Sonntag, 23. Dezember 2007!

The number 1 of the weekly Christmas countdown means that now all 4 candles of the advent wreath illuminate the home and create the right winter atmosphere. After the Christmas holydays my departure to Taiwan will follow. Last year the situation was much better, because I left Germany mid December. I avoided the whole Christmas stress. At this moment all comes together: year-end closings, purchasing and exchanging of christmas gifts, packing of the baggage ...

Even the itinerary in Taiwan is partly still unclear: Will we enjoy the fireworks of Taipei 101 in the overcrowded and burstling capital or will we go to a secluded mountain village, where nobody ever heard about Western New Year? At least my wife booked for some days a room in an East Taiwanese guest house , that vaunts its concept of the missing tv-set, non existing air condition and absent wireless internet. Their concept should be really unique in Taiwan. But at this place the tranquility, closeness to the nature and view to the Pacific ocean must be fantastic.

During the last years I always missed the celebration of the Western New Year, because at the special moment I slept deeply like an angel. Only the Chinese New Year is important for traditional Taiwanese. The activities in the night of December 31 are only exciting for young people that like to have parties and the pubs to promote their business.

Kenting with its beautyful beaches is not a part of the route this time. Nevertheless Luo You dreams about 20 degrees Celsius, sunshine and the sound of the waves if he is thinking in his departure to Taiwan.

Sonntag, 16. Dezember 2007

... two ...

The third advent weekend passed that gave several opportunities to visit some of the local Christmas markets.

At Lüntenbeck House the hosts offered more than sausage, potato pancake and hot chocolate with amaretto.

Also the Kasper, the German correspondent of Mr. Punch, acted out in the afternoon and enjoyed children and adults. After the question of my wife, who is Kasper, Luo You googeled: One origin of the character you can find in British annual village fairs. „Mr. Punch and Judy" is a famous puppet play to enjoy the spectators. If Mr. Punch throws his baby out of the window, struggles with his wife, kills all authorities and let out all his aggressions, he becomes a character the oppressed masses can identify with.

I remembered also this kind of puppet theatre sunday evening, when I watched the so called “motor sport” telecast GRIP at the German tv channel RTL II, that I also like to call asshole tv.

A big part of this telecast contained the ambitious and malicious destruction of three second-hand-cars. So the vehicles lost all of their remaining utility value. Eg the anchorman slitted all four tires of the Opel Astra - shown in the picture above - to total the car on the rims.

For many people in the world those cars could support incredibly their living standard and save their economic existences. Now they were just destroyed to catch for some moments the attention of the spectators and fill the minutes between the commercials.

How the German society deals with values, that were once created by the sweat and the efforts of its members, reflect the media as well as the visible reality. Enough people need more sublimation of their aggressions than to watch “Mr. Punch“ and so called „motor sport telecasts“ including the warning in good fun “Don´t follow our example!” of the smirking Matthias Malmedie.

On the way home at the suburban train station in Wuppertal was almost all broken: the ticket machine, the clock at the platform, the train indicator. The wind protection of the benches was missing. At the platform of the “non smoking” station” the cigarettes ponked, in the train the broken toilett spread its ugly smell. Graffitis covered the seats and the inner walls of the cars.

Employees except thefrustrated train driver in his closed cabin, that shocked passengers could tell their complaints, were missing. At least the doors of the car were working and the train was almost on time - a very rare case in this country. Well, the broken ticket machine allowed a free ride. Otherwise the ticket fares reached almost the British level, means unbelievable expansive especially in comparison to the offered service. I really wonder what we pay for.

So, this is Germany: The working people create value, whereon the entrepeneurs and chief executives like Mr Mehdorn or Mr Demant (27.661 employees of Opel in 2006, 46.000 in 1996) accuse them that they ask for too much money and recommend them better to ask for social support ofthe government.

Next the created values were destroyed by media, in reality or simply by the decision to let them deteriorate (eg the railway infrastructure). The people who created those values got no chance to use them in a suitable way.

Destruction and deterioration are also financed by the working people either

- by the products that they buy and whose companies pay the advertisement of the tv channels like RTL 2 or

- by the social transfer that allows the hooligans to buy the beer and the aerosol cans or

- by the just raised fees for transport or

- by the increased car use because the public transport is inacceptable in relation to safety, service and cleanness or

- by the privatization of the railway company that is equivalent of the waste of public resources in favour of the benefit of few accounts.

Thus I´m not amazed that the former prime minister of the North-RhineWestphalian state, Mr Steinbrück, once cutted extremely my salary and raised my working hours. Later he raised the taxes to reduce my real earnings. Somehow the increasing negative circle of creating and destroying values must be financed.

Seemingly the economic circle in Taiwan moves in the right way. Clean stations - above Tzoying 2004 - with a lot of employees for service inTaiwan, Japan, Hongkong and China, like in Germany 30 years ago, are the normal situation. Reasonable fares cause a good use to capacity. Safety and missing malicious mischief ingratiate the public transport. Instead of complaining about the high expanses by vandalism and malicious mischief the Taiwanese railway administration employs many workers, that do not possess a high income, but show a great working discipline and satisfaction. They create an atmosphere of community and responsibility, that is missing in Germany and displaced by demotivation, frustration and undamped aggression. Paradise Taiwan?

Sonntag, 9. Dezember 2007

... three ...

Today was the turn of the advent wreath´s second candle. That means there are only two and half week til christmas and slightly less than three weeks til our departure to Taiwan.

I regret that I can´t go earlier to Taiwan like last year and escape from all the German christmas trouble in December: traffic jams in the big cities because of the extreme shopping fever and the christmas markets, countless christmas parties and annoying new year wishes as if a new life will start in 2008. Nevertheless there are still some positive reports about the last week:

Santa Luo shows what Santa Claus gave him.

