Wednesday, March 25, 2009


December 24, 2008 - Taipei 101, Taiwan. Well, we can't call it the tallest building in the world anymore since the Burj Dubai has officially surpassed it in height, but we still can call it the world's tallest occupied building in the world, as I found out from our proud, local media. No doubt we'll be calling it that until the BD goes into business, which may yet take some time.


I thought I ought to clear out the holiday lomos before they become totally irrelevant in the warming weather. This was a wish tunnel, where they set up a corridor lined with lights and wires, and at the end they supply things that people can write wishes and aspirations on and hang them up to create the walls. This was a long exposure with the 2 braced on the stand that people could write on.

Not being a Christian country, Christmas itself isn't a big deal here, but they know it's a big deal elsewhere, so they use it as an excuse to do something using the various imported themes, catering them to local tastes, which means something on the lines of going out and doing something with the family - much better than making it an excuse to shop.

Although that gets taken care of by the extreme "couple culture" here, and young couples buy into the notion that they should buy gifts for their partners. Chinese culture used to frown upon public displays of affection, but Taiwan youth, in its emulation of Western culture, saw Western youth engaging in it, and then they ran with it to gag-worthy extents. In the U.S., yelling "get a room!" is a cliche, but they need to find an equivalent expression for it here. Especially for the high school students.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. For No Reason (Joanna Wang)
2. Call Me Names (Echobelly)
3. Heart Setsunaku (Yuko Hara)
4. Get 'Em Out By Friday (live) (Genesis)
5. Never-Ending Math Equation (live) (Modest Mouse)
6. 3rd Planet (Modest Mouse)
7. So Far Away (Carole King)
8. Baby Love Child (Pizzicato Five)
9. 4:47 A.M. (The Remains of Our Love) (Roger Waters)
10. Shake (Kristin Hersh)

2 comments:

Pierre said...

That's funny you mention Burj, because the previous tab opened in my Firefox is this one.

I didn't really get the "gag-worthy extents" thing. What I remember people told me about Taiwanese couples is ten years ago, it was impossible to see couples holiding hands, whereas when I came for the second time in 2006, it was pretty common.

About the "get a room" cliché: you Americans are so puritans! ;)

keauxgeigh said...

Yea, the Burj is a pretty amazing building.

Ah, don't get me started on the French, man! j/k, you're probably absolutely right about the puritanism of the U.S., although in my case I like to think it's more a case of cultural genetic discreetness and modesty. Even though I was born in the U.S., I think that some cultural things have come down. Maybe because of Asian heritage, I was subconsciously more aware of these things and internalized them when I watched Asian movies and tv. The only thing shameful about it in Taiwan is that it is culturally alien, and more sign of cultural imperialism. The bad kind, that is. Who knows who's deciding what the bad kind and good kind is, just hope it isn't me! haha.

I imagine you seeing these scenes in Taiwan and think, "Ah, l'amour"