Friday, July 25, 2014

Welcome to Downtown KL, R-18 Edition

Bukit Bintang is the undoubted heart of KL, the capital of Malaysia.  The main drag, Jalan Bukit Bintang, is surrounded by malls of both upper and lower ends, with cafes and restaurants of all shapes and sizes flanking its colorful traffic and colors.  The author is rather happy that he will have the chance to reside in this downtown neighborhood, given that the last tenure he had in the city was confined to its outskirts, with little experience of its center aside from that of a weekend tourist.  Surely the convenience of the city center, with countless shopping options, will make life much easier this second time around.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Few Last Words on Taiwan

Sometimes, goodbye can be sudden and unexpected, emerging out of relatively stability, mixed in with new-found happiness.  With age comes longing for a certain sense of sameness, surrounded by familiar faces, familiar surroundings, and a belief that one has, at least superficially, started to belong and blossom in one particular locale.  But the threat of unchanging constancy may eat away at ambitions, gloss over discontent, and level out inadequacy.  The author is not okay with that.  And hence, his Taiwan trip is suddenly coming to an end, and six days, a new life will start in Malaysia, returning to Rocket Internet after a half-year hiatus.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Once Again Witnessing the