Besides all those Christian stuff there was the opportunity last week to visit a buddhist presentation of the "Boddhisattva buddhistischen Kulturverein i.G." (Boddhisattva buddhist culture club in the course of incorporation) in Duesseldorf. First their chairman explained the purpose and the aims of the club. Then a dharma master held a speech about the themes "Why buddhism?" and "How to practice buddhism?". The master was a lady, that came from Heidelberg where she did her doctorate. 20 families and 10 single persons belong to the buddhist club. Because the club is still in the course of incorporation, there is not yet a web page or a home of the club. I guess their examples are the islamic culture clubs, that were founded by the muslims who are living since decades in Germany. People are looking for support and a feeling of security in a strange and cold society. Mainly Taiwanese support the "Boddhisattva buddhistischen Kulturvereins i.G.". My wife is always amazed how many of her compatriots are residents in the cities of Western Germany. A real surprise at this evening was the meeting with an acquaintance from Kaohsiung, who is also a member of this club and contributed to the supporting musical programme of the evening as a violinist.

You find always confirmation how small this world is. Actually there is no place on this little vulnerable planet, swinging in the space, for crazy dictatorships and nationalistic assigments, excessive selfishness and racist hierarchy thinking, that endangers the existence of the whole mankind.

At the sight of the buddhist and other taiwanese orientated activities in Germany Luo You became curious and asks if there are similar, mirrored German networks in Taiwan.

Montag, 3. Dezember 2007

Countdown 2007 - 2nd Alternative

Daily Counting

This is the current calendar in my office. The advent calendar was sponsored by the German post "Deutsche Post", the "Postbank", "DHL" - all those companies that once belonged to the government run "Deutsche Bundespost". Seemingly they still have tied relations, at least on this calendar.

Three little gates are already open. However, Luo You got nothing of the sweet content and chocolate. His female co-worker were much faster this morning. In Taiwan the typical German advent calendar causes more astonishment than round-shaped bellies and the need of a strict diet after christmas.

December 24, 2004 the English teacher´s assistant with the strong German accent could spread some Western culture in a Kindergarten of the second biggest city of Taiwan, Kaohsiung. The little students had the chance to see for the first time in their life a real advent calendar. Because it was the 24th of December and Holy Eve they could open all doors number by number immediately. Fortunately the group had exactly 24 children. Especially fair was that the most shy boy got the biggest piece of chocolate at the end. Only one slight problem appeared: The Taiwanese winter is still warm enough to melt the German cocolate. Well, the students even learned some English by this presentation. Each of kids had to say the current number before they opened the door and when they got the chocolate: "Thank You, Santa!" --- "Ho, Ho, Ho!"

Sonntag, 2. Dezember 2007

Four ....

This morning Luo You (Fortunately my wife didn´t name me "Mohamed", otherwise pervert guys in some countries got the strange idea to whip her or treat her in other bad ways. Sometimes I have very serious doubts, that the human species belongs to the intelligent live forms.) incended the first candle of the advent wreath and enjoyed his plain breakfast.

The alternative counter 2, the daily counter, is hanging in my office. Thus I could not yet show it in my blog. Maybe tomorrow I can offer you more ...

Freitag, 30. November 2007

Countdown 2007

Alternative 1 - The Weekly Counter - Der Wochenzähler

There are only four weeks for Luo You to escape from the winter of the northern latitudes. The (hopefully) spring like Taiwan at the tropic of cancer is waiting for his arrival. Because Luo You´s departure is almost at Christmas the classical German advent wreath is a perfect counter. This Sunday Luo You will incend the first candle.

Sonntag, 25. November 2007

IPod, IPhone, IShit

By no means I want to debase the products of Apple or their utility value, although the IPod of my wife rests since years almost unused in a drawer. This post deals with another theme.

German: Mit meinem Post will ich auf gar keinen Fall die Produkte der Firma Apple und deren Nutzwert herabwürdigen, obwohl das IPod meiner Frau seit Jahren fast unbenutzt in der Schublade altert.

No IPod, but Luo You´s old MP3-Player by Tchibo - Kein IPod, sondern Luo Yous alter MP3-Player von Tchibo

In Germany since November 9, 2007 the IPhone is available. As a cell phone abstainer I´m totally untouched by this event. How this product can enrich my life is still a secret for me. Also a real German euphoria to buy this product is seemingly still missing. It´s very clear that the German Telekom und Vodafone have another opinion, otherwise they won´t quarrel in front of the civil court in Hamburg.

Seit dem 9. November 2007 ist nun das IPhone in Deutschland erhält. Als Handy-Abstinenzler bin ich davon unberührt und kann noch keine Bereicherung meines Lebens in diesem Produkt erkennnen. Auch sonst habe ich den Eindruck, dass sich in Deutschland die Kaufeuphorie außerhalb der Medien in Grenzen hält. Telekom und Vodafon als Wirtschaftsunternehmen sehen das wahrscheinlich anders, sonst wären sie in keinen gerichtlichen Streit eingetreten.

Early monopol product of German Telekom, formerly Deutsche Bundespost – Früheres Monopol-Produkt der Deutschen Bundespost, heute Telekom

During the last days in my opinion another – personal - recognition was more remarkable: Besides IPod, IPhone, IMac etc exists IShit or more correct „Eye Shit" too. The Chinese cultural circle calls the „grain of sand", that we can find in the morning in our eyes, 眼 屎 or „yan2 shi3" in Hanyu Pinyin. This means literally translated „Eye Shit".

