Thursday, May 17, 2012

Taiwanese years

Another thing you notice in Taiwan is that it's the wrong year. I had trouble buying meat when I first arrived because I could never find an expiration date. The numbers looked almost right, but the year was 101. This is because Taiwan started counting the years from the founding of the ROC, or 1911. So some products use this format for their expiration dates. Of course, not using Common Era dates isn't unique. Those of you who have lived in Thailand have seen the same thing (I had a Thai friend once try to slip me some expired Cashews, hoping I wouldn't figure out what the real expiration date was). I believe the same is true for Israel, Ethiopia and parts of the Middle East (and possibly Myanmar).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Taiwanese processions

Today is 繞境, or RaoJing, a national Taoist festival here in Taiwan. I've always said Taoism is to Buddhism what Catholicism is to Protestantism. The Taoists get the cool decorations in their temples, the many gods (or saints), and the interesting processions. This one was no exception, and since the participants took their lunchbreak outside my apartment, I got to take some pictures. Enjoy!