Sunday, March 26, 2006

讚美

昨天我去一家很漂亮的餐廳,這家餐廳在去補習班的路上,我常常看到這家餐廳。不知道為什麼昨天我有一點點難過。餐廳裡有兩個人很驚訝我會說中文。他們一直告訴我,『你說得很清楚』。雖然我知道他們對我很好,他們的話讓我一點不舒服。我認為這有兩個理由。

第一個是外國人應該說中文,還有好像我們應該說台語。為什麼住在某個地方?大部分的人都住在他們出生的地方。為什麼搬家?對我來說,我搬家是因為要學習,學習文化、學習外語。在美國我賺錢比在這裡快。在美國時我有時候覺得很孤單,可是我不是因為女人才來這兒的。我來這裡是因為我想體驗新生活。可是我不知道我是不是比來這裡賺錢、找女人的外國人好。我們都有我們自己的目標。我的目標比他們的目標好嗎?從大三開始我有很多時間遠赴國外,所以我常常在想圍繞外國人的話題。我不知道我們來這的理由是不是就代表我們是好的外國人還是不好的外國人。

我認為台灣有一些很糟的外國人,他們賺台灣錢、上台灣女生,同時他們卻討厭這個國家。可是把他們放在美國,他們就會變成好人嗎?我覺得這很難說。所以我認為問題不是他們在哪裡的問題,我認為問題是他們本身。如果他們在自己的國家我仍然不會喜歡他們。我為什麼不喜歡他們不是因為他們來這裡的理由。如果不好的人學中文、說流利的台語,我仍然不會喜歡他們。

不過在美國,不論是從那裡來的人大家都說英文。在美國讚美別人的英文說的很好,這件事情聽起來很奇怪。你會說英文不代表你很厲害,可是如果你不會說英文那你看起來真的很糟。在美國有一股壓力迫使人一定要學英文,可是在台灣台湾人總是覺得外國人不會說中文。我覺得最大的問題是台灣人先入為主認為外國人沒學過中文。更糟的是,平常台灣人覺得外國人不會說中文,而實際情況也確實如此。所以我也被認為是不會說中文的外國人。現在別人告訴我我的中文說得很厲害,可是我知道這不是因為我的中文說的很好,而是因為在台灣學中文的外國人非常少,所以台灣人才覺得我的中文說得很好。

第二個理由餐廳服務人員的讚美讓我覺得很奇怪,因為台灣人的讚美常常有相反的意思。台灣人很愛告訴我的室友說,他的中文說得很好,他就會說『謝謝』。你說中文的時候如果出現越多問題,台灣人越覺得他們應該要幫助你,而且台灣人為了不讓你覺得你的中文很差,所以他們讃美你。因此他們的讃美不是真的讃美,而是鼓勵。

我不想讓台灣人覺得我是學生,我想讓他們覺得我是居民。我不是要讓我的中文說的非常完美,可是我想讓我的中文,說得夠好,不讓台灣人認為他們應該協助我。我不是只是在試著說中文,中文是我生活中很重要的一部分。

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Chinese post

I guess my 100th post will be Chinese, and it looks like my 101st. I am trying to improve my general speaking (rather than just my political news speech), so I am focusing on a lot of conversation and casual writing. Anyway, I am going to post the things my teacher and I work on in class. I am very excited because I found a great Chinese text input system, so I am writing far faster.

Also, side note, the pimp name generator that the lovely Nick and Miranda pointed out created the name for me: "Crazy Eyes Matthew Clinton," and that was just putting in my name! Seriously, how did it do that? Crazy Eyes? Got those. And Clinton? I am Blue Stasis for a reason. I realized computers really have come far. Anyway, on to Vanwilder and dreaming in Chinese:

我剛剛做了一個關與電影留級之王的夢。留級之王是一個美國電影,電影的主角是一個花花公子,他叫梵韋德(Vanwilder)。他有時候不負責任,可是他有一些讓人喜歡他的特質。他非常有自信。他不在呼別人喜歡不喜歡他,他沒有很大的煩。不過他喜歡幫助人,還有他喜歡大不分的人。

我不知道為什麼我剛剛會夢見好像他的人。梵韋德有很多我希望自己也有的特質。有時候我很有自信,有時候我卻很膽小。他會是一個很好的政治家因為他很愛幫助人。我喜歡幫助人可是我不是那麼有親和力。我只是不那麼圓融。

