Wed, May 21, 2008 - Page 3 News List

[ PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION ] Enthusiasts snap up inauguration stamp sets

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Hundreds of thousands of people lined up at post offices nationwide yesterday morning to purchase the commemorative stamps issued for President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) inauguration.

Each set contains four stamps featuring the president and Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) and the first day cover, an envelope issued specifically for the occasion.

Taiwan Post estimated it sold 1 million sets yesterday.

At the main Taipei Post Office, 68-year-old Lin Rey-yao (林瑞曜) was busy pasting the commemorative stamps on the first day cover as he spoke with the Taipei Times. He purchased 10 sets, which he sent only to himself.

“I do this for fun,” he said, adding that he had also bought the commemorative stamps for the inauguration of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) in 1996.

Forty-year-old Mr Chen waited for two hours before he could put his hands on the sets he had ordered. He said he had purchased the stamps not only because Ma was president, but also because the Chinese characters for “Republic of China” were once again on the stamps.

Last year, the stamps issued by Taiwan Post Co only bore the name Taiwan.

Meanwhile, to welcome Japanese guests, the Office of the President ordered 90 lunch boxes made by the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA).

Ma said the TRA lunch boxes were to reflect the fact that the railway infrastructure was mostly built during the Japanese colonial era, while the High Speed Rail was inspired by Japan’s Shinkansen line.

Each TRA lunch box contained a deep-fried cutlet, fried rice, Taiwanese sauerkraut, potherb mustard, as well as an iron-made container carved with “the 120th anniversary of the TRA” in Chinese characters and an image of a TRA train. The lunch box cost NT$300 and is only available at the Taipei Main Station.

The public can also buy the same meal, packed in a wooden container with a plastic lid, at a cost of NT$100.

Lee Yu-hsia (李玉霞), the TRA’s kitchen manager at Taipei Main Station, said the lunch box was popular among Japanese tourists.

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