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October, 23, 2016

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Commentary > China Post > Daniel J. Bauer
When I was a child, there were two holidays that I dreaded. I dreaded them so much that I wanted to rip them off the pages of calendars. If I could have thrown those holidays out the window and out of my life, believe me, I'd have done it. It was of course impossible.
It is old news now that Mayor Ko Wen-je touched a sore spot on the local scene last week by announcing a plan to substitute police surveillance with camera surveillance for a very specific parking zone in Taipei.
In the beginning, the news story requires a bit of patience just to keep the details straight. By the time you get to the end of it, however, you may find you've plumb run out of patience and are feeling not merely unhappy, but angry.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) recently announced the launching of our popular television sitcom "The Fierce Wife" as a type of good will ambassador for Taiwan in Latin American countries. The show has been entertaining local viewers since 2010, won a Golden Bell Award for Amanda Zhu as best supporting actress in 2011, and dazzled audiences as a movie adaptation in 2012.
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I had hoped to write this week on a topic guaranteed to warm the hearts of readers, and possibly win a plaudit or two for sharing a few sunny words on a recent news event. Surely I am not the only one who likes cheerful news.
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Some folks may picture Taipei as a fishbowl of sorts for so-called foreigners. It is not unusual for local friends to assume that quite a few of us from outside the country are all but automatic acquaintances or actual friends of foreigners they happen to know of. Don't we "lao wai" all know each another? Don't we all move in the same circles? Ha ha.
A local English newspaper ran this headline last Sunday for an article about cars, trucks, roads, injuries and deaths: "Failure to yield cause of accidents." That headline pushes us to consider the many ways native speakers of English (of the American variety) use the term "yield."
I've been contemplating the mix of East and West that we find increasingly prevalent in Taiwan life.
I once got involved in a "friendly argument" with a friend of my father about the role of history in our lives. The issue was whether younger people (I was a college student at the time) should have to keep listening to old stories about World War II. I was most reluctant to admit to the value of what had occurred yesterday.
Readers' responses to my columns are interesting to me, and are always a push for deeper reflection. I am grateful for the words several critics have recently posted under my name in the commentary section of The China Post. I want to share some of those words here today.
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