我不想當花花公子,可是我希望我可以做事比較圓融。我希望我能像他那麼有自。我常常在想我究竟是要改善我的缺點還是要發展我的優點。有些事我做得很好。可是有些事我做得很糟。我忌妒果決的人。我忌妒有自信的人。我有一些讓我很自豪的優點,可是有時候我覺得我的目標太大了,我的能力做不到。

反正在我夢內,我不知道我是不是就是主角。這個夢的內容不那麼重要。依照慣例大部分的夢我都記不得。可是我記得我拉住繩索跑上大樓。拉住繩索跑上大樓很容易,但是我不知道我為什麼要這麼做。

有一次我在做醬油,我後面有人在看我做醬油。他監視我做醬油,他需要監視我確定我不會用一些不可以用的原料。可是,我能把醬油做得很好。我偷偷地違反規定用一些不可以用的原料做醬油。剩下的都不重要。我不知道這個夢有沒有意思。

Friday, March 17, 2006

If you feel like crying

Something is really really wrong. This is a short post, the next one is my 100th entry, woow.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I am drinking on the government's tab

I am drinking a "ClassicDark" on the government's tab, and the taste of Taiwanese greed makes it somehow, a little more bitter (but its a dark beer, so it is supposed to be bitter).

The government runs a lottery system on the reciepts here (read all about it at Tealit. I know one foreigner teacher that pulled down $4,000 (about $133 US), not a bad pay day for buying, you know, water and stuff. I wasn’t really keeping track of it because I didn't like organizing receipts. However, based on the tides of my room, I ended up with most of my receipts pilled up anyway. Gave it a scan through, and I won $200 NT (about $6.66 US).

Actually getting them cashed requires a trip to a post office or certain banks, but that was a bit of a hassle (just not on the way). But I discovered you could to 7-11 and use them there. I have been living off of as close to nothing as possible for a while now, so that I can travel before coming back to the states, and so it was satisfying to just blow $200 on random stuff.

I got a Michelob ClassicDark, a Meji Chocolate bar, a Taiwan Beer 40, a Smirnoff rip off, and a bottle of water. Not bad really, and it made me appreciate how much stuff really costs here. Plus, the Meji (which is super good chocolate, go the Japanese) consumed with the Michelob made a pleasant taste that reminded me a great deal of the chocolate beers that Miranda, Nick and I got at the Rogue brewery. After consumption, I sighed.

Furthermore, the idea of a lottery on receipts just has such great societal commentary. The only way to curb the greed of the storeowners not wanting to pay taxes is by a lottery system that uses the greed of consumers to demand receipts. The odd part is I can't blame the owners (I would not necessarily want to buy into this government), I can't blame the consumers (I want a lottery), and I can't blame the government (I want to get taxes). All and all, its a beautiful system in its honesty about who we are as a people.

Hell yes

Finally. Now I can sleep better at night. I don't know how this explains Chong, the Democrats, or dance majors in their fifth year at a community college, but no negative thoughts no, its time for a sign of relief (plus I think I can win an argument on appeal lost some four years ago).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Taiwanese politics

Before I get back to angry foreigners and rap music references, I want to make my first real Taiwanese politics post. This is done with a bit of hesitance, as the blogging community that talks about Taiwanese politics has...shall we say...vehemence. Enough vehemence to go around.

And they are vehemently Green in many cases. I already got chased into a street by a foreign this week and anyone calling himself "Maddog" is not on my list of people to tick off.

Anyway, I am writing this as a novice to Taiwanese politics, but someone who has been reading it a lot. Most of my news comes from the BBC, RFA, and UDN, all of it in Chinese (but I go over it with my teacher to make sure I am reading things right). I avoid the Taipei times, but I read the Taiwanese blog community at length. I have picked up somewhat of a blue perspective, which is only notably carried by one other blogger that I often see active.

Both The Other Side and Maddog resort to name calling, which makes them kind of hard for me to read. It becomes a little too Rush Limbaughesque for me . The fact is that 馬英九 (Ma ying-jiu or as I friendly refer to him in my no Chinese class, Horse English 9) is not "Mao without the O" but he is not some gilded warrior coming to save Taiwan. The fact is that 陳水遍 (the President) is not completely inept, but he does not seem to be knocking them out of the park.

