London calling...

A Taiwanese woman's journal of her pursuit of an MBA, a meaningful life, love and her observations of the world along the way! Blogger based in Taipei.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Intriguing traces of similarity...

Last night when I was sitting in the MRT train on the way home and flipping through the Taipei Times, my jaw almost dropped when my eyes landed on the day's editorial. How so?? Well, please follow the steps and read on.

Step one: If you haven't read my posting on Monday March 27 yet, please do. You can scroll down to the article below this one and scroll up when you finish. Or if you are feeling lazy as it's Friday (I'll cut you some slacks), you can click here.

Step two: Read this editorial published on the page 2 of Taipei Times on Thursday March 30. Please pay special attention to the highlighted sentences.

Now, tell me. Do you sense many similarities between the lines? If it still looks vague to you, allow me to do some comparisons.

Jen said, "...Regrettably, I think some of the news crew may well enjoy a promising career in producing the Taiwan version of American idols, if they decide not to follow the political beat." --> implying that the political news in Taiwan were presented like entertainment news.

Taipei Times said, "... magnification of Ma, ... into a myth, and the migration of the country's political scene into the realm of the entertainment sector."
Jen said, "...While behaving unsophisticated is one thing, acting completely stupid is really way over the limit a TV audience can bear."

Taipei Times said, "... Behaving unprofessionally is one thing, but acting like groupies oversteps the limit."
Jen said, "...This phenomenon peaked when I saw (on ETTV or CTITV) a group of Taiwan reporters surrounding Ma Ying-Jeou and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in their meeting. Not only did the news clips look more like a fan club event than a talk between mayors...."

Taipei Times said, "... Groups of reporters warmed around Ma to get his signature, looking more like members of a fan club than professional journalists on assignment."
Jen said, "..., a reporter even concluded the news by asking Newsome the following question: "Do you think Ma Ying-Jeou is handsome? Geez, do you think that's what the audience in Taiwan want to know? If ETTV or CTITV would send someone all the way to the US just to ask such a stupid question..."

Taipei Times said, "...One reporter thought that the question Taiwanese TV viewers really wanted Newsome to answer was: 'Do you think Ma Ying-jeou is handsome?' Did the TV stations really send reporters all the way to the US just to ask such a stupid question?"

Pffff, that's really a lot of words to type... :s Since you've reached this far, I reckon that you have also sensed many of the similarities between my posting on 03/27 and Taipei Times' editorial on 03/30. That's why I was so surprised and kept wondering what could be the reasons behind that. Well, after much analysis and reasoning by deduction when I rested my beautiful head (;oP) on the pillow last night, I thought of three possibilities:

Possibility one: Jen is actually the author of this editorial and she works for Taipei Times. She’s just playing mysterious. And to save time, she expanded her positing on the blog into an editorial as she had to go to a dinner date on Wednesday March 29.

Possibility two: The wise think alike. The author of this editorial and Jen happened to see the same news clip on the same TV channel and felt the urge to express their opinion. They are not only alike in logic but also in their rhetoric and sequence of paragraph structuring.

Possibility three: The author of this editorial saw Jen’s posting on this blog, liked her opinions and decided to “integrate” her ideas into this editorial. But he/she forgot to ask Jen in advance whether she agrees.

Now, which one of the above is true?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Can some reporters be inaner?

While the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Ma Ying-Jeou is enjoying his high-profile trip slash interview prior to the 2008 Taiwan Presidential Election, many TV stations in Taiwan also sent their correspondents or news crew to tag along. However, as I sat and watched the news on various cable TVs day by day, the news quality in Taiwan makes me wonder: Can the news programs be more sensational and lack of sense than they are now? Regrettably, I think some of the news crew may well enjoy a promising career in producing the Taiwan version of American idols, if they decide not to follow the political beat.

Those who have seen Ma Ying-Jeou's interview on BBC must be impressed, to an extent, by Sakur's savvy professionalism in combination with a thorough understanding of the interviewee's background. Although the ban on media in Taiwan has been lifted for a long time, I've never seen any Taiwanese reporter who dares to challenge a politician in such a probing yet honorable way. Not to DPP leaders (well, to them the media mostly use bitter sarcasm and metaphor) and most certainly not to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Ma Ying-Jeou, as KMT traditionally controls most of the capital in TV stations. While behaving unsophisticated is one thing, acting completely stupid is really way over the limit a TV audience can bear. This phenomenon peaked when I saw (on ETTV or CTITV) a group of Taiwan reporters surrounding Ma Ying-Jeou and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in their meeting. Not only did the news clips look more like a fan club event than a talk between mayors, a reporter even concluded the news by asking Newsome the following question: "Do you think Ma Ying-Jeou is handsome?"

