Pages

Showing posts with label Taiwan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taiwan. Show all posts

Friday, January 19, 2018

Getting a Head Start on Showing Love: A Valentine's Month Sale at Qsquare in Taipei

Yesterday, January 18, I didn't expect to be thinking about Valentine's Day, which isn't until February 14. However, sale signs at the Qsquare shopping mall in Taipei changed that.

Valentine's Day Winter Sale sign at Qsquare in Taipei


The mall's website now prominently features its Valentine's Day themed winter sale as well.

Valentine's Day Winter Sale promotion on the Qsquare website


I don't know whether it is typical for Qsquare to start a Valentine's Day promotion nearly four weeks before the holiday. Qsquare may have chosen the timing because another holiday with sales potential — the Lunar New Year — falls on February 16 this year. However, I have seen similarly early starts to holiday sales elsewhere. So I wouldn't be shocked if Valentine's Day signs would now be up even if the Lunar New Year fell on a later date.

In any case, the Chinese message on the banner indicates the sale will be an opportunity for couples to show evidence of their love. It doesn't mention that depending on your significant other it may or may not be beneficial to mention you bought their gift on sale.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Guidance at Two Temples in Taipei

Learning . . .

Group of young students in front of Ling-Xing Gate at the Taipei Confucius Temple
Ling-Xing Gate at the Taipei Confucius Temple


and directions . . .

Man wearing "Taipei Baoan Temple" pointing a man in the right direction
Taipei Baoan Temple


weren't in short supply today at two nearby historic temples in Taipei.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Watching Out for Snakes in Taipei

When today at the edge of the Shuangxi Riverside Park in Taipei I saw a sign warning of snakes, admittedly I doubted any would cause me a problem.

"Watch Out for Snakes" sign in Shilin, Taipei


But later at the nearby Huiji Temple (惠濟宮) I realized perhaps I got lucky.

stone carving of scene of three men fleeing a very large snake in a tree


Consider yourself warned.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Friendship Through Bars for Two Pigeons in Taipei

man with two pigeons, one in a cage

Today near the Taipei Metro Shuanglian Station, I saw a man with two pigeons in rather different states of confinement. One pigeon was in a cage while the other walked around next to the cage.

Soon the man became aware of my interest, and I asked about the pigeons. He explained that the smaller pigeon outside of the cage has a home at the top of a building just across the road. The larger pigeon in the cage was his. He said the pigeons were friends and this was not their first meeting.

Even when I approached very near, the freely roaming pigeon didn't leave. However, I worried my presence might be making it nervous, which would be a shame since the man was setting out food. So I refrained from asking more questions and left the pigeon friends alone to do whatever it is pigeons do under such conditions.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Falun Gong Brings Out the Drums in Taipei

"Lively" may not be the best choice for describing "Organ Harvesting" demonstrations by Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, at the Ximending shopping district in Taipei. But I would feel much safer using the word to describe something else Falun Gong does at Ximending.

Falun Gong adherents playing drums at Ximending in Taipei


One intended message of the drum performance appeared to be expressed on a sign behind them with the familiar message "Falun Dafa Is Good". This is partly to respond to accusations from China that Falun Gong is evil.

Like the claims of organ harvesting, drum performances by Falun Gong adherents are nothing new. One website "dedicated to reporting on the Falun Gong community worldwide" shares examples from places as far away as Philadelphia and Melbourne.

But you won't find them drumming in mainland China.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Mobile Organ Harvesting Displays at a Shopping District in Taipei

I posted about Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, when I was in Taiwan over six years ago. I was about to start this post with "Falun Gong was helping to keep things lively today at the trendy Ximending shopping district in Taipei". But then I noticed it included a rather unintended bad pun.

Falun Gong "Stop Organ Harvesting in China" mobile display at Ximending in Taipei
Today at Ximending

Falun Gong "Stop Organ Harvesting in China" mobile display at Ximending in Taipei
Today at Ximending


I have previously Falun Gong's displays like those today with claims that China has harvested human organs. In a Sinosphere piece with some details about these claims, China's response, and how the tactics of many Falun Gong adherents may hurting their own goals, a year and a half ago Didi Kirsten Tatlow wrote about her experience around similar displays in Hong Kong:
Eyes flashing, lips curled in operatic scorn, a middle-aged woman holding a placard reading “Evil Cult Falun Gong!” ordered me off the sidewalk outside Hong Kong’s convention center, where organ transplant specialists from around the world were gathered.

“Go away!” she shouted. “You’re no good!”