The biggest problem is that this government needs radical reform. Its not really an issue about blue and green, the battle between blue and green is so sticky that it prevents any real reform. The government has two extra branches it needs trimmed. The constitution is antiquated and poor. The system does not really function, and it does not matter who is president, someone really needs to fix it.

Yet the only talk the last two weeks was getting rid of a bureaucracy that has stopped meeting and has a yearly budget smaller than what I have in my wallet right now (and I am living off cereal right now). Michael Turton's extensive writing on all of this is the most moderate (albeit Green, he consistently is a voice of reason) and the most interesting (though a bit extensive for those with a passing interest).

Anyway, the reason I care about all of this is mostly that whole World War III thing. I don't want it, and don't need it. So I tend to be pragmatic about it. Is Chen ensuring that there is not World War III? No, I don't think he is. Albeit he is not directly causing it, he is playing a really dangerous game, and I am not sure why he is rolling the dice this turn anyway. It looks a little like a terrier biting a doberman.

Nixing these bureaucratic artifacts helps the budget some $1,000 NT, but at the cost of a significant bruise to the economy (which may have rebounded, I have not heard new news about that) and the frustration of the two countries most important in the fate of Taiwan. The biggest thing that ticked me off is that he never seemed to give the public a good reason why he wanted to to do all of this. It is no question that "stopping" these things, in some way, hurt Taiwan. But how did it help? I really am not sure.

If 陳 wants to start freezing things, why not start at the truly corrupt or inept branches of governments? The obvious response is that these bureaucracies are too entrenched. Perhaps he is doing this so that he can get momentum going towards reform. However, I think if he makes a truly bold move now, it would just look like a pattern or a trend, one that might inspire China to feel it should be even more aggressive towards Taiwan.

To elaborate on my no World War III position. That is not at the cost of Taiwanese democracy. Taiwan's government is a disaster, but it beats the hell out of Red China. I think optimally Taiwan could be apart of China in the sense that Puerto Rico is apart of the US. Perhaps I am being naïve and idealistic, but that way China's government does not lose face (honestly, I think that is the main reason they care about Taiwan) and Taiwan does not get blown up.

The sense I have here is that most people, the average Taiwanese, don't really care about joining China, and they don't care about becoming independent. Even in the supposedly greener side of Taiwan, people just seem to only really care about the economy, getting a job, and maintaining their current freedom. Many seem almost shockingly apathetic to the idea of being apart of China or being independent. Their lives just don't revolve around such things.

For the most part, I agree with them. The status quo is not that bad. The anti-secession law is babying and pandering, but it is only truly a problem if Taiwan goes independent. The missiles are insulting and scary, but if the status quo is preserved, its hard for China to launch them anyway. If they just went ballistic now, that would be a political disaster.

Lets not be silly enough to think that China needs these missiles anyway. If China did not have those missiles in place, it could get Taiwan in under a week with a breath. The US government could not get its head out of its ass to save lives in Katrina and that was on US soil. Do we honestly think that they could run in and save the day along the Taiwan strait to prevent one of their biggest trading partners from hopping islands to Taiwan? The missiles are just a symbol of a danger that is clear from just a world map.

China has all the cards except the political one. If they just throw down with Taiwan, they would have political hell to pay, especially with an economy that is breathing foreign more. But its not really practical to think that Taiwan and the US are going to prevent that throw down militarily (I love this idea of Taiwan buying twelve subs and suddenly China disappears). The only thing I see saving this island is really good politics, and I don't see Chen being a really good politican.

Horse English 9's opinion seems to waver with the days (or who he is speaking to), but more often than not I agree with what he says. I think most people hold against him the very dirty history of his party (which as Maddog is fond of pointing out, did Kill Many Taiwanese). However, he seems to be pretty pragmatic about bi-costal relations. For instance, he has said that he is open to independence if the people choose that. I don't know how much that is true, however, he does not sound like Mao without the O. Even if it is political pandering, it does not seem very strictly party line.

The best line I have heard from MA was something to the effect that for Taiwan to even go to the table over unification, the missiles would have to go down and steps towards democracy would have to be made. This I thought was the best approach. Make it clear you are open to peace, but attach conditions to the deal. Again, that opinion was later down graded, but the fact that he said it makes me believe he is not a mouth piece for the government. In America, a politician that just follows opinion polls is seen pretty negatively, but that might be the best for Taiwanese democracy.

