Thursday, 31 January 2008

Funny and alarming 好笑又令人擔憂

媽媽傳給我的網路上的笑話:



小女兒出生滿月後就由奶奶一手帶大,

直到3歲上幼稚園時, 才將她帶回家裡與我們同住,
如同一般的祖父母疼愛孫子一樣 ,爺爺奶奶對她呵護至極 ,尤其被懲罰時, 奶奶更是小
女兒的大靠山

現在女兒已經上小學了, 跟爺爺奶奶關係依然親密,
有天我檢查女兒的回家作業 , 發現她的字跡潦草 ,於是我把不好看的字體全部擦掉,
要她重新補上,
她在一旁 ,一邊看著我手上不停擦拭的橡皮擦, 一邊掉眼淚 ,哭著說要打電話跟奶奶告狀 ,
當時我很生氣 ,明明她自己不專心寫作業, 現在不認錯 ,而且還想找靠山!

我拿起話筒告訴女兒要找奶奶自己打電話, 她真的撥起電話號碼,
可是 ,事情有點出乎意外. 只聽到她一邊啜泣一邊喊: 「奶奶 ,我是小萱 (哭聲)……。」
接著很快就把電話掛了, 並沒有一把眼淚一把鼻涕的訴苦.
後來 ,只聽到她哭著大喊:

















「奶奶說我是詐騙集團啦! 就把電話給掛了」

Great USB flashdisk idea


dialog05 design.

If someone handed me their CV on this, I would probably not forget them.

(via swissmiss)

Icelandic beauty


Image of a horse from Iceland, by ellabegga.

Beautiful!

(via Flickr)

Cellphone sommeliers

A story from AFP:

Japan to get cellphone 'sommeliers': official
Sun Jan 20, 11:46 PM ET
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan is to start licensing cellphone "sommeliers" to guide consumers through complicated functions as mobile telephones become ever more advanced, an official said Monday.

The communications ministry said it was planning to support a private-sector plan to launch an exam to license specialists who sell cellphones.

(you can read the rest of the story here)
---------------

In other words, cellphone geeks will achieve a higher status if this passes. Leave it to the detail-oriented and Japanese spirit of ever trying to improve everything big and small.

A comfortable room


Modern and chic rooms are always cool, but rooms with warm tones, wood and upholstery make me feel more comfortable. You can tell a girl designed this room.

(via Apartment Therapy)

Bathing beauties



Cute, when in a full set.


(via A Cup of Jo)

When Nike meets Paris 當Nike遇見巴黎


Advert for a new Nike store in Paris. O la la!

(via NOTCOT.ORG)

DIY fun


Something I'd like to try. Looks easy to do and very cute too!

(via Style Files)

Food pornography


What Anthony Bourdain would call "food pornography."

My hands are itching to make something.

Check out Tastespotting. One of my daily must-visits.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Things that make me happy 讓我開心的東西

Got them on the way home from the hospital and brunch. Can you believe, these three guys (w/o vases) were only TWD 1.100 (USD 34)? Mom will tell you that's still expensive, but much less expensive than what you'd have to pay outside of Taiwan, I imagine. A small price to pay to light up a space and also my heart. Flowers really give life to a room and also give hope and happiness to the people that come into the room they're in.

醫院和brunch之後,在回家的路上買了蘭花,不包括花器,三株一千一。
說貴不貴,但一千多塊也不少錢,可是它們帶來的價值比大家想像的還要多,
它們可以讓一個空間有生命的感覺,可以讓人快樂,讓心情好起來

I have no idea what these orchids are called, so if you know, please leave a message here or email me!

Tree-like branching purple orchid.





Wasabi-green guy that is coming to work with me tomorrow.





Straight and pointy purple orchid.





Then Mom came by in the evening with fruit, soup and a turnip still in the soil in a pot, painted a glossy red. In these parts, turnips represent success, and people like to use them in flower arrangement sometimes. Thanks, Mom!

傍晚,媽媽帶來湯,水果和一顆"好彩頭"。
Thanks, Mom!



What to do over Lunar New Year? Sketch flowers? What an idea!
過年做什麼呢?
或許可以來素描一些花。
恩,不錯的主意。

Sick day 病假


I got what I wished for and woke up with a right eyelid puffed up like an angry blowfish. Well, it wasn't that bad, but it would only open halfway. I called the chief editor for sick leave, and while she didn't sound happy, I didn't really care. Actually, I felt mischievously GOOD and excited that I gained an extra day to myself.

But since my eye was no joke and I needed proof of sickness, I went to the hospital to get it taken look at. After a diagnosis of bacterial infection (possibly from the eyelid tape or fake eyelashes), eye medicine, a certificate of diagnosis for the office and TWD 720 out of my wallet, I was free free free. I've never felt so good about being physically unwell. Hahahaha!



