March 4, 2011

“Enquiring minds need to know…”

Just thought I’d start today’s blog with something my friends in Canada may understand. If you don’t, well, don’t worry.

Anyone who lives, have living, did live, would like to have lived in North America, has heard of the National Enquirer. If you haven’t, then one of three things are pertinent to your situation: a) you were just born; b) you just immigrated; or c) you live in a bubble!

Anyone who has done any kind of shopping at any variety/convenience store, grocery store, or newsstand, has heard of or seen this publication.

Now, I am not going to write about the merits of this publication. Yes, admittedly, I have read or at least browsed an issue or two. There are others on the market, but this one seems to be the most popular. Considering it is an American publication, it probably has more of a circulation than any other publication printed in the United States or Canada combined. It covers everything from alien abductions, to zither orchestras. A through Z? Oh, never mind.

The statement though, that I quoted above, may or may not still be used. However, it is what I remember as the sub-title of this publication. And, interestingly enough, not only do I still remember it, but it seems pertinent at times.

Now, some of the things I’m going to write about, are specific to Taiwan, or perhaps, just Tainan. However, since I do have friends of friends in other areas of Taiwan, it seems to be national idiosyncrasies of this country.

First, why is it, when someone has their picture taken, whether it be by themselves or with others, they never smile? Instead, people opt for the “V” (victory) hand gesture, popularized after World War I or II (not sure). When I see pictures of people receiving awards, or scenes of them on vacation somewhere, or just snapping a picture for the hell of it, no one is smiling…

Why do people in Taiwan want to, or need to, use that “V” hand gesture? To my knowledge, Taiwan hasn’t fought in a war, nor won any victory over another country or territory, and since this gesture sort of means that, why use it?

I heard about someone in Taiwan, a ‘famous’ celebrity or something a few years ago, who used this gesture, but had their hand turned the wrong way. It caused such a fervor, that I heard about it, and I don’t speak, read, or understand Chinese. I heard about it in English – in TAIWAN!

Why is it, that people refuse to use their mirrors when they drive on the roadways? The mirrors are provided, and required by law, to be on each and every vehicle. However, more often than not, people either have their mirrors pointed up to the sky, or down to the pavement. Yes, as someone who drives behind another vehicle at times, when I look into their mirrors, I see the ‘grey’ skies above, or the black roadway below. When these people pull out into lanes, they don’t use their mirrors. They just go!

What obsesses a person to wear flipflops while driving? Okay, granted, when driving a scooter, there is no need for foot operation. For anyone that doesn’t know, all the controls for driving a scooter are at your fingertips, so-to-speak. Breaks, acceleration, lights, horn, are all withing touch of either hand. It’s not so bad that they wear flipflops, but to wear a pair of socks with them? Where are the fashion police when you need them?!!

I realize that some of these questions may seem ridiculous. I realize that for some people, it may seem inane that I would even worry about this stuff. But as my opening statement indicates, ‘…enquiring (aka INquiring) minds need to know…”

So, do I have too much time on my hands today? Do I wonder about things that really don’t matter? Who knows. All I know is that it takes my mind off of some of the other crap happening in my life right now.

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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