Really this is all in vain. Unless Chen really flips it, I don't think World War III is going to go down. That said, when he started yelling "Did Chen make a mistake?" off script during a memorial speech, I instinctively thought "Yes, Chen made a mistake; 阿扁真的錯了.“

A foreign delight

I am sipping strawberry milk tea and munching on a chocolate bun, and someone wanted to fight me today. I have had 23 years to realize our world has problems, but this still seemed noticeable. I am simply not that intimidating.
Today was inundated with foreigners. Today, I believe I saw more foreigners outside of my school and foreign bars than my entire time here. Spotting the foreigner is a common sport of mine, and its beauty stretches from its difficulty to its baffling hypocrisy. If I see a Taiwanese person so much as wink at their friend upon seeing me, they are culturally insensitive. But if I nearly have a conniption seeing a British guy in a supermarket, that is entirely acceptable. Its funny, because I thought I would never grow old of the "super star stares" you get for having white skin. Trust me, it gets old, really old.
Anyway, typically I see a foreigner once a week or maybe twice a week. I have gone long stretches without seeing any random foreigners at all. When I do see them, I sometimes think, "go back home you weasel trying to cheat Taiwan." But I usually think, "hey brother".
I think, ironically, my time in Taiwan has pushed my feelings even more to the latter. The insanity of some of the things here eventually get to you, and you start seeing foreigners as "on the same team."
Anyway, today I had class at McDonald's (not my pick). There I spotted two. One was a teacher, who ran into a few of his students. The students were really nice to him and they had a great talk. He was learning Chinese and I thought it very good to see.
I then went to Starbucks (having just left McDonald's, a big part of me just said "ah screw it"). There I saw one looking for a table, but he did so in a pleasant manner, so no harm done. Later a foreign girl came and started studying Chinese, always a plus in my book, and later switched seats so a couple could use their laptop. All and all, foreigners are looking good.
While I was sitting there, another foreigner came in with Taiwanese guys. And by Taiwanese, I don't just people "people living or born in Taiwan," but "Mandarin is a distinct second language type Taiwanese." Their Taiwanese had the thickest accent, and I was not sure if the foreigner understood them, but I was impressed he fell into that crowd. They seemed to be making something (I sensed a movie in the works, but I have no idea why). Either way, I thought "hey, go foreigners." Next up, on the way out, I passed two foreigners in a language exchange. Again, learning Chinese, goes far in my book.
This was all near the University, so it was an unfair sample, but either way, my Foreign Tuesday (why could this not have happened on a Friday?) was looking good. Oh, by the way, if you were wondering why I was not at school, apparently the KMT government Killed Many Taiwanese some fifty years ago (go big blue), so now there is a day off from school [editors note: if the go big blue joke is moved to the end of the sentence, look at how much more morbid I come off!].
Anyway, next up, I spotted a foreigner biking near my house. She seemed to be exploring the territory. New foreigners were shipped in for the school year that started two weeks ago, so a few of them are finding themselves. I say, go her.
So then I go the gym. My teacher Rebecca is a member there. To become a member there, she had a long and complicated fight, in which they lied to her multiple times. I was supposed to help her as the manager is foreigner, but it got figured out before my mission...thank god...
I got to the gym ten minutes late (I underestimated the traffic and took a bad route). We go in, and Rebecca said that they were making us take a tour of the gym and sign a form. However, earlier that day she had made an appointment, which she explained meant that we did not have to fill out the form or take the tour. Her understanding was that it was not a problem if you had an appointment, and that you got a certain number of these special appointments a year (in retrospect, I believe this was a lie to get me ready and inside).
As we walked in, I saw a big foreigner and gave him my "we are in this together" smile that I have picked up. He seemed like a nice guy. In fact, before altercation, I said to Rebecca rather concisely "he seemed like a nice guy."
So one of the employees that works there has us sitting in a booth and says I have to fill out a couple of forms and take the tour. We try to explain to him that we don't have a lot of time (true) and that our impression was if we made an appointment that we did not need to take the tour (true).
I was ready to fill out the form, but Rebecca said again that that should not be necessary. So as we asked the staff guy, the manager comes over, and although it would have been very apt if he had said "is there a problem here?" and pulled on his belt, I think he just came over.
