Ay Chung Flour-Rice Noodles and their Passive Aggressive Neighbours


Photo credit: Chi-Hung Lin

Although not to everyone’s taste, this noodle shop is one of the most well-known in Taipei and you’ll have to line up in a quick-moving queue to get your order in. As i was waiting for my friend to get his order, I noticed these signs on the pillar that separates the store from its neighbour:


As well as the English-language sign on the left which states rather directly: “Don’t eat noodle here”, there’s a Chinese-language sign on the right. For those lacking super vision, here’s the enlarged version:


This sign reads as follows:


Compatriots who are fans of flour noodles, don’t let your rubbish fall on the ground. Don’t cause people problems, thanks!

Although the word 「同胞」 technically means simply “compatriots”, it is frequently used by people on both side of the Taiwan Strait to refer to the other side, more frequent when Chinese people refer to Taiwanese people.

For example, the permit (as their passports aren’t officially recognized) that Taiwanese people have to get to enter Mainland China are called 「台胞證」(Taiwan Compatriot Permit) a more casual way of referring to the 「台灣居民來往大陸通行證」 (Permit to allow residents of Taiwan freedom of passage to and from Mainland China).

In my mind this suggested that the sign was probably aimed primarily at Mainland Chinese tourists, many of whom visit the noodle shop while in Taipei.

Aggressive Notes: Taipei Parking Battles 台北停車:瘋了嗎?

I previously posted about passive aggressive notes in Taipei related to parking.  But this post couldn’t really be described as “passive aggressive” as it is pure aggression from start to finish:


You can see the shutter of a shop in the reflection of the car window, which reads 「請勿停車」, which means “Please do not park”. And here’s a close-up of the note:


The note reads:










Or in English:

By puncturing my tires you’ve already broken the law! Today I already went to report it as a crime and we’ve gone through the CCTV footage. I’ll give you three days to own up and come to an agreement, otherwise I’ll proceed through legal means. If you had the guts to do it, have the guts to behave like a gentleman about it. If you don’t deal with this honestly don’t regret the unpleasantness that comes!


We’ve got witnesses and evidence

It’s interesting that the author used the shorthand 「当」 for the character 「當」, which is the same as the simplified version of the character used in China. They also use the shorthand 「処」chu3, which is a variant which differs from both the standard version of the simplified (处)and traditional character (處):


Taken from the Ministry of Education Variant Dictionary, a useful resource when you come across characters that don’t seem to exist in normal dictionaries.

This explains that 「処」 is a variant of 「處」(as is the simplified character).

I don’t know what the situation is exactly and if the car belongs to the person who put the “no parking” sign on their shutter or someone else. I’m also not sure what the 「85-7-留」 means, thought it might be a license plate or a reference to a law, but it doesn’t seem to be the latter. Let me know if you know!

Protests in Taipei: Uber vs Taxis; Land Rights and Illegal Buildings

Last week I saw taxis besieging the Executive Yuan (between Shandao Temple and Taipei Main MRT) over the government’s failure to crackdown on Uber quickly enough.  Taxi drivers were protesting because of Uber’s refusal to be subject to taxi regulations in Taiwan‬ and it’s refusal to clarify its tax status. My colleagues at work had a related discussion last week over whether existing (over?) regulation is strangling disruptors in the interest of maintaining the status quo. While there were a wide range of opinions as to whether Uber‬ is, in fact, bringing anything new to the Taiwanese industry as a disruptor or whether it’s just trying to dodge consumer protection regulations and tax, the conversation can be extended beyond Uber to the financial sector and further afield. Some of my colleagues thought the government was being too cautious when it comes to providing legislative flexibility to innovative industry disruptors while others thought existing legislation was just common-sense protection for industry players and consumers? The government announced that they are going to launch “diversified” taxis, but it’ll be interesting how the story develops beyond just the Uber issue.


About a week prior to the taxi protest, I was passing by the front of the Executive Yuan when I saw this protest placard, along with a single protester. It reads:

政府無能,     [When] the government is inept,

百姓受窮,     the ordinary people are forced to live in poverty;

竊盜私地,     Stealing private land

罪大惡極,    is an extremely pernicious crime.

天理難容。     [which] the heavens cannot tolerate.

哀!     Woe!

I’m not sure if it was a specific grievance as I didn’t stop to chat, but maybe someone can help me out in the comments section.

I saw the banner below outside my friend’s housing development when she invited me for a barbecue/pool party there (near Qizhang MRT – opposite Carrefour):


Common facilities (of a residential complex) are illegal buildings, the residents have been lied to

From what I’ve gleaned from the internet, this is a controversy over certain common areas of a residential complex which were built without planning permission by the developers. The city government then demolished or plans to demolish these areas and the residents are protesting because they were sold their apartments under false terms.

If you’ve seen any disgruntled looking peeps holding signs let me know in the comments section!

