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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Walking in Taipei can be an annoyance


If you have ever been to Taipei you know it can be busy, but not as busy as other Asian metropolises. Therefore it becomes a frustrating annoyance when trying to walk anywhere in the city because people often get in your way regardless if you're walking fast, slow or make an attempt to circumnavigate them.

Smart phones and scooters have a large part to play in this issue, people are addicted to using their smart phones in Taiwan and when you walk past people on the street a large percentage of them are still playing their phone games even as they're walking while at the same time not paying attention to their surroundings. If the phone zombies walk into you because they're unaware of paying attention, then they'll give you a look as if to say, "why the hell didn't you move?!?!"

The worst incident I have seen of this lately was upon trying to exit a lift, someone steps out before but only takes one step; after that one step they just stand directly in front of the exit from the lift. No one could get past the guy, and no one trying to get out of the lift wanted to tell him to move or barge through him. The lift people tried to politely squeeze past without causing any kind of scene, or fuss but under their breath they were surely wondering why the guy decided to just stand in front of the exit from the lift and not move.

Now there is nothing wrong with the guy stepping out the lift and playing phone games that is not really an issue normally, but for this guy to either have no awareness or just not care that no one could get out of the lift because of him all to enable him to continue his phone game is a sad reflection of the selfish way the world is headed. All he needed to do was take one or two steps more then he wouldn't be blocking the exit from the lift.

And this kind of action is replicated all over the city when you're trying to go for a walk, people block the way a lot of the time and seem to either lack simple basic awareness of their surroundings or not care that they persistently block the way. If you charge right, somehow they'll amble right, if you charge left, they'll amble left. It often feels intentional but I don't believe it is.

The other problem is the parked scooters, as a scooter owner I likely add to this problem from time to time too. Scooters in Taipei are parked everywhere, and it could easily be said that people getting in the way of each other is linked to the parked scooters. The scooters bump up onto the path and therefore suddenly the space on the path becomes more limited, which is a bit tragic because a lot of the shops have already built out claiming part of the path belongs to their shop and built on it. This leaves people about 3-5 feet of path to share so it's no coincidence that people often block each others way.

A lot cannot be done about the lack of space or how many people there are in Taipei, however people's lack of awareness in regards to their surroundings and what is going on is causing the walking issues. The thing that baffles me is this - are phone games that important in life that they have to be played even when walking? Just knock the game off, plop the phone in your pocket and look where you are walking. Then you might realise people are nearly walking into you, your're blocking exits or escalators or just being a general nuisance.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Ditch the mask, eat guava

As I sat in the doctors waiting to be seen for the gash that currently runs vertical across my little toe, I couldn’t help be disturbed by all the sniveling, coughing, sneezing and the retching of phlegm from the back of the other patients throats.

In my attempt to try and avoid catching the lurgy and dying of some OAP’s snot filled gobbing a thought flashed through my mind, they’re all wearing masks but it’s still like the equivalent of sitting in a room with the extras from the walking dead.

I too, was once their companion; fighting against a constant barrage of phlegm and snots while trying to look like I wasn’t spreading the lurgy - the difference between them and me was, I refused to wear a mask and I still do to this day. The look of horror on the faces of other patients back then at seeing this rebel break free from the constraints of society and dare sit in the doctors maskless was classic Kodak gold material. 

However, wearing a mask is useless as it’s proven a lot of common colds are passed on by hygiene issues, for example not washing your hands then opening a door. Now the door knob has the lurgy germs, and the mask can’t open the door for you. 

Since then I’ve become a supporter of a much better cure, which is eating guava for breakfast and after becoming a guava convert I’ve rarely been sick from the common cold. When I found out guava had 3 to 4 times more vitamin C than that godly fruit, the orange; I proceeded to eat as much of it as I could. Granted it’s an acquired taste but you come to like it eventually if you didn’t at first. So the message for you folks in Taiwan who are currently drowning in phlegm and snot, ditch the masks and eat more guava. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Taiwan's Football Revolution is BOOOOOM!

