank Craig for taking some of the best photos of me I’ve ever seen. Craig also writes about the largest Buddhist monestary in Taiwan, Foguangshan and this article is a must-read.
- Interested in attending one of the many lantern festival events this year? IslaFormosa shows us the results of one of the most unusual teams going: A high school and Taiwan Beer Company. Cool. It looks like Hui-chen and I will be going to Kaohsiung for the Lantern Festival by the time you read this.
- Naruwan writes an open letter to “Fingarse”. Fortunately we don’t shop there, but apparently they’ve been doing some strange things like chasing customers down the street for more money, because they made a mistake on the price.
- Ahhh, what would life be without stories about Owshawng’s CMIL? Dude, you should write a book. I’d buy it! How someone can spend hours looking at the same thing is beyond my comprehension. But then again, I’m not a CMIL. Also, I’ve never bitten a cat’s ear.
- Fili is back from a 3 week trip to India. One of the things he reflected on during this trip is how excellent the Taoyuan airport is. I wholeheartedly agree. I feel relief just coming back to Taiwan and walking through the Taoyuan airport. It’s very high class, modern, clean and efficient. It’s a great reflection on Taiwan itself – and makes a good first impression.
- Stephen at Shan Ding Lu seems to have written two articles just for me! Stephen and his family went to a big family picnic in the Tainan countryside, where they cooked in a traditional earthen oven. I love this stuff! They dug out the oven, built a chimney and then lit a fire to heat it all up. You’ll have to read it yourself to see all the cool stuff they cooked and the methods they used. What a fun way to cook and enjoy the day! I’ve been wanting to do some earthen cooking for some time. Maybe this article will help me get off my duff! Now, the second artcle is on a topic that has been bothering me for years: A dog’s life. Speaking of a poor (yet quite typical) example of dog ownership, Stephen says “I do not know what purpose this dog exists for our neighbours. If it were for play, work, security or even eating I could understand. But it simply eats, barks and defecates.” Man, you can say that again!
On a side note, I have been collecting dog photos for the past year for a series on the state of dogs in my area. People often disagree with me that these animals should be done away with, but when one sees the condition of these strays they might be inclined to agree. It’s disgraceful and reflects bad on Taiwan. The condition of stray dogs puts Taiwan on the same level as less developed countries.
- Events: I want to thank everyone who attended the party at the Blue Sky. My apologies for it being a bit strange. Everyone in attendance said that they prefer Shao-hui’s and asked when the next get-together would be. We have a visitor from the US coming next week, so I thought that February 29 would be a great time to have a Leap Year Party! HC and I will be down at Shao-hui’s so if you’d like to join us, just come on down.