Bemerkenswert fand ich aber in den letzten Tagen die Erkenntnis, dass es neben IPod, IPhone, IMac usw. auch IShit oder korrekter „Eye Shit" gibt. Im chinesischen Kulturkreis wird nämlich die Sandkörner, die sich morgens in den Augen finden, 眼 屎 oder in Hanyu Pinyin „yan2 shi3" genannt. Das heißt übersetzt auf Deutsch „Augenscheiße" und im Englischen „Eye Shit".

Source of Luo You´s IShit

Besides, there is also ear shit and nose shit. How nice is the Western story about the little sand man who sprinkles sand into the eyes of the children at night to bring on dreams and sleep. Who wants to have so much shit at his head?

Übrigens gibt es auch Ohren- und Nasenscheiße. Wie nett ist da doch die Geschichte mit dem Sandmännchen in der westlichen Kultur, so in Deutschland oder England. Wer will schon so viel Scheiße am Kopf haben?

Sonntag, 18. November 2007

Simple Taiwanese Dishes in Germany - Einfache taiwanesische Gerichte in Deutschland

It mustn´t be deep-fried guppies, oops, fried sardines to get the real Taiwan food taste in Germany.

German: Es müssen nicht immer frittierte Guppies sein, äh gebratene Sardinen, um auch in Deutschland - wie heute Mittag - ein taiwanesische Essenerlebnis zu haben.


Sometimes simple ingredients, that you can get in every teutonic supermarket are sufficient to feel like in Taiwan.

Manchmal reichen einfache Zutaten, die es in jedem teutonischen Supermarkt gibt, um sich wie in Taiwan zu fühlen.


With salad, eggs, mayonnaise, corn, onions, white bread and thuna in oil it´s very easy to create a formosan breakfast classic. The blogs of countless Taiwanese suffering from the poor food culture in foreign counties describe the exact recipe. Besides, the picture, that I took, shows thuna with vegetable. That´s wrong. Thuna fish with oil is the right choice. The drink the matches this dish perfectly is a big cold coffee with milk and an overload of sugar.

Mit Salat, Eiern, Mayonaise, Mais, Zwiebeln, Toastbrot und Thunfisch ist leicht der formose Frühstücksklassiker herzustellen. Die genaue Rezeptur und Zubereitung findet der dem Chinesischen Kundige in diversen Blogs an schlechter Esskultur leidender Auslandstaiwanesen. „Thunfisch mit Gemüse" war übrigens ein Fehlkauf. Richtigerweise gehört zum Frühstückssandwich nur Thunfisch in Öl. Das passende Getränk dazu ist ein großer, kalter Kaffee mit Milch und unmäßig gesüßt.


The americanized sandwich-breakfast displaced seemingly the classic Chinese breakfast in daily life especially for the younger generation. However, youth hostels and hotels still continue to serve the Chinese version with manto (steamed bread), tofu dishes, vegetable and rice congee, like in the guest house of the Wuling Farm in April 2007:

Das amerikanisierte Sandwich-Frühstück hat wohl das klassische chinesische Frühstück vor allem bei den jüngeren Leuten im Alltag verdrängt. Jugendherbergen und Hotels servieren es aber weiterhin, wie hier im Gästehaus der Wuling Farm im April 2007 mit Manto (gedämofte Brötchen), Tofugerichten, Gemüse und Reisbrei:


The sweet orange-colored stripe in the middle of the picture are called "douzao", „dou zao", "dou4 zao3" or 豆棗, literally translated tofu dates. The product made by soy beans is nowadays diffelt to buy in Taiwan. Even big supermarkets don´t offer it. I found it in a small specialized grocery store.

Die süßlichen, orangefarbenen Streifen in der Bildmitte heißen "douzao", „dou zao", "dou4 zao3" beziehungsweise 豆棗, wörtlich übersetzt Tofudatteln. Das Produkt, hergestellt aus Soja, ist selbst in Taiwan in großen Lebensmittelsupermärkten kaum zu bekommen und nur noch bei kleinen Spezialanbietern zu haben.

Sonntag, 21. Oktober 2007

Hair extensions - Haarverlängerungen

How proud was my hairdresser when she got few years ago the territorial exclusivity for artificial hair extensions of a specific company – according her opinion the best one in this area. The japanase movie „Ekusute“, that will be shortly released on DVD in Germany, shows that hair extensions can also become a terrific horror.

Luo You discovered the work by the comercials on the Taiwanese tv-channel CTITV, that you can also watch in internet. Here is the music video trailer about the movie:

In the horror movie the vivid hair extensions cause suicids and accidents.

Now we know: Not the pressure to perform, the stress of density and over population, not the risky driving style and the poor road design, that is mainly focused on speedy car traffic and wide lanes, are the reason for the higher suicid rate and number of victims on the roads in some countries. The real cause are dangerous hair extensions.

German: Wie stolz war meine Frisörin vor ein paar Jahren, als sie den Gebietsschutz für künstliche Haarverlängerungen einer bestimmten - der nach ihrer Meinung besten - Herstellerfirma erhielt. Dass Haarverlängerungen auch zum Horror werden können, zeigt der japanische Film „Ekusute“ der in Kürze als DVD in Deutschland erscheinen wird.

Entdeckt hat Luo You das Machwerk in der Werbung des
taiwanesischen Fernsehsenders CTITV, der über Internet auch in Deutschland zu sehen ist.

In dem Horrorfilm führen Haarverlängerungen mit Eigenleben zu Selbstmorden und Unfällen. Mehr zum

Nun wissen wir es: Nicht Leistungsdruck oder Stress durch Dichte und Bevölkerung, nicht unangepasste Fahrweise und die rein autoorientierte, überdimensionieter Straßengestaltung führen zu einer vergleichsweise hohen Selbstmordrate und Verkehrsopferzahl in einigen Ländern. Es sind gefährliche Haarverlängerungen.

