Travelogue: National Day 2013 in Taiwan

October 10 (10/10) is National Day in Taiwan, celebrating the birth of the Republic of China in 1911 and the overthrow of the Qing dynasty (end history lesson, that’s about all I know), so I expected a huge celebration. Parades! Fireworks! Festivities! Expecting a grand old time, I took an early morning trip to Taipei, where I discovered that the capital was under martial law:
Taiwan National Day - martial law 1

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Unexpected Interlude: Spam!

Suddenly this month, my popularity has skyrocketed – or at least, my popularity with spam bots has skyrocketed.  We are only halfway through November, and I’ve already gotten more spam comments than the last six months combined!
Spam over time

Thankfully, I’ve got the Akismet plugin for my website, so I don’t need to worry about a horde of bots posting spam comments about North Face jackets, website SEO, and other nonsensical babble.

I do wonder though, where did this mob of bots come from?  How did I trigger this onslaught of useless and irrelevant comments?

On a semi-related note, it would be awesome if I got a lot of spam comments on this post.  It would be most ironic.

Travelogue: Shrimp Fishing in Taiwan

Indoor shrimp fishing is an entertainment industry that is unique to Taiwan. It’s a pretty simple business: you’ve got a warehouse in an industrial area, small concrete pools in the warehouse, and these cool special clawed shrimp in the pools. Whenever you’re bored, you can go to one of these businesses, spend NT600 (~$20), and fish for three hours, keeping whatever you catch.
Shrimp fishing - pool

I discovered very quickly that I do not have a hidden talent for shrimp fishing.

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Reflection: Returning to Taiwan

It’s odd, finally coming (back?) to Taiwan. Yes, I’m ethnically Taiwanese (I’ve got seven generations of ancestry in Taiwan), but I was born and raised in the USA. I spent my second grade in elementary school here in Taiwan, as well as countless summer breaks, but I haven’t been back here in almost 10 years now. And so it’s odd feeling, visiting Taiwan, my ancestral home – especially since my Chinese listening/speaking is conversational at best, my reading/writing is basic, and my Taiwanese language skills are basically nonexistent.

Taiwan first impressions - street view

Coming to Taiwan after being absent for ten years, everything is the same, but everything is different.

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