I rode out to Cheng-chung Park this morning to do some walking, and to see first-hand how much damage Typhoon Jangmi 平成２０年台風１５号 had left in its wake on Sunday and Monday. There was plenty to notice - lots of trees were down, blocking the trails in several places, and forcing me to walk under the brush (or, in one place, to pick my way through the downed branches in order to get to the other side of the path). However, none of the destruction looked particularly dramatic, and thus was not especially 写真able. I did, though, make a short movie of two small waterfalls. The falls on the left (in the background) are usually just a trickle most of the year, while the one on the right (closer to the camera) only appears after significant rainfall, so while this may hardly be gripping footage, it should give some idea of how much water has been dumped on Taiwan over the past several weeks:
From Tuesday's edition of the Taipei Times:
Former rail engineer from Japan decides to stay in Taiwan http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2008/09/30/2003424612
"A 45-year-old Japanese national said he has decided to settle down in Taiwan because of his fondness for Taiwanese culture after he finished his job as a measurement engineer at the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) 台湾高速鉄道."
While I may not think like Hideki Kubo, the engineer in question, I can understand his reasons (“While I was in Japan, I had long working hours and did not have good quality of life,” Kubo said. “Taiwanese have a different working attitude as they work hard during the weekdays and spend the weekend with their family members"). To each his own, and the best of luck to him. However, one of his remarks made me wonder:
"'Taiwanese are hospitable and friendly to strangers, especially Taiwanese women, who are not only gentle and considerate, but also independent,' he said."
As one who has experienced the ups and downs of romantic life and cross-cultural relationships in both Japan and Taiwan, the only thing I've learned is this: it is impossible to generalize about the roughly 65 million Japanese and 11 million Taiwanese who are of the female persuasion. That's 76 million individuals, each one of whom must be considered on a case-by-case basis. It's as simple as that.
Bakeries feeling the fallout of melamine scandal http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2008/09/30/2003424598
"Although the sector is suffering, two bakeries appear to be bucking the trend, Japanese brand Yamazaki ヤマザキ and French chain Paul, the latter new to the market...there are also some bakeries, such as Taiwan Yamazaki Co (台灣山崎), that have in fact benefited from the (Melamine メラミン) scare because of consumers’ trust in Japanese brands, an official at the Taipei Bakery Association (台北市糕餅公會) said."
It isn't just Japanese banks that are cashing in from troubles affecting other countries. It appears many Taiwanese consumers haven't heard about the many food-related scandals that have been going on in Japan over the past year, though this should come as no surprise, considering how little the local TV news stations devote to things happening in other countries. In all fairness, Yamazaki hasn't been accused of anything untoward. In fact, I was impressed when once, during the time I was living in Tōkyō 東京, a representative from the company came to my apartment to apologize over some stale bread that had been purchased from the neighborhood Daily Yamazaki デイリーヤマザキ convenience store.