Dienstag, 16. Oktober 2007

Theater without Spectators – Theater ohne Zuschauer

Exactly 6 months ago I saw a very strange performance in Kaohsiung: Squeezed in the small space between the entrance of a parking lot, the concrete wall of the coast line, parking scooters and cars a group of professional actors showed their best. However, nobody was really interested in them - except a stray dog and an innocent LuoYou.

The place where it happened was the former British consulate in Kaohsiung, which is situated at an extremely prominent place of the city. The building, that the British erected in 1865, crowns the rock northern at the entrance to one of the biggest container harbours in the world. There is still a splendid view to the whole city. Few years ago the area was renovated and is now a first class destination for a nice dinner and to observe the sunset.

Next to the consulate is a little temple. The performance was related with the sacred place and served religious purposes. In the Christian culture people order and pay for a mass, in Taiwan people donate for a theater play dedicated to their God. 10 or 20 years ago this activity was a big event that gathered a village or quarter of the city. Meanwhile television, internet and pc-games created alternatives and lowered the number of spectators down to zero.

No problem, the professional actors say, first we are playing for God and second we are paid. But somehow it´s a pity that people don´t look at them, because they make so many efforts. So, the only hope is, that God at least still watches them and did not yet turn to the modern media, too. Well, the loudness reaches a level that even superior creatures can´t ignore them. Next to the enormous loud speakers of the street theater and the noisy music of the restaurant a flutist - engaged by the city government - played his instrument with an electronic booster. First I had the idea he is a part of the theater play. But my wife explained that the actors had their own orchestra behind the stage. The city government wanted to raise the cultural level at this place by the sounds of fluid.

Will the car driver notice the high cultural level of this place, while the barrier of the parking lot permantly squawks „Cordially Welcome!"

As a tourist Luo You was very excited what happened on the stage. The play could compete with every Korean, Japanese or Taiwanese soap opera in the local television. But Luo You´s wife was impatient and had the car keys.

Last Sunday came the déjà vu. The German television channel ARD broadcasted a report about the temple of Cao3 Tun2. According their report the town is quite famous for its puppet play. But, the same phenomenon was visible: no spectators, although the best puppet players of Taiwan gave enthusiastically their best and an excellent show! Only God witnessed their achievements. I wonder how the German television got the inspiration for this report.

The journalist of ARD also met a worshipper in the temple that feels a strong connection to God by burping up. Quite interesting! Even my wife never saw this before.

Samstag, 22. September 2007

Rice Cooker

Meanwhile in Taiwan Roomba and Scooba wage the robot war, in Germany still rules the technology of the last millennium.

At Luo2 You1´s home the Tatung TAC 20 offers strong resistance against the German leading culture of Solanum Tuberosum:

In 2005 my wife brought the device from Taiwan. When she acquired it in Kaohsiung first the clerk of the household supply store presented her a big choice of excellent high tech rice cookers, well equipped and chip controlled. The wish of my wife to use the item in Germany and therefor the need to run it with 220 voltage shrinked the selection enormous and also the joy of the Taiwanese - my wife and the clerk - about finest and most advanced technology: Only the Tatung TAC 20 seemingly with the design and technique of the 1960s in the lowest corner of the shelves fulfilled those demands.

Anyway the cooker is robust and daily without any problems in use. Thanks to the internet and downlaodable manuals even Luo You could get the knowledge how to use it. „Wo de Tai Tai" (my wife) had the opinion before her last longer stay in Taiwan, that she didn´t need to give me detailled explanations because of it´s simplicity. Besides she supposed I won´t use it too. But, wrong!

The rice cooker is extremely useful for a fast dinner: 2 cups of rice into the inner pot, fill it up with water til the indication, some water according the measuring cup between the inner pot and the outer container of the heater, then switch it on. After 15 to 20 minutes the slackly-flaky rice is ready.

However, recently there was an expert´s dispute about the right use of the rice cooker: Do you have to cover also the inner pot - means double covered - or only the outer container? How much water has to befilled between the inner pot and the outer container? 2 lines of the measuring cup or half cup for two cups of rice?

The extremely old Taiwanese rice culture competes with the German engineer´s spirit. A human, formed by countless salty potatoes during his childhood and few cooking bags of rice, discusses with a person of a country, that nowadays only know computer controlled rice cookers. The design of the 1960 almost extinguished. Besides, in Taiwan only my mother-in-law cooks the rice. But better not to provocate further more ....

The result of the different preparation of rice - "a la Taiwanesa" and "a la Alemán" - is thoroughly comparable. Here with Kung Bao Qi, Broccoli and "Federweißer" (still fermenting young German wine):

Dienstag, 28. August 2007

Hot Pot

What Wendel´s Bakery represents for some Germans in Taiwan, is Ho´s Supermarket for many Asians in the area of Düsseldorf and Cologne in Germany.

Due to Ho we got a Chinese hot pot as dinner today:

In Taiwan it looks like this:

Seen in Hsi-tzu-wan (西子灣), eaten and never forgotten.

Dienstag, 24. Juli 2007


The excitement about „F-U-C-K YOU CHINA" in the Chinese culture area was almost ignored by the German media. My wife, who is still staying in Taiwan, mentioned the news first and called my attention. There was an article in DW-World at July 9, 2007 and also at July 12, 2007 – in Chinese. In you could found a report about a demonstration of few Chinese students in front of a chain store of KULT, a German retailer of clothes, at July 12, 2007.

