Taiwan time machine

Just imagine you were handed the keys to a time machine that could take you back to any time in Taiwan’s history. When (and where) would you go?

Personally, I would probably head for 1895. It would be a chance to see the short-lived Republic of Taiwan, the arrival of the Japanese and a land of pirates and cannibals. Also at that time there would have been no industrial development, over population, and pollution. In short I imagine Taiwan at that time to have been a sub-tropical paradise and place of extraordinary natural beauty.

By cannibals, I do hope you’re referring to the Han. They were the only cannibals in Taiwan – some of the aboriginal tribes used to eat the brains of their vanquished enemies, but for real cannibalism, i.e. market vendors selling baskets of meat carved from murdered aborigines to housewives, you have to look to the Han. The Island of Formosa Past and Present

I think John Ross also has some references to the same thing in his Formosan Odyssey

I have to agree with Sandman. Cannibals? Aboriginal headhunters I can understand, but cannibals?

re: cannibals… perhaps I was being a bit overdramatic or got too carried away with myself. Sorry about that.

Not overdramatic – it seems to be fairly well-documented. But it was the “civilized” Han that were at it, not the “barbarian” aborigines.

Still pissed off about the work thing huh, Sandman?

Still pissed off about the work thing huh, Sandman?[/quote]

:blush: That obvious, huh? :blush:

I need a drink.

Mama said there’d be days like this.

I woulda wanta be there in 1988 when martial law was lifted, a year before and that year and a year after – to feel what it must have felt like to see ML lifted like that, to smell the fresh of freedom, democracy.

Does anyone on board remember those days?


1992 - the year I first arrived.

I’d go back to when I first met my wife… July 3, 1985. Man, she was absolutely beautiful…

She still is…

But, you know what I mean…


One day before the fireworks!

Anyway, what are you doing remembering dates like that? Harden up. Real men don’t remember birthdays or anniversaries.

Like Wix I would go back to the wild frontier days when clouded leopards still roamed the forests and there was still a chance that my ugly mug would end up as interior design feature in some aboriginal hut.

However, I’m under no illusions about Taiwan having been a paradise. It was a malarial hellhole, and I’ve had bad enough Mike Tyson-like bouts with that disease to be gun-shy.

1920s Taipei. The island’s infrastructure was largely in place but things weren’t so crowded or polluted. Those were relatively good times, with Taiwanese students coming back from Japan with new ideas (often originating in the West) that touched upon art, politics, writing, and just about everything else. The Japanese military wasn’t running the show anymore; and until the ugliness of the rightwing ascendency in Japan in the 1930s things were pretty good in Taiwan from a lot of standpoints – assuming you weren’t an Aborigine who didn’t want your land invaded.

So that would be my choice – that or the middle of the Dutch period.

I would go forward in time (does this brand of time machine do that?) to find out the winning number to the fapiao lottery and then come back and buy a bunch of candy at the 7-11 until I got the winning receipt. I would then go back in time and torment the primitive peoples of ancient Taiwan with my largess.

That, or I would go back to the time of Mu and take a boat over to see what was up with all that crap. Hopefully, if it was all Atlantisy and stuff, I would learn a few souvenir spells or something to bring back with me to rub in the face of people who like to pull out their crappy magic tricks in a bar. I would also bring back some gold from the ancient times (everybody had gold back then, but there was nothing to buy with it but robes, sandals and maybe donkeys so most of it got thrown away. What a waste…and a pity!). If the time machine customs people wouldn’t let me bring it back to modern times due to there concerns over gold market stabilty, I would hide some in a place where no one would look like in a hollowed out copy of Ulysses or something.

Oh yeah, I forgot. I have probably already used up my time machine time, so could someone else go back and bring some cool big animals over to Taiwan before there were a lot of people here. I myself prefer thylacine, baboons, or hippos or maybe a few of each. Thanks.

Psalmanaazaar spotted some pretty cool animals on Taiwan a long time ago. Of course he also made it all up…

[quote]Generally speaking all the Animals which breed here, are to be found in Formosa; but there are many others there which do not breed here, as Elephants, Rhinocerots, Camels, Sea-Horses, all which are tame, and very useful for the service of Man. But they have other wild Beasts there which are not bred here, as Lyons, Boars, Wolves, Leopards, Apes, Tygers, Crocodiles; and there are also wild Bulls, which are more fierce than any Lyon or Boar, which the Natives believe to be the Souls of some Sinners undergoing a great Penance: But they know nothing of Dragons or Land-Unicorns, only they have a Fish that has one Horn: And they never saw any Griphons, which they believe to be rather fictions of the Brain than real Creatures.

Besides the Animals abovementioned, they have also familiar Serpents, which they carry about their Body; and Toads which they keep in their Houses to attract all the Venom that may happen to be there; and Weasels for eating of Mice, and Tortoises for their Gardens. There is also a kind of Animal much like a Lizzard, but not so big, which the Natives call Varchiero, i.e. the Persecutor of Flies; its Skin is smooth and clear like Glass, and appears in various colours according to the situation of its Body: 'Tis wonderful to see how eagerly and industriously it pursues the Flies wheresoever it sees them, upon a Table, or on Flesh, or in Drink, and it seldom fails of catching them. This kind of Animal is to be found only in Japan and America, besides the Isle Formosa.

Though the foresaid Animals do not breed here in England, yet they are too well known here to need any particular description. [/quote]

you mean like this animal?

make a good avatar :slight_smile:


If I had a time machine and I could go to any point in history, I would go back to last Tuesday when I had a pizza. watched a dvd and had a good night’s sleep… ah… those were the days… nostalgic sigh

I’d go back to the late '90s, the height of Taiwanese prosperity. I feel like I missed out on the glory days because I came here too late after the economy started going downhill and people aren’t throwing NT around like monopoly money anymore these days.

— Wix
Me too if only for the Japanese beheading of locals contests. I saw some old pics of this, quite a spectacle. I think the winner chopped off just over 100 heads in an hour. The other guy was a weenie and couldn’t even break 100.

For you folk wistful of the 1990s – uh, you didn’t miss anything. A few more modern buildings now, but basically the same.

For you folk wistful of martial law, just before and after – uh, a few street protests, an immolation, some whacked editorials and a bit of a lack of freedom of expression, but pretty much the same.

What I mean is that if you think that it was like the end of a revolution here, you are wrong. If you want my humble opinion, the seminal event that I saw here was the victory of Chen Shui-bian as president. The end of nearly 55 years of KMT (Kill More Taiwanese) rule was something else.

me too.

“a land of pirates and cannibals.”

never mind. I though you said prostitutes and cannabis.