Awkwardly Phrased Passive Aggressive Note


此處 禁止
Dear neighbours,
In this place it is forbidden
When walking a dog, for the dog
To shit anywhere here
~Thanks for your attention

The text I’ve marked in bold (thinner characters on the note in the photo) as if it was added on later, which suggests the person who wrote it was inadvertently accusing his or her neighbours of having a sneaky No. 2 in the alley while walking their dogs before realizing their mistake. They do not seem to have been arsed to redo the whole thing after putting a bit of effort into the ornate characters only to realize their mistake, which resulted in the sign being posted with rather odd grammatical structures. The “此處” (this place) makes the “在此” (here) a little unnecessary and the juxtaposition of “在此” (here) and “隨地” (anyplace/wherever one pleases) is a little odd too, as if the author thought that people might not realize that “anyplace” is inclusive of “here”.

There’s also a pseudo-typo, in that 「遛狗」 is the more accepted way of saying “to walk a dog”, as opposed to the 「蹓狗」 written here. The character 「蹓」 comes from 「蹓躂」, a variant of 「遛達」 meaning to stroll, or to walk. Technically 「蹓」 can be seen as a variant, but doesn’t seem to be accepted as correct. When you type 「蹓狗」 into Google for example, you get the following prompt:


The search results that are currently displayed are from: 「遛狗」

You can change back to search for: 「蹓狗」

「遛狗」 fetches 1,060,000 results, whereas 「蹓狗」 only fetches 181,000, which suggests it’s not in standard use. I think these little idiosyncrasies are what make handwritten notes like this so interesting, as they inadvertently reveal certain characteristics of their authors.

After receiving some complaints about my previous post being more “openly aggressive” rather than “passive aggressive”, I think the 「新愛的 (scatological) 鄰居」 line makes this more of a passive aggressive post.

Let me know if you see any passive aggressive (or openly aggressive) notes in your area and feel free to submit anything you want featured!



Passive Aggressive Notes: The Politics of Trash 消極抵抗的紙條:垃圾政治

Following on from my past post on the passive aggression that results from the limited parking spaces in Taipei, I thought I’d follow up with a similar post about rubbish, after seeing this sign, on a street in the Daan district of Taipei:


If you live in Taipei you’ve probably seen a whole heap of signs similar to this, but the hysterical tone and the interesting use of punctuation of this particular one made it stand out for me. It reads:

Can’t you have the least shred of decency? Don’t pile rubbish up here!!?? Dogs come here to eat it every day and there is shit everywhere.

If you don’t live in Taiwan you may be unfamiliar with the system. Basically you have to buy special bags at convenience stores to put rubbish in, then at a certain time  every day the rubbish trucks will come to the end of your street. Unlike in the UK, you Continue reading

Save the Firefighters and whatever the yellow ribbon used to say! 搶救消防員!

I was outside 7 11, when I saw this bicycle with two ribbons tied round it and decided to have a closer look. The yellow ribbon had already faded to nothing, but I assumed that it was in support of the Sunflower Student Movement, though if I’m wrong, feel free to comment below. 20141226_092500

The red ribbon read: 20141226_092455

Save the fire fighters

I searched online for this and found several linked websites and Facebook pages advocating for fire fighter rights, as below:

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/savefirefighters

A blog: http://savefirefighters.blogspot.tw/

A Youtube account: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0VNfomF1Mw

An Apple Daily news article: http://www.appledaily.com.tw/realtimenews/article/new/20140817/453271/

A blog post: http://berryvoice.org/b/item/151-voice-of-da-and-ker

And a post on a citizen journalism website: http://www.peopo.org/news/253311

The websites all advocate for better working conditions for firefighters in light of recent events, in particular with reference to the explosion in Kaohsiung, and a later demonstration on August 18.  Continue reading

Battlefield Report: One of the More Amusing Campaign Leaflets

10807986_10101716801634539_746013710_nOne of the more amusing campaign leaflets from this guy Kang Mingdao who obviously has expert Photoshop skills.

It says “Battlefield report” on the left.

On the right, under the heading: “Taiwan’s number one gang, the party of dragons, tigers and leopards” is a picture of Jiang Yi-huah, Ma Ying-jeou and King Put-sung (I originally thought it was Hau Lung-pin, thanks for the correction Les) in their Sunday best. The stamp on the right in red is the title of a Hong Kong film Born to be King (《勝者焉王》)although the title is more akin to “History makes the victor a King, and the loser a scoundrel”), the successor to the Young and Dangerous movies (《古惑仔》), based on the Teddyboy manga series by Cantonese manga artist Ngau Lo (牛佬) – which are said to have formed the main stereotypes about the triads. To the right in the vertical text it says, “The three bandits challenge the 23 million Taiwanese people.”

Below it says:

-[They] allowed dodgy edible oil manufacturer Ting Hsin to pose a risk to precious Taiwanese lives by poisoning them.

-In six years, they undermined the stability of Taiwan’s political scene.

-They ask young people to marry and have kids, despite the paltry NT$22,000 a month salary.

-Let’s not let them leave Taiwan when their term in office is over.

This is not an endorsement.