Picture by DW-World. Is this the KULT store at Obernstr. 82 or Sögestr. 46 in Bremen or somewhere else? It´s really time to learn better Chinese.

Some people, mostly Chinese students, protested against the sell of t-shirts with the imprint: „F-U-C-K YOU CHINA, Manufactured in Europa, Produced and designed by Philipp Plein". They felt, this is discriminating and racist. They demanded the responsible persons should apologize and withdraw the shirts.

49.50 Euro was the price of the shirt. According an article in Sueddeutsche Zeitung the retailer gave them back, although he liked to order more. Seemingly the demand was quite good.

Young people in Germany, Chinese as well as other Nationals, became the dogsbodies of China´s foreign policy.

The list of signatures published in a forum - now a broken link - “Against race discrimination - KULT and PLEIN must apologize!!! Please support us.”

Also the popular China-forums in internet are full of protests. The used terms start with the missing understanding and respect for the Chinese culture, xenophobia in Germany and end - as a reaction towards the criticism against the Chinese government - with the allegation of German behavior during the second world war and the holocaust of the European jews. Yes, the bad and ugly Germans came back. The company Philipp Plein International receives 1000 up to 1500 emails per day full of hate and countless phone calls from China and Hong Kong of „Fuck You“ crying people.

Philipp Plein, who received death threats, eg by this - now shut down - webpage at a server of Chemnitz university, is born in Munich, Germany. The company Philipp Plein International is situated in Switzerland. The shirt is manufactured somewhere in Europe, they write. The Text is written in English. Where the cotton comes from is unknown. The young and ambitious company suffers a lot from unauthorized copies of their design. As a kind of copy protection they created the imprint „F-U-C-K YOU CHINA – Manufactured in Europe – Produced and designed by Philipp Plein".

Because of 80 shirts on sale the German and Swiss embassador in Beijing got a reprehension by the Chinese government. Philipp Plein was appointed to the Chinese embassy in Bern, the capital of Switzerland. Although he apologized, the Chinese diplomats demanded furthermore a public annoncements in German and Swiss media. They even ask for a list of his sub-supplier.

Defacement of Christian symbols? If „our“ pope Papst Benedictus gets it, maybe the fuss about Philipp Plein starts again.

The worst about this affair is the wired pseudo-partiotism of the demonstrators and commentators, the self-proclaimed guards of the Nation, that possess the idea to be better than the other, because by chance CHINA is imprint in their passport. Weidade Zhong Guo (= Great China)! There is only one step distance between this kind of thinking to Nazis and religious extremists.

Confucius´ temple in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in december 2004 - According the opinion of some people the teaches of Confucius lead to a firm unity of the individual personality and the country. Who writes „F-U-C-K YOU CHINA", insults all Chinese people.

Nationalistic are the attitudes of the demonstrators: They glorify „China“ as a mythic and superior creature, inaccessible and bare of all criticism. If I write „F-U-C-K YOU BERLIN" or „F-U-C-K YOU SHANGHAI", probably no inhabitant of Berlin or Shanghai will feel touched. But the Nation needs protection, because its endangered, and its more important than individual freedom. Thus even a small imprint on 80 shirts of a small fashion company can became a big problem.

The restriction of individual freedom in favour of a mythic glorified nation is extremely undemocratic and serves only for the particular interests of the small ruling class. This happened already once in German and no normal person wants to see this situation again: Limit a national group “gathered by their blood”, serve for a superior mythic and “natural” organization, that needs protection, discriminate and chase outsiders are their well known methods, that the Nazis used and use in the same way.

The search results in Google: 203.000 times „F-U-C-K YOU CHINA“. The entry in my former German blog for enlightement and liberty at the closed site of reached at least the 3rd place.

At the same time "F-U-C-K YOU CHINA" is not determined. Does the term mean the Peoples Republic of China or the Republik of China on Taiwan? Does it include Tibet or not? CHINA is a state. CHINA can be an culture area. CHINA are not the people. How can "F-U-C-K YOU CHINA" be racism? "F-U-C-K YOU CHINA" can be related with missing basic human right, the fate of the slave workers, with of the massacres at Tiananmen square in June 1989, with permanent war threat against 21.5 million peaceful people in Taiwan. There was fictitious answer of Philipp Plein in the web that disappeared already. Well, he printed "F-U-C-K YOU CHINA", because he and his company were tired of all those unauthorized copied products, that endanger the success of his small company and his own economic existence.

There is no racism, if a European company expresses its aversion against a system that doesn´t respect international agreements - a system and state that creates and doesn´t stop unrivaled conditions of work:

According my opinion the brain washers from kindergarten til university in PRC did a good job. Their cadres arrived and agitate already scrupulously in Germany, that the girls and boy toe the line: „F-U-C-K YOU CHINA".

Too simple calls an author of a webpage whose main enemy is the German imperialism. Only idiots can get those ideas, he writes. He insists there is a German racism and an agitation by popular German newspapers and magazines against China. The „simple“ Chinese students can feel it - and seemingly the „simple“ Chinese diplomats too! Philipp Pleins´s printing „F-U-C-K YOU CHINA“ is the trigger that they lose their patience, writes this authors. According the author it´s absolutely okay that citizens identify 100 % with your country and offend the assumed opponent: country = nation = all citizens. But he refuses to locate this credo close to the neo-nazi´s belief. Who is the idiot? Besides, there is no need of a conspiracy theory if a totalitarian controlled society implemented once successful the nationalistic thinking. It started in China in 1949.

