An expat yearbook
By Enru LinTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The presidential election, shifts on LGBT rights and lawmakers' hard battle over U.S. beef are headline news in a busy year for Taiwan. But not all stories of the year are made in government halls. Here's a look back at the stories that will always remind us of 2012.
December 29, 2012, 12:07 am TWN
Vivian Robertson, Hong Kong: The Taipei Assassins winning the League of Legends. We even watched the game — (my husband) forced us to watch it. I'm very impressed with Taiwan for getting the championship. It's the best news of this year.
Shaun Bettinson, UK: October 10, 2012 when 2012 people got together in front of City Hall in Taichung to say “I Love Taiwan” and celebrate an awesome day.
Geir Yeh Fotland, Norway: The event the first part of the year was the reelection of the president. The event of the second part of the year was the release of Ang Lee´s movie “Life of Pi.”
Alice Seo, South Korea: Actually, I've never thought about it … But in Korean news, it's the president changing. We have the first woman president. We feel bad! We don't like her, because her father was like Hitler.
How are you ringing in the New Year? Perhaps you're stopping by the salt farm sunset watch in Tainan, the Taipei 101 observatory or the Presidential Office flag-raising. If you've got no plans as the clock ticks down, consider these options.
Bettinson: Wang Gao Liao (望高寮) … The view of every single firework display across the whole city of Taichung is breathtaking.
Wesley Holzer, U.S.: I plan to get as close as I can to the fireworks while staying as far as possible from the crowds. I'll be on the roof of my friend's office building in Xinyi District.
Curtis Smith, Canada: I'll be feeding dogs. There are eight (stray) dogs just north of Xinyi International Club (信義會館). New Year's Eve is really bad for the dogs because there are fireworks and so many people gathered around and it's hard to get the dogs to settle down, but I'll be there as usual with food.
Local voters named “Linsanity” as the word that best captures the Taiwan zeitgeist, while Taiwan's most-searched Google term of the year is “Justin Lee.” Here, long and short-term expats post their own suggestions for word of the year:
David Robertson, Hong Kong: “Disputed,” as in disputed islands. Seems to be the only thing I hear these days — you can't miss it. Everyone wants these two little rocks with nothing on it.
Holzer: I think I'd chose “有感” (seeing results) because the government (and public) have been very concerned about people seeing the outcome of recent policies.
Eric S., U.S.: “Depression.” I'm only saying that because I live here, I have a lot of Taiwanese friends and they don't seem happy or confident.
Seohee Park, South Korea: “Free.” I think that many people in Taiwan feel free and know how to enjoy their leisure time. Korean people are so tense and spend a lot of time at work.