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!

A restaurant that’s also a pun


I thought this wordplay on 「非常態」(abnormal state of affairs) was quite cute. Here they swapped the 「態」tai4 (state) for 泰 tai4 meaning Thailand or Thai, resulting in “extremely Thai” or “VeryThai”. Hope you’re all enjoying the long weekend.

For those of you interested in the story behind the National Holiday commemorating the February 28th Incident, there’s a neat summary in the video below (gleaned from a friend’s Facebook wall).

Click the subtitles icon for English subtitles.

Like the font of this 「行」; 你會喜歡我這一「行」嗎?


I’ve seen this form of the character 「行」quite a lot, but not sure which fonts give you it. Sorry for the blurry photograph, I was taking it while people were staring at me wondering why I was taking a photo of such an uninteresting sign.

If you’ve seen any weird or pretty fonts out and about, let me know! Enjoy the long weekend!

It’s Art… Don’t Rely on it 「倚靠」跟「依賴」


As I was wandering through the Takashi Ohta Paper Museum Expo (being held at Huashan Creative Park Dec 19- Feb 29) I did a double take, when I saw this sign above many of the pieces of art:

12660271_10102331381795969_290275658_n Although I’ve tired slightly of all but the most bizarre Chinglish signage, I thought this one was of note because it can be read as a covert injunction to aspiring paper artists everywhere – “Don’t rely on this kind of work, man.”

To be fair to the Chinglish offender in question, the word 「倚靠」(yi3kao4/ㄧˇ ㄎㄠˋ) in Chinese can mean both “to lean on” and “to rely on”, in the same sense as in English, “leaning on someone” can be extended to mean “relying on someone” (依賴 yi1lai4/ㄧ ㄌㄞˋ). Having had dealings with the kind of people who run these events in Taiwan, I also know that they have about a billion things to do and very little time and money to do them, so we can’t be too hard on them, and where would we be without something to snigger at.

The exhibition was quite cool, I’ll limit myself to posting the scene from Ximen in Taiwan:


Photo taken at exhibition, will remove on request

The rest you’ll have to explore for yourselves.

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