Tuesday, October 3, 2006

'Welcome to Taiwan' Revisited

Speaking of emails spreading around, I should balance the fact that I think most are sensational with one I remember that might have been right on the money.

It happened in late 2003 and involved Carnegie's who produced or didn't produce an ad. Here's the full story in the Taipei Times.
Taipei Times - archives

I actually got sent the pic and still have it somewhere. I decided not to post it in order not to start another wave of Taiwanese anger (and Carnegie's anger either).

Everyone just get along , ok?

Beijing 2008 by Liu Yi (刘溢)

This painting is currently making the rounds in Taiwan email circles. The thrift of the email is that the girl on the far right represents Taiwan, apart from the other majiang gamers.

There are a few other differing interpretations however. I'm wondering whether the Taiwanese writers have read too much into the painting.

This email kind of reminds me of the one I got a few years back proclaiming that English Westerners look down on Chinese (and virtually all Asian races) because of the 'ese' ending to describe the people. It said that only disliked races have that suffix. A lot of people believed that too at the time and I got asked a lot by students. (Out of curiosity, I actually researched this and found out that the 'ese' ending is due to an Old French form of spelling. Besides we also use it for Portuguese too so how could their hypothesis hold?!?)

More on the supposed 'ese' controversy here:

Nice painting though. The artist was born in China but now lives and works out of Canada. He has galleries in a few countries. Check out his art if you have a chance... Posted by Picasa

Taipei Drinking Water: Good Amoeba, Bad Amoeba

My one on one student studies public health at NTU. I asked her about the water quality of Taipei. She said one of her professors, one of the foremost authorities on the subject of drinking water, said the water is drinkable from the tap.

The Taipei Water Department also claims this on their website:

As you know, most people boil the tap water to 'clean' it. She said that's a bunch of bullshit. She said while it would kill amoebas in the water that don't even harm your digestive system, it would not boil out the heavier stuff like metals in the water. so essentially whether you boil or not you're drinking virtually the same thing. This puts a big dent in the argument of some locals that the 'pipes are old and dirty' belief.

So I'm thinking that boiling the water is one of these strongly held beliefs/customs of Taiwanese. You can add this one to taking a shower at night instead of in the morning (or both for that matter).

My student mentioned though, for those contact wearers, that it is important to boil out the amoebas if you are using water with your contacts. Amoebas, it seems, are bad for your corneas... Posted by Picasa

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