Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Gas prices raised early 油價提早漲

When Premier Liu Chao-shiuan announced this evening that gas prices would increase by TWD 3,9 midnight, rather than the 2 June date he set before, people all over the country rushed to the gas pump to refill their tank one last time before the raise. Vehicles of all kinds - compact cars to fire engines and buses all packed gas stations, and the ones who had to wait their turn clogged up the surrounding streets. Jenny started reporting live at a gas station as soon as the announcement was made, and after a trip to ETTV where Liu was booked for the 21h00 news program there, I rushed back to the station and started putting Jenny's live footage into reports. Much to the agony of my cameraman this night shift, we cranked out two stories - one on people lining up at the pump and one on people's complaints on increasing gas prices and how Liu pulled a fast one, leaving people only six hours between new prices would take effect and the announcement. What a night for drivers and what a night for reporters.

If you think about it, industrial/public vehicles aside, private vehicles usually take about 60 litres of gasoline. Assuming their car is on E with only two drops left, they would save TWD 234 by lining up and filling up at the station tonight. But usually the tank in private cars are kept at least a quarter to half full, so most people are saving less than TWD 175 (USD 5.64). Hours in line, keeping engines running to save only USD 5.64 doesn't sound like a very efficient thing to do. But then again, Taiwanese people are known to be good businesspeople and love to fuss over pennies. That is one trait I didn't inherit.

Business was good tonight. The topics for my Tourism Bureau stories for June came out today, and I started doing some pre-production work on those. Some research on a health feature I'm working on. More and more young people in Taiwan are getting cancer, can you believe that? Also, I filmed at two locations, made three stories and made/fielded countless phone calls. Mom kept calling about this and that, Auntie Linda and Mijung arrived in Taipei and called a few times and my assigner during the day, of course could not leave me alone. Ah... Tired.

I counted the number of days I was actually not at work this month - three. No wonder I'm so tired. But I am happy and still in decent health.

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