MRT Pole Dance

I took the above shot on my cell phone yesterday, riding the Taipei MRT from Longshan Temple to Dunhua and Chungshiao.

Here's the situation: person gets on the MRT and leans up against the pole that is in place for passengers to hold on to (see above pic again). People already holding on to said pole are forced to remove their hands. This in fact the second time this has happened to me recently. The first time, I was riding the brown line to Guanqian Station and a middle-aged man got on. He was about to take hold of the pole when he noticed my hand also attached, so he quickly retreated with an aghast expression, like I had cooties or something. After turning to another pole and finding his access blocked, the middle-aged man then turned his back to me and proceeded to lean up against my pole, crushing my hand in the process. 

I was talking to a friend about this. He told me he's also encountered the tactic, on numerous occasions too. What he does is flex his hand so his knuckles stick out, so that the offender can feel them in his or her back. Then he wiggles his fingers until he gets a response. Not preferring such antics, I go for the much simpler verbal appeal to reason: "我怎麼扶欗杆?" or "How the heck can I hold the pole now?"


New Building in the Neighborhood

This Tzu Chi (慈濟) hall has just gone up in my neighborhood, which is Wanhua (萬華). I think it's, well, to be frank, kind of unattractive. I asked some of the locals and they tend to agree. According to the boss at the breakfast shop I go to across the street from the hall, his customers sometimes say it looks like a prison. He on the other hand doesn't mind its drabness or stucco texture, the blending of browns and grays, etc. because he finds the mass soothing.

I was wondering if, looking at this building, the builders did not first have to submit plans to the city for approval. A friend says they probably do, but they're for rubber stamping. Several people have also told me not to worry about the new Tzu Chi (慈濟) hall because Tzu Chi is a charitable organization; they do a lot of good things for Taiwan.


Stove Headed East on Bade Road

Do You Have a License?, originally uploaded by Patrick Cowsill.
Carlo, Shane and I were having refreshments in the Hi Life on Lane 12, Bade Road (八德), Section 3 yesterday when this stove drive drove by. I was cursing because I left my iPhone in the office. Whenever there is a good photo-op, I don't seem to have my camera with me. The quick thinking Carlo grabbed Shane's iPhone and went off in pursuit. The stove driver was a bit surprised when Carlo caught up for this shot (above).