It was 10h30 by the time I left the hospital, so I decided to go for brunch. While waiting for the kitchen to open and my food to arrive, I started reading a book Elaine recommended, called "子供のセンスは夕焼けが作る.” The Chinese version is called "美感是最好的家教." Elaine said it's a great book on developing a child's sense of beauty and highly recommended it. I just realized, I've only met her once, and she already wants to marry me off and is having me read a book on child rearing. Well. Hm. Whatever. I myself am often a child, so I guess the book is good for me too. I'm still on the first chapter, but I think a lot of what she talks about and suggests is good for everyone, not just for kids.











For the first time in a while, I spent time and enjoyed my food. It was a falafel pita at Citizen Cain - they have a few good dishes, but I went for their falafel (also available at their pita and falafel joint Sababa). They told me the scrambled eggs there is quite good, so I ordered that and ended up not being able to finish everything but still craving for green food, like leafy vegetables. I realized that sometimes I choose food by the color and not entirely by the ingredients or how they're prepared.



This is the yummy falafel pita (a little dry this time though). Inside the pita, there are tomato slices, pickles, tahini, hummus and falafel balls made of chickpeas, parsley, onion, garlic. Falafel is one of my favorite meatball alternatives and one of those things I'm willing to eat alone.





I usually like mint tea with my falafel because it's fried, and the strong onion and garlic flavors need a little bit of neutralizing after the plate's been cleared. But today, I just had warm water - another favorite of mine. Warm water is comforting, but when I ask for it in Japan and America, the waiters always give me the look like I'm asking for warm beer.

Productive day 有效率的一天

Yesterday, I had a really productive day, waking up at 3 to anchor the 06h00 Mandarin, 07h00 Taiwanese, 09h00 Mandarin, 10h00 China Airlines, 12h00 cell phone, 12h30 Far Eastern Airlines and 14h00 Mandarin news shows. That's a new personal record. It was Ruiying and I all morning, and while he kept asking if the station had lost all of its anchors or what, I was happy to be doing something else other than reporting rubbish news. Anchoring is a little different because there's usually a variety of news to present, from the good, the bad to the ugly, so it's not so terrible all the time. The sore throat was worth it. But to give credit to him, if it weren't for him, I don't think I would have made it through the Taiwanese segment, yesterday or any other previous days.

昨天真是一個有效率的一天。
三點起床,播了六點國語,七點台語,九點國語,
十點華航,十二點手機,十二點半遠航,兩點國語,創下個人新紀錄。
整個早上只有睿穎和我兩個撐,雖然他一直問說公司是不是沒主播了,
我還滿開心的,因為至少可以不用跑阿哩不搭的新聞。
播報除了工作內容比較不一樣,接觸到的新聞比較多元,
the good, the bad, the ugly 都有,所以不完全是痛苦,
播到喉嚨痛,但還是覺得值得的。
可是還是要謝謝睿穎,因為他不在的話,我一個人撐不過一整節台語新聞,
播到一半可能會變成國台英日語新聞,然後又要被觀眾罵了。

After getting off at 15h00, I had promised to watch a movie with the revolutionary, so we met at Vieshow to catch "American Gangster." It was alright, and since I don't often watch mafia movies, it was a nice change. However, the strongest impression that the movie left me was how I thought Denzel Washington does not make a good villain. His expressions are all of a nice guy. Him and Cuba Gooding Jr both. They are both good dramatic actors, but I've yet to see spectacular portrayal of a bad guy. Thanks Jason for the movie ticket, cookie and soy milk!

之前答應要陪革命者朋友去看電影,所以三點下班後到了威秀碰面,
看"American Gangster."。
覺得還不錯,但是留下最大的印象是Denzel Washington演壞人,說服力不強
雖然很會演劇情戲,但是他臉上就是寫著"我是一個好人",他和Cuba Gooding Jr都一樣。
謝謝Jason的電影票,餅乾和豆漿!



The last time I was at Vieshow, it was with Ann, watching "The Golden Compass," which I really enjoyed. Both times, I sat towards the right wall, close to the screen. But during the movie with Ann, our dog's cancer news came over the phone. So when I was watching American Gangster, I kept thinking that the phone was going to ring and more bad news would come. It felt like going back to the place where I had that motorcycle accident, totaled Gina's bike and almost died. Good thing not even a text message came in.

上次到威秀是跟李安(不是那個李安)去看 "The Golden Compass,"也是做靠右牆,滿前面的
但是就是那次,家人打電話來說小狗得了癌症,所以這次看電影看得好緊張,
很怕又來一通恐怖的電話。
這感覺很像那時出了機車車禍,把Gina的愛車給毀了,自己也差點死掉,
然後事後再回到同一個地點的那種恐懼。
還好很異常的,連個簡訊都沒有。

After the movie, I had 20 minutes before a dinner with arts & culture organization publicists and reporters, so swung by No Name to have a peek. There was nothing new, but plenty on sale! I ended up with a pair of brown/white pony hide high heeled flats with brown trim at 75% off. Score! Et voila.

電影看完,還有一點時間,所以到No Name去偷看有什麼好東西。
結果新款還沒到,但是舊款大打折扣!
買了一雙25折的咖啡和白pony高根平底鞋,真是賺到了。



Dinner was another business dinner and a reminder that I still had work the next day. Or I thought I did.