When the memories come back about the incident at Tiananmen Square in 1989, I feel a little bit uneasy how good German salarymen and politicians can deal with the class of dictators that once ordered to slaughter CHINA´s unarmed and peaceful sons and daughters. On the other hand Germany ignores officially the democratic society of Taiwan.

In Taipei, March 2005, probably a member of the "Chinese race" (Could he be an aborigine, hakka, hoklo or vietnamnese?), misleaded by the secessionist Taiwan authorities – in the language of CHINA - has a similar opinion like Philipp Plein: „FUCK YOU CHINA COMMUNIST“.

"Racist" Foreigners protest together with Taiwanese against the anti-secession law of CHINA and hundreds of Chinese missiles directed to their Chinese compatriots in Taiwan

Luo You shows his copy protection to CHINA.

Samstag, 23. Juni 2007

How Luo2 You1 (羅優) was born ...

... or the image of Germans abroad.

What are those gentlemen doing in the bath tub? -Click here-

Maybe some people have the idea Luo2 You1 is a strange pseudonym. But, actually it´s a real name - a real Chinese name, just written in the phonetic transcription of Han Yu Pinyin.

Luo2 You1 written with traditonal Chinese characters

In the 94. year of the Chinese Republic, at the 6th day of the 5th month, Luo2 You1 was born. The place of his birth was the Yanchao Township Household Registration Office. The office is situated in No.585-1, Jhongmin Rd., Yanchao Township, Kaohsiung County 824, Taiwan.

How could this happen? Somewhere in Canada several years ago a Taiwanese girl met a German guy. They fell in love and decided to share their future. The eternal promise was sealed by the wedding.

Although the government of the Republic of China avoids to restrict the freedom of its citizens – with all advantages and partly also disadvantages – at least it´s necessary to register the marriage. In Taiwan a marriage is almost a full private case, an agreement between two families shown to the public. By contrast the German government still acts in the role of an old lord of the manor, who could decide who marries to whom and always felt care for his bondslaves. The Medieval system existed til Napoleon blow out the Holy Roman Empire and all those German principalities. Still nowaday the effects of the pre-Napaleon era lasts.

In China the emperor was seemingly not very interested in the affairs of his subjects as long as they payed obidient their taxes. At least he had to know the number of the inferiors and their formal relations. In the modern society of Taiwan the household registration offices fulfill this task for the rulers.

So marrying in Taiwan needs four basic steps: 1. asking for the blessing of deities in front of the ancestor´s shrine, 2. public notary at the District court (to get an official document with international recognition), 3. household registration office to indicate the event to the government, 4. public wedding party. Don´t ask me how many steps it needs in Germany to marry in Taiwan - or much worse - to marry a Taiwanese in Germany!

Step No. 3 was the less spectacular one: no guests, no special dress, no ceremony. However, a new person was born: Luo2 You1.

Place of the Household Registration Office in the center of Yanchao.

If a Taiwanese marries, he or she has to change the ID card, because the name of the spouse is also imprinted. At this moment people with a Latin name are asked to get a Chinese one. One reason is the missing space on the Taiwanese ID-Card. Usually people in Taiwan have full names of 2 or 3 characters. My full western family name has 23 character. Although Taiwan likes to create an international environment and is quite open to foreign influences, there are some cultural limits. As well as Chinese have to romanize their names in the western countries, Westerners can also respect the Chinese culture.

The demand of the friendly clerk in the household registration office met an unprepared couple. My first proposal "Yu Lung Shan" refused harshly my wife. "Lung" means dragon, the sign of the zodiac in which I was born. "Lung Shan" can be also interpreted as a translation of my German family name. There is some association with "Zhong Shan", Dr. Sun Yat-Tsen, the founder of modern China, too. "Yu" is similar to the beginning of my German first name. Besides, "Lung Shan" is a famous temple in Taipei. This was the reason, why my wife disliked this name.

Which girl wants to marry a temple? Lung Shan Temple in Taipei, still unmarried in April, 2004

Very soon „Yu Lung Shan“ appeared as Ford Prefect in Douglas Adam´s „Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy“. So better to look for an alternative name.

Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent – Don´t be misleaded by the dominant life species in Taiwan, if you have to choose your name!

After some consideration my wife decided to name me „Luo2 You1“. Luo2 is actually a normal Chinese family name. In Taiwan and China nobody will think about it. Well, Germans are usually quite curious and will ask the meaning. In combination with other characters „Luo2“ means to be busy, looking for a reason, end a task ... „You1“ means excellent, outstanding and reflect the wish of my wife to get the husband :-) My wife had also the idea the sound of Luo You follows the frist sillabs of my family and my first name. Well, for me its only a prove that Asian and Western ears are different, at least my wife´s and mine.

But, there is also another meaning: Luo2 You1 sound almost like „Loriot“. This refers to the cartoonist and comedian Loriot who holds the mirror to his fellows Germans. Too often I tried to explain my wife West German humor in a kind of private integration class. Now came the revenge: Who cites and repeats countless times Loriot´s jokes and sketches, will finally become a „Loriot“ too.

Montag, 18. Juni 2007

Kaohsiung (高雄) - 2nd part

The former mayor of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa, described during the Holcim Forum 2007, what a good city characterizes in his opinion. Some of the themes, that he mentions, were also noticed by the temporary resident of a big city in Taiwan. Therefor I decided to compare the thesis of Peñalosa with the current situation in Kaohsiung to get a better understanding of the live and development in Taiwan´s big cities. The first part will be continued:

This time "Maiden´s Prayer", composed by Tekla Badarzewska-Baranowska, is performed by a real musician and not by a Taiwanese garbage truck.