My crime? After interviewing her as she stood with a group called the Anti-Cult Association, she had spotted me interviewing a woman at a competing demonstration of practitioners of Falun Gong, a meditation and exercise-based spiritual practice that the Chinese government outlawed as a cult in 1999, jailing many practitioners. The Anti-Cult Association says it is a civil society organization, but its aims closely reflect the Chinese government’s.
I didn't see any competing demonstration today, though I have seen them on other occasions in Taiwan and Hong Kong. And while two people were quick to approach me offering pamphlets, informational cards, and a petition regarding the demonstration, the term "lively" would better apply to many other aspects of Ximending.

Still, Falun Gong added a type of life which I don't see, and can't see, at shopping districts in mainland China.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Monday, January 8, 2018

Shengming Temple in Taiwan

I had something else planned for here today. Planned. But instead of that, here are two photos of Shengming Temple (聖眀宫) in Jiufen, a historic town on the oceanside mountains of eastern New Taipei City:

Shengming Temple (聖眀宫) in Jiufen, New Taipei City



Shengming Temple (聖眀宫) in Jiufen, New Taipei City

Thursday, January 4, 2018

A New Year Holiday in Taipei

Although I am belated in posting for the first time since 2018 began, I wasn't belated in celebrating it. Thanks to some matters not deserving much mention here I spent the holiday in Taipei for the first time. Thanks to good friends who have access to the top of a well-located building, I had a splendid view when midnight arrived.

New Year's fireworks for 2018 at Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan


I was familiar with Taipei 101's fireworks displays, but seeing it in person is something else. My friends felt otherwise. Apparently after watching fireworks shoot out of a skyscraper more than a few times the experience can become mundane for some people. Anyway, I had a grand time. Later, one of the friends shared a photo taken by Kent Chuang from a location very close to where we watched but at ground level:



I don't have a long story to share about the night like I did for my very different New Year's experience last year in Xiapu, a county with numerous fishing villages in Fujian province. The most remarkable thing this year other than the fireworks was later stumbling upon a large gathering of young people from a variety of places in Latin America who were celebrating in Da'an Forest Park.

So . . . ¡Feliz año nuevo!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

One More Photo for 2017

young woman posing in front of the sculpture "The Three Graces" at Huashan Park in Taipei
Posing in front of The Three Graces by Tien-Sheng Pu (1912-1996) at Huashan Park in Taipei

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Recommendation in Taipei

"In order to keep the Meat juicy, we strongly recommend not to slice the chicken fillet." sign

I didn't try their chicken, partly because I had already eaten river eel with onions, ginseng chicken soup, and a gua bao at other vendors around the Huaxi Street Night Market in Taipei. But if I order it someday, I plan to heed their strong recommendation.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Phones, Noodles, and Massages: A Taipei Trifecta

One of those places perfectly suited for buying a phone, eating Tokyo-style noodles, and getting a massage:

building with Phone world, a Tokyo-style noodle restaurant, and a place for massages
Alongside Linsen North Road in Taipei


Admittedly, the building's design, which significantly differs from the other buildings around it, is what catches my eye when I have walked by in the past. Also admittedly, I have not taken advantage of any of the offerings now there.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Public Post-it Wishes in Taipei

At Maji Square, which offers a number of options for shopping and eating, in Taipei there currently is a display featuring Post-it notes.

Post-it notes wish board at Maji Square in Taipei


Instructions recommend: "Write down your xmas wishes and share your ideal life with us!"

directions for Post-it notes wish board at Maji Square in Taipei


And the board was full of neatly placed Post-its.

posted wish on Post-it notes wish board at Maji Square in Taipei


In most cases the wishers didn't identify themselves, though they apparently had no problem that their various wishes weren't very top secret.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Minimally Mentioned Matters and a Mailbox

I have been lately occupied with matters that I wish had not mattered. They aren't matters which are the type of thing I would typically blog about, and I will probably keep things that way. But at least mentioning the matters that I won't mention later serves as a segue for sharing this recent photo of a mailbox in Taipei:

mailbox in Taipei with the label "VERY TOP SECRET"


I wouldn't classify my previously mentioned matters as very top secret. To help reduce any curiosity I may have piqued, I will add that I wouldn't expect them to be especially interesting to most readers.

And I do like the mailbox. Perhaps so will some readers. I don't know if there's anything interesting inside though.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Hearty Perfume in Taipei

Over six years ago I wrote about some similarities in Taiwanese and Italian food culture. Today in Taipei I saw a promotion reminding me of that post.

