Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I'm not one to say that the good ol' US of A is always right, and the others are always wrong, but even I am getting sick of Iran and their little monarch's stories, lies and cheap shots against... well... against the entire west, really.

So I was happy to see them finally get caught in their lies for everyone to see. To make things better, it wasn't even the states who caught them, but NATO troops.

Of course they have an alibi (this is a country after all, and not a 3-year old child... although I realize it can be hard to tell sometimes), but I think that it's evident to everyone what exactly is going on now.
A bigger question... if they are supplying Afghans against NATO, shouldn't one wonder if they are supplying their fellow tribesmen in Iraq?


Of course the best part is that regardless of how this makes them look, no one in the Middle East/Iran will probably care enough to do anything... they only get upset if you draw the wrong cartoons in your own country's newspaper. :-S

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Let there be.... Idols!

It's that time of month again... walking down the sidewalk, you take a deep breath of air and inhale a dark gray cloud of smoke... is there a fire in one of the stores?

Hmm... nope... and then you see them. All along the sidewalk, little red cans with holes in the side, and a fire belching out a smoke to the gods.

Beside the red can is a table full of tempting treats (I almost broke down and stole a big mac from the McDonalds table, I must confess).

I'm not sure about all the details (perhaps someone else knows more than me), but I believe that this has to do with inviting the gods in to smell the food on the table... then, after they smell the wonderful food, they bless the store and the store will make money... something like that.

Anyway, every store seems to do it, even western stores like Haagen Daaz and L'OCCITANE; and I actually wonder if it doesn't have more to do with marketing (especially for McDonalds. Haagen Daaz, etc) than a true belief in the religion... especially since the store workers don't seem to be strong believers... but who am I to say? I could indeed be wrong.

I've always been too shy to ask the people burning the fake "god money" what is really going on and why this is tolerated by pedestrians on the sidewalks.

I guess I wouldn't mind the practice that much at all, actually, if it wasn't for the disgusting smoke that billows all around the sidewalk and even makes it's way into the subway sometimes.

Ah well, culture shocks aside, it is an interesting practice to watch.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Scooter Madness

This seems to be the week of ambiguously gay scooter spottings...

No sooner had I published the previous scooter post than I saw this scooter, even closer to my house, as I was going to buy Subway a sandwich. I couldn't figure out why "Man Boy, Closer to Nature" seemed strange to me until I googled it at home. :)
If everyone wasn't riding a scooter here, I'd start to think driving scooters was a sort of sub-culture in Taiwan.

As it is, I can only wonder what this means to Taiwanese (if anything), or what the marketing people thought it meant... or maybe they just saw it somewhere and put it on?