Monday, July 16, 2007

the family home

May 26, 2007 - Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Visiting family between semesters. This is my uncle's building in the south western portion of the city, not far from Shiziwan Bay. I think my family owns the building. My uncle lives on the 9th floor, and I stay on the 8th floor when I visit. I'm not going to ask anyone to count how many floors there are, so I'll just say that there aren't 9 floors in this building.

There is no floor that they call the 4th floor because the Chinese word for 4 is a homonym for the word for the death. Which makes no sense to me because the tones for the two words are different, and I'm told that words with different tones are considered to Chinese ears to be totally, completely, uncompromisingly different words. So "si" in the second tone and "si" in the third tone, although they sound the same to normal people, Chinese people hear them as differently as "alligator" and "Mombasa". Further not making sense is that with only about 16 sounds in Mandarin, there are about fifty zillion homonyms for 4.

Wu-fu 4th Road goes down the left side of the shot, and they're building a KMRT subway station right in front of the building. That should make getting around the city more convenient when the subway system opens in 2067. It's scheduled to be fully operational by, I think, 2009, so I think 2067 is a fair estimate for actual completion.

One of these days I need to get around to stop making fun of Taiwan and Chinese culture.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Mothership Connection (Star Child) (Parliament-Funkadelic)
2. Only Us (Peter Gabriel)
3. Acrobat (U2)
4. Ride Natty Ride (Bob Marley & the Wailers)
5. Symphony No. 4, II. Adagio (Beethoven)
6. Giant Steps (John Coltrane)
7. Death of a Clown (The Kinks)
8. Seaweed Rising (Versus)
9. Panama (J Church)
10. Oceanbound (764-HERO)

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