People Power

Political banners such as this one were hung in the massive Chiang Kai-Shek memorial in the spring as a means of resisting the continuing support for the former leader and his political party, the KMT, which was returned to power in March 2008. One woman I talked with at the memorial turned out to also be from Southern California.  A KMT supporter, she thought the banners were "noisy" and disrespectful.

What's in a name?

What is Taiwan?  An independent country? A disconnected limb of mainland China?  Many Taiwanese want the world to recognize them as their own country, but this would mean greatly angering the mainland.  Meanwhile, at the 2008 summer Olympics, Taiwan has to appear under the name, "Chinese Taipei."

Recognizing differences

Taiwan stands out among many Asian countries for its recognition of minority groups -- from the disabled to the gay and lesbian community.

Ximending: Center of Taipei's Teenager Universe

I felt woefully unhip in this neighborhood, a center of youth culture and shopping in Taipei.  When I went into a music store, the categories included Mandarin, Taiwanese, Japanese, Korean, Independent Label (some of the music played on this documentary) and Western/American (although the latter was by no means dominant).  

Almost heaven?

I wasn't sure if this was real graffiti or officially sanctioned.


One magazine on display, "Beautiful English," was for people learning to read English and featured Barak Obama on the cover.

In case you forgot