晚上的餐會大概就是大家能想像的那樣,
同時也把我從快樂的電影院百貨公司拉回現實,提醒我了明天還要上班。

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Ouch 好痛

My right eye lid is painfully swollen from the tape and/or fake eyelash that they glued on me today. The make-up lady uses tape and fake eyelashes on nearly all of us (which I really don't like), but this is the first time I've had such a reaction.

I'm secretly half hoping that it will get worse by the time I wake up tomorrow so I can go to the hospital rather than the office.

我的右眼皮腫起來了
每週六播新聞的時候,梳妝師都會幫我貼眼皮貼和假睫毛
雖然不喜歡,但是大部分的人都是這樣貼
沒想到這次眼皮有這樣的反應

其實我偷偷的希望,明天可以去看醫生,而不用去公司

Friday, 25 January 2008

Heaven's little helpers 天上來的小助教

From an email I sent earlier this week:

這星期寄出的一封email:

Over dinner at Nonzero last night, my friend William told me what someone told him dogs really are - they are god's little helpers, sent down to earth, to us.

昨天在非零吃飯時,朋友William跟我們說其實狗是上帝派來人間的小助教

Here is my interpretation.

我是這麼解讀的

They teach us about life through theirs - the happiness of birth, the fun of watching a life grow and develop, the importance and joy of companionship, the responsibility we have in taking care of them when they grow old and the ability of letting them go when the heavens needs them back.

狗朋友們透過它們的一生教導我們如何面對生老病死
像是新生命的喜悅,看東西成長的趣味,一個伴的重要性和帶來的快樂,照顧病人的責任感,還有當神仙們要它們回去時,放手的面對

If we are fortunate, we will have dogs since we are children. And if we continue to be fortunate, we will have dogs with us throughout our life until the end; and during this time, we will have had four or five generations of dogs. With each life that we walk with each dog, we grow a little bit. And after four or five walks of life we have with our dogs, we will have had enough practice in life that we know what to treasure and know how to let go.

我們如果幸運的話,從小就開始養狗
如果能夠繼續有這福氣的話,我們可以繼續養狗,養到我們自己生命的最後
所以一生,或許會有四或五代的狗
每經歷過一次生老病死,我們自己也成長一些
同樣的過程,四或五回之後,我們自己對人生的練習也足夠了,也學會了如何珍惜和放手

Treasuring and letting go - quite possibly the two most important lessons in life.

珍惜和放手,這或許就是人生最重要的兩堂課

------------------------

Twenty-fours after hearing this story, I learned that one of our dogs' cancer is back, less than one month after an operation to remove cancerous tissue. It's devastating news, but at least I don't feel as bad. I think this story serves two purposes - to comfort, and to remind us of the important things in life.

才聽完這故事24小時,來了一封email跟我說我們一隻不到一個月前才開過刀的狗,癌細胞又復發了
難過極了,但才聽了這故事,還是有些幫助
我覺得這故事有兩個功能 - 安慰,還有提醒我們人生什麼最重要

Tired 累

Mentally and physically fatigued.

身心都累了

A week has gone by since coming off the half-month day/night shift, and I still can't seem to get my energy back. I've trying to get up early to jog, but to no avail. Busy evenings have kept me from going to yoga, too. I'm constantly tired and spacing out at work and falling asleep in strange places, like the video editing room as Roy is cutting away. I sleep enough at night, yet I'm still so tired and cold. My eyes are uncomfortably dry and sore too.

距離連續上完半個月的班已經有一個星期了,但是精神和體力都還沒恢復
每天都準備早起去跑步,但就是爬不起來
下班後也有好多事,所以瑜珈也沒得去
最近都在一些奇奇怪怪的地方睡著,那天政諺在剪接室剪帶,我就在旁邊椅子上,頭靠在門框,睡到他剪完叫我起床
我晚上都有睡足夠時間,但還是好累,好冷,連眼睛也好乾好酸

In addition to losing energy, I'm also losing patience. Usually, when I'm assigned something that I think is a waste of resources and the audience's time, I just do it. Yesterday, I was assigned to do a story on Nobel Laureate of Chemistry Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) not coming back to Taiwan until Saturday. The media was anticipating his return because during his trip to Japan, he expressed for the first time that he supports presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) in an interview with Sankei News (産経ニュース), and the media wanted him to elaborate. For background, he is a man of significance because he is a scholar that openly expresses his political opinions and often makes strong statements against the government. Well, the media guessed he was returning with an entourage on Thursday, but word came out Thursday afternoon that he was to come back Saturday. I asked his secretary why, and she said that's how it was scheduled from the beginning. Despite nothing new having happened, nothing new having been said, nothing new having been analyzed, I was told to write a story on him not returning because he was not scheduled to return on that day. I think it would be sensible to write a two-sentence news brief for the anchor, but they wanted me to write an entire story. My fuse had gotten dangerously short, so I quickly finished and left the news gathering center and headed for refuge at the English news desk downstairs. There, the weather's always nice, and integrity and common sense are usually intact. I sat there until it was time to leave.

