I’m Applying for an Alien Citizen Digital Certificate (but just for the craic)

I guess I’m missing queues at the Immigration Office after getting an APRC or am super motivated to find things to do other than the long-term project I’m supposed to be working on, but I went and applied for an Alien Citizen Digital Certificate on April 24. I plan on documenting the “journey” here:

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Don’t be fooled by the heading by the way, you can apply online after you go in person to the immigration office with your ARC/APRC, so not technically all online.

The ID can be used for filing taxes (although you can also file taxes without it) and for various government websites and systems, giving you access to information and allowing you to apply for things online. For Taiwanese people it also means they can apply for bank accounts and credit cards online, but I’m not sure that applies to foreigners, but we’ll see. The cost of the card is NT$275 and it lasts for 5 years (subject to your ARC being valid).

April 24: Today was pretty simple, brought my ARC (no photocopies required) to the National Immigration Agency (the ground floor in Taipei where you go to apply for your ARC) and then wrote down my phone number and email address and gave it to the lady (after fielding a quizzical look from her), who then made me sign a form and then gave me a sheet of paper with the following information on it:

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The key bit of information is the 用戶代碼 (username) which you’ll need to log in to the site. She said to wait for the letter to go through, so I’ll give it a few days. It says on the website one working day, so we’ll see.

You have to pay within 15 days through the system or you will have to apply again. If you make changes to your ARC (including the number) you have to apply again.

April 27 Update

I paid for the card last night on the website. If you have trouble accessing the website, make sure to delete the www. from the address bar.

Click ‘Application Progress’ on the left side and you’ll be prompted to enter your ARC number and your 用戶代碼 (username). If it’s been approved, it should give you the option to pay by credit card. And then it will link to a page where you enter your credit card information. Once that’s done you’ll just have to fill in/confirm more details, like postal address and phone number. Then press save.

April 29 Update:

When I looked up the website today it said it was in the mail and they even provided the parcel number, so that I can track it on the Post Office website:

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May 5 Update:

The card finally arrived (it went to my home address, so had to wait for three unsuccessful deliveries before I could go pick it up):

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So here it is:

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The various security/design elements are listed in the letter it comes with:

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Now to unlock it:

If you’re using Microsoft, you need at least Microsoft Windows XP Sp3, a card reader (learn to install one here) and then download and install the HiCOS digital certificate management tool at this website (you have to restart your computer so prepare for that).

So, this bit was a little complicated, and I ended up having to ring them to activate my card…. BUT hypothetically, the next step you take is to navigate to this website, where you can activate your card (the pin is supposed to be your year and month of birth in the format YYYYMM), although it says in the letter you only need your subscriber code (which is on the printed piece of paper you got at immigration. If you have trouble accessing the website, insert your card first and then try opening it. If you still have trouble try opening the link in another tab, and if you still have trouble use IE explorer.

Once you’ve activated your card, you can change the pin at this website. You just need the subscriber code and your card reader.

Then you’re all set.

To use the government’s FIDO app to use your phone to verify your identity, see this post.

What can you use the card for:

Applying online to the National Immigration Agency for a printable certificate of entry and exit dates.

 

Adventure Time in Taiwan

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Amused that the Ice King and Lemongrab speak 台灣國語 (Taiwanese influenced Mandarin) in Adventure Time in Chinese and use lots of Taiwanese words, whereas Jake speaks Cantonese influenced Chinese. Heard the Ice King use lots of Taiwanese expressions, like 跟他切(che̍h)了 for 跟他分手. Finn said around two words the whole episode, so couldn’t really tell how he speaks, but it seemed to be normal Chinese with a little bit of Taiwanese too. Interesting though. I know baddies in old films in Taiwan normally spoke Taiwanese, but think that it’s likely just coincidence here, and an attempt to replicate the crazy English voices in the original, as Lady Rainicorn, who speaks only Korean in the original only speaks Taiwanese in the Taiwan version.

UPDATE:

Thanks to Keith Menconi (@KeithMenconi) at ICRT (@ICRTnews) for providing a link to an interview he did with April Chang, the woman in charge of dubbing for Cartoon Network in Taiwan, which is totally cool.

 

A Foreigner By Any Other Name: 阿凸仔/阿兜仔/阿啄仔

Zanni_maskI came across the (somewhat controversial) Taiwanese phrase for (non-Asian) foreigner 「阿凸仔」 in a book I’m reading at the minute:

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檢查過了一圈,這屋內看不出有什麼不尋常之處。總不會是照片中的人在說話吧?明明聽到的那句是中文,可這些都是阿凸仔啊!

He checked all around but couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. It couldn’t have been the people in the photographs talking, surely? The words he’d heard had clearly been in Chinese, but they were all foreigners!

There are a lot of weird and wonderful stories about the origin of the term 「阿凸仔」, from the rather far-fetched concept that it was adopted from the Japanese pronunciation of the English “a dog” to the more common theory that it refers to the high-bridge noses of non-Asians compared to Asian people. I tend to put more stock in the latter theory.

The Taiwanese Ministry of Education dictionary uses the characters 阿啄仔 and the pronunciation as a-tok-á (alternative audio here), which translates to “Beaky” – as in “You’ve got a beak on your face, Beaky,” or as the MOE puts it:

因為洋人的鼻子高挺,所以用「啄」(tok)來代稱洋人。

Because Westerners’ noses protrude, so 「啄」(tok) “beak” is used to refer to Westerners.

There’s also a synonym 啄鼻仔 tok-phīnn-á (beak-nose-diminutive particle), which I’ve yet to hear mentioned in conversation or see written down (Alternative audio here).

Whether you like the term or hate it, it’s something you’ll hear a lot in Taiwan – generally no harm is meant by it, but if you hear a 「死阿啄仔」  a-tok-á (fucking foreigner/dead beaknose) followed by a list of other expletives, it might be time to start running.

The term has even been re-appropriated by a Spanish guy called Jesus living in Taiwan, on his Youtube channel  「阿兜仔不教美語」 (This foreigner doesn’t teach American English). I would advise you all not to troll him by leaving comments on his videos asking where he teaches English… (Mwahaha).

Mask image courtesy of Tom Banwell under a Creative Commons License.