If recent news reports are to be believed, the floodgates will soon be open to the hungry hordes of Chinese tourists champing at the bit to visit Taiwan.
And according to Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu (
"That," Wu said, "would be the best way for Chinese people to experience how vibrant Taiwan is thanks to freedom of speech and freedom of the press."
Taking this to heart, I and a few associates have decided to establish a travel company to ensure our comrades from across the Strait get a uniquely Taiwanese experience and make the most of their time on "Treasure Island" (and get fleeced for every Red yuan they bring with them).
Below is a sample of our comprehensive itineraries:
Neihu Tours Ltd presents: "Welcome to `Democracy Island' Three-Day Minibreak"
Morning: Arrival at Cash My Check International Airport. After waiting impatiently in line at immigration for five minutes, barge past the visa desk and make a dash for the tour bus, not forgetting to curse the awaiting Taiwanese press pack for sticking their cameras in your face on the way. Take bus to love hotel for lunch and a rest.
Afternoon: Visit Ketagalan Boulevard area for experience in political activities, including throwing a wet sponge at former splittist Shih Ming-teh (
Meal note: Hunger strike means no evening meal will be available.
Morning: Tour the Legislative Yuan for a chance to see democracy and lawmaking in action (or not, as the case may be). Note: Control Yuan tour canceled due to lack of activity. Souvenir boxing gloves are available from the gift shop at NT$10,000 a pair.
Meal note: Lunch boxes and water cups may only be thrown after you have finished using them.
Afternoon: Trip to an Internet cafe where you will be free to access any news media Web site in the world and post something in a chat room about sticking the president's eye out.
Meal note: Nothing to do with democracy, but any trip to Taipei isn't complete without the obligatory three-hour wait outside DinTaiFung (
Morning: Election Day Fun (sponsored by the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT], your only choice for democracy in China) includes voting for beginners; plus valuable tips such as how to get the best price for your vote, non-participation in referendums and protest tips should the results not give you the candidate you desire.
Afternoon: Trip to the National Palace Museum to see artifacts that would not have survived the Cultural Revolution.
Evening: Check out of the hotel and miss your flight back to the motherland. Spend the rest of your life in Taiwan as part of the Fifth Column (eventually becoming a pan-blue legislator).
Price per person: 5,000 yuan, or using Neihu Tours' exclusive conversion rate, a snip at NT$50,000.
I think you'll agree, dear reader, that we're on to a winner. Of course, we will need to keep an eye on those crazy Chicoms as they careen around our beloved country. Not only for the sake of national security, but also because it seems they don't know how to behave themselves.
According to a Reuters piece entitled "China tells tour guides to rein in rude tourists" that ran in the Scotsman on Aug. 26, Chinese tour guides have been told to take responsibility for impolite, dirty and badly behaved tourists.
Apparently they don't know how to behave correctly when representing their nation overseas. Favorite habits include littering in public parks, spitting in hotel rooms, talking loudly in public, queue-jumping and smoking in non-smoking zones.
So, like its response to every other problem it cannot solve, the Chinese government has decided to "declare war," this time on uncivilized behavior. Lets hope officials don't take the advice of the authorities too broadly, because if they really do declare war on uncivilized behavior abroad, then Chinese Ambassador to the UN Sha Zukang (沙祖康) may find himself in trouble.
If Sha's outburst in an interview with BBC Radio last week is anything to go by (he blustered that the US should shut up and stop meddling when quizzed about China's military budget), he wouldn't know civilized behavior if it crept up and bit him on his over-privileged pigu (
Another group of Central Kingdom muppets that could do with some lessons in manners are the over-zealous cadres who grabbed the flags off the backs of two young Taiwanese swimmers as they walked to the podium to collect their gold medals at a youth sports meeting in Thailand.
Notice how they didn't snatch the flag of the Taekwondo gold medalist. Not so brave when faced with the prospect of a good kicking, eh?
As Mama Neihu always said to me as a child, nothing gets the message across to people of how abominable their behavior is faster than a taste of their own medicine.
So, if the visit of China's Taiwan Affairs Office chief Chen Yunlin (
With any luck, after five minutes of all that he'll turn right around and get back on the plane.
Heard or read something particularly objectionable about Taiwan? Johnny wants to know: firstname.lastname@example.org is the place to reach me, with "Dear Johnny" in the subject line.
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