Geez, do you think that's what the audience in Taiwan want to know? If ETTV or CTITV would send someone all the way to the US just to ask such a stupid question, I think they might as well save that money to buy more clips from the wire agency.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ready for some down time...

Last week as I was setting up my new office so the broadband connection was not available until yesterday. While I was glad to resume the internet connection, the ever-changing spring weather in Taipei caught me off guard with a bad cold...

Thus in the coming couple of days I am ready for some down time until the cold gets off my back. Thanks for many anonymous readers' encouragement and support. I'll be blogging my brains out very soon.

Cheers - Jen

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

And the gold medal goes to... INSEAD!

While this is not a race on academic excellence or ranking, INSEAD has won a private competition yesterday. Out of the many b-schools I contaced (to make the comparison fair, all contacts were done on the same day), INSEAD was the fastest in sending in a personalized formal response in full. And mind you, it's a newly designed version of catalogue freshly delivered from France. The new design is quite retro but in a stylish way.

Well done, INSEAD! ;-)

Monday, March 13, 2006

WHO disseminates FALSE bird flu info

When the deadly avian flu is spreading across the globe, what would you guess is the rule of thumb of disease reporting for WHO officials? I know not everyone in Taiwan feels the immediate threat of bird flu, as insofar Taiwan has not reported any H5N1 cases among either poultry or humans. But please, my fellow people, access to the following link and you'll be shocked by how the Communist China's diplomatic force is clouding over the reality.

Taipei Times' coverage on WHO's misleading health mapping

Although Taiwan does not have any cases of H5N1 infections, it is classified as a H5N1-affected area because the WHO regards Taiwan as a province of China, where both poultry and human bird flu cases have been reported. How sad is that? When Taiwan is fulfilling all the duties as a good global citizen to prevent the spreading of avian flu, the organization which should report ACCURATE (?!) health information to the world has succumbed its sacred mission to the CCP's political demand. One word from Jen to the WHO officials: what you have done is an outright insult to your own authority!

Apart from the sense of urgency that I felt about Taiwan's isolation in the international community, I'm also disappointed about Taiwan's diplomatic system. I know it is a damn hard job to speak up for Taiwan, when most countries in the world simply want to capitalize on both sides. The Taiwan government needs to recruit/cultivate a lot more talents who is not only intelligent enough to maneuver on a negotiation table, but also has the integrity to defend/protect Taiwan's dignity under all pressure and/or seduction of personal interests.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Global Voices Online & Peking Duck

Wow, it amazes me how powerful a simple link from a famous blog can do to boost the traffic and bring in audience. One of my posts about China was picked up by The Peking Duck and subsequently referred to by a Blog archive Global Voices. I thoroughly feel honored and was glad to know that people do share my thoughts in one way or another.

Thanks Richard & Luisetta Mudie. Next time when you visit my blog, please leave me a message okay? ;-)

By the way, I started to take leave this afternoon to enjoy my "gap between jobs". And just now, I received a phone call from a previous client contact. The way she used to treat me was like she was ready to bite my head off any time. Now that I ceased to be her contact in the agency, she's incredibly sweet. Life is strange...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Status of my MBA pursuit

Well, although I've been wining about many things, don't be confused - this is an MBA blog!

Today I made a big progress by securing a very important recommender, a senior VP at my current company, who gave me his words about a letter of recommendation. Now I just have to find another recommender then this searching is done.

It really surprises me that so far none of the brochures I requested online have arrived in my apartment. I am getting a little anxious about this. Hope they will arrive this week.

Been studying the sentence correction part of the Official Guide and had some frustrations. Lots of the sentences, which seemingly easy, actually got me off guard. Though a bit frustrating, I feel it's better to encounter those mistakes now than the time when I am actually sitting the GMAT. Gotta make a schedule of studying and stick to it from now on...

How a Taiwanese person feels about China?

Well, this question has been following me since I met the first foreign friend or during my one year of study abroad. On one hand, I'm glad that people from other regions in the world would care to probe this controversy between Taiwan and China. But on the other hand, I also get irritated by some folks who generalize the disputes between the straits as "China's domestic matter" and laugh about Taiwanese' reaction towards its hostile neighbour.

So exactly how a Taiwanese person is supposed to feel about China? Don't you share the same language and culture? One can barely differentiate a Taiwanese from a Chinese person from the outer appearances anyways. So what's the big fuss? Let me try to answer in brief what the big fuss is about.

