Sunday, January 27, 2008

Can't get it up???

Here's a funny sign my wife spotted. The sign reads "YangWei, ZhaoXie" which if read sounds exactly like the sound for the words "Impotence, Premature Ejaculation" in Mandarin. It actually advertises for a Chinese doctor, we assume for these conditions.

What's remarkable, besides this sign being out in the open on a major thoroughfare, is that the characters used are totally wrong. We assume that it was done to throw kids of the scent.

However, kids are pretty smart these days. I give them more credit than perhaps the sign creators have. My guess is that kids and adults alike will get a chuckle out of this sign.

Of course, it is entirely possible that the creators of the sign knew this would happen all along and did it for effect. They make a futile attempt at hiding the meaning, knowing all the while the marketing job is done and they have covered their asses in the eyes of prudish parents.

That's Taiwanese ingenuity for you!
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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Blinky the three-eyed fish awaits

It always kills me how people can frolic in the waters in Kenting and be completely oblivious to the nuclear plant just meters from the beach.

It's clearly visible in the background. And although it's probably claimed safe and probably is safe, wouldn't you still want to err on the side of caution???

Most Taiwanese are ok anyhow. Lots of Taiwanese don't go in deeper than waist deep as they are not swimmers. Students often refer to "play water" which usually means wading and splashing around with friends.

My guess is that Taiwan built the nuclear plant there long before people got into the beach craze. Masses of Taiwanese heading to the beach and beach culture can be seen as relatively recent thing in Taiwan. As are bikinis. When I first arrived in 1997, girls rarely wore bikinis at the beach. Typically they wore shorts and a t-shirt. Thank god for progress on this front!
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Height of Convenience

The pursuit of convenience seems to define the Taiwanese. Always looking to cut corners to simplify life. Looking for shortcuts to success and riches.

The overuse of the word "convenience" in English by Taiwanese is a matter of fact. It has some funny and questionable uses such as in "Traffic is convenient" (which actually should be interpreted as meaning transportation around the city provides convenience to get around).

In the end, Taiwanese are just attempting to describe their 7eleven around every corner (or often 2 or 3 7elevens per city block!) mentality of convenience.

For example, check out this girl lighting her coal BBQ using a spray can blow torch. Similarly, I've also seen people use hair dryers as well to get the show on the road. No time-wasting fan waving and blowing on the coal chunks for these guys!

Any other tales of locals (or expats) achieving the ultimate convenience in Taiwan? Drop me a line...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Praying to Matsu the 3G way

Here's a new twist. Too lazy to make it to the temple? What to worship Matsu? Now you can on your 3G phone.


I must have missed this story a few weeks back but I have seen cellphone provider Vibo's ads on TV for this new service lately. They feature a young girl telling her mother that the new way to worship is 3G. She then puts the cellphone to her head as people would with incense sticks at the temple and proceeds to pray.

According to the article:
"Through uniquely designed software, customers can pay their respects to Matsu, pick fortune texts, and throw the crescent-shaped wooden divining tools to seek good luck and answers from the deity."

Count on the Taiwanese to put a high tech twist on local religion. Couple this with the height of convenience and you have a winning mix.

BTW, it's not the first time that Matsu has met high tech. OKWAP has (had) a model of phone dedicated to Matsu as well...


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Last minute campaigning

Oh, do my eyes deceive me?

Caught the 101 New Year's message on the tower again on the eve of the election of the legislators. Coincidence or a last minute plea for votes?

At 10pm it had already disappeared which seems to be in accordance with the election law. No campaigning after 10pm I believe...

Can anyone confirm this?

Click on the picture for a closer look. The tower reads 2008 Love (a heart) Taiwan.
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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Playing the Nazi card... again!!!

When will it ever end? Your a Nazi, I'm a Nazi, everyone's a Nazi!

Here's a political party banner on a Taipei bridge. Looks harmless right? Guy in a Mao suit (in Taiwan it's called a ZhongShan suit after Sun Yat-Sen). Picture of Sun Yat-Sen up above.

And then down below... Oh, aren't they cute, President Chen and Ma Ying-Jiou. But wait! What's that I see? Could it be? Naw! That's impossible! Not after using it the last election!

You got it! Nazi symbolism is once again being used to put down politicians. Chen even has the little mustache!

In case you aren't familiar with the practice, take a look at a few posters from the previous elections. Notice the use of Hitler and Saddam Hussein. Saddam has gotten a reprieve this time around...

It will be interesting to see what kind of mud they dig up for the Presidential race.

If you would like to see my other articles written about the Nazi influence in Taiwan, use the Google search on this page and search using the word "Nazi".
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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Could this be more of a blatant slap in the face?

This now looks like a pile of crap. Was that their intention?

Regardless of what you think of the guy, this is a real eyesore. The addition of the kites makes it look like some kind of freak show Halloween party. Those are kites hanging there but they look more like masks. This could not be unintentional. And what an ugly mismatch of styles. Not artistically appealing at all.

Nor meaningful. I really don't see the link between kites and peace. Furthermore, I think a lot of visitors won't either! Although I might be sympathetic if it were done in a constructive way, I'm convinced that this rectification of names and sites campaign is just a cover for the government and rectification groups to sow their revenge. They can finally have their chuckle at how tacky this looks.

Unfortunately these spiteful acts acts are done at the public's expense. If there is a change in government, watch for an immediate (and costly) reversal of this policy.

Monday, January 7, 2008

eee PC has some serious supply problems!

I ordered my 8GB version of the eee PC on December 23, 2007 and it still hasn't come into the store yet. What the #$%^? It's been over 2 weeks now!

I have gotten all kinds of stories from the retailers. Out of stock, doing inventory, whatever...

3C and Best even list it in the stores with a price around $14500 but I have yet to see even one on the shelves. They claim that they had some 8GB versions before but they sold out. Can anyone confirm that the 8GB versions have even come out yet?

In fact, I believe there's a huge supply problem in China. The prime culprit may be Apple. Apple is already pissed at Asus for beating it to the bullet with this computer. It has it's own plans for flash memory computers, as does Dell.

See:The Most Hated Company In the PC Industry

And although some have pointed to the hard time securing 7" LCD monitors, in fact I believe Asus is competing with Apple to secure a supply of 8GB flash memory. A quick scan of store flyers will tell you that Apple iPod Touch and iPhone are the only other top selling tech to carry an 8GB flash memory card internally.

Well, these are my suspicions. Can anyone confirm or deny this? Damn the dealers lousy excuses!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Corny foreigner ads in Taiwan... What a bunch of sell-outs!

It has come up in conversation recently that there are truly corny ads here using foreigners.

The first one that comes to mind is that Tarzan guy for the insurance company. He looks like some guy they picked off the street and his acting is less than stellar.

However, the Orlando Bloom ads for Toyota have just started running which might be comparable. They are amazing to the extent of how bad he acts in them. Not much effort was put into them. Oh well, Orlando is still cashing that check!

By the way, the choice of Orlando for an Asian ad is a pretty good idea since most Asian girls go gaga over him due to his Lord of the Rings performance as an elf... yes, a freakin' elf! It seems girls kind of go for that pseudo-gay elfen type for a sex-symbol.

If you want to see even worse Hollywood sell-out ads, look for Lux soap. Liz Tyler and Chalize Theron are my favorites although Rachel Weisz as a mermaid also crack me up. Maybe you can also find sell-out Claire Forlani, Catherine Zeta Jones for Visa or even Brad Pitt's Toyota ads as well...

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