Dear Milker, it’s jin yu, as in:
Cos I like to carp. But feel free to parse it as ji nyu, ji as in 雞掰, nyu as in 牛逼：）
Dear Zender, I’m willing to pay a premium at 7-11 for the sake of the social interaction it affords. Over the months, having instant meals heated and documents scanned, I’ve developed an implicit bond with the cashier who works the graveyard shift - he reminds me of me, just not as pathetic cos he has a steady job:)
Dear CTaitung, it really happened, man! Ok admittedly not at the airport. On one of my jaunts across the pond to the mainland, just for the hell of it I decided to come back by boat via Tai Zhong or Tai Chung or however it’s romanized. The said customs officer also tried to make me buy currency from a bag he was carrying and he even followed me out to the carpark, trying to negotiate an exorbitant taxi ride for me. In most other parts of the world I would’ve made a formal complaint about his comments and behavior and the fact that, on the basis of my previous experiences and observations, I felt unable to do so as foreigner in Taiwan, speaks to the disappointing impression the country/territory/province has made on me… which brings me to your other point:
“Province of Taiwan”… well, I did describe my post as a “bizarre rant” from someone who was mentally unhinged and as such any “declarations” I made about vexed questions of Taiwanese sovereignty and nomenclature should not be taken too seriously. Believe it or not, in real life I don’t even use words like whitey. The thing is, after coming to Taiwan, my P.Q (Peevishness Quotient) has risen from low-moderate to high (being bellowed at, literally and figuratively, by butterballs big and small with no opportunities for assertive verbal self-defense will do that). Thus, calling Taiwan a province was just my way, within the framework of a rant, of being deliberately disagreeable in a way I have little opportunity to be in everyday life. ) The only time I’m tempted to refer to Taiwan as a province is when I hear Taiwanese people refer contemptuously to innocuous mainlanders in their vicinity as 死啊六 or make puking sounds when the word China is mentioned. I guess I’m sensitive to Taiwanese antipathy to mainland China as I feel that it’s sometimes not merely a reflection of legitimate concerns (which of course there are), but too often a manifestation of a particular type of self-satisfied Taiwanese parochialism and culturally-conditioned cognitive rigidity that also, but in a different way, thwarts the productive participation of foreigners like me in Taiwanese society. But then again, I’m a contrarian who bristles equally when I hear mainlanders baldly say things like 我告訴你，台灣就是我們的！I’m not without a certain sympathy to Taiwanese claims to the right to self-determination, and I of course understand their fears unification would lead to the erosion of their hard-won democratic rights and freedoms. When I’m not ranting, which is most of the time, I refer to Taiwan, in Chinese, English and other languages, simply as Taiwan. I don’t refer to it as a province or territory, nor as a country (although others are free to do so). When I used the term province in the rant, I felt I was (yes, peevishly, provocatively) merely expressing myself in accordance with the position of most governments and international organisations in the world. Many governments have communiques etc with statements like, and I paraphrase, “we acknowledge the position that Taiwan is a province of the People’s Republic of China.” And as you know, older Taiwanese number plates have 台灣省 on them and Taiwan Province is still the official term for one of the two administrative divisions of the R.O.C designated as provinces. The (yes very streamlined) Taiwan Provincial Government is still around (http://www.tpg.gov.tw/Eng/)
Even so, you’d be correct if you objected that the term “Taiwan Province” has a narrow meaning under R.O.C law and that, as a reference to regions currently under R.O.C administration, it’s not widely used in international diplomacy. Perhaps I should have written “Taiwan, China” - that would’ve been more accurate and no less peevishly provocative
On a final note, when I’m not in rant mode, you might even be able to twist my arm into admitting that some Taiwanese kids - even the fatties - are rather cute… although my instinctive reaction to them is to feel like a wounded albino elephant on the Savannah that has nowhere to hide and that’s just been spotted by a pride of ravenous lions.