1. Yesterday the white paper of the Taiwan defense ministry has been published. There are in total 784 Chinese missles aiming at Taiwan at the moment. If the Chinese party leader orders to attack, China can bomb Taiwan for 10 hours non-stop. What do you think Taiwanese feel about that? How would you feel about that if you were in our shoes?

2. Although I was forced to memorize all cities, names of mines, rivers and every minute details about China during my 14 years of compulsory education in Taiwan (when the ruling party was still Kuomingtang), I have absolutely no emotional connection towards China. I am positive that many people of younger generations born after the 1970's in Taiwan would share the same sentiment as I do.

I mean, what's the big deal about using the same language? Do the Dutch and Belgian claim to belong to the same country? I don't think so. Since people in Great Britain, US, Canada, Australia (and many other more) all speak English, why don't they form a country together? It's more efficient anyway! Do you think that North Korea and South Korea can just live happily ever after if they merge with each other since they are all Koreans? I hope you get my point. The key lies in the thinking, the logic and the mentality of the people. Taiwanese and Chinese are different. From my point of view, the whole point lies that Taiwan is just too small geographically to matter in this whole military and economic competition. That's the sad truth about being a small country.

3. It simply makes me sick whenever I see news like this:

The Chinese media praised Taiwan-born Ang Lee for his best director Oscar win but state TV cut part of his speech mentioning China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Lee thanked everyone in all three regions. Beijing regards Taiwan as sovereign territory and Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

"Ang Lee is the pride of Chinese people," said the China Daily.

State television also cut Lee's words of thanks to the two gay cowboys in his film, Brokeback Mountain.

Lee said: "They taught all of us so much, not just about the gay men and women whose love is denied by society but, just as importantly, about the greatness of love itself."

Brokeback Mountain will not be released in Chinese cinemas and can only been seen on pirate DVD.

The Chinese government refused to include it on a list of foreign films approved for domestic cinemas, a move that stops just short of an outright ban.
Track back URL for the above quote

So, what do you think a Taiwanese person is supposed to feel about China?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Feeling antsy...

I took a sick leave today to see the Academy Awards live. My eyes almost swelled with tears when best director went to Ang Lee. But honestly, as much as I love the movie Brokeback Mountain and feel thorougly proud that finally a Taiwanese director has won the Oscar, what else does this news have anything to do with me? Nothing really... Then why would I even do such a thing today? All because I want to avoid thinking and feeling for a moment.

Exactly what am I avoiding?

In just a couple of days, I will depart from my current company. For as long as I can remember, the longest gap that I had between jobs were no longer than a week since I started working. Weekends were used to make up for the sleep lacked duing the week days; personal holidays were either spent on inter-continental trips to visit ex-ex/ex boyfriends or fulfill my obligations as a daughter. I suddenly realize that I did not leave any space for myself, not that I recall of.

So when a break is around the corner, I feel antsy. I feel the desire to inhale a lungful of cold fresh air while walking in a forest (which there is none in Taipei). And I dream to surround myself with no one but nature and its melodies. I need to let things sink in before I immerse myself in the next job (which is waiting) and the next goal. It'll come in just a few days.

I can't wait...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Portland Pillow Fight

I heard that they just had a pillow fight like this in Portland, the United States. Man, this looks so fun! Wish we had something like this in Taipei as well so I could go out and beat someone up... Oops, kidding... :oP

It's the Annual Academy Awards Ceremony tomorrow. Am crossing my fingers for Ang Lee and Brokeback Mountain to be the big winner...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Dutch classmate spinning in San Francisco

My Dutch university friend, Peter, a DJ and model, is working tonight at a trendy club Le Duplux located on the mission street in San Francisco. If you happen to be in that area of the world and would like to chill out with nice music and cocktail drinks over there, please say hi for me!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Women over 30...

My friend forwarded me this article this morning. Thought it's interesting so I'd post it here for everyone. ;-)

Wome over 30 years and plus

This is for all women 30 years and over…. and for those who are turning 30, and for those who are scared of moving into their 30’s and beyond!…

Written by Andy Rooney from CBS 60 Minutes. Andy Rooney says:

As I grow in age, I value women who are over 30 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 30 will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask,” What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think.

If a woman over 30 doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting.

A woman over 30 knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of 30 give a damn what you might think about her or what she’s doing.

Women over 30 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.

A woman over 30 has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. Women over 30 couldn’t care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 30. They always know.

A woman over 30 looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women or drag queens.

Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 30 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk if you are acting like one! You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over 30 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of 30+, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of
himself with some 22-year-old waitress. Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free". Here’s an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire Pig, just to get a little sausage.