Taiwan Defeat Bahrain



Taiwan managed to put in an astonishing performance in Gary White’s first competitive fixture as Taiwan manager.
From the first whistle they were all up in Bahrain’s shit, while Bahrain looked like they were expecting another cake walk. Unfortunately on one of Bahrain’s forays up the into Taiwan’s half early in the game their attacker went at the Taiwan defence, done the left back like a kipper then realized he was never making a pass, or a shot from the angle he found himself in. So he did what most footballers do in the 21st century and threw himself to the ground rolling around like he'd smashed in the back with a brick for a pen. Scabby, scabby indeed. It got tucked into the corner, the keeper – who was bloody excellent all night and apparently not picked in the past because he is a mad bastard – got very, very close to keeping it out.
At that point we assumed it would be game over for Taiwan as is the norm for the national team. Taiwan battled like men possessed in the first half to make sure they wouldn’t concede anymore. They achieved that aim and got to half time only 1-0 down. Heads did go down for a while like usual, but amazingly they didn't let in goal, after goal, after goal.
New manager Gary White must of said something mesmerizing at half time because Taiwan came out even more determined than in the first half, and went on the attack throughout the whole second half. Even though they were piling on the pressure they didn’t seem to be getting enough men in the box to attack the final ball, and it looked like father time was going to dish out a brave and gallant defeat which Taiwan are masters of.
We entered the last 5 minutes of play and you could tell people were really proud of how much the team were battling, and felt proud - but sad for the team...then

BOOM! GOAL! 1 BASTARD 1!

No one saw that coming, the stadium went batshit and we went batshit, all around was absolute batshit.
At this point your thinking just keep it tight and take the draw, but Taiwan kept throwing bodies forward. It was kitchen sink time. We’re thinking god just see it out for a draw will you, don’t mess up like usual………

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

2 BASTARD 1, IT’S 2 BASTARD 1!!!!

EUPHORIA!

A winner, a bloody winner! Taiwan managed to hold and win, and the whole stadium went batshit! More batshit than the equaliser.
Taiwan football needed that, it needed a big win, and it needed excitement!
Taiwan’s football revolution is here, and the sight of Gary White with the ultras' megaphone thanking them all for coming out only created more of a buzz!
The Stinky Tofu Bowl Revolution marches on, next month Turkmenistan, and then the World!
(Photos Credits - CTFA and ELEVEN Sports)

Is Living in Taipei City All it's Cracked Up To Be?

I lived in Taipei for 7 years.  Is it all it’s cracked up to be?


