Jay Chou (周杰倫) and Patty Hou’s (侯佩岑) break-up continues to dominate gossip rag stories with local hacks this week claiming Hou’s new NT$2 million Jaguar is a parting gift.
Enraged by the accusation, the Mando-pop king lashed out with a series of counterattacks at gossip mongers on his official Web site, saying the car was bought through a car-dealer friend of his and paid for by Hou’s mother. Meanwhile, the former lady of the house is trying to put the whole ordeal behind her by following the wisdom of the ancient Chinese proverb, “grief is best forgotten by hard work.” A sparkling, new set of wheels may help as well.
On the other side of the Taiwan strait, Chou’s other ex, Jolin Tsai (蔡依林), sent audience members into a frenzy with acrobatic stunts and limber moves at her Hong Kong Colosseum gig. Despite the performance, and the star’s on-stage chemistry with co-performer ABT pop star Stanley Huang (黃立行), the Mando-pop queen failed to distract the media’s attention from the failed Double-J romance.
When asked by the press how she felt about Hou’s expensive “gift” while the only thing she got from Chou was a Hello Kitty flower basket, Tsai quipped, “that’s right, look how generous he was.”
Japan’s five-piece boy band Arashi has been in Taipei for two sold-out weekend concerts at Taipei Arena (台北巨蛋). The pretty-faced pop idols not only attracted a welcoming committee of over 200 screaming local fans at the airport, many of them skipping class and work to do so, but brought along some 1,200 devotees from Japan: a boost for Taipei’s tourism.
It is estimated that the weekend influx of Japanese fans could have spent NT$80 million. In return for their support, the organizers arranged an exclusive meeting for the Japanese fans to meet their idols in person, whereas local groupies had to slaver from a distance.
Ge You (葛優), the award-winning star of Feng Xiaogang’s (馮小剛) The Banquet (夜宴), was in town this week to promote the movie. He turned on the charm and wooed Taiwan’s hungry media hounds by throwing them morsels of information from behind the scenes of the historical drama, the most explosive of which was that 40-year-old megastar Gong Li (鞏俐) lost out to 27-year-old Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) for the leading female role.
“Li is in the prime of her life and her maturity as an actress serves her well on the international level. But in China, her age has become an obstacle,” Ge told members of the local press pack.
Not only do actresses need to be young these days, being cute helps a lot too. A glance at the local show-biz industry shows that ke ai (可愛), or the appropriation of “cuteness” in popular culture (and let’s not forget that cuteness is a perennial theme in Japan’s pop world) is manna for those who worship at the temple of youth.
The local music industry is a tough business. Having fallen on hard times, the members of rock combo Shin (信樂團) have taken second jobs.
While the band’s guitarist, Christ, recently opened a shop selling refreshments and desserts at Raoho Street night market (饒河街夜市), lead singer A-Shin (阿信) pays the bills by appearing as a character in a TV soap opera. Drummer Michael is perhaps the luckiest of all as he does what he loves most for a living: teaching children to play drums.
Until this summer, when the idea of hiking the length of the island first occurred to me, I didn’t even know that Cijin (旗津) had been a peninsula until 1967. That’s when diggers and dredgers severed Cijin from Taiwan’s “mainland,” because the authorities wished to create a southern entrance to Kaohsiung’s fast expanding port. The island is just under 9km long, but a bit of research quickly convinced me that a south-to-north trek wasn’t a good idea. The southern third of Cijin is dominated by container-lifting cranes, warehouses and other facilities off-limits to the public. Dunhe Street (敦和街) forms the boundary between
Sept. 28 to Oct . 4 A large number of 3000-year-old slate coffins were unearthed on a hill near Nanhe Village (南和村) in Pingtung County on Sept. 30, 1985. Unfortunately, the United Daily News (聯合報) noted that they had been seriously damaged by construction, and no artifacts or human remains were found. Although the newspaper called the find a “significant discovery,” little information can be gleaned about this specific site because it’s just one of countless locations where stone sarcophagi have been unearthed across southern and eastern Taiwan, and as north as Yilan County. These stone receptacles for the dead were
Sitting at the bar, martini in hand, Kristin Scott Thomas rolls her eyes briefly heavenwards. And then she declares, in one of the most memorable monologues of the cult BBC drama Fleabag, that menopause is the “most wonderful fucking thing in the world. And yes, your entire pelvic floor crumbles and you get fucking hot and no one cares. But then — you’re free! No longer a slave, no longer a machine with parts. You’re just a person, in business.” When an entranced Fleabag says she has been told the whole thing is horrendous, Scott Thomas’s character responds: “It is horrendous,
As if the climbs and views and snacks and companions of cycling in Taiwan aren’t sufficient, the GPS-generation of route-planners are now using apps such as Strava and Endomondo to create works of art as they ride. One such is nicknamed the Dove Road of Sijhih (汐鴿路), a 25km ride that follows the riverside bike path from the Nangang-Neihu Bridge (南湖橋) to New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止), climbs around 400m up the Sijhih-Shiding Road (汐碇路), before dropping back down past Academia Sinica to generate a very dove-like pattern. Originally called Kippanas by indigenous Ketagalan people and transliterated into Hoklo (more commonly