除了沒體力,耐心也沒了
通常被派(我覺得)阿哩不搭,浪費資源也浪費觀眾的時間的任務,半句話不說就做
但是昨天來個"李遠哲今天不回國"任務
媒體以為他週四回來,但秘書說本來就是週六要回來
所以要跟全國包括海外用衛星收我們新聞的觀眾交代
我認為這訊息可以寫個乾稿給主播帶過就好了,因為沒有任何新發展或新觀點
但是就是要我做一整條出來
交出來之後,火線已經要看不見了,所以躲到天氣永遠都很好,而且common sense和integrity還沒被丟掉的英語新文,等下班

Today, I didn't wake up until Jenny called at 10h30. Still tired and immobile. The Lunar New Year holidays is 12 days away, but I wonder if I can last that long. Hopefully there won't be any "news" on Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝) to chase after until then. But that's wishful thinking. The only thing I can say to myself these days is, "look at this as practice" and take a lot of deep breaths and do things to take my mind off work and the negative energy around it.

今天早上,我睡到Jenny十點半打電話來才醒過來
還是沒精神,沒行動力
距離春節還有12天,但是不曉得能不能撐到那時候
希望不會有杜正勝的"新聞"要追,不過這應該是wishful thinking
現在只能跟自己說"當作練習就好",深呼吸,多做一些然我不會想到"新聞"工作的事,還有工作周遭的negative energy

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Reason for unification 統一的理由

Quoted from Laowiseass:

A friend from China just e-mailed me this pitch for why her country should unite with Taiwan:
"As a Chinese, I hope we can make Taiwan island come back as soon as possible, and I'm sure, because in my opinion, China's map looks like a chicken, you know? Hainan island and Taiwan island looks like two legs of this chicken, so if a chicken lost one of its legs, how can it alive anymore?"

TED Talk: Tales of passion



From TED.com:
Isabel Allende: Tales of passion
In one of the most beloved talks of TED2007, novelist Isabel Allende tells the stories of powerful women, some larger-than-life (listen for a beauty tip from Sophia Loren), and some simply living with grace and ingenuity in a world that, in too many ways, still treats women unjustly.v

TED Talk: Underwater astonishments



For Daniel and John

Dyson vacuum cleaner 吸塵器


Industrial strength (-looking) and industrial designed. Something Michael and Daniel (my brothers) may drool over. Seems like it would go with Daniel's Transformer truck.

吸力(看起來)強,設計感強
應該是Michael and Daniel(弟弟們)會喜歡的東西
跟Daniel的變形金剛卡車還滿配的

Dyson

(via NOTCOT)

Joanna Wang 王若琳


Sony BMG markets Joanna Wang (王若琳) as Taiwan's answer to Japan's Ono Lisa and America's Norah Jones. Probably with a warm cup of coffee or tea, her voice can be chicken soup for the soul, for it just reaches inside, penetrating the heart instantly. There's an honest sound to the musical notes that come out of her - no bling, no NutraSweet; just the voice of a very old soul from the body of a 19 year-old girl. She really is quite something. She already sounded like this when she was 16. Listen for yourself. Watch for yourself.

Sony BMG將她行銷成台灣的小野麗莎,Norah Jones
邊聽,邊喝杯熱的,她的歌聲就很可能變成心靈的雞湯,直達心裡的最深處
歌聲裡沒有任何包袱,不勉強,不甜膩,無添加,真的很真實
這樣的聲音,聽起來像個老靈魂,但她卻只有19歲
她真的非常特別,16歲的時候就這個樣子了
自己聽聽看看,就知道了

She is Taiwanese, but seems to have been raised in the US, so the pronunciation in the English songs, which make up most of the album, is perfect. From what I read, her father Bing Wang (王治平) is a renowned music producer in Taiwan, so she grew up with all kinds of music around her and an impressive extended family of top musicians, including pop stars like David Tao (陶喆).

她是台灣人,不過看來是在美國長大,所以歌裡的英文發音都完全標準
看網路寫,她的爸爸是台灣知名音樂製作人王治平,所以她的成長環境充滿了各式各樣的音樂,身邊周遭也都是名人音樂家,包括流行音樂明星陶喆

With her singing and composing abilities, background and English and Mandarin skills, I hope she will be a cross-cultural, international success not just in Asia, but also in the US and Europe as well.

能如此寫作和唱歌,加上她的背景和中英語能力,希望她能夠橫跨國際和文化,紅遍不只亞洲華人區,還有歐美國家

I'm going to see if FTV will let me do a story or two on her, although I've been warned that my success rate will be low, unless the subject is signed to FTV or is a musical activists associated with the DPP. But so long as FTV is a DPP-affiliated, grassroots TV station, I don't think they'll be very interested.

