My trip, his lens

16 Mar 2005

I was in Taiwan recently, visiting Wilson. I didn’t take any pictures; I left that to him. He has a great camera and better photography skills than me. Plus I’ve been on this extended “I’m too lazy to take pictures” kick.

I put together the Junk Food Review 2 from the pictures we took of Taiwan snacks, but it was up to Wilson to construct online abodes for the rest of his Taiwan photography. While most of us struggle just to “get the pictures online,” Wilson approaches his photo albums with a kind of artistic perfectionism, involving extended graphical negotiation with Photoshop for each image. He tells me my work on JFR2 added to the pressure.

Anyway, Wilson has finally unveiled his latest collection: Taipei. There’s another Taiwan album coming soon.

I should also mention that those who were interested in the human bite Wilson received in Taipei will find fascinating his photographic tribute to my blog entry “Taiwanese Men Bite.” The rest of you, of course, will be repulsed.

If you have comments on the photography or views expressed on Wilson’s pages, feel free to leave comments on Wilson’s blog. If you have comments or questions for me, obviously this is the place to ask. (Note: this weblog is not the place to debate some of the controversial political views Wilson presents within the album!)

UPDATE: The pictures are now also on Wilson’s Sinosplice mirror for your unblocked viewing pleasure. One new picture was also added.

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. Wilson,
    that’s a cool site with some nice photos there. I can’t believe you got bitten so badly though. I would worry about infectious disease.

  2. Da Xiangchang Says: March 17, 2005 at 12:11 am

    Impressive, impressive. I’ll be there in a couple of months.

  3. Has Wilson suffered any adverse reactions from his bite? Did he get a tetnus shot or something, just in case? . . . and his mother was worried about SARS.

  4. Junk Food Review 2 – that was awesome guys! I was hoping for more after I read the first one. You guys do a great job with the descriptions, and it’s so creatively presented. It’s cool that you guys are so willing to explore food when you don’t even know for sure what you’re eating (John knows that’s not my style 🙂
    I think food is one of the things Americans are most curious about when it comes to other cultures, and I like the way you approach the subject.

  5. I think I’m current on my tetnus shot. At least the that was confirmed the last time tetnus was mentioned when a glass shattered and a lucky fragment sliced my back shoulder blade. I was forced to the hospital by my coworker who kept telling me, “It’s bleeding badly, it isn’t stopping.”

    Tim, the adverse reaction, if any is shown in the photos. Other than that, it’s currently healed with a small thumbprint-sized darker skin area in the place of the bite.

  6. Ah, got word from Helene (ZUCC Alumni) that WilsonTai.com is not accessible in the mainland – confirmed by John, too. I’ll link to the mirror as soon as it goes up.

  7. Wilson asks, “What does Taiwan offer that China doesn’t already offer in terms of value, culture, and lifestyle? This is an important question because China offers the same at 1/3 the cost. the value isn’t there. It’s in the mainland.”

    I wholeheartedly disgree with that. If you guys had gotten outside of Taipei more than a quick side-trip to Hualian, you would have a much richer temple culture and more beautiful scenery than you could find in China. Well, perhaps, nothing in Taiwan compares to, say, Jiuzhaigou, but are you able to go to Jiuzhaigou by driving your scooter an hour from Shanghai and not having to buy a ticket? I don’t think so. If I had been there, I could have shown guys way more than Taipei 101.

    I mean, yeah, many things are more expensive in Taiwan, like haircuts or DVDs. But some things are cheaper. Electronics are a little bit cheaper and a whole lot easier to find. Also easier to find are English books written after the 17th century.

    And even if you make good bank roll in the PRC, it’s ridiculously hard or impossible trying to remit that money back home.

  8. Wayne,

    I should note here that when I link to Wilson’s works it doesn’t signify that I agree with him. In fact, our frequent differences of opinion tend to keep things interesting.

    In this case, I do not believe that Taiwan has nothing to offer that the mainland doesn’t. Rather, (and to my surprise, I should add) what it does have to offer just didn’t entice me. I suppose one of the main reasons for this is that I’m not a tourist English teacher anymore; I’m building a career here.