Yep the first couple of years were enjoyable…that’s granted but suddenly and slowly I started to realise is it all it’s cracked up to be? Living in the middle of a massive city.
Obviously to begin with it’s quite exciting, and when I say it’s a big city I am not saying it’s a mega city like Beijing, Tokyo, Jakarta, Seoul, or Shanghai etc. With the thoughts, feelings and questions raging in my noggin; here is what drove me to leave Taipei City for somewhere in New Taipei City that is not an extension of Taipei City like Banqiao etc.
Why would you? It’s so far? There’s nothing there! It’ll be shit compared to Taipei, Where will you eat? What will you do? God travel for 15 whole minutes, on an actual train and not an MRT you peasant!
Well I got sick of queuing for everything, crowds of people – people are still here just less of them, always rushing everywhere or being in a hurry to get somewhere or nowhere, overpaying for rent, renting a tiny box that doubles up as a bedroom – living room and kitchen, sick of city living, too much traffic, too much pollution, sick of annoying bastard neighbours, fresh off the boat hipsters constantly telling me stuff I already knew, sick of eye-spying neighbours; that will never stop, so re-entered the neighbours lottery, ‘better’ being the optimum word not ‘excellent’ or ‘wonderful’, rats that no one believed were there, reoccurring rat issues that no one was gonna deal with by still believing they weren’t there, cockroaches – endless amounts: flying ones, fat ones, small ones, baby ones, thins ones dead ones, flying out the moon door ones – if anyone got a dead roach bounced of their bonce I apologise, apartment problems, faulty pipes, faulty drainage, holes in the windows, the fake patio which should have been labelled crappio, never catching the bin man, a leaking washing machine, so then I left.
I moved to a small place in New Taipei City where the air is still shit, there’s lots of foreigners, the foreigners aren’t the desired type – yes they’re not white, it’s still close to Taipei City regardless of locals and people thinking their local telling you it’s miles away because it doesn’t have an MRT. Things are a smidgen cheaper, people are friendly and unfriendly in equal measure as they were in Taipei, the commute is longer because getting to Neihu is tragic, Neihu is a bastard to get to in the morning and it doesn’t discriminate against you regardless where you come from. The evenings are quieter unless there’s firecrackers or young wrong uns on scooters acting like you couldn’t batter them occasionally riding round like gangsters on scooters honking horns at stupid hours, quieter is the norm however, food is more local and harder to understand, old codgers are harder to understand because of their preference for using Taiwanese – sometimes it’s clearly intentional, parking is shitter but on the flipside anywhere is a parking space which isn’t dissimilar to anywhere being a parking space in Taipei until the end of the year is coming and the police realise they don’t have enough tickets to make their bonus’. Coffee shops are generally less busy unless it’s an evening or a weekend when every coffee shop in Taiwan is occupied by people studying or sleeping but not buying coffee. There’s equal number of night markets nearby – that’s two one new and one old but bigger in size which is grand if that’s your bag. The mountain is close, the mountain can be close in Taipei, but I have a mountain close without the added cost of ‘having a mountain close’.  The restaurants are more local, the people are more local too, there’s no pubs or clubs, hence the quietness. The night market is a traditional market, and the traditional market is a night market – which is obviously dictated by the time you’re stood there, there’s a smaller traditional market too, that one lives downstairs, for every night market there’s a traditional market too, Factories, more factories but not in my part. A railway station – close not far, a railway track splitting the town in two. One side is busy and the other is not, my side is the other. A park is close, it’s small and heavily populated especially in the mornings when the codgers take over, has a sexy new swimming pool that I can occasionally get to, it’s the only sexy new swimming pool so oddly you have to queue on weekends. A pool also lives in a temple on the mountain – that one is rank minging, more and more weirdos and stray dogs for normal people, equal numbers of weirdos and stray dogs for a weirdo magnet like me. More breakfast shops in closer proximity, you could go to a new breakfast shop every day of the week and not end them all in a month, the invention of the breakfast crawl, shitter than a pub crawl with way more beef!
So to answer the question – Is Taipei all it’s cracked up to be? Well that obviously depends on the person asking the question innit!?
I am happy in the out crowd. Peace out shitheads!

www.taipeimagpies.tw

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

OOh Cha Cha - Vegan and Gluten Free Food in Taipei

OOh Cha Cha - Vegan and Gluten Free Food in Taipei

Ooh Cha Cha - Vegan Food

Address - 台北市南昌路二段207號. No. 207, Section 2, Nanchang Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, 100.
Opening hours - 10:00 - 21:00 (Monday - Sunday)
Price - 150up.
Phone - 02 2367 7133
Website - Ooh cha cha
Facebook Page - Ooh Cha Cha Facebook Page