我想來看看民視願不願意讓我做幾條新聞來幫她
不過已經有人跟我打了預防針,提醒我民視除了自己的藝人或跟民進黨有關的民主音樂家,基本上是很難的
跟一個偏綠的草根電視台講走出台灣,放眼國際的事情,好像有點困難

(album cover via KKBOX)

Positive thinking 正面思考

This is a wonderful story. It was passed to me by a friend, and I hope you will pass it on to your friends as well.


Author: unknown

Jerry is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!” He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant.

The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?” Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.

I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested. “Yes, it is,” Jerry said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live life.”

I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gun point by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?” I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live.”

“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked. Jerry continued, ”...the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read ‘he’s a dead man.’

I knew I needed to take action.” ” What did you do?” I asked. “Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Bullets!’ Over their laughter, I told them, ‘I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.’”

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

Positive thinking the the first step towards a happy life.

Attitude is everything

If everyone applies just these, the whole world will live in happiness.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Tired but bored 很累但也很無聊



I'm mentally and physically exhausted, but at the same time, I'm so bored. My soul feels so unfulfilled. Just one more night at work and one more day at work and then I'm free!...to do laundry. I want to read, I want to sketch, I want to drink tea! And I want to go to yoga and dancing classes! I want my life back!!


體力和精神都消耗掉了,但還覺得很無聊
我的心靈一點都沒有滿足感
不過就再一天的夜班,一天的主播班,就可以自由...去洗衣服了
我要看書,我要畫畫,我要喝茶!
我要上瑜珈課,我要上國標課!
我要我的生活!


Blood-shot eyes


Frustrated






Going insane


I think I look better when the lines are blurry. Ha!

Baby carrier


For my pregnant friends


Saw this on Swissmiss:
The Cybex I.GO let's you carry your baby in a horizontal postion during the first four months, which is what most european pediatricians recommend.


(via Swissmiss)

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Vegan yum yum 素食好料

Roasted eggplant and tomato panino.



Oh my goodness...

(via Tastespotting and VeganYumYum)

Fortune cookies not Chinese!


What a surprise!

From the NY Times:
...Fortune cookies, Yasuko Nakamachi says, are almost certainly originally from Japan.

(via Tastespotting and NY Times)

What kind of Taiwanese are you? 你是哪種台灣人?

Politicians have taken to task defining what being "Taiwanese" is. There are two major parties on this island - Kuomingtang (pro-unification) and Democratic Progressive Party (pro-independence). Each has their own definition of the Taiwanese. So as far as politicians are concerned, there seem to be two types of Taiwanese - pro-unification Taiwanese and pro-independence Taiwanese.

不同黨派的政治人物對於台灣人似乎都有自己的定義
一個是泛藍(統一派)台灣人,另一個是泛綠(獨立派)台灣人

However, if you ask a pro-unification Taiwanese would they like to hold a PRC passport and would they like the communists to rule Taiwan, they would say "hell no." And if you ask a pro-independence Taiwanese if they'd like to stand up to China and say, "we are a separate country from you," they would not agree, for fear of being fired upon.

不過你如果問一個泛藍台灣人,願不願意拿中華人民共和國的護照,讓共產黨來台灣執政,他們打死也不肯
然後你如果問泛綠台灣人,願不願意站出來跟中國說台灣是個獨立的國家,他們也怕飛彈馬上就飛過來

According to my senior reporter colleague, she says 70% of Taiwanese are middle of the road on the matter. They would rather keep going on as is and not worry about the issue. They don't want to go to either extreme. They don't want to bear any costs. They don't want to cause any antagonism. Apparently, non-confrontational is the common trait here.

一個資深記者同事跟我說,70%台灣人其實是在灰色地帶的
他們寧願就這樣下去,爭一隻眼閉一隻眼
他們不想負擔任何代價,不想到任何極端,不想要造成任何對立
看來台灣人很不喜歡對抗的情形

What is declaring independence anyway? Taiwan operates itself as a separate nation, with its own economy and its own government. Yes, Taiwan loses out on being a part of the WHO and UN, but the difference that is left is very little. It's like a separate couple. The only thing that stands in the way of saying they are not together is a divorce paper. To some, it makes no difference. And to others, it makes all the difference in the world.

宣佈獨立又怎麼樣呢?
台灣基本上是個獨立的實體
無法參加WHO和UN是個事實,但是剩下的差別似乎也不多
如同一個分居的夫妻,唯一和離婚不同的地方就是差那一張離婚證明
對某些人來說,沒什麼差別
但是對另一些人來說,那張紙就是一切

Who am I? 我是誰?

My passport says I'm a citizen of the Republic of China. But the people on this island where I was born and where my passport was issued call themselves "Taiwanese." At least these days, they do.

