Fengle Sculpture Park; Taichung, Taiwan. The sculpures are ugly, but the kids are cute.

Above: A balloon of Open Jiang, the mascot of 7-11 convenience stores in Taiwan.

Fengle Sculpture Park; Taichung, Taiwan
April 25th, 2010

Taiwanese Spork


Betel Nut Beauties

Betel nut beauties, or scantily clad women selling betel nut from a glass booth, are a common sight in Taiwan. The betel nut (or areca nut) is actually a seed from a type of palm tree. This stimulant produces a mild buzz when chewed, much like chewing tobacco. It is a common habit among taxi drivers and truck drivers.

The learning curve

When learning a foreign language, I'm certainly spoiled. I was educated in French from kindergarten (grade 0) through grade 10. The first six years of that education were in an immersion program. Half of a day of class was spoken and written entirely in French. My middle school years (grades 6-8) were at a bilingual school that tried to place multi-lingual teachers in common subjects, such as math and science.

That's how I found out that the Belgian way of counting is different than French, but only in certain sets of 10 (70,80,90.) The confusion about what to call dinner is another interesting difference.

Now, in Taiwan, I see that the playing field of language is even further mingled. The mainland Chinese way of saying 一 or 1 is pronounced differently in some cases than it is in Taiwan, but not in normal counting. I've even heard that 0 is pronounced differently. In Chinese, the number 二 (er4) or 2 is pronounced differently once you count above 100, or when you are askin…

Cori vs. Nature

Cori standing in the road in 貓空.

Some amazing tea was had that day.