If you don’t live in a swanky apartment complex that does your garbage for you, then you might find yourself racing home from work/the bar/a date at the most awkward time just to throw your rubbish in the truck whilst being judged by and simultaneously judging all your neighbours for the small size of their recycling bag or their oversized and unsorted garbage (judge first, lest the first stone hit you in the eye (paraphrased)).
Well – there’s an app for that! For those of you in Taipei it’s the one below:
You can pick different options, apparently if you want the printed vouchers you can go to a Post Office branch with your APRC, NHI card and NT$1000, but I’m going to do the Credit Card Link for the purposes of this post. (Beware, going the credit card route is not Instagram friendly, but you can just type #TripleStimulus on any major social network and nab someone else’s photo for some physical voucher sheek on your timeline, without the hassle of having to carry around and spend physical vouchers.)
Once you click, you’ll see a list of banks and pick the one you have a credit card with:
In my case, I have a card with E Sun, so when you click through on their site, you’ll come to a page in Chinese, with several options. What you want to do is tie your digital vouchers to your credit card account, which is the option below in the case of E Sun:
You’ll be asked to enter your ARC number and your date of birth (ROC style, so subtract 1911 from your birth year, eg. 1985 – 11 = 74 and format is YYMMDD) and a captcha code.
They’ll then ask you to fill in a code sent to your phone and the following options will come up>
The first option in the list is to have the vouchers subtracted from the balance of your next credit card bill, which is what I want.
So, just click 送出 and it will check your info and if successful you’ll get the following message:
OK! Job done! And well done you for stimulating Taiwan’s economy like a good little consumer!
Let me know if you have any know-how to share with other readers on other ways to exchange your vouchers or experience with other banks!
A friend recently came to Taiwan and completed their quarantine without a hitch. They were a little confused by the conflicting information about the NT$1000/day subsidy though, whether or not they were eligible and how to apply.
In receipt of a quarantine notice
Applications must be made AFTER completing quarantine
No rule breaking during quarantine
Not in receipt of salary or other compensation during quarantine period
Have not departed Taiwan on an unnecessary trip* to another country or region with a level 3 warning from March 17 onwards. (necessary trips include siblings weddings and funerals of relatives to third degree (incl. aunts, uncles, nephews, grandparents, grandchildren) and business trips.)
Filled out your quarantine notice information accurately and completely.
Taiwanese nationals and ARC/resident visa holders can apply for the subsidy, while foreigners without residence cannot (from June 17 onwards).
Note: If you enter on a resident visa that you subsequently swap for an ARC and your period of quarantine overlaps with the period of residence with the resident visa you can still collect the subsidy.
If you’re still not sure, you can check your eligibility by calling the 1957 hotline.
Applying in person:
To apply in person you need to go to the counter of the District Office (區公所) of the district in which you completed your quarantine. If your quarantine hotel was in Wanhua, for example, you’d have to apply here: 10-12F, No.120, Sec. 3, Heping W. Rd., Wanhua Dist., Taipei City 108, Taiwan (R.O.C.). Tel: 886-2-2306-4468 https://whdo.gov.taipei/
You’ll need your ARC, your passport and evidence of no income (unless you’re a student).
You can only apply online if you’ve already got a Taiwanese bank account. You should have your passport and ARC handy.
Click on the green box 「隔離檢疫者防疫補償申請」 (apply for quarantine subsidy).
On the next page, it will ask you to tick a box, showing that you’ve read the terms and conditions and that you will provide accurate information. Then you follow the remaining prompts to fill in your personal info (maybe get a Taiwanese friend to help if your Chinese isn’t up to it).
If anyone has more accurate information on this process, feel free to send it to me so I can update the post!
There are six stages and once you’ve submitted your application, you can click the yellow box above to check on your application status or make alterations.
You have to respect a gay male podcast host for doing an entire episode on middle-aged and elderly lesbians! That’s exactly what the WetBoyRoom ( 「潤男的Room」) podcast host did this week, interviewing the contributors to a book about this subject called 《阿媽的女朋友》 (Grandma’s Girlfriends), lesbians from older generations in Taiwan.
If you’re not super familiar with the lesbian scene in Taiwan, many of them of about my generation (30s) tend to identify as either 「T」 (short for the English word “Tomboy”) or 「婆」 (lipstick lesbian). With time, the lines between these categories have blurred just as they have in the male gay community, and many people now consider these terms outdated and being a heteronormative way of perceiving gay relationships (i.e. trying to figure out who is “the man” and who is “the woman” in the relationship). It was interesting to hear in the podcast that this dichotomy was actually a more recent phenomenon in the lesbian community, but a Taiwanese term in the podcast really peaked my interest. At the 10:55 mark, one of the characters is described (in a Mandarin sentence) in Taiwanese as 「漂撇ê穿褲 仔」phiau-phiat ê chhēng khò͘ á (瀟灑的穿褲子/ dashing trouser-wearer). Although I think the host actually said 「穿褲ê」, 「穿褲仔」 or girls who wore trousers, could be identified more easily as lesbians (if they were in fact lesbians) back in the day. So, it can be considered as an older version of the concept of 「T」.
