... available at all good cosmetics stores. I don't know what I'd do without it.

… available at all good cosmetics stores. I don’t know what I’d do without it.


Leaving Me Cold – Chinese Quack Medical Beliefs

Zhang documents 500 types of "febrile diseases" (basically fever) cause by "cold". The Chinese revere him for his invaluable contribution to Chinese medicine. Most sensible people would probably be a little less trusting of some old duffer who no one knows anything about other than the fact that he peddled some herbs a couple of thousand years ago.

Zhang documents 500 types of “febrile diseases” (basically fever) cause by “cold”. The Chinese revere him for his invaluable contribution to Chinese medicine. Most sensible people would probably be a little less trusting of some old duffer who no one knows anything about other than the fact that he peddled some herbs a couple of thousand years ago.

I hear that in Taiwan when someone tells a shit joke, people say it was “cold”. That’s pretty appropriate because Chinese beliefs about the effect of cold are a really bad joke.

Check this book out that I found down an old second-hand bookstore yesterday. This shit was written by a guy called Zhang Zhongjing who is hailed as one of the greatest doctors in Chinese medicine. The way they go on about the old fraud, it’s like he’s the Mohammad Ali of this shit or something.

Anyway, just the title alone says everything about Chinese beliefs about how cold things affect the human body: Cold weather, cold drinks etc. Basically, cold stuff causes colds. And not just colds: my ex-missus used to have a couple of students who weren’t allowed to eat or drink cold stuff as they were “short” and “traditional” docs out here told them that consuming anything cold wouldn’t let them grow. At the same time, their parents had them on some random pills that would allegedly “make them taller”. I swear that shit is fucking child abuse.

Speaking of that ex (and, as I think I’ve mentioned before, this is part of the reason that she is my ex), she – like many Chinese girls, so I’ve heard – refused to eat or drink cold things while she had the painters in, as she claimed the cold would cause her to feel “uncomfortable” and have some kind of stomach ache. When I said I had never heard of any girl back home claim such a thing (and I have three sisters), she said that must be because “Western girls are different”. Right.

The main idiocy in these very idiotic beliefs about “cold” is that it can somehow cause “a cold”, which is obviously a virus. If you point out to them that people in many parts of the world were running around butt-nekkid in freezing cold conditions with no hint of the cold virus or flue etc. before Europeans carrying these diseases turned up, the just look at you blankly, shake their heads or, most annoyingly, mutter something about forrin types not understanding. This is thousands of years of culture they add.

But that’s just it – this shit is from ancient times when people were dropping like flies and barely lived out of their teens, as this decidedly more scientific dude points out here. Why the fuck should we believe what these voodoo peddling witchdoctors were coming out with back then? Answer: “Because you foreigner must respect Chinese culture” (translation: I have no real answer, so I’ll just say you don’t get it and hope that shuts you up).

Cold doesn’t cause “diseases” unless we’re including hypothermia, pneumonia or some other breathing illnesses. The liner not below (sorry about the pic – blurry like most of the claims in it) says that this volume of bulshit hocus-pocus is an all-time classic and as important as Euclid’s works on geometry and Newton’s physics are to Western science.

I don’t know much about that Greek guy but didn’t he prove infinity and shit? And Newton: Basically discovered gravity, right? Don’t think either of these fellas would be too happy to be compared to some ancient snake oil salesman who frankly didn’t know his arse from his elbow.

Rollei Digital Camera

If the likes of Zhang Zhongjing are considered founding fathers of Chinese medicine, it’s a wonder there are even any Chinese still around to believe in his nonsensical babbling.

Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp. shows its class

Aside from its flagship Taiwan Gold Medal Beer (the cans and bottles have images of medals from Brussels on them, but, seriously, what competition in Belgium would award that crap anything but the prize for “best beer in a green and white can made in Taiwan”?), the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp. also produces such pisswater as “Shaohsing Chiew” which it reckons is “world famous”.

Rollei Digital Camera

TTL RUM: Suavity incarnate.

But it’s in its manufacture of Western style beverages that TTL comes into its own. The company’s rum is noted for its “smooth and suavity” and the gin, we are informed, is “100 neutral” and “flavoured with a juniper” (just the one).

It certainly won’t be long before these fine products take the international markets by storm. You heard it here, first.

This is as unbiased a drop of booze as you'll ever come across ...

This is as unbiased a drop of booze as you’ll ever come across …

Merry Fucking Christmas


Now, FTNM is hardly backward in coming forward when it comes to effing and blinding and generally hurling vile invective around but it really does get on my man tits when I see shit like the above.

This is the window of some poncey boutique store in the Dunhua area. Again, it ain’t that I’m prudish when it comes to the profanity but this is a ‘normal’ clothing store like you’d see in any (reasonably) developed city. Why the fuck are they using the word fuck when they have no FUCKING clue what they are on about?

The day before I’d seen a little rat-haired twat bowling down the street with a massively oversized cap emblazoned with FUCK OFF. I stared at him as he walked past and he looked acutely embarrassed and was clearly aware of the import of the words (though perhaps he suddenly realised that he looked like a golf club). Why wear that shit then?

Let me explain. Native/Fluent speakers of a language have the right to wear shit like this and make cocks of themselves as they understand the intricacies of the lingo.

Foreigners who use expletives in public may have experienced looks of disapproval from locals who have no idea how the words are being used. I have had this happen several times and received frowns or shocked looks when I dropped a ‘fuck’ or, more commonly, the adjectival form into a conversation with a friend. Sometimes the gawker looks on as if they expect a row to break out right there as I am clearly affronting the person I am speaking to by using such a word. Basically, to such people, ‘fuck’ just equals ‘fuck off’ or ‘fuck you’ in every context.

Most of the people who wear or use curse words in English are basically in the same boat. They have no clue about the context, the appropriateness or, as it were, the time and the place to use swear words. They don’t have a grip of the cultural background, the social mores and all the little nuances that inform the sacred art of swearing. A man like FTNM, therefore, who has no qualms in telling any old fucker to get to fuck, nonetheless cringes and baulks at idiotic and ignorant uses of good old Anglo-Saxon like this.

Really, don’t run before you can walk. If you don’t know exactly how a word or phrase will be received, don’t utter or write it without thinking long and hard. Certainly don’t have it splattered across your T-shirt or shop window in massive, ostentatious writing for all and sundry to see. You might look like a right fucking  prick.


Taiwan Baked Chicken

Just chillin ...

Just chillin …

Passing a local market bakery the other day, I did a double take when I saw a couple of dark bundles perched on the metal frame of one of the tables outside.

It took me a while to register exactly what they were but when one of them clucked, I finally realised.

“Why are there chickens roosting on your table?” I asked a young lady who was putting bread into the large oven nearby. She shrugged. “Where did those chickens come from?”  I tried. More shrugs, then eventually, reluctantly, “They’re someone else’s.”

Ah. There you go, then.