Saturday, July 14, 2007

Wasai--- Taiwan, as I see it. (2)

Here are the things I love about Taiwan, mostly because we don’t have them in Canada.
Tour buses with happy people singing Karaoke. Night market food stands where you can get a steak for $100NT. Taiwanese Chewing Gum (betel nut) beauties are so pretty! They are an authentic Taiwanese folk art. They are like Harley-Davidson choppers, not for everyone’s taste, but what eye-candies!

I like school uniforms. They make all the students elegant and the uniform doesn’t show who is rich and who is poor. Classrooms with windows on both sides make a lot of sense. I feel at home in post offices where they have writing desks, glue, twine and tape, all for free. In Canada we have to buy a roll. My thanks for the doctors who stay open until 10-11PM and charge little because they work fast. In Canada, you can’t find a doctor on Friday afternoon. They are out on golf courses all weekends. I enjoy theme parks with Monkey, Piggy and Monk Tang, logs and bamboo made from concrete, rock gardens with koi fish, Taiwanese Opera at temples, cheap rooms at some temples in the country.

Funeral processions delight me with their strange music, as well as when one temple god “visits” another with a huge retinue of costumed attendants and giant “generals”, their huge arms swinging, drums banging, flutes wailing, and one stringed instruments make the hair stand up on my neck. With pleasure, of course.

But, aside from the general warm welcome we get from the Taiwanese population, one group of people stand out above the rest: the tolerant Taiwanese policemen.
One dark night, I was coming out of a one-way alley in Taipei, the wrong way. Just as my luck would have it, a policeman was standing there as I made my turn, pulling drivers over at random. He motioned for me to stop, not at random, for certain. My chest tightened. I’m getting a ticket for sure, I thought. He looked at my papers. He looked the bike over. I had a Taiwanese 150cc Kwan Yang, modified to look like a Harley chopper. Lots of chrome, high handlebars, extended forks, double pipes…”Nice bike!” he said in English, and let me go.

Submitted to Wasai Taiwan by: Ivan Marinov (Hsinchu)

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