Another handy Taiwanese term in the podcast (which you could likely insert in a Mandarin sentence to compliment a dinner-party host, or, more likely, to mock your friend’s paltry offering of a packet of Lays as an hors d’oeuvre) is 「腥臊」 chhe-chhau (also pronounced chheⁿ-chhau or chhiⁿ-chhau), which is equivalent to the term 「豐盛」 in Mandarin, meaning “rich and sumptuous”:
那天同媽準備了很豐盛的食物，不只是麻油雞，我記得她準備了一整桌非常腥臊 （chhe-chhau click for audio） 的菜。
(That day, Aunty Tong prepared a bounty of food, not just sesame oil chicken, I remember she prepared an entire table of rich sumptuous food.)
Definitely looks like an interesting books to read, will have to add it to my list!
There’s been a lot of media coverage in Taiwan and elsewhere over the past few days about the Chinese diplomats who allegedly put a Taiwanese official in Fiji in hospital after trying to take names and photos of guests at a Taiwanese reception in the country (seemingly to report to their superiors in Beijing and launch reprisals against said guests).
On my morning commute I was listening to Professor Su Hung-dah from National Taiwan University’s Department of Political Science (who also worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs early in his career) talk about the incident on New98 (a light blue leaning radio station). He’s mainly calling out China for its clumsy efforts, in that actual diplomats showed up to do the dirty work, when a more cunning approach would have been to send some Chinese hooligans with no ties to the embassy to stir things up. He also suggested Taiwan start hiring security guards for these kinds of events. The show is broadcast on YouTube too, and you can rewatch below (the segment on Fiji starts at 5:15):
The interesting part for me was the use of a Taiwanese term in the middle of a flow of Mandarin (from 12:09):
(This wasn’t very high-level stuff from Mainland China, in saying today we’re gonna send a diplomatic official to go collect evidence. This is actually… it could very easily turn into a scandal, no?)
The characters 「凸槌」 (thut-chhôe / thut-chhê) are just borrowings from Mandarin to represent the sounds. The two main dictionaries I use seem to indicate that original characters would have been「脫箠」and it can mean “to make a mistake”, “to blow one’s cover”, “to make a fool of oneself” or “to go off the rails”.
Interestingly enough, the Taiwanese translation of the Rowan Atkinson spy comedy Johnny English is 『凸搥特派員』, which really does add a bit of comedy to the word choice.
I heard this joke referenced on yesterday’s Commute for Me (臺通) podcast. The host didn’t actually tell the whole joke, but just the punchline:
「有兩個人一起生活 一個名叫詠蘭，另一個名叫貢九 詠蘭負責打獵，貢九則是負責在家煮飯做事 有一天，家裡發生大火，有人就趕快去通知在外打獵的詠蘭，要詠蘭快去叫貢九逃。 詠蘭叫貢九逃 用懶叫打石頭(台語)」 (I found the original joke on Dcard here).
(“There were once two people who lived together, one was called Yonglan (詠蘭) and the other was called Gongjiu (貢九). Yonglan took responsibility for hunting, while Gongjiu cooked at home and did the chores. One day there was a big fire in the house, so someone quickly went to find Yonglan, who was out hunting, to tell Gongjiu to flee. Yonglan told Gongjiu to flee.”)
Haha, right? (*smile, nod and no-one will notice you didn’t get it*). Yes, the joke doesn’t work in English because it plays on the differences between Mandarin and Taiwanese. So the phrase 「詠蘭叫貢九逃」(yǒnglán jiào gòngjiǔ táo / “Yonglan tells Gongjiu to flee”) in Mandarin, sounds like the Taiwanese 用 lān鳥 摃 石頭 iōnglān-chiáukòngchio̍h-thâu (“Using your penis to hit rocks”). Brings back the heady whiff of teenage angst and high school locker rooms, right?
You can listen to one of the hosts telling this joke on the podcast below from the 9:38 point:
(“I’ve forgotten the ins and outs of the story, but, there’s a sentence at the end. Yonglan is one of the characters, and her aunt is Gongjiu. And so, YongLan tells Gongjiu to flee. Which sounds like “Using your penis to hit rocks” in Taiwanese.
「菜鳥」cai4niao3 for “rookie” or “beginner” is quite a common term in the Chinese-speaking world although it reportedly has its roots in the Taiwanese term 「菜鳥仔」 chhài-chiáu-á (the pronunciation is slightly better here). It can also be used as an adjective, i.e. 「很菜鳥」, but this is often abbreviated to 「菜」. This is helpful when you want to crush the hopes and dreams of new and enthusiastic colleagues, by sucking your teeth and whispering 「他很菜ㄟ」 (**smirks** Such a noob, eh?) in the boss’ ear when one of them gives a constructive solution to a problem.