我的護照寫說我是中華民國的國民
不過在這座島,我的出生地,我的護照的發行地,這裡的人叫他們自己"台灣人"

When I was in primary school in the US and when people asked, "what are you and where are you from," I replied matter of factly, "I'm Chinese, I'm from Taiwan." My parents called themselves "中國人 Chinese." Then after high school, the term (or should I say, "identity") "Taiwanese" became popular and my parents started calling themselves "台灣人 Taiwanese." To them, it was also a way to dissociate themselves from the Chinese businessmen that they were in contact with and had a very difficult time dealing with. So taking after my parents, without any thought, I started calling myself "Taiwanese," and then I added myself "but ethnically Chinese." Although my ancestors have been in Taiwan for many generations, they are not indigenous Taiwanese. They came from Fujian I believe.

在美國讀小學的時候,當人家問我"妳哪裡來的,妳是什麼人?"
我會很理所當然的回答"我是中國人,我來自台灣"
當時,我父母都說他們是"中國人 Chinese"
後來高中的時候"台灣人"這個用詞越來越普遍,我爸媽也開始說他們是"台灣人 Taiwanese"
對他們而言,這也是他們和一些合作得很不愉快的中國商人做分割的方法
所以跟著爸媽,沒經過多少的思考,我自己也開始說我是"台灣人"
後來自己又加了"但是我是ethnically Chinese"(也就是"華人"的意思)
我的祖先好像是福建來的,我不是原住民

So I've been calling myself "Taiwanese" all this time, and my friends and acquaintances accepted it without question, much like how I did. People would rather buy Made in Taiwan products rather than Made in China products. When people come to Taiwan for travel, they buy New Taiwan Dollars to spend, rather than Renminbi. And when businessmen have a choice, they'd much rather deal with Taiwanese businessmen than Chinese businessmen. So to me, it was clear that Taiwan and China were quite separate entities.

我就很理所當然的跟人朋友和外面的人說我是台灣人
他們也很理所當然的接受我是台灣人
大家通常寧願買台灣製造的商品,比起中國製造的商品
旅客來台灣玩,得換新台幣,不是人民幣
當商人有選擇的時候,他們比較喜歡跟台灣人做生意,比起中國人
所以對我來說,台灣和中國是完全不同的實體

So I thought until I came back to Asia after univeristy. After 6 months of studying Chinese, teaching English and interning here and there in Taiwan, I left for Japan to go to graduate school. On the plane to Japan the first time, I filled out a landing form, like you have to do every time. In the "country of origin" box, I wrote "Taiwan." But when I got to immigration, the official crossed it out and wrote "China." I didn't ask. I thought the officer didn't know better or something. But that continued and I learned that in 1979, Japan and Taiwan severed formal diplomatic relations and established formal ties with China.

直到大學畢業,回來亞洲為止,就這麼想著
六個月在台灣讀中文,教英文,實習之後,我就到日本讀研究所
第一次去日本,在飛機上填表格,"戶籍地"的那一欄,我寫"台灣"
但是到了海關,我的"台灣"被畫掉,改"中國"
我當時想說"這個日本人不曉得台灣這國家吧"然後就不管他了
不過每次進入到日本,都是同樣的狀況
原來在1979年,日本和台灣斷交,和中國當好朋友去了

Then earlier this week, Malawi announced that it was breaking off ties with Taiwan. One would tend not to take notice of such a small fact, but it was a big deal here in Taiwan. With Malawi off the list, there is only 23 left. These 23 nations are made up of mostly small, third-world nations in South America and Africa and in the middle of the ocean. Taiwan's been playing dollar diplomacy to keep these guys "allies," but as soon as China matches the amount of dollars Taiwan puts in, they'll be likely to change their mind.

回到現在,這星期台灣和馬拉威斷交了
一般外國人可能不會想太多,但是在台灣可是像天要垮下來的事情
馬拉威沒有了,現在只剩下23個邦國
23邦國大部分都是中南美和非洲的小小國家
這些國家,台灣都是用金援在維持關係
不過當中國撒下同樣金額,台灣就又沒戲唱了

These days, I am officially Taiwanese only to São Tomé e Príncipe, Swaziland and a few other countries that I've hardly heard of and can whose names I can hardly pronounce. I know Swaziland is in Africa, but São Tomé e Príncipe?

所以現在,只對像是聖多美普林西比民主共和國和史瓦濟蘭等我自己幾乎沒有聽過,名子更唸不出來的國家來說,我才是個台灣人
其實我知道史瓦濟蘭在非洲,但是聖多美普林西比到底在哪呀

My biggest gain (more like loss!) this week is consciousness of my national identity; an identity that sits in limbo in the world of politics.

這星期我最大的收穫是台灣人身分的意識
或許說,這也是我最大的損失,原來在國際上,我沒有身分

Who am I? Where am I from? Maybe my coworkers are right for once - I'm from outer space.

我是誰,我是哪裡來的
或許我的同事終於說對了,我是外星人

Good thing for Taiwan's robust economy, otherwise it would probably be absorbed by China in the blink of an eye.

還有台灣有自己壯碩的經濟,要不然眼睛一扎就被中國給吸收了

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Coincidence 巧合



The other day, I found in my wallet the business card Binfu gave me the day we met. I can't believe I've been carrying it around all this time. Well, maybe I can. Then I took it out and brought it to the office to stick into my note pad, hoping that his card and any reminder of him would be turned away as I fill up new pages and turn them over.

