Friday, October 15, 2004

sHaKy LuNcH

While I was having lunch (with no alcoholic drinks), I felt the whole building shaking again, leaving me with a feeling of drunkness - it was the 94th earthquake (magnitude 7 in the Richter's scale) registerd this year in Taiwan as following:

Hopefully it didn't cause any damage.
After shocks are still on at this present moment.

Thursday, October 14, 2004


Could you read and understand the title of this post?
If your answer is no, you can imagine how my daily life is here in a small city of southern Taiwan – a place where only Chinese and Taiwanese languages are commonly used and I can’t understand the language nor figure out what the signs say and consequently sometimes, I get into odd situations.

After a short holiday, when I returned back to my local gym , I noticed that they have done some renovations while I was away. The showers have new curtains and now they have bilingual signs in the shampoo and shower gel dispenser. A great improvement considering that there is no other English (or other language except Chinese) signs around.
Although the 2 referred products remain the same, I was astonished to realized that for the past year I’ve been washing my hair with the shower gel and showering with the shampoo. I always assumed with no doubt that between two products: one transparent green and one yellow opaque, the first one had to be the shower gel and the second had to be the shampoo never realizing why my hair wasn’t soft after the showers at the gym!
I have to laugh at these situations, after all it’s my fault that I still can’t master the Chinese language and have silly assumptions.

Living in a place where people don’t speak another language but their own, which you can’t master and where you can’t read 99% of the characters, makes you develop an instinct to get around and grab reality with some kind of 6th sense - except it doesn't work all the time!
And in a way, my localized analphabetism, protects me from any unwanted propaganda and marketing pressures. I never pay attention to the millions of signs that bombard me along the day, for me they are just art!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Formosa Hot Stuff

Photo: Sean Chao, Taipei Times
Models dress up yesterday as the ``hot-spring goddess`` Yang Kueifei -- an imperial concubine in the Tang dynasty -- to promote the 2004 Nantou Hot Spring Festival, which will run from Oct. 15 to Nov. 7. Yang, reputedly one of the four most beautiful women in China's history, was known for her passion for taking hot-spring baths.

Taiwan’s hot springs is on of its natural attractions not to miss! From the mountains to the sea side, you can find spectacular natural hot springs that are said to have healing powers for the body and the soul.

“Hot springs, the hot tears of the earth, are one of the most precious gifts that the earth has given to us. Ever since ancient times, people have recognized the rejuvenating and therapeutic properties of these natural resources. Taiwan is ranked among the world's top 15 hot spring sites harboring a great variety of springs including hot springs, cold springs, mud springs, and seabed hot springs. The island can proudly regard itself as one of the regions with the highest concentration and greatest variety of hot springs in the world.”
See more here: Taiwan Hot Springs

A billion dollars sentence!

Charles Duelfer's, the former deputy executive chairman of the UN weapons inspectors and current head of the CIA's Iraq Survey Group (ISG), delivered to the US Congress his much-anticipated report on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) capabilities.

After all, in a vain retroactive attempt to justify his hokum about weapons of mass destruction (WMD), he had 1,200 people working for 15 months -- stretching the scarce supply of Arab linguists -- to produce 918 pages at a cost of about a billion dollars just to find out that:

Saddam would have liked to have had weapons if he could have, but he couldn't, so he didn't.

by Maureen Dowd - NYTimes

Let's see if it sounds as brilliant, in Portuguese:
"Saddam teria gosto de ter tido armas de destruicao macica se pudesse, mas nao podia e por isso nao tinha"

esta brilhante conclusao custou 1 milhao de US dollares!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

força do caralho

I could not resist calling this post, a Portuguese slang expression, which can be softly translated into “amazing strength”...hehehe
Who would think about a martial art that trains your body and mind to this extent?
Como diria Fernando Pessa: E esta, hein?

photo: Gavin Phipps – Taipei Times
Tu Rui-lin prepares to lift 105kg with his penis, under the watchful eye of coach Li Rong-chou.

"In late October, 2000, Tu Chin-sheng and his genital-based form of qigong (氣功) known asyin diao gong made international headlines after three of the qigong master's students hauled a flatbed truck weighing 25 tonnes 1m across a Taipei car park using nothing but their penises."

"Diao gong is an important aspect of the qigong we study, but it is not the primary reason we study. Master Tu's qigong is both internal and external.
Externally it improves ones skin complexion and boosts energy levels. Internally it helps strengthen bones and muscles, reduces arterial blockages and cholesterol levels and eases allergies that effect orifices such as the nose and ears."

Shen Shyr-jong 62-year-old student of yin diao gong

To read more about this news or to know how you can enroll in such program, click here.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Window of Hope

I was recently in the USA and was quite happy with the Americans judgment of their own politicians. All over New York City and San Francisco is quite visible that many Americans see and think like many others in the rest of the world.
I hope that these many Americans will be sufficient to make the difference and contribute for a better world, this November 2004!

Window of Hope - San Francisco - Oct.04

10-10, Formosa's National Day

Yesterday was Taiwan’s national day and the president announced to the nation a message of hope for peace: the proposal to reopen talks with main land china.
The president’s new position has moderated his previous views and it has brought hope for a more stable future for the Taiwanese people.

photo by George Tsorng, Taipei Times
Thousands of people celebrate the Republic of China's 93rd National Day yesterday in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei.

photo by Sean Chao, Taipei Times
President Chen Shui-bian waves to the public in front of the Presidential Office after making a speech at the Double Ten National Day Rally yesterday.

"In a highly-anticipated speech yesterday, President Chen Shui-bian suggested both sides of the Strait could use a 1992 meeting in Hong Kong as the basis to return to the negotiation table for a new round of cross-strait talks.
Stating that the governments and people on both sides of the Strait hold different views on many issues, some of which is due to a lack of communication, Chen said he is willing to take the initiative."

photo by Sean Chao, Taipei Times
Armed forces members march in precise formations.
"While extending goodwill toward Beijing, Chen, however, also stressed the necessity for the nation to maintain a self-defense capacity, pointing to the increasing number of missiles China is aiming at Taiwan.
According to Chen, there are at the present more than 600 ballistic missiles targeting Taiwan with the number to grow by 50 to 75 missiles each year.
"The `shadows of terror' and `forces of darkness' not only directly threaten the peaceful status quo across the Taiwan Strait but also undermine regional stability and global security," Chen said."

photo by Chiang Ying-Ying, Taipei Times
The other ethnic side of Chinese Taiwan:
Students from Pingtung County's Neipu Agriculture Vocational School perform a Puyuma Aboriginal dance in sensible athletics shoes.

"Stating that it is indisputable that the Republic of China is Taiwan and Taiwan is the Republic of China, and that the sovereignty of the Republic of China is vested with the 23 million people of Taiwan, Chen yesterday also spoke of Taiwan's unfair treatment in the international arena and Taiwan's exclusion from the UN."

For my Portuguese friends, the newspaper “O Publico” published yesterday a very comprehensive article (kindly sent to me by Luis Mendes) illustrating the recent past and current political Formosa’s situation.
Check it out here.