Tag Archives: Taiwan

Everything is fine, dandy, handy and even a little randy here at the Dandy in Daan

SO OFTEN you get to a hotel on a foreign shore – well I do anyway – and there is little to read apart from a Gideon’s Bible; it doesn’t often happen in Asia that there is a Gideon’s Bible – heck you don’t want to read the Song of Songs for the 300th time, do you? You would be far better off reading the Yogini Hridaya (Heart of the Yogini), trust me. I am a journalist.

Well you might like reading the Bible, but you read the Song of Songs and before you know where you are it’s Ecclesiastes and then the Apocalypse, Babalon and all that. No not Babylon, Babylon is in Kent. Or was Kent in Babylon?

We are very pleased to report that the only reading matter in our room in the Dandy – not the Beano, you understand Jings! – is a magazine called Body, which seems to be jam-packed full of adverts. It’s all in Chinese and it’s advocating healthy living – for example on page 31 of the current issue there is a very healthy looking young woman releasing what look to be pink balloons into the sky.

I always travel light, knowing that getting my laundry done locally is nearly always far cheaper than packing a big bag to the gills and lumping it from one hemisphere into the next and back.  So in the search for the laundry bag – which I found – I also made an inventory of what is in the same drawer. Some of you may remember the then famous Bangalore “Laundry Wars”.

To wit, here in Ole Taipei: Two pairs of throw away slippers clearly marked “CAUTION! DO NOT WEAR SLIPPERS INTO BATHROOM TO PREVENT FALLING”; one Dandy Hotel shoe mitt; one Dandy Hotel shoe horn to get in and out of those boots you might wear; one sewing kit; and a mysterious package labelled Safeway, no not the supermercado, and including the symbol for the planet Mars, which we have every reason to believe from touching and feeling it, but not using it, is clearly a condom.

Other useful things in the Randy DandyHaving a beano in the Dandy in Old Taipei include free bottled water, a real plant in the corner, free wi-fi that works very fast, charming and efficient hotel staff, pens that don’t work and piped music just outside my front door.  The rooms are really very nice, although a bit small but that hardly matters if you’re a little geezer like me. The frosted glass is inefficient so you can see what’s going on in the bathroom – but if you’re a dandy, a little bit randy, so what?

The breakfast is inventive, the water is piping hot and everything is handy and dandy for the Daan park and for Computex. With a 711 next door, and a Subway only feet away, what more could any visitor require? Pineapple cakes, or TAG Heuer OEMed Swatch watches?

Answers on a postcard to the Randy Dandy, por favor. And no, they’re not paying me for this. If only.

Oxford meets Taiwan – in Oxford

BUMPED INTO a very nice guy in the Rose & Crown on North Parade recently.

He’s spent a fair amount of time in the lovely island of Taiwan – the old name was Formosa which means the beautiful island in Portuguese.  Not only is it a lovely island, the people are kind hearted.  It’s the computer industry that’s taken me to Taiwan but like Mike Busby, I’ve been to Hualien  and to the Taroko Gorge. That was too exciting!

They quite like Qwan Yin in Shanghai, too.

Here’s his set of paintings, they’re well worth a dekko. ♣

“Doctor Death” smokes in mortuary

SECURITY WAS tight at the Leela Palace in Bangalore today, everyone being frisked, cars being thoroughly searched. That,  explained an employee, was partly because of the outrages in Mumbai, but also because a VIP was staying in the Palace.

The VIP in question is the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh,  Mayawati, quite a controversial figure.

Like other five star establishments, pubs and public places, the Leela Palace has banned the noxious habit of smoking. We came across a small group huddled in a little spot outside the restaurant, and listened in to the conversation. One smoker was a doctor.

He said:  “I smoke, but of course the advice I give to my patients is not to smoke.”  He works in the UK and said that the surgeons used to have a smoking room near the operating theatres, but that was now completely banned. “Dr Death” did not offer an opinion on whether smoking bans were good or bad, but we did see him head to the smoking cubbyhole on at least four occasions.

Instead, he said, when the surgeons and doctors want a quick puff, they head down to the mortuary. There is little risk of the corpses being affected by passive smoking.

A woman said that she had been to the coffee bar earlier and managed to find a quiet spot in a corner, outside, where she had a quiet puff without interruption.

A Bavarian guy said that the federal government was thinking of tearing up the the non-smoking rules they’ve got there, for several reasons. One is that irate neighbours call the police because of the noise the smokers make on the pavement. The other is that small businesses are threatened by the lack of business.

Apparently, Taiwan is introducing a smoking ban in January 2009. Will the freedom loving Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) be the only place where smoking in bars survives?