    Yeah, beautiful scenery a scooter-ride away is nice, but it certainly wouldn’t sway me in Taiwan’s favor. Likewise, a culture richer in Buddhist practice is interesting (and I did see evidence of this in Taipei and Hualian), but as a non-Buddhist it’s not going to sway me either.

    Bottom line: for me and my goals, Taiwan doesn’t have much to offer. I feel that in Shanghai the opportunities are endless. Taiwan just strikes me as a nice vacation destination, a sort of “alternate Chinese reality.”

    Obviously this won’t be the same for everyone.

  9. I didn’t know where to stick that comment as I couldn’t reach Wilson’s main site.

    Anyhow, you’re right about the lack of non-English teaching opportunities in Taiwan. It’s the one thing that’s stopping me from saying that I’d live there for the next 3-5 years, unless I somehow land a government scholarship to get a master’s at a Taiwanese university.

  10. “If you guys had gotten outside of Taipei more than a quick side-trip to Hualian, you would have a much richer temple culture and more beautiful scenery than you could find in China.”

    “In this case, I do not believe that Taiwan has nothing to offer that the mainland doesn’t. Rather, (and to my surprise, I should add) what it does have to offer just didn’t entice me. I suppose one of the main reasons for this is that I’m not a tourist English teacher anymore; I’m building a career here.”

    True, True.

  11. FreeJack Says: March 18, 2005 at 7:53 am

    Sweet photos (could have done without the extensive injury documentation)…I just can’t get with the sideways scrolling, though.

  12. Wayne:

    I believe that an individual has the ability to choose one of the following three: how much you want to make, where you want to live, or what you want to do. You really only get to choose one, the others will follow in their course. If you get any two or all three is just fortuitous. Choosing how much or where you wish to earn income requires entrepreneurial skills, what you want to do requires technical skills. So if you really want to live in Taiwan, just find a niche in the market place that you can fill.

  13. I have to say I regret leaving ROC for PRC very much,
    it’s the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life so far, they’re just incomparable, incomparable……….

  14. EU,

    Was that a personal reflection or a metaphorical statement?

  15. EU,

    Care to specify more on exactly what is incomparable in your personal experience? Further, why it has been the “worst choice” in your life?

  16. Well, I can’t give you specific details as to why they are incomparable nor could I tell you why it’s my worst decision so far, for that would involve too many details of my business, personal emotions and my private life, and it would be too many words for my limited time, to type, such a intricate subject, which would surely beg more replies and explanation. Also, I think I would offend a lot of people, not that I care about offending people, but I don’t have time nor any interest to reply angry enquiries.

    What I can tell is that from a single European businessman’s point of view(myself), who have lived in ROC and PRC for respectively, 7 years and 3 years, that in terms of
    living standard, environment, personal and political freedom of experssion and creativity in thinking, uniqueness of culture, the degree of literacy on the average, the personal and public hygiene, the manner by which people treat one another, the artistry and quality of “culture” activities…….oh, I could go on and on…..ROC is much(tooooo much) more surperior than PRC.

    Note: make no mistake, I’m not saying PRC has any
    “fault” on their part, and I sincerely don’t think so, those are just some of my observations and conclusions or opinion if you will. I’m saying that for now, if I can choose one to live I’d choose ROC, in response to the above comments about what ROC has to offer that’s different or better than PRC.

    Thanks for reading, I won’t reply again.

    peace

  17. EU, thanks for the explanation but don’t fear any whiplash or angry replies, I got your back. What should be interesting to see as we progress through time is that a gang of people in the PRC are climbing the social ladder and hopefully with that comes the greater responsibility to reflect that in their lifestyle and culture.

    A few centuries ago, back in the Ming and early Qing dynasty, the Chinese were at THE top of civilized lifestyle and were the epitome of refinement. Things go in cycles, history repeats itself; what goes up, must come down, and vice versa.

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