He said that the policy was we had to sign the form and take the tour. In me trying to explain what Rebecca had told me, I guess I really dug deep or something. I just tried to say that my impression was that we could not do the tour with an appointment, and that someone actually had told Rebecca this. I also tried to say the form was okay, but we did not have time for the tour (true in a way, but I don't know how long the tour really was).
I am not sure how, but it was clear this really made him angry. I try to be enough of a self-conscious person to be critical and say "well maybe I was yelling, I do have a tendency to yell," or "maybe I was being to lawyerly, it is annoying when you do that." But I simply can't assume that I adequately provoked what happened during the ten seconds where I explained an innocent miscommunication at best or us being straight up right at worst.
He started interrupting me, and dare I say, "raising his voice." He said "look, have you ever been a member of a gym?"
"Of course, a couple, but I have never been apart of a Taiwanese gym, just in America."
"Well this is standard policy with all gyms, and that is from back home."
"Well, the two gyms I was a member of you could bring in a certain number of guests without a worry or you had a little guest pass punch card or something."
"Well," (I am not good at dialogue writing, and these wells are me trying to be honest with what was said), "That is not World Gym's policy. I don't have a punch card from you. Or any card, or anything" (that last comment was actually was more inane and hard to describe, he even looked around so as to demonstrate his search for a guest card).
"Well she is a member," point at Rebecca, "her impression was that if she made an appoint..."
I think maybe I need to learn more concise speech in the face of interruptions, "Well that is not our policy. This is my gym, and our policies. And you are coming in here telling me what my policies are, you can either get sign the release form and take a tour or you can pay 675 and tour for the day."
This may have been where I really sent him off the deep end but I was really shocked by that last sentence, "675? Like $20 bucks, this must be a really good gym."
"It is the best by far in Tainan."
I looked at the Taiwanese spokesman, who much like Rebecca had a very deer in the headlights sort of thing going on and said, I feel rather earnestly, "does it have an indoor basketball court?" For the record, Rebecca had told me it didn't, so perhaps this came off sarcastic unintentionally, however in asking it I really did feel that that could justify an otherwise truly outrageous one day fee. Furthermore, I thought Rebecca might have missed it or something (though it sounds like they force tours at gun point at World Gym).
He responded "you can take the tour to find out" (if I was not appalled by exclamation marks, I would be using them somewhat haphazardly here). "You are wasting his and my time. Either get a guest pass for the day, fill out the form and take a tour, or leave."
Then he left. Rebecca started to talk to the employee, who walked over with a lot of confidence and was now speaking with far more, shall we say, passiveness to compensate. We tried to explain to him the misunderstanding and what was said in the telephone conversation.
I should have let Rebecca do her thing, but I was undoubtedly frustrated. I do know for the record, I spoke pleasantly at this point for the, now aware that the owner was somewhat of a loon.
I think the Engish part of my Chinegrish beckoned the foreigner back. He demanded to know why I was not either signing the papers/touring, paying, or leaving. He started yelling again.
This time I tried to respond with a certain amount of the genuine fear that I thought I was previously masking. This was an attempt to show I am a human and that he was being crazy (its silly, but it has worked at least one notable time). However, I say this like it was a completely controlled act of free will to look fidgety and make my voice squeaky and scared. It felt like free will at the time, but my confidence is not enough to say that for sure.
He even ended up saying "Look at you" in relation to my fidgetiness (at this point he was just yelling at me things like "get out now," "don't question my policies" and general threats). For the record, it was not only pride that kept me in my seat (that being wanting to express why this all happened 'cause I so damn smart), it was also the fact that I would have to get up and walk through a bottle neck that he was standing in order to leave. Although it felt like I choose to show my fear, I really was afraid. This place is not the wild west, but it is not Tokyo either. If he just started beating my ass in the middle of a mall, I am not really sure what would really happen (I have seen the news where cops just watch serious beat downs).
It was the first time I really did "look at me" at a time of frailty. Furthermore, I have reanalyzed the situation a lot since then. He said "look at you" like I should be ashamed, and perhaps yesterday I would have been. But I wasn't, I am not, and I don't think I will be. We are all weak.
I am weak. I make jokes that I wish I hadn't. I talk too much. I speak too loud. I am dedicated to a lot of things, but I am not really a master of anything. I get addicted to things (nothing serious so far, but that is because I am aware of this weakness). I want to look good, but usually don't. I am a form of greedy (not in the "step on those in the way" type, but I do have a mighty long shopping list). And I question myself a lot.
