When people overseas ask me how I like living here, I always end up making comparisons, especially with 10 years ago when I first spent a year here. I am hoping I can hear from some of the long-timers here on the changes they have seen in the past ten years. Thought this might be interesting and amusing: Hairy underarms, 5 people on a scooter, etc, come on let’s hear it!
Apart from the MRT and a new president, can’t think of ANYTHING. That either means I have lousy powers of observation or nothing has changed much at all in ten years.
Man, I can think of scores of things that are different.
The streets don’t smell of rotting garbage anymore, since dumping trash on the street became illegal.
I remember cruising around town on my bike with no helmet. Foolhardy, maybe, but very comfortable.
I remember the Nanjing Road/Sanmin Road Universal Movie Theatre was very popular.
Kiss Disco was very cool. Maybe it still is and I’m just not moving in the right circles anymore…
Roxy Pubs were where ALL the foreigners went, at least once, sooner or later…
Beautiful VJ Nonie on Channel V.
Whiskey A-Gogo/Sex A-Gogo on Xinhai Road were great places to meet gorgeous women and gangsters.
Playing video games before a movie started was a great way to kill half an hour. Especially those motorcycle racing games where you could race 3 or 4 of your friends at the same time.
Saunas all over the city…
More flowers and trees being planted now than before…
Smoking in line at customs and immigration coming into Taiwan…
And so much more…
One thing I’m glad has changed:
Ten years ago you got the compliment if you rolled your tongue and put cotton wool in your cheeks.
Now you get the points for every word or phrase of Taiwanese you can slip in. Bonuses for ‘hey-aa’, ‘ho-la’ etc.
One thing I appreciate that hasn’t changed:
Miniskirts in fashion all year round.
The Bushiban is gone.
Ok if we’re talking at the level of “there used to be a pet shop on the corner of whatever street and now it’s a 7-11” the list is infinite.
Somewhere on that list would be the national anthem being played before movies were shown. When I first got here u had to stand when the anthem started then gradually people didn’t bother to stand, and then movie theaters stopped playing it altogether.
When Ah-bian was mayor of Taipei there was an amusing animation shown during the national anthem in which a giant but friendly looking Ah-bian grabbed a bunch of ‘social evils’ (people buying votes with red envelopes and the like) with a big hand before crushing them. People in the audience just laughed at that part.
But Yvonne is still around. She runs a garden centre/restaurant in Nei-wan, Miaoli County (or is it Hsinchu or Taoyuan?).
I dropped by on Saturday and she still remembered me after more than 10 years. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
Anyway, is it really gone? I think its still there, still with the same splintery tables & chairs, too.
But we like infinite lists !
No, it’s not.
Some people dress better now.
The bus lanes
More western food now than McD and Sizzler
People wear helmets in Taipei
They used to have NT $4000 flights to Seoul before they dumped Taiwan in favour of China.
You had to stand up for the national anthem at the movies.
Cable was generally stolen
Lee Tenghui was president
No, it’s not.[/quote]
Eh? I used to live with San Qian for a while when he was co-owner, and then I stopped going because well, it was getting lonely in there… Anyway, I stopped round a few times in '97 and it seemed closed. Who’s running the show now ? Is Prince (the dog-sized rat) still there ? He and I go way back…
I went to the bushiban late last year and it was still there… I swear.
Looked as splintery as ever.
That guest was me. Forgot to log in.
Eh? I used to live with San Qian for a while when he was co-owner, and then I stopped going because well, it was getting lonely in there… Anyway, I stopped round a few times in '97 and it seemed closed. Who’s running the show now ? Is Prince (the dog-sized rat) still there ? He and I go way back…[/quote]
Who knows who runs it now, but I was there ever so briefly, in June. Exactly the same.
You can find San Chien at DV8 once in a while. If you want to contact him, well, he doesn’t have an email, I’m afraid, so you’ll just have to see him when you get back. I think you may know my boyfriend too, btw. Little Mountain?
Ha ! Yes I look forward to meeting all the people I have forgotten I use to know. (There, Mr CELTA observer, teach that mish-mash of grammar in 40 minutes. I dare ya!)
No more 35NT cabs
Tops and Absolute have faded away
40NT Castle Beer has disappeared
No more sidewalk parking
Bateh Rd train crossing has been replaced by a tunnel.
The World Trade Center used to be the tallest building.
The transvestite KTV on Hsin Sheng North Rd and Owl’s have gone out of business.
Everybody had $$$$$$$$.
She was a fine ol town.
You’re breaking my heart.
No more shooting between Roxy, Spin, Top, and Night Owls, three up on a Sanyang, pockets full of come-easy-go-easy Taiwan Dollars, bellies full of cheap beer… watching the salarymen go to work at 9 from behind darkened out glass and bleary eyes “zai lai yi ping Taipi…” 8)
She was a beautiful ship and I am proud to have served on her. We…blub…will never see her like again…waaaaaaah !
(you do still have typhoon parties don’t you ? I mean they haven’t been banned too have they? :o )
Spack, you’re cheating. That was more than ten years ago, so either your nostalgia has you away with the mixer or you’re exaggerating excessively!
I recall the standing for the anthem thing lasted about a year after Fish Lips died and no longer.
Anyone remember the TV being in black and white for a month? the TV anchors in tears? All the mainlanders hiding in the cellars? Remember when there was a picture of Fish Lips in every noodle joint in Taiwan?
No hang on , I remember the national anthem in the cinema (and the crappy video that went with it), and also at the end of discos, and thinking how it was exactly like very very rural parts of deepest culchie Ireland. And I didn’t arrive until August 92.
I agree with hexuan about the anthem.
It was the best part of “Sleepless In Seattle”.