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Archive for September, 2008

Protected: Typhoons, Being White…

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Seperatists, Nonsperatists…

My guide puts his foot down. Taiwanese people are Chinese, he says. He even says that many Taiwanese people do not realize that they are Chinese, but the country has always been Chinese. Further, this is not abnormal in Chinese history, for some part of the nation or another to be split off for a time. Viewed over hundreds of years this is no big deal.

Others (like the wonderful Pu-Erh tea man) vehemantly disagree. I think the sepreatists are in te majority but the current president believes that Taiwan is China. The other day I was able to drink PuErh with the dealer down the road for another couple of hours. He sat and told us, as vehemently as my liason, “my name for this country will always be Taiwan! I hope in fifty years it is Taiwan republic of Taiwan.” He doesn’t like the non-free government of China.

Absolutely fascinating over-tea convo we had. He also shared some wine that his friend had made. It was like a port, and not a bad one either. I will ask next time if his buddy sells port wine. Neat thing about Frank the tea seller is that he has purchased some seven tons of Pu-Erh tea that he has warehoused for it to age and go up in value. He wants to make his kids prosperous. Now he just sells tea in his little shop until 9 or 9:30 every night. He has invited us back again, any time. I think he likes practicing his English. He helps me with Chinese in return. I think I’ll take him some cigars next time I go up there. he’s been so good to me and my two friends I’ve brought by.

The tea he shared was a classic, 22 years old and mentioned in the books. Maybe a hundred and twenty five USD tea, here in Taiwan. He also showed me the book of all the Yixing poterry and the current artists. I didn’t know but Yinghe pottery, which is just down the road from me, has only been making pots for about 10 years. They have a museum and store. He showed me the difference in clays. I asked if the Yinghe clay came from a nearby river like yixing clay came from the yixing river. He showed me the different blends of clay that yinghe uses, and their pottery styles.

What a cool opportunity for me to pick up a tea set from just down the road, after walking around the neighborhood, a piece of the world I live in in Taiwan. It’s even cooler to me than buying yixing clay. Who knows, maybe in several decades yinghe will be classic too…

But few people in Taiwan drink Pu-erh. Obviously Formosa Oolong is famous, the best in the world (and no-shit, the tea they give me for free in the coffee shop is as good as boutique tea-shop tea from back home). He said he never met another Westerner that likes or knows anything about Pu-Erh…

I also cought the cool way that I had once heard the Chinese will sometimes avoid a confrontation. I kept testing the waters of his political thoughts and said something mildly bad about Japan (he had brought up having a seperate government from Japan nowadays and I mentioned the Japanese tragedy in Nanking). It turns out his grandfather is Japanese… I did not know this. But he had a special way of laughing, it was genuinely friendly, but stopped the conversation on that topic and went back to Taiwan being seperate from China. I’d heard about that years ago. It would be very cool to adopt something like that in America. Of course, some asshole would then push the issue into an indelecate conversation. Though, from my perspective I wouldn’t hold that against the person. Who knows, maybe after three years in China I’ll stop taking assholes deep into conversation with me.

I can see how reverse culture shock developes!

Writing from a rogue island off the coast of China,

–Phdinfunk

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“a pamphlet, no matter how good, is never read more than once. But a song is learned by heart and repeated over and over.”

–Joe Hill

“I ain’t no holla back girl.”

–Gwen Stefani

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Protected: My dream…

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Protected: Effects of Wujifa?

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Protected: Connections…

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Protected: Kvetching

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