A nice day out to a new shopping center in T'aichung (Taijhong) 台中 yesterday ended on an very unhappy note when we had to take our daughter to the emergency room at the main hospital in Fengyuan (Fongyuan) 豊原. After spending the afternoon at Park Lane, checking out the shops, we went across the street to People's Park, to give Amber a chance to stretch her legs. While we were there, an old friend dropped by to say hello, along with his two children. Unfortunately, as he was playing with Amber by lifting her up by her wrists, something unfortunate happened, as our daughter started crying and holding her left wrist. The fault is mine as I thought about cautioning my friend about being a bit gentler with Amber, but not wanting to be the overprotective parent, I said nothing, and the result was a trip to the hospital. X-rays revealed no breaks or fractures, but I never want to have to visit an emergency room again, anywhere and at anytime, and certainly never with a child. Seeing a gurney soaked in some unfortunate soul's blood being wheeled out of the ER as we arrived is just one image I could have done without.
After a sleepless night for all three of us, things are much better today. Pamela took Amber to an orthopedist this morning, who diagnosed our daughter has having a possible pulled muscle. She seems better now, and as I write this, is sleeping peacefully in her crib (knock on wood). So here are several pictures from earlier in the day on Sunday:
On the left are four imported beers that we bought at Park Lane for NT500 ($16.50 or ￥1750). The last two on the right have alcohol contents of 9% and 14%, respectively. I look forward to drinking them when he have something to be happy about again...like when Amber can go back outside to blow some bubbles in the air, like she was doing at People's Park.
In a sign the world keeps turning no matter what happens, a couple of stories in the English-language Japanese media caught my attention over breakfast. From the Daily Yomiuri ザ・デイリー読売, "E. Asia fleets to suspend tuna fishing / Fuel costs hit Japan, China, ROK, Taiwan" http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20080629dy0c.htm explains how:
"Tuna-fishing boat operators' organizations in Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan have agreed to suspend operations for several months in the face of soaring fuel costs...The economic conditions made it difficult for tuna fishermen to make ends meet, while the measure also is expected to help declining populations of the fish to recover...The suspension is expected to result in higher prices for bigeye メバチ and yellowfin tuna キハダ, which are mainly consumed as raw fish and processed into canned food."
Perhaps I'm still feeling the effects from a lack of sleep, but for some cynical reason, I have my doubts that many local tuna fisherman will strictly adhere to the agreed upon ban. The other article came from the Japan Times ジャパンタイムズ. "Taiwan's way with dignity" http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20080630ho.html is written by Hisahiko Okazaki, a former diplomat who is generally sympathetic to Taiwan's situation. His advice this time:
"When conducting cross-strait talks, the Ma administration must never give in on Taiwan's sovereignty and security. Any kind of 'one country, two systems' formula is designed to set a time limit on Taiwan's freedom regardless of whether it is for half a century or a century. Again, Taiwan must not accept neutrality or any unilateral arms restrictions. There is no comparison between China and Taiwan in terms of size. Once security measures are abandoned, there will be none to defend Taiwan if the situation changes. Taiwan must keep this in mind."
And for his own country:
"This (meaning talks between China and Taiwan) would be a chance for Japan as well. With its hostile policy toward the DPP president of Taiwan, China used to stiffly oppose Japan's attempts to make contacts with Taiwan. Since the U.S. was also cold toward the DPP for some unexplainable reason, Japan had to pay heed to both China and the U.S. in dealing with Taiwan. Japan may no longer have to care about either's reaction. Since Taiwan and Japan have strong historical and economic ties, to treat Taiwan coldly in disregard of those ties is unnatural. Japan might now be freed from this bind. The DPP might be unhappy with Japan's about-face to establish friendly ties with the Taiwanese government under the control of KMT. Nevertheless, deepening relations with Japan would bring benefits that would be an asset for Taiwan when the DPP returns to power in the future — possibly four, eight or more years from now."
When, and not if (according to Okazaki), the DPP returns to power, will the next US administration maintain a more rational, reasonable approach?