Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sin House

This advertisement for an overnight stay is posted on the wall of my favorite Stinky Tofu shop in Luodong (羅東).

新 or 心 or 信 (new, heart, true/letter - all positive or neutral things) can all be written as "xin" in Pinyin, or "sin" in another romanization system.

Clearly unintended, but the website is definitely preventing me from booking a night for my family when they visit.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

God Is Lonely Too

This idea has popped into my head a few times over the years: if gGod is everything, all-knowing and all-being, then there very well can't be anything outside of it (sat and asat), so he must be a lonely bugger (life that is).  

Thus the breakdown of all-being into multiple forms, and these forms necessarily complex, and limited in knowledge (the tree, the dog, the human) to it's own condition of existence, in order to mask the inherent oneness from which gGod can't separate itself. We call this life.

So, gGod as all-being is a lonely toddler with no playmate,

and too, gGod as all beings are as confused as toddlers, mesmerized by their own existence and intentionally made to live alone and unaware of their limitless connectivity,

in every form, needs snack food. Thus 浪味仙, or "Wave Flavor God." My Chinese isn't good enough to tell you if it's "a God that Tastes like Waves" or "a God who Brings Waves of Flavor", but either way he's just "Lonely God" in English. (re: the Chinese, I'd opt for translation 2 based on the chips being 泡菜口味 or "Kimchi Flavored", so no point in naming the chip flavor twice.

Thanks to Julie for this submission.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

North or South?

Road signs in Taiwan are pretty tough for foreigners. There are numerous romanization systems used to translate (pinyin, zhuyin, tongyin?) a street name, so your map may say Lotung, and the sign read Luotong, and your friend's note read Luodong.

That's tough enough, but what do foreigners do to differentiate "North" from "South" in this picture from Erik Bashaw?

Fortunately, if you are driving in Taiwan, you should know that 南 is South, and 北 North, making it a no-brainer.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


On the whole, I would say the average Taiwanese loves their cutsie dog oodles and oodes and tons of cuddles more than is safe for keeping me from gagging. I have heard from a number of friends "He doesn't know he's a dog" or "she thinks she's a person."

Thanks to Julie for sending in this submission, which makes me think otherwise about the motives for love.