You can hear the guys at 台通 (Commute For Me) discussing how the job of ordering bento boxes for work always tends to fall on the shoulders of the noobs from 14:12 below:
-而且我覺得通常接到訂便當工作這個人 -都比較菜 -都很菜 (-And I feel like that the person who has to order the bento boxes -Is always quite new to the office -Yeah, very new to the office
Recently I’ve been getting into a Netflix adaptation of 《花甲男孩》, a book written by Yang Fu-min (楊富閔). The author was in the younger year of my graduate institute while I was studying at NTU and I previously interviewed him (awkwardness all round) here. The series is called ‘A Boy Name Flora A’ in English (not quite sure how that got past the editors). I’ve just started, but so far it’s quite funny. As a lot of the humor in the show involves wordplay, however, I have to wonder how much of it comes across in English.
One example is in the first episode, where you can see the difficulty in trying to translate a dad joke:
液 is normally pronounced yì in Mandarin in Taiwan, although elsewhere you’ll find it listed as yè
-Oi, do you understand the Book of Changes? – I only know who the Book of Changes mother is – Who? – An LCD screen (homophone for “the mother of the Book of Changes” in Taiwanese)
So in, Taiwanese, “inbú” means 「他媽」 or 「他母」. The in is sometimes written using the following character (a combination of 亻 and 因):
The translation on the Netflix series, understandably maybe, gives up on trying to show where the humour is: – Hey, do you know what I-Ching is? – I only know its mother. – Who is it? – It’s I-Ching as in an LCD screen.
It brought me back to my days hanging around with a crowd from Pingtung where all the punchlines of the jokes were in Taiwanese – and just didn’t sound funny when they “explained the joke” in Mandarin after the fact.
I imagine those translating it also struggled to make a distinction between the “feel” of the Taiwanese and the Chinese in the English translation.
Anyway – lunch-break is almost over, so I’ll leave you with another bit of slang the show taught me today:
「蛇」(snake) here is short for 「魯蛇」 which is a transliteration of “loser”:
「我一生下來也沒有這麼蛇啊」 (I didn’t start out a loser.)
I’d never heard 蛇 used independently of the 「魯」 in this way before.
My friend sent me this video which I thought was definitely worth sharing. We’re used by now to seeing scantily clad women dancing as part of traditional temple culture, but now the Homei Fute Temple (和美福德宮) in Changhua County is apparently appealing to a new demographic. Not sure if the new demographic is obasans or young gay guys, but I’m impressed:
I thought the funniest thing is when one of the older guys made as if he was going to join them on the trucks.
You can check out more of the fun and games on Instagram here (check out the guy’s story while it’s still up) and here.
Update: Apple Daily have put out an article about it now too with more details. The article seems to be implying that the target audience is old ladies as opposed to the gays. I found something interesting in some of the quotes in the article (taken from Facebook):
「都是阿罵(嬤)在搶第一排」、「真的！很少看到阿罵拍的那麼高興」 “The front-row is full of old ladies”, “Really! It’s rare to see all the old ladies filming so happily”
The interesting part of this is humorous borrowing of 罵 (to curse/to scold) to form 「阿罵」(Mandarin: ā mà) in place of 「阿嬤」(Mandarin: ā mā) to try and replicate the sound of the Taiwanese: a-má (as the ma has a falling tone in Taiwanese).
It’s always interesting to me to see which Taiwanese words people choose to use in otherwise Mandarin sentences, and it’s fun to speculate on the possible reasons behind the choice to switch, whether it’s humour, an attempt to sound down-to-earth or because the person being cited isTaiwanese.
I’ve become a regular listener to 台灣通勤第一品牌 (Commute For Me), and the largely Mandarin-speaking hosts used Taiwanese words and phrases from time to time.
Context: 我媽都說我們是很 好命hó-miā 了，不過我看到其他同學他們是更 好命hó-miā。你們這些 好命囝 hó-miā-kiáⁿ 齁。其實 好命囝hó-miā-kiáⁿ 是一個很負面的詞。 對對對，是在批評人家，酸的時候才講。 ( – My mum always said we were born with silver spoons in our mouths, but looking at my other classmates, they were even more like that. All you kids born with silver spoons in your mouths. Actually that term is quite a negative one. – Yes, yes, it’s critical of others, you only say it when you’re bitter. Listen here from 37:50
They’ve also been having fun with the Studio Ghibli movie stills on their Facebook Page (and in the comments section):
See the full post here:
There were a few other Taiwanese phrases peppered in there as well, but got blank stares when I tried to repeat them to my colleagues:
44:12 我信心put-tit – I didn’t have the confidence?
我媽有一陣子這樣子問我…….不一樣的事，還是問得我很煩。一直問我說，真的沒交女朋友？真的沒交齁？ màikāma-mapiáneh。問到有一年我跟她說我陽痿了。 (For a while my mum kept asking me… about something different, and she got me really annoyed because she kept asking. She kept asking, “Have you really not got a girlfriend? You really haven’t? Don’t lie to your mother now. She asked me so much I told her one year that I was impotent.) Listen from 45:26 – there were some Taiwanese interjections I didn’t catch just after this point, so appreciate any help.