Then as I got off work around 00h30, I saw one of his cars parked in front of the station. It was a silver SL. I'm pretty sure it was his car, because the last 4 digits were "3138." After dinner one time last year, I asked him what "3138" meant. He said he bought the car from his best friend, who picked those numbers. "31" was for his friend's birthday, and "38" was for his 38th car. That's trivia that one doesn't really forget.

He wasn't in the car, and I didn't see him anywhere else. He may have been talking to people from our sales department, as he has business with them. I guess our sales guys work hard, hosting clients at the station until past midnight.

As it's not like him to come see me, what an interesting coincidence it was.

前幾天,我在皮夾裡找到認識炳甫那天他給我的名片
今天,我把名片帶到公司,打算貼到筆記本裡面
想說每翻一頁,貼著名片的那一頁就越來越後面,那回憶也離我越來越遠

但是凌晨12點半下班時,走出大樓卻看到他的車子
人沒在車子裡,所以應該是來找我們業務部的人吧
不過這些業務員還真辛苦,到了半夜還在公司和接待客戶

他應該不是來找我的,所以可真是個有趣的巧合

Release 解脫

The little boy waiting for a heart transplant ran out of time. His arms and legs had mostly turned purple due to poor circulation and some of his internal organs started bleeding yesterday. His parents decided to let him go in peace and not to resuscitate him. He is now in peace and free from suffering.

等待換心的小男孩,等不到了
他的手腳因為循環不好,都變紫色,昨天內臟也開始出血
因此他的爸爸媽媽決定讓他安詳的走
今天,他解脫了

Monday, 14 January 2008

Tea, please 請給我茶,謝謝



連續工作第九天,進入日夜半顛倒的小夜班第二天,頭腦不清楚,腸胃不舒服
但是今天又有另一個器官想加入罷工行列

在公司,我用Starbucks的塑膠保溫杯
雖然是有點設計,但是塑膠杯用久了之後,還是會覺得,生活怎麼變得這麼沒質感
加上工作在一個永遠都堆滿了傳真,報紙,筆記,帶子等等,看起來像個難民營的辦公室,我感覺我的眼睛好想吐

這個時候,我突然間想要喝茶
我想要喝一杯用著漂亮的杯子裝的茶

當大家期待著跟朋友見面,出去玩,我卻想要一個人躲起來喝茶
再這樣繼續下去,我看我完蛋了

It's my ninth straight day of working, and my second night on the night shift. My mind is nowhere to be found, and my stomach lining is getting thinner and thinner and may soon disappear all together, along with my mind. But my stomach's not the only thing that's feeling queezy these days, it's my eyes too.

I use a plastic insulating mug from Starbucks at work, and even though it's got a little bit of design in it, but when it's plastic morning, noon and night every single day and night, it gets a little depressing. Add to that an office that looks like a refugee camp cluttered with faxes, newspapers and memos, if my eyes could, they would be vomiting.

Well, maybe it's not that bad, but it's really gotten me the craving for a cup of tea. A nice cup of tea in a nice tea cup.

Hm. Just when everyone's looking forward to spending time with friends and going out, I'm craving to be by myself with a cup of tea. This can't be good. If this continues, I think I'm going to be in trouble.

(image via Lomonosov)

Here we go again 又來了

After almost an entire month of not hearing from him, here he is again, with another promise to "stop harassing" me.

幾乎一個月沒他的消息,今天又傳來一封"不再騷擾妳"的簡訊

Sent to my mobile on 13 January 2008 at 14h35:
翁主播 年度大禮二條新聞,現在快準備,等著上頭條。台塑王永慶九十餘歲對台灣的熱愛絕不亞於其他人,我們應不吝於生前的讚美,而要身後歌功頌德。他的家人有準備,萬一時公司等等都有應變的程序。所以妳快先準備,以備不時之需。還有中信銀辜仲諒帥哥,銀行會不會出現大奔 的狀況,妳準確好,只等著上線。我唐姓表妹已知會我,不要騷擾您,好嗎?我想這應是最後的騷擾吧

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Define "exclusive" "獨家"的定義


The first part of the lead-in (anchor's script) to XTV's (name purposely obscured) story yesterday on the boy waiting for a heart transplant:
3歲病童荀荀亟待換心,消息經過(本台)獨家披露,現在有越來越多的民眾加入,透過轉寄電子郵件或者在部落格公告...

Roughly translated:
After (our) exclusive story on Xunxun's story of needing a heart transplant, more and more people have joined in the efforts of finding a donor by forwarding the email of his father pleading for help...

I wonder how some reporters and editors at XTV define "exclusive."
我很好奇,XTV的記者和編輯"獨家"怎麼定義

Last Tuesday afternoon, when I was assigned this story, I got in touch with the father and made an appointment to make an interview for 15h00. He asked if it was OK to do it with BTV, I said sure. Well, if it is with BTV, it sure isn't an exclusive, which was a little disappointing for me, but what can you expect when the source was from an email being passed around on the Internet? When I arrived at the hospital, BTV, CTV, DTV, ETV and XTV were all there as well, waiting for the father to come out.