"Dammed cars! Of course, except mine ..." works only in the frame, that the government offers. When I went as a student from Dortmund (a university with incredible big and free parking lots, but regularly overcrowded, and with missing suitable urban transport connection til 1983) to ETH Hönngerberg in Zurich in the mid 1980s, I was surprised: high parking fees even for the students and no warranty to get a free place. So, it´s better to leave the car at home.

Since 1984 the H-Train with a length of 1 km connects the two campus of Dortmund university. Before there were many cars and few buses on the former village roads between the two places.

Peñalosa: “If car use is to be restricted, there must be good public transport. Transport is a social status game: From fancy cars, to trams instead of buses. Zurich is Europe’s richest city. Yet 60% of its population takes public transport every day and 20% walk or bicycle. Yet many upper middle class citizens of developing cities would not go near a bus or a subway.”

Siemens delivers Kaohsiung´s new metro trains, seen by Steve Schönemann in Hasloch, October 2, 2006 (Source:

Not really inviting looks the current urban transport in Kaohsiung 2007.

“Bicycles tend to integrate people in a more democratic manner. Bicycles are not a minor issue. They are central to the good city of the future. Bicycles are not for the poor: Denmark and the Netherlands have a higher income per capita than the United States. And nearly 40 % of their population use the bicycle daily. A protected bicycle way is a symbol of democracy. It shows that a citizen on a $ 20 bicycle is equally important as one on a $ 20,000 car. Quality sidewalks and protected bicycle paths are not cute architectural features: they are a right. Unless we believe that only those with access to a car have a right to safe individual mobility.”

A little couple rides bicycle in Gushan Road. If you don´t have the right to get a driver´s license and you lack of money this is the best manner of transport in Kaohsiung. If you have a driver´s license or enough money, don´t do it. It´s probably too dangerous.

“Sidewalks are the most important element of a civilized city’s infrastructure. Cars parked on sidewalks, or parking bays where there should be sidewalk, are symbols of inequality and lack of democracy. Quality sidewalks are a symbol that shows that citizens who walk are as important as those who have a car. A city that is safe and friendly to pedestrians and bicycles almost certainly is a good city.”

Even a short walk in Kaohsiung - like in almost all Taiwanese towns and cities - is a hurdle race: parked cars and scooters block the way, storepresent their goods on the sidewalk. You have to cross the kitchen of restaurants and wokshop. The construction of the new metro offers the chance to give roads a new design with wide sidewalks.

“Is public pedestrian space a frivolity in a developing country city facing many difficult challenges? Tourism is a pedestrian activity. Most of what provides joy and is memorable in a city are its pedestrian spaces. Most of what government at the national or local level do are MEANS to eventual wellbeing. Public pedestrian space is an END in itself. IT IS QUALITY OF LIFE ITSELF.”

Public pedestrian zones like in Germany are unknown in Kaohsiung and other Taiwanese cities. Although the café at the “Urban Spot Light” is still closed, people like to sit here and enjoy the space in a central area free of cars and scooters.

“Lack of access to green spaces may become the main factor of exclusion. A good city provides many free pleasures. No child should grow farther than 3 blocks from a park.”

The Central Park of Kaohsiung was a former sports ground and got recently a new design. The artificial pound with a big bridge looks very expansive. Lees expansive design elements and more parks could be a better solution for the city.

“Waterfronts are so unique, they should never be private and exclusive. Waterfronts should have pedestrian infrastructure, preferably without motor-vehicles alongside. This are most memorable places of a city, not its highways.”

The love river is an example of the urban transformation in Kaohsiung. Once the rivers drained the fields and the plains. Then it became a cloaca of the industrialized city. After many improvements the promenades and cafes along the river invite now visitors in the evening and at the weekend.

A new big project is the development of the abandoned harbour area between pier 1 and 22. When the harbour administration gave up the usage, it became the biggest pedestrian area of Kaohsiung. Here is the place where the city can change from an Asian boomtown to a real ocean capital.

“The challenge for a good city is to improve public transport and spaces for pedestrians an cyclists. Wherever people use public transport, it is rarely out of love for the environment. In a truly advanced city, rich and poor are integrated as equals in many locations and activities: transport, sidewalks, bicycle-ways, libraries, parks, cultural activities.”

Bicyclist rides on a former industrial railway line along the recently opened harbour area. Though the weather condition with heat, typhoons and heavy rainfalls are sometimes harsh, at least people are sometimes willing to leave their air conditioned cars, if they see useful alternatives.

View from the former British Consulate to the harbor side of Kaohsiung, that is full of chances.

Sonntag, 17. Juni 2007

Kaohsiung (高雄) – A city advances! – Eine Stadt steigt auf!

When I wrote my remarks about the communism in China Lu Er Fu and my wife complained: Why you show Kaohsiung (高雄) in this way as an ugly result of capitalism? Do you ignore the changes and all those recent improvements the second biggest city of Taiwan? Okay, I regret.

The German Ruhr Area in the 1960s: Wanne-Eickel´s Röhlinghausen district

Even pictures, on the one hand of my old home town Wanne-Eickel, located in the coal mining area of the Ruhr (I still remember the impressing big black mountains of stored coal that covered big parts of the city during my childhood.) and on the other hand of the tropical paradise Kenting, that shows the real beauty of Taiwan, could not calm „wo de Tai Tai" (my wife). So here is an article about the „real" situation in Kaohsiung – of course from my point of view.

Kenting in April, 2007, a love harbour for Taiwanese-German couples

Recently I read an article about the Holcim Forum 2007, that discussed about "Urban_Trans_Formation". One of their speakers was Enrique Peñalosa, the former mayor of Bogotá, Columbia. During his three year term (1998-2001) as Mayor he led massive efforts related to transportation, land use and housing for the poor, pollution abatement, and the critical need for public spaces.

