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First-ever ball game a memory to last forever
I wanted to share with you a lovely story from the Brother Elephants game yesterday.
Taiwan, the great country that it is, suffers from a malaise: it mistakes prestige for success. It thinks itself small and unknown and pities itself thus.
Dear editor, Media accounts claim that the latest nongovernment cyber-Armageddon — a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on anti-spam service Spamhaus by unidentified attackers alleged by some to be acting on behalf of “pretty much anything goes” Web host reached such proportions that it may have actually slowed down the Internet in general.
Well, two years in Taiwan already. You say it like that and it almost makes you want to cry. Not because I haven't enjoyed my time here — it has been two of the best years of my life — but because it is a shockingly stark reminder that time moves too fast.
A week ago, I ventured into the depths of Ningxia Night Market (寧夏夜市), an abyss of neon lights and food stands teeming over the sides of an interminable street of people — locals and tourists alike. Steel trays of soy-braised offal and chicken feet were strewn out for display, oyster omelettes crackled, and somewhere in the distance, the pungent scent of stinky tofu wafted through the thousands of bodies lining the crowded streets.
Preserving Mandarin pronunciation's magic
The official language of Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese. Learning this language is tough. Not only is it a huge task to memorize the written characters. How to pronounce each character often poses great problems to foreigners.
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Let's just say — it wasn't love at first sight
I used to associate myself as an American, proud of being raised in California and not in Taiwan. Having lived in a dry and sunny climate for almost my entire life, it was a pain to come back to Taipei every summer. In my eyes, Taiwan was a suffocating and polluted country, and I dreaded the humidity and smog that clung to my skin.
Pleasures of Taiwan captured with the nose
“God, it smells like a barnyard here,” a disgruntled fellow foreign exchange student grumbles to me as we arrive at Shilin Night Market for the first time. It's late September 2011, early evening, and the exhaustive heat from the day we have spent in Taipei is starting to wear off.
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In the several years that I've lived in Taipei, I've learned that finding sumptuous treats at night markets and local eateries is an easy and affordable task. But when I get up in the morning and that rumble in my stomach tells me it's time for breakfast, I can't help but feel a vague sense of disappointment that the best I'm going to get is a rather poor excuse of a bacon and egg sandwich.
Taiwan is dubbed “Bao Dao” (Treasure Island). In my trip last month, I found out not only the geographical richness of this Treasure Island, but a vibrant culture created by various folk festivals and religious practices.
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