Saturday, August 27, 2011

Not in Kansas Anymore

Due to some travel and Internet issues I haven't had a chance to post lately.  For a clue of where I am, see here:

ad for Sony Internet TV in Taipei Metro station

If you look closely at the ad for Sony Internet TV you'll see logos for Skype, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.  The latter 3 were all blocked in China last time I checked so is Sony promoting blocked web sites like K-Touch?

Not at all.  Some readers may have picked up on some clues in the photo (such as the signs and use of Traditional Chinese characters) that the above scene is from inside a metro station in Taipei, Taiwan.  No Great Firewall in Taiwan!  I'm full of joy to be able to access such sites without having to slink behind a VPN (although I still use it at times for other reasons such as privacy/security over Wi-Fi).

For at least the next week or so, I'll be traveling around Taiwan.  I first visited here over 9 years ago and it's fascinating to see a) what has and has not changed during that period of time and b) how it compares to... um... "Mainland China".

In upcoming posts I'll share some thoughts on those topics and some conversations I've had in Mainland China regarding Taiwan.  The topic of Taiwan there can be hotly emotional in ways that can be very unexpected for those who aren't familiar with such issues in China.  I'll see if I can write about it without causing a firestorm.

Admittedly, my enjoyment of Taiwan and catching up with a number of friends here might interfere with my posting.  But at least I know the Great Firewall won't be getting in my way.

And in case you're wondering, no, I didn't follow Google Maps' advice for getting to Taipei from Shanghai (if you missed out on this fun, use the directions tool on Google Maps, enter "Shanghai" for starting point and "Taipei" as the destination point, and look at step 33 or so explaining how to manage a large stretch of water along the way).  The direct flight from Shanghai to Taipei worked out just fine for me.


  1. I'm a little surprised that there's a direct flight from Shanghai to Taipei.

    There's no direct flight from Miami to Havana. And my impression is that there's a less (actively) contentious relationship these days between Florida and Cuba than there is between China and Taiwan.

  2. Hi Pete,
    It's been a few years now, but there is now direct accessfrom mainland to Taiwan by plane and boat. :)