Of course, you can´t compare the situation of Bogotá and Kaohsiung. The conditions are too different. Bogotá is the capital of a developing county. Kaohsiung reached almost the level of an advanced city, although its history is quite short. However, Peñalosa describes what is a good and sustainable city. This counts in South America as well as in Asia or Europe. Here are some of Peñalosa´s thesis summarized and combined with the situation in Kaohsiung:

View from "Kaohsiung shrine" or also called "Martyr´s shrine" to the city of Kaohsiung. The first guide book that I first purchased about Taiwan, written by Werner Lips, described the women of Taiwan as the most sad women of the world. But, can men be happy in this environment?

Peñalosa: "The 20th Century will be remembered as a disastrous one in urban history. The question is: Do we dare create a different, better city? How do we want to live? The measure of a civilization’s success is not its gross domestic product or its technology, but its citizens’ happiness. A quality city can provide much joy. And it is a magical good, because its capacity to provide joy does not wear out."

The children in a kindergarten of Kaohsiung enjoy the program of their volunteer assistant English teacher with German accent. How will be their situation, if they leave the class? Can they play later in a garden or do they have to face the terror of traffic?

"Beyond survival, happiness we need 1) to walk, 2) to be with people and 3) to not feel inferior. A city that is good for children, the elderly, the handicapped, the poor is good for everybody else. In every detail a good city must show respect for human dignity. In terms of transport, a good city is not one with great highways but rather one where a child in a bicycle could go safely everywhere. A transport system tends to produce a kind of city and a city is a means to a way of life. Therefore the urban design and transport issue is the same."

Motor scooters and cars dominate the traffic in Kaohsiung. The German city walker feels very often like poor rabbit. Local people are seemingly used to this, like the lady on the left who collects potential recycables to supplement her scarce pension. The driver of the car on the right doesn´t respect the traffic rules and ignores a one-way-road. Inbetween the garbage truck plays "Für Elise" composed by Ludwig van Beethoven, wrongly in the clip labelled as "A Maiden´s Prayer" by Tekla Badarzewska-Baranowska:

"Most of what destroys quality of life in modern cities results from trying to make more room for cars. Polluting or clean, cars represent problems to urban quality of life. There is a competition for space and money between cars and people. Government funds for roads in big cities compete with funds for schools, nurseries, parks, housing, libraries in those cities and rural areas. Is a city friendly to cars, or a city friendly to people sustainable?"

20 lanes of concrete occupy the space around the toll station at highway 10 northbound. The loss of orchards and fields in the surrounding of Kaohsiung was during the last decades enormous. New road and industrial zones cover the ground where the parents of today still could play as children.

"Cars are extremely recent in human history. They are a means of social differentiation. There is not a "natural" level of car use in a city. It is Government which determines, explicitly or implicitly, how much will the car be used. Political pressures from car owners and other car related interests are so massive, that often it is forgotten that cities are for people, not for cars. If there was more space for cars, there would be more cars. If there was less space for cars, there would be less cars."

In Kaohsiung is free space for parking scarce and fees are high. If you don´t respect the rules easily your car can be towed away. At least they write the number of the license plate and a telephone number on the pavement, to get the information, where you can pick the car.

"Solving traffic jams with more or bigger highways is like putting out a fire with gasoline. Despite giant highways, eg Atlanta has more traffic jams every year. A long time ago advanced cities such as Manhattan or Zurich decided they would NOT build more road infrastructure in order to alleviate traffic jams. There are frequent traffic jams in Manhattan and nobody thinks that is a problem. If you are in a hurry, you take public transport. Traffic jams are effective means to achieve public transport use and Density. For traffic it is the same to double the number of cars, as to have the same cars do twice the distance. Be careful with the demands of the higher income groups: They rarely use the city. They only care for its roads, in order to drive from one private space to another."

This is a Picture of the picture of the construction site at the main station placed by Kaohsiung´s city government. The Zhong Shan Road crosses elevated the station area. However, what will be the future? The project provides an improved public transport and reduces the cut caused by the railway in the centre of Kaohsiung - or will the railway tunnel only offer more space for cars?

According this model of Kaohsiung´s future we can call the city "little Germania". The historic station building looks like a fly´s shit.

"When shopping malls replace public space as the meeting place for people, it is a symptom that a city is ill. Great cities do not have shopping malls. Their best shops always face public space."

The "Dream Mall" in Kaohsiung is the biggest shopping mall in Taiwan. Does it mean the city is ill?

"With good design, a modern city should still have communities. Density is the most important element of good transport, regardless of whether we use trains, buses, taxis, bicycles or walk."

A new residential area with high density is under construction at Nei-Wei-Pi Cultural Park in Kaohsiung. I worry if high density, a museum and a park are enough to form a good community.

"Can we design a transport system without knowing what kind of city we want? Transport is a peculiar problem: It gets worse as a society gets richer, clearly a not sustainable model. Which is the objective of our transport policy? a) Provide efficient mobility for all or b) Minimize traffic jams for the higher income groups? Transport cannot be solved simply with money: It takes changes in our way. In developing country cities transport is clearly not a technical, but a political issue. Who benefits from the policies adopted?"

The central park of Kaohsiung was in spring 2003 the place a light rail exhibition. A Siemens tramway connected two station on a former sports ground. It was a big event for the kids and their grandpas. The project is postponed, although its much cheaper than the metro construction. Because it seizes the oversized car roads of Kaohsiung its also a social and democratic concept according Peñalosa.

A virtual trip of 6 minutes with the tramway in Kaohsiung. The second part of the post will show the really beautyful places.