Dolce & Cabbana poster in Taipei


More soon. I'm definitely eating well, though I don't now have anything special to report about perfumes.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Assorted Links: Hong Kong Seeks Innovation, Too Much Trump in Trumpchi?, Blaming China for Job Losses, and Panama Cuts Ties with Taiwan

It has been a while since I have done the "assorted links" thing. Time to get back to it with excerpts from four pieces worth a full reading:

1. Natasha Khan's and Enda Curran's piece about a proposed technology park on the border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen could inspire debate on a variety of topics such as Hong Kong's integration with mainland China, environmental preservation in China, and strategies for fostering innovation. It also raises the issue that Shenzhen's now sees less advantage to partnering with its neighbor to the south after recent rapid developments:
Shenzhen forged ahead, clearing out most of its old, labor-intensive factories and building high-tech giants like Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. The city’s Nanshan district is a cradle for more than 8,000 technology firms, centered around the vast Shenzhen Hi-Tech Industrial Park, known as SHIP. Entrepreneurs have come from across the world, leading some to question why Guangdong needs to collaborate with Hong Kong on innovation.

“That ship has sailed,’’ said Felix Chung, chairman of Hong Kong’s pro-business Liberal Party. “The plan could have been good 10 years ago but have you seen Shenzhen lately? It has the ability to do so much on its own.”

2. My April Fool's post last year, "Donald Trump to Bring His Chinese Car Brand to the U.S." took advantage of the similarity between Trump's name and the Chinese automaker GAC Motor 's brand Trumpchi. Now that Trump is president, GAC has some very real concerns about the similarity:
Executives at the firm and its parent Guangzhou Automobile Group (601238.SS) say they may now change the Trumpchi brand - which was meant to sound like its Chinese name Chuanqi, which is a play on the word "legendary" and means passing good fortune - after it drew some ridicule at the Detroit auto show in January.

"We saw people were laughing at this and took pictures looking only at this detail, and also put on Facebook or other websites," GAC Motor Design Director Zhang Fan told Reuters. "When we read all that feedback, we realized it might not be very positive promotion for the brand."
I don't know if this blog is one of the "other websites", but I do thank GAC for providing such excellent material. The April Fool's post has received a notable amount of traffic during the past year.

3. William H. Overholt argues that both of the major political parties in the U.S. unfairly blame China when it comes to jobs:
[Politicians of both parties] find it convenient to blame China [for "job declines caused mainly by technology"].

Why? Because interest groups dominate the Washington conversation and both parties are beholden to constituencies with an interest in the post-factual illusion. Democrats depend on unions that see protection of current jobs, not helping workers prepare for the future, as their task. They see every gain for workers in poor countries as a loss for U.S. workers. Preparing the workforce for a changing future could threaten union leaders’ power. . . .

Republicans reject reality for different reasons. If you acknowledge the inexorable disappearance of manufacturing jobs, and the fact (documented by MIT Professor David Autor) that, without government help, whole communities stagnate, then you must authorize the government to analyze the areas of loss and gain, and follow through by spending money to retrain workers and help them move. However, to avoid taxation, wealthy Republican constituents will denounce expanded government authority and expenditures as socialism.
4. No excerpt for the final link since the China Digital Times piece is itself a collection of excerpts with links: "Panama Severs Ties With Taiwan, Pledges Allegiance to China".

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Play, Chainsaws, and Smashing Ukeleles in Taiyuan

billboard advertisement for a performance by Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) in Taiyuan

In a section of Taiyuan with several newer shopping centers, over a month ago I saw the above advertisement for Taiwanese pop star Jolin Tsai's (蔡依林) concert featuring music from her most recent album "Play". A concert poster with a fuller image reveals that Tsai is destroying a disco ball.

concert poster for Jolin Tsai's "Play" performance in Taiyuan
Source

I am guessing that Tsai didn't really put herself at risk of being cut by flying disco ball shards, no matter what her feelings towards disco balls may be.

Whatever the case, the video for the song "Play" is remarkable. So much happens that I don't even know where to begin. In the 2014 piece "Asia’s Dancing Queen May Have Given Us the Year’s Best Pop Music Video" in Time, Nolan Feeney highlighted some key parts:
Nudity, aerobics-inspired choreography and fantastical colors all play major roles in the Sims-inspired clip. Also, someone gets hit in the face with a ukelele, so there’s that, too.
The scenes with apparent nudity are appropriately blurred, so the video should be safe for work as long as a company doesn't have a strict ukelele-violence policy. The official YouTube version doesn't include English subtitles, but this video does (may need to click "CC" to turn them on):


For those in the U.S. now wishing they could see the Play World Tour live, you missed a big chance. Tsai performed in Atlantic City earlier this year.