But there are other factors:
Greater availability of things from the West.[/quote]
Yes, more Kentucky Fuckin’ Chicken shops and Mickey D’s and less diversity…
I understood your point but offer up a covnerse opinon, especially since most of what you posted was Taipei-centric.
For the benefit of people planning to come to Taiwan, always remember:
There are two Taiwans: Taipei
and the rest of Taiwan…
For the larger cities, but head on over to the east coast and it doesn’t seem to be the case - yet…
And all of the filthy lucre Chunghua Telecom extort from anyone unable to get the Cable alternative.
Juxtaposed to equally high population density areas such as Korea and Hong Kong - Chunghua’s services suck.
But much higher rates and less diversity of programming. FEWER English channels outside of Taipei.
When Taiwan actually had competing cable companies than the regional cable mafias - there were a wide array of channels with much more diversity.
Now it’s all pretty much the same shit on every system, with the odd channel not carried elsewhere (like the 5000 people in one corner of Taipei who can actually view Star World on cable, versus the 20+ million rest of us who don’t get the English Star World network to watch English programming, just the OTHER Star networks).
Cable companies no longer listen to their subscribers and subscribers have no say in demanding they carry a channel. Channels randomly and regularly get switched around and changed with little to no notice.
It’s worse now, actually, but not as bad as life before cable.
[quote]More reasonable visa regulations.[/quote] :loco:
Depending on what country you come from.
This has always been the case. It’s hindsight, of course. Regardless, “more cosmopolitain” doesn’t always mean “cosmopolitain” by itself. Taipei - sure, but go south… It’s not there yet. MORE of it, but not really IT.
Again, in TAIPEI.
In the rest of Taiwan - fat chance. The further south you go the worse it gets; inversely if you get off on lawlessness and f’n people over then that might be a good thing…
This is a given in any country. The more you learn the more quality of life you can earn, and thusly - hardly really qualifies to a Taiwan-specific category.
Changes I’ve noticed, good or bad:
Homoginization of businesses. Ma and pop shops going south and chain stores taking their place.
A diversity in beer at the convenience store.
There was a time when Blue Ice and Taiwan Beer were about as diverse as you got. Now, hell, I can cover a lot of ground with six beers.
Inversely, some of the Japanese beer and Tsingtao Beer has been poisoned for “local tastes.”
I can now find LIGHT BEER. Sadly, it’s owned by the John Birch Society-sympathizing whores at Coors.
The China beer craze: first the poisoned versions of TsingTao, then Wujing and Kingway making inroads but have since disapepared (Tsingdao remains, while the others were not poisoned “for local tastes.”).
24 hour Welcome markets in regions that didn’t even have supermarkets! That’s always nice.
More children drinking milk that is not Klim.
Missionaries who can’t get by by bribing locals into church with free Klim and candy and had to turn to offering “free” English lessons (as in: sit through our dogma for a few hours and you get a lesson).
No more Smackdown! on tv, but more WWF/E pay per views on DVD and VCD.
Fewer English subtitled programs on Star Mandarin Movies. It used to be almost 99%, but once DVD struck they slowly moved onto Chinese-language and Chinese computer subs. Some offer both English and Chinese computer subtitles, but more and more cooler, older films don’t.
Fewer Taiwanese films being produced now… Most that do get produced have more foreign financing.
Liquor prices got cheaper.
Less obvious film piracy as more night markets clamp down on pirate VCDs and DVDs (everybody moves to the net).
Acer breaks off into Ben-Q.
Seven Eleven offering bien-dan. Later, Seven Eleven offering a more diverse selection of bien-dan!
I could ramble on. I won’t.