上週二,事情還沒曝光時,長官把荀荀這任務派給我,所以我和他爸爸連絡
我們約好三點訪問,然後他問我說跟BTV一起沒關係吧
我說沒問題,雖然可惜不是獨家了,但是當訊息來源是從網路來的,大家知道也不奇怪
但是沒想到,到了台大,BTV,CTV,DTV,ETV和XTV也都到了
大家都在等爸爸出來

As we got out of the car, XTV got back into their car and left. We thought they got reassigned, until we asked the father at the end of the interview if it was alright to go to their home to get images of the boy's toys, pictures, etc. Then he said, "XTV is was just there with my wife. They drove her back home with them. Now they're bringing her back here to meet me, then we're going to a prayer meeting together." At that point, all we could do was wait for her to come back to the hospital and interview her. No home, no footage of items related to the little boy.

我們下車的時候,看到XTV上車離開現場
想說他們可能換題目了,不要這條了
沒想到,當我們問爸爸可不可以到他們家拍荀荀的玩具照片等,爸爸說,XTV已經帶太太回去拍了,現在在回來醫院的路上,待會要一起去祈福會
所以那時候,我們只能等XTV帶媽媽回來讓我們訪問
家裡,小孩的生活物品,都沒得拍

The XTV reporter took away the mother, one of our interviewees, right out from under our noses while we were waiting for everyone to finish setting up, and brought her home just so they can get "exclusive" footage.

XTV為了他們的"獨家",當其他記者互相等大家準備好時,把受訪者之一神不知鬼不覺的帶走

I thought it was unbelievable and unacceptable. Why?
1. they snuck away an interviewee from the rest of us
2. their "exclusive" was made by cheating the rest of us
3. because they took the wife away and we had to wait for her to come back, we almost didn't make our deadline
4. they call this an "exclusive," while everyone had the same story

我當時覺得不可思議也無法接受,因為
1. 他們靜悄悄的把受訪者給帶走
2. 他們搶"獨家"畫面,造成我們無法去拍那畫面
3. 因為他們把媽媽帶走,我們得等她回來,因此差一點趕不上截稿時間
4. 他們竟然可以叫一條大家都有的新聞"獨家"

If it were an angle that only they thought about, then it would have been fine. If it had been a story that only they knew, that would have been fine, too. But we were all there, making the same story, and going to someone's home to film is practically standard procedure!
如果這是他們自己想出來的不同角度,那還好
如果這是他們自己發覺的題目,那也還好
但問題是,我們大家都在報同一條新聞,而且去家裡拍幾乎是基本動作,基本常識

So what I'd really like to know is how they define the following:
1. exclusive
2. professionalism and ethics

所以我真的很好奇,他們如何定義
1. 獨家
2. 職業精神與道德

They may have good anchors, good pictures and good ratings, but their credibility and professionalism just gets more questionable as I get to know them more. Come to think of it, XTV false reports on how ducks were being plucked by material used in asphalt, and the made-up Bin Laden terrorist-style footage of a gangster threatening his mob boss was only last year. Perhaps their pressure to come up with exclusives is getting to them again. Perhaps they're once again starting to compromise integrity for security.

或許他們有好主播,好畫面,好收視率,但是對我而言,他們的整體上的可信性和職業道德感覺越來越差
想想,瀝青鴨和周政保黑道嗆聲DVD不是才去年的事嗎
或許因為獨家的壓力,記者對自己和新聞的正直又開始妥協了

If this there is a misunderstanding somewhere in here, please let me know. In fact, I hope this was all a misunderstanding.

如果這當中有誤會,請跟我說
老實說,我很希望這真的是一場誤會

(picture via TVBS news)

Opposition KMT wins landslide victory in legislative elections 國民黨立委選舉壓倒性大勝







KMT (opposition): 81 seats
DPP (ruling): 27 seats
Other parties: 5 seats



This legislative election is widely seen as an indication of who will win the presidential election in May. KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou was rather pleased, while DPP chairman and the outgoing President Chen Shui-bian resigned as chairman. It was the biggest loss in history for the DPP.










I was at the KMT satellite New Party campaign headquarters all afternoon and evening until 22h45. They did not win any seats. Few supporters showed up, so it was really quiet.



Most of the time there, we just stared at the TV, watching votes being counted, analysis and comments. I think I broke my record of watching the most amount of news in one day. To make things worse, there was way too much information on the TV screen all at once and too many colors put together in a very un-aesthetic way that made my eyes hurt.





In the end, our footage was given to someone else to combine with the small parties story. There were 11 small parties in all vying for at least 5% of votes for legislators at large. No small party made 5%.

Roy and I probably had the easiest job of all the reporters for once. We were worked practically to our deaths and mentally abused day after day for two months prior to this, so I guess things are evening out a little. Whew.


(partial photos via AP)