Taiwan…Would that all of China was you. I spent only a week there but what a place, and what I time I had. My friend Lin Yanting, my roommate in Pyongyang when we ran a half marathon there, is from Taipei – the city I spent most of my week in with lovely Lisa. He studies at Waseda University in Japan and unfortunately, we missed him by one day. But fortunately, I got to have dinner with his beautiful sister and mother, who are great. And his friend Harold Lu, who is also great. And Farrah from California, who put us up for a couple of nights, showed us some cool spots around town. I know this means nothing to you dear reader, so what I’m trying to say is, Taiwan is great. An island of hard won goodness, decency, consideration, conscientiousness and freedom in a crazy ass world. It pains me to know that my government does not officially recognize this country’s sovereignty. Such is the give and take of The Great Game. In any case, all the best to Taiwan.


From the second to last meeting between Mao Zedong and the American delegation on October 21, 1975:

MAO: It’s better for (Taiwan) to be in your hands. And if you were to send it back to me now, I would not want it, because it’s not wantable. There are a huge bunch of counter-revolutionaries there. A hundred years hence we will want it [gesturing with his hand], and we are going to fight for it.

KISSINGER: Not a hundred years.

MAO: [Counting with his hand] It is hard to say. Five years, ten, twenty, a hundred years. It’s hard to say. [Points toward the ceiling] And when I go to heaven to see God, I’ll tell him it’s better to have Taiwan under the care of the United States now.

KISSINGER: He will be very astonished to hear that from the Chairman.

MAO: No, because God blesses you, not us. God does not like us [waves his hands] because I am a militant warlord, also a communist. That’s why he doesn’t like me. [Pointing at the three Americans] He likes you and you and you.



On a side note, I want to comment on one thing. When we returned to Beijing, we had a long layover in Hong Kong. In one day I was in Taipei, Hong Kong and Beijing. As you know there is some tension between these cities. If you’ve been to all three, you know the differences and what I’m about to say. Hong Kong to me has become a special life treat. A place I couldn’t live in because that would ruin it, but a place I could die in, and that I like to daydream about. Taipei has taken on a similar role in my mind. All I’ll say is it will break my heart if Beijing wins out over these other cities. Not that I don’t like Beijing but…ah forget it. Here are some photos I got from a week in Taiwan.



Taipei 101 wideBy Lisa Holm

Palms and T101

Sun Yat Sen Memorial and Taipei 101Taipei 101 from the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

Taipei 101 and flagTaipei 101

Tapei 101 and clouds

Women and dragonsLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺

Small guys with swordsLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺

Man flying on somethingLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺 Check out that detail. Imagine trying to make that.

Man at LongshanLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺叔叔

Man prayingLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺

Longshan closeupLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺

Longshan silhouetteLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺

Longshan silhouette 2Longshan Temple  *  龍山寺

Guys flying on dog thingsLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺

Close up LongshanLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺

3 Lamps closeTaipei – lantern town

Lamps up close

Night market stall

night market intersection

Woman and lamp

Women laughing at stand

Genie billboard

Jesus Loves You“Jesus loves you.”

Hanging flags

Guards at Sun memorialSun Yat Sen Memorial Hall  *  孫中山紀念堂 By Lisa Holm

Lincoln and Sun Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall  *  孫中山紀念堂

Sun and LincolnSun Yat Sen Memorial Hall  *  孫中山紀念堂

Taiwan bannerSun Yat Sen Memorial Hall  *  孫中山紀念堂 By Lisa Holm

Taiwan 1臺灣  *  Taiwan

Taiwan 2Couldn’t decide which one I liked best…

Taiwan 3

Taiwan 5

Taiwan 6

Taiwan 7

Taiwan 8

Taiwan 9

Degree of Freedom

Dalai Lama

Falun dafa is good banner“Falun Dafa is good.”

FLG signs

FLG sign

Lady with FLG sign


Doing FLG

Gunchu taiwan“Evil cult Falun Gong: get out of Taiwan.”

Fake democracy

Man and fake democracy

Free and colorful world

Man and banner“Ma Yingjiu (President of Taiwan) step down from office.”

Man with duli banner

People are masters

Taiwanese are not Chinese

Taiwan nationalism

Banners crossing

Banners guoing ma lu

Banners crossing street

Banners waiting to cross

Banners lined up


Window characters

Certificate close

Certificate close up


CKS wideChiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall  *  蒋中正紀念堂  By Lisa Holm

Chiang Kai Shek memorial

Chiang statue

Chiang and soldier




Taiwan sun

Selfie stickI understand this is something called a “selfie stick” and that grown men are known to use these contraptions…

Soldier saluting…That’s more like it.

Soldier face close up

Soldier close up

Soldier saluting back

Soldiers and Guns

Soldiers facing

Soldiers saluting

Soldiers facing each other

Soldier standing

Chiang and MacArthurChiang and MacArthur.

Chiang and ReaganChiang and Governor Reagan.

Generals Caddy frontThe General’s Caddy.

Generals Caddy side

Generals Caddy back

Chris and  Caddy

Lan JiaLan Jia Restaurant for your guabaos.

Roosevelt Ave

ScooterTaipei – scooter city

Scooters from above

Scooters ready

Night market street

Keelung 2014

Keelung Station


Jiufen 1

Jiufen 3

Jiufen 2

Jiufen 5

Jiufen 6

Jiufen 7

Jiufen 8

Jiufen 9

Jiufen 10

Jiufen 11

Jiufen 13

Jiufen 14

Jiufen 15

Jiufen 16

May Peace Prevail

One thought on “Taiwan

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