Crickets, Birds and Cuckoo Calls

The image on the right is of a crosswalk speaker. I’m not actually sure what these are called. Unlike in America where you press a button at the crosswalk to make yourself feel like the light is changing faster, in Asia these buttons play sounds to let people who are visually impaired to know when it’s safe to cross. This particular one, located by Taipei Main Stations 台北車站, reads as follows:

⠝⠧⠂⠕⠴⠈⠑⠨⠐⠒⠕⠌⠐⠅⠌⠈⠊⠵⠄
南北向-布穀聲
⠙⠯⠄⠑⠡⠄⠑⠨⠐⠒⠝⠪⠈⠅⠪⠐⠊⠵⠄
東西向-鳥叫聲
⠑⠽⠂⠛⠥⠄⠁⠻⠄⠖⠐⠑⠡⠄⠊⠶⠐⠊⠵⠄
行人專用-蟋蟀聲

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Reflections on Taiwan

I just spent a short week in Taiwan visiting friends and looking into grad programs. I kept seeing things that I thought would be post-worthy.

I’m still going to write about a few as individual posts, but I thought I’d share some general impressions here.

1. Taiwanese often say 和 as hàn. As my friend Jason pointed out, this is in fact a well-documented phenomenon but one I’d not encountered before.

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Dao De Jing Illustrated

I don’t remember how I came across this a little while back. It’s not the newest thing out there anyway. At any rate, it’s something I thought I’d share. Rather than describe it myself, here’s the intro from the site itself:

I began studying the Dao De Jing in college in 1980. I lived in Taiwan and China for 3 years in the mid 1980s and immersed myself in the subject. In 1988 I received an MA from Yale in Asian Studies. I’m not sure if this background makes me more or less qualified to say anything profound about the Dao De Jing. The Dao De Jing Warns against trying to define it. Ironically, it is one of the most translated and discussed texts in the history of literature.

For this blog I have selected lines from Laozi’s text. Each illustration includes my chinese calligraphy version of the text incorporated into the painting. I translate each line and discuss it in an informal way. There are literally dozens of worthwhile english translations of the Dao De Jing. Google it if you want a taste.

Feel free to comment in any way you are inspired to.

Pretty killer for a visual interpretation of a book I’ve read a thousand times in my grad studies. If you dig the style, the artist (Dante Cohen) has another site that’s worth checking out.