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HOME - an amazingly beautiful wake up wall to what our planet is facing
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Monday, November 29, 2010

The New North

We just survived elections for each district's politicians as well as the mayor of Taipei County's areas surrounding Taipei that have been organized into Xinbei City (New North City). I say survived because there's been some stiff competition for each spot, resulting in endless campaigning. In Taiwan, this amounts to (extra) trucks driving around with loudspeakers waking you up in the morning soliciting (citizens') votes and just before election day, more and more parade-type processions of the candidate with retinue, snare drums, fireworks, ... even a car done up like a tank driving around campaigning for someone. I do hope it wasn't a real one.

What's more, the city and county was literally plastered with flags and posters. Here is an example:
image source

My friend's colleague, having freshly arrived from UK for business, apparently nearly got into an accident crossing the road because in his own words: "I couldn't see anything because of all the flags!"


Finally, there really was a bit of an unexpected
incident when the night before the elections someone shot at a politician and killed a bystander. Given that it was the son of a former vice-president who apparently faked his own death in a previous publicity stunt, I'm not sure what to think...

Anyway, it's all behind us now. The flags are gone. There are still cheerful photos -- of candidates -- gracing buses, but the loudspeaker trucks are back down in frequency to the couple of self-enterprising repairmen and possibly a collection scheme for paper. Anyway, I've gotten used to the one truck's nice little jingle and the other one's fairly-annoyed-sounding recording soliciting for ... whatever it is he's soliciting for. I still haven't deciphered much of it besides: "Do you or do you not have/need...?"

2 comments:

Nikita Avvakumov said...

Oh, I remember those trucks. Just as I was drifting off after a sleepless night in my hotel... Dang jetlag!

Those flags look festive at first glance, but I can see how they'd be a safety hazard, so it's probably a good thing they are gone.

Keep up the reporting!

Anastasia said...

Will do! Bet you're missing the 100% humidity and 38C heat now!