Monday, April 30, 2007

Do the math...

One popular stereotype is that Asians are good at math, and Westerners are not... it's stated almost if it's strictly a genetic thing... but it's not. It has a lot to do with this, math and science is stressed, no, forced upon students in Asia. They must study at math/science for many more years than Westerners, and do well at it if they want any hope at a strong, successful career. Contrast the two images... something really has to be done in the west...


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Rain, rain, go away...

Living in a tropical area has brought some interesting differences than living in New York. One difference lies in the weather patterns.

The two times I've planned on traveling, I'm been "shocked and awed" to find that the weather was bad... for a long time. Usually, if you decide not to go on a trip because of the weather, it means you just wait a day or two and go when the sun comes back out.

Not so in tropical Taiwan... when it rains, it pours... and pours... and pours...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Now that's... fresh?

While shopping around for something to eat the other day, I was suddenly faced with another cultural difference between the east and the west... namely, the conception of "fresh".

These bins of fish were placed into the aisle for any people to take and buy, although I have no idea how they would do it... there were no bags that I could see to put the fish into, and only the metal prongs to pick the fish up with... maybe they do it like the seals?

Anyway, I'm sure that these fish, sitting in stagnant water all day in the aisle of a shopping market, for everyone to touch, poke, squeeze and what-not, would be considered spoiled fish in the states. But in Taiwan, they don't view it the same... and it's called "fresh". It has to do with the concept of being so fresh that the fish is whole, and in cold water, and ready to be prepared for your stomach...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Oh My!

For certain, some of the most eye-catching signs I've ever seen in my life are here in Taiwan... you have to give them credit for being great marketers.

At first, I couldn't understand why in the world someone would ever have the name here for their store, but it all lies in the different meaning and usage they have for our words/language...

Hence, you get a clothing store called "Oh my God!"

It makes for an interesting walk through the market, I must confess.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Kinder of Nightmares...

Here's a bit of packaging that has haunted me for some time. One of the nice things about Taiwan is the wider expansion of products from Europe. They have lots of European treats and drinks that are either not in the US or are of better quality here. However, it also includes different marketing and packaging that I've never seen too... sometimes really cool and sometimes... well...

This is a bit of packaging that has scared me for some time... how does that not look like a demon-child on the package... or perhaps the man from Clockwork Orange as a kid?

Monday, April 16, 2007


One thing you can credit the Taiwanese press for is the freedom of the press they enjoy here... in fact, the images and stories you see in the news and newspapers are far more graphic than those in the US.

Here, we can see the severed hand of a zoo keeper trying to take care of an alligator... Taiwanese news had the images all over the place. Some people, I have heard, were actually quite angry about it all being displayed in color as it was... imagine that.

There is a nice note to it all... the hand was successfully re-attached.