Porcine but Not Ham Fisted…

by Mark Forman on February 7, 2019

Happy Lunar(Chinese) New Year to all. It is the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese zodiac system. It also happens to be my year for whatever that is worth. The Lunar New year holiday vibe is similar to but also very different from Christmas/New Year holidays in the west. Similarities: big holiday, family time, a lot of eating, gift giving( Chinese custom mostly giving red packets: 紅包 of cash), etc. The Lunar New Year holiday can be as much as a week or more at times (at times because the dates change each year as opposed to the Gregorian calendar which is pretty fixed). Due to the longer duration and the crowding in Taiwan (here for me), most places are jammed and not very much fun unless you like crowds and moving at a glacial pace. So what most people do is practice the art of chillaxing during this time. Hanging out at home, sleeping late and taking naps, hitting Netflix.  Those that like to gamble play mahjong with family and friends often through the night.



Taiwan Says…

by Mark Forman on November 28, 2018

First let me say that the local polling place is downstairs from where I'm sitting right outside my elevator door. Our complex is the largest in the area many area voters already live here is how the logic goes. In fact the District Warden-the most local of local government officials also lives here. I know my wife voted for him because he seems to actually make an effort to help and serve his electorate-sounds good to me. I saw him on Sunday out with his core support team parading around the neighborhood thanking those that voted for him. I congratulated him in Mandarin as I drove by on my scooter-all very Taiwanese style behavior. This was a fairly complicated ballot since there were numerous local elections: mayor, councilman, wardens, etc. There were also 10 referendums on the ballot including nuclear power issues, the name for Taiwan's national team, gay marriage, sex education, etc. The complexity and number of people and issues to vote on produced really long lines and voting times. I could see from my balcony that there was a line all the way down from the poling station out of the complex and around the corner at it's longest.

I don't vote since I'm not able as a non-citizen. Therefore I don't have any dog in the race. My impressions of the results: the DPP government is good at talking/thought breeding but bad at executing. People here are tired of significantly increased air pollution, less liberal-minded than it appeared, and even though the probably hold their nose over Chinese Taipei national team name are willing to put up with it rather than have Beijing pressure the rest of the world teams to exclude a Taiwan named team.


…and Where it Stops Nobody Knows…

by Mark Forman on November 5, 2018

I just saw a Tweet reminding me that Daylight savings time is upon us. It also mentioned how many feel some sadness at the change of the season. Maybe that was the reason or part of why I had a couple of days of heavy blue funk going on. A couple of days of rain and missed exercise least week didn't help either. It's amazing how much regular exercise increases serotonin levels and lifts your mood. This photo was taken on the first day after the 2 rainy days I mentioned. I made myself go out and take my camera with me. I decided that the walking and the street photography were just the medicine that Dr. Forman ordered. He was right!

I shoot much less these days. It seems when I do I am much more focused and predisposed to get a grouping of good shots. I still prefer to shoot with the DSLR and leave the phone in my pocket. I'm sure in my eclectic fashion that at some point I'll have the itch to shoot nothing but phone shots for a period but it hasn't happened recently so... This area flea market was quite bustling. The other day I told some local friends one of the things I like most about Asia are it's markets. So alive and chaotic very much like life itself. It is the wildly beating heart of the town or the city it is in.


Celluloid Hero

10.01.2018 by Mark Forman

The last few days have been culturally rich with music-listening to more Spotify during my morning exercise. Recent listens: Miles Davis' Agharta, Jimi Hendrix, some classic old school NYC Hiphop. So yesterday I was sitting around deciding what to watch-had watched Kill Bill Vol. 1 the night before. It dawned on me it had been […]


Stranger in a Strange Land

09.25.2018 by Mark Forman

Was semi-binging Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown episodes over the Moon Festival Holiday weekend here. The one with Marcus Samuelsson and his wife returning to Ethiopia with Bourdain and crew along was particularly poignant. Marcus admitted how he has several homes and maybe no home. I can identify with that kind of at home where you […]