09 December, 2007

Mullets in Taipei?

I'm upset about my current visit to Taipei - and it's not just about the mullets I see all over Taipei's young hipsters. I'm unhappy about this visit because I'm here to probably see my father for the last time. He's got brain cancer and his chances aren't good.

Since I arrived three days ago, I've spent virtually all my time with my dad. It's amazing that even in his current state, he can still manage to infuriate me. He just has that special skill to be disagreeable. But never mind my conflicted relationship with dad. I must see him through and make sure his remaining days are as comfortable as can be.

Our days involve daily visits to the hospital for radiation treatment. Mother and I try to take him on daily walks in the park with his dog Patjiang, and special trips to Danshui, a seaside town within an easy commute on the Taipei Metro. Our Friday trip was especially meaningful for my parents since Dansui was where they went to boarding school and got married. I wish time could have stopped for my parents while we were at their alma mater.

During this Taipei trip I'm witnessing an interesting donnybrook between the pro-Taiwan independence political parties (greens) versus the Nationalists (blue). The greens, who control the government, unilaterally renamed the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial the Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall (TDMH). The blues, naturally against everything green, have been protesting the move. Further, since the blues control the Taiwanese Legislature and the Taipei City Hall, refuse to harmonize the name of the metro station that services the TDMH. IMHO, since Chiang was a fairly despicable dictator and didn't even like living in Taiwan, I'm all for the renaming of the memorial and the metro station. But what do I know, I'm just an American in Taipei . . . .

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