Let fools show true colors
Friday’s editorial (“When public figures should shut up,” Sept. 21, page 8) was the best I have ever read in the Taipei Times. The hypocrisy of Taiwanese being “detestable” in the eyes of United Daily News publisher Wang Shaw-lan (王效蘭) while the Chinese remain blameless is hilarious. I would only argue with the headline. Please, do not ask her to shut up. Encourage her and her ilk to speak, show their true colors and reveal their disgusting profiting off the people they hate. Taiwanese can speak with their wallets and avoid these morons altogether. A fool exposed is better than a fool quieted.
Recently I have read so many articles about tourism.
Even Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) has talked about it.
What amazes me is that nobody, and I mean nobody, understands the reason why no tourists come to Taiwan, except of course the Chinese organized group package tourists, of which 30 percent stay behind illegally.
European and US and any non-Chinese tourists mostly like to tour a country by themselves. They arrive at an airport, hire a car or a camper and drive, following the information on the country’s map.
The first problem is the lack of English maps in Taiwan.
Of course, GPS is the way to go.
The second problem is the lack of English GPS in Taiwan.
However, never mind, imagine they have the address and are convinced they will find it.
The address is Siaogang District (小港) in Greater Kaohsiung, or is it Xiaogang, or Hsiaogang?
Siaogang is written in five different ways.
Street signs are also written differently, as Qingshui or Chingshuei (清水), etc.
Say I want to go to Longjing (龍井). Driving on the freeway, I see a sign that says Lungjing, so I keep on driving.
How can you expect any foreigner to find their way in Taiwan?
So what do they do? They go to Thailand, Philippines or Singapore instead.
How difficult is it to have uniform names on maps, as well as on street signs, freeway signs, etc?
Tourism is a multimillion-dollar business.
Taiwan is the most beautiful place on Earth, with its mountains for hiking, its beautiful rice paddies and beaches.
Taiwan is the safest country in the world. I, a foreigner, can go anywhere any time and never encounter problems like pickpockets, hooligans, bagsnatchers or violent people. Be it during daytime or in the middle of the night, I never have any problems.
Taiwan is a heaven for tourists. Taiwanese are very friendly and helpful.
However, we have to do something about it.
When I am in Taipei and take a taxi to go to the High Speed Rail station and I say to the taxi driver: “Taipei main station,” he looks at me as I were an idiot. If I say “airport,” he has no idea.
How difficult is it to teach taxi drivers basic English words?
Once, I met a smart taxi driver and he had a list of all kinds of places in English and he asked me where I wanted to go. Smart.
However, I think that the government should insist that taxi drivers know the names of many places in their city in English, otherwise no license.
All these things are easily done and cost very little money to accomplish and I am convinced they would bring many more tourists and therefore many more dollars to Taiwan.
Unless, of course, we are satisfied with just the tourists from China.