Little thoughts: Ai Weiwei, and happenings in Taiwan

“The City: Beijing”
Newsweek, August 28, 2011.
Ai Weiwei writes about Beijing. His description of the city is frightening.

“Typhoon Nanmadol leaves one dead”
Taipei Times, August 30, 2011.
Typhoon Nanmadol hit southern Taiwan. 屏東 (Ping Tung) was hit the worst with flooding.

“Transplants to continue while mix-up probed”
Taipei Times, August 30, 2011.
Scary news came out of 台大醫院 (Tai Da Yi Yuen; National Taiwan University Hospital) that organs from an HIV-positive patient were transplanted to five patients in Taiwan. There was a mix-up in the status of the donor’s HIV status.

“Taipei serves up free ‘luroufan’ to set record straight”
Taipei Times, August 30, 2011.
Apparently Taiwanese food cannot get any respect. Last month, a CNN food list did not include any dishes from Taiwan. Now, Michelin’s Green Guide Taiwan has mistakenly attributed 滷肉飯 (lu rou fan) as a dish from China. One thing I found really interesting from the article was:

The city blamed the mix-up on the first character in the Chinese name of the dish, lu (魯), which is also an alternate name for Shandong Province, where the State of Lu reigned about 2,200 years ago. The city is now urging the public to start using a homonym which means braising (滷), to avoid confusion.

I do not understand why Taipei city officials are blaming the mix-up on the language. Or why they are explaining the mix-up at all. According to my dictionary (that I used in school in Taiwan) 魯 is a name and 滷 is the word for a cooking method. I have never seen the character 魯 substituted for 滷 in 滷肉飯. I think someone at Michelin needs to apologize and brush up on Chinese.


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