One day after work my scooter was screaming...GET SOME PETROL!  Obviously I headed straight to the petrol station.  It took me past the trendy, hipster, Vegan Restaurant Ohh Cha Cha.  I had been to this place before and really didn't like it, but for some reason I decided to stop and give it another chance. If your not a Vegetarian or used to going to places that make hip and trendy menus, then you could be quite confused. 
This time round I ordered the rabbit leaves, in a bowl with some ginger and kimchi, as well as a cup of Oolong tea. Before ordering I didn't realise the ginger was going to be some kind of square block on the plate.  It looked and seemed a little odd but it actually tasted great.  The flavour was a bit weird at first, but grew on me as I ate more.  Then when I ran out of little ginger blocks I was disappointed they were gone. As for the tea, the mug they put it in is like a mug for giants.  I reckon ordering a tea here is worth it, due to the size of the mug. Even though you cannot refil as they don't plop a teabag in it or any tea leaves.  I guess they don't want you sat there all night as they've only got a small space with a handful of tables. 
I am the first to confess that I am no expert on hipster-vegan food, but I did really enjoy those gigner blocks. I would really highly recommend trying the ginger and kimchi. On the menu it's called a Beet Ball Bowl, if you do go to check it out, they're weirdly fascinating and taste intriguingly good.
As I wasn't finished my cup of tea, I decided that I should treat myself to a cake for eating healthy.  Which kind of defeats the point I guess.  The cake I ordered was a raw cheesecake apparently. I didn't even know cheesecakes came raw, so I had a google search and it seems it has no cheese at all. It's made from almonds. It was odd that it was almonds and not cheese because it tasted like cheese, which I suppose was the objective of making a vegan cheesecake. To taste like cheese.


A lot of their food is gluten free, which will be really good for my mother when she comes back, as she has a gluten intolerance and most food in Taiwan has gluten in it. This place is a godsend for those folk with the same problem as she has I assume.
It is located right next to Guting Station at exit no.2 and is very easy to find.  Enjoy.
- See more at: http://www.taipeimagpies.tw/news/item/news/ooh-cha-cha-vegan-food#sthash.vwJqzOjL.dpuf

Monday, February 6, 2017

Pre Season has Been Hit and Miss

Pre Season has Been Hit and Miss

With the new OTPL season fast approaching our preperation hasn't been the best so far if I'm being honest. We have only managed to play one friendly since last season vs Shane and even then we ended up putting out a mixed bag of a team, combined of ex players living in other parts of Taiwan, newbies who haven't played before, old players, and random mates.  This only managed to get the number up to 12 players for the game meaning we were justified in only playing 1 friendly due to so many people taking a holiday.
The friendly ended 4-4 which was a pretty fair result.  The first half we were very good but the team got tired in the second half and we were completely overrun by Shane at times with a lack of options from the bench. 4-4 was a fair result, even though I read on their report that it ended 4-3 to them and our last goal was after the final whistle.  
We didn't play anymore friendlies because the Chinese New year was early.  So we had a break due to Christmas and the New year, then after another couple of weeks it was the Chinese New Year holiday. There was also a pre season tournament involving some teams from the league but we couldn't muster up a squad to play in the two day competition.  So we had to give that a miss also. 
On top of not playing any friendlies, we also lost our kick about pitch due to Fujen University rebuilding the stand for the Universadite Games. This has meant we haven't got to practice so much since the end of the season. 
Fortunately we found a new training pitch at Taipei European School on Yangmingshan Mountain. Unfortunately the new training sessions have also been interrupted due to the holidays.  
The last bit of news we could of done without was our goalkeeper telling us he wanted to play outfield.  After we refused he informed us that he would be joining another team so he didn't have to play in goal.  This has left us a week from the opening of the league with no keeeper, which is never a good thing. 
With all these issues and problems going on before we start the season, we have still been working hard behind the scenes to try and keep our training sessions going and recruit new players.  So far it has been hit and miss but we will be entering the new season with the same grit and determination we finished the last as we look to again finish no lower than top 6, with a target on top 4.
Keep on, Keeping on lads! 
- See more at: http://www.taipeimagpies.tw/news/item/news/new-otpl-season-2017#sthash.BJOKdL1i.dpuf

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Goalkeeper Needed

Goalkeeper Needed


With the new season just around the corner our only goalkeeper decided he didn't want to be a keeper anymore.  With him being the only keeper we have, and good in goal we refused and told him we really want and need him to be the keeper.  
Unfortunately he had already made up his mind, and decided he didn't want to be between the sticks this season, so has left to join an unknown team and will supposedly be playing outfield.
This leaves us searching for a keeper with only a week until the new season.  If anyone is interested in playing for us in goal.  Please get in touch as soon as possible! 
- See more at: http://www.taipeimagpies.tw/news/item/news/goalkeeper-needed#sthash.GibGQH1r.dpuf