Sunday, April 29, 2007

Johnny Neihu's Mailbag

What's a worse fate? Being divested of misconceptions of Taiwanese backwardness or looking up a dictionary to become lilterated?

Saturday, Apr 21, 2007, Page 8

Brickbats for the Biggerses

Dear Johnny,
I chuckled reading your column on the Biggers family's proposed move to Taiwan ("Tips for vulnerable missionaries," April 14, page 8). You must forgive their ignorance of Taiwan (or indeed, anything not American), as they don't understand the rest of the world any better. We in Canada have been putting up with this forever.

I hope your reference to being "sent into humiliating exile in some godforsaken, fearful backwater. Like Canada" was just tongue in cheek. OK ... I'm sure it was.

I spent two-and-a-half years in Taipei (2003-2005) teaching English and I am very fond of your country and its people. I try to keep abreast of what's going on and wish you well in your struggles for democracy and independence.

I hope one day Canada will be the first to recognize Taiwan as an independent nation.

Ken Redlack

Johnny replies: What is it about Canadians? They seem to be just about the only people in the world other than a few cousins of mine in Kaohsiung County who are able to stand up in public and call the Chicom spade a spade (note how Ottawa is standing up to Beijing over the persecution of Huseyin Celil). And when you poke fun at Canadians, they're incredibly polite and write nice letters!

Dear Johnny,
I've just finished firing off an e-mail to the author of the article about the Biggers family from South Carolina. What a load of crap! Just what we need, more Christians out to "save" the world. I do hope you also sent a letter and that more of your readers will join in.

As an American (shhh, please don't tell anyone) who quit an excellent job and sold her home (and everything in it -- including the car!) to make the move to Taiwan, I simply can't understand why anyone who has visited here would have the warped view that the chumps from South Carolina have.

My first visit here was for two weeks in May 2002 to attend a Wu Bai and China Blue concert, and that's when I decided that, come hell or high water, I was going to live out the rest of my days in Taiwan. You can keep the US, it stinks.

Marla Hill

Johnny replies: Come on Marla, fair's fair. You know as well as I do that a couple of months in Taipei will divest this good family of any misconceptions. And I think you should sympathize with them instead of calling them and their home nasty words, because converting Taiwanese to Christianity is a feat comparable to the feeding of the 5,000 (which is to say, if you're not divine then you're in for some major disappointment). If I ever run into them, you can be sure I will offer them a beer -- well, perhaps a fermented asparagus juice if they prefer.

The simpler, the better

Dear Johnny,
While I thoroughly enjoyed your recent artical of "Gloves off: Time to knock and split" (April 7, page 8), and was able to grasp 90 percent of your story, I did for 4 or 5 times needed to look up in the English dictionary.

Can you not be a little more simpler and not so philosophycal? After all, I consider myself lilterated.

Une Person from other side of the Glove

Johnny replies: Thanks for writing. But hey, what's wrong with being philosophycal or looking up a dictionary? It's a much better fate than being illilterated.
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