But I know all of this. I know far more than this list. And I do stuff about it.
He is weak. This man was a business owner and was yelling at a potential client in the middle of a mall. He said multiple comments that were profoundly stupid. Although it feels like high school to say this, I think it was a safe bet he was on steroids (I mean, a really large gym owner yelling in public is not the best alibi). Either way, he seemed pretty shallow. And the most obvious of all, bro has some really serious anger issues.
Then I said, "look, chill out, its okay, we are taking off."
Apparently unintentional reverse psychology works, because chill out meant "I want to fight you" in his language.
I am not sure if they were his exact words, but from the distance between the table and the door, he asked me some variation of "you want to start something?" a number of times.
He followed me out the door and kept yelling at me, making it clear that he was ready to fight and that he wanted to fight. He "got up in my face" (not with that certain indescribable intimacy of boxers before a match, but he definitely broke most American norms of personal space).
Outside the gym, surrounded by Taiwanese high school kids (hanging out at the mall that holds the gym), he kept yelling at me. I said something like "I am sorry. I am from Colorado, my name is Matt, I am a human b..."
He cut me off to yell, "I don't care who you are." And he walked back into the gym.
He said it very well, he simply didn't care who I was.
That is hate. That is the problem with the terrorists, the problem with the taxi drivers here, that is the problem. Too many of us, too much of the time, don't care who people are. Or more to the point, we don't care that they are people.
I still care who he is, and why he is the way he is. Now that I am a few steps away from my initial anger, I care who the Danish cartoon haters are. I am completely confident they don't have a "good" justification, but I would like to at least know what biologically and socially has made them the way they are. I still want to know what made him so angry.
After we left and were out of sight, I handed my bag to Rebecca and kicked some various metal (it was clearly solidly built) box outside the door. I kicked it really hard too. I am not proud of this, my mother has said she thinks people who hit stuff after an argument are stupid. I just think they are human and angry. I am not proud I kicked a box (and in doing so, scared the hell out of a whole flock of students). Yet I am not really embarrassed. There are times in my life where I would say I should have been more stoic and not so juvenile.
We all have problems in our lives. When I first got here, I had an altercation that left me sad, in a distant way, that was caused by someone I will never meet months before I got here. The pain was just sold forward.
I am sure today I caught the brunt end of some bad things. But World Gym man choose to pass those bad things on to a person, I choose to pass his bad things onto a box. And I am proud of that.
I am weak, but I know it. He is weak, but he does not know it, and that is his greatest weakness.
I think it is a strength of mine that within a second of my box assault, I laughed, and I really meant it. I told a joke to Rebecca, and I was okay. She is a nice girl and walked me to my scooter. We talked, I relaxed. I was in gym clothes and was still excited by everything, so I went straight to the basketball court.
I played for a long time. I met a really cool guy, I helped his English, and we played a lot. I met a crazy Taiwanese guy who made me mad by weird and cheap fouling. It was pretty standard stuff.
Afterwards, I ran into my first naturally discovered foreigners on a basketball court. The four of them officially made my day the most random foreign sighting filled day of my time here. They were Mormons here on mission. But more than that, they were good guys.
One of them and I talked for a long time. I vented a little, because I am a venter and telling my story helps me think. We talked Taiwan and Chinese, and it was relaxing. We did not talk religion and I realized why. Both he and I understood, we really are in this together. We may have things very different between us, but right now, in this place, we have a lot more in common than we have in contrast.
My favorite blog entry I have written here was the one about "jigga" and "nigga" being used by both Jay-Z and the Chinese. Since he was also a Chinese student, I started to tell him the basic premise but realized he may have never heard Jay-Z. At first he was not sure, but then he realized he had heard the album Jay-Z made with Linkin Park. Perhaps this is unfair to Linkin Park fans, and I really don't mean to generalize, but compared to Jay-Z, I definitely consider them more of a red state sort of band.
In America, I would have only thought of the things that made me different from this guy. I may be Blue Stasis, for two reasons now, but for those Green in Taiwan and Red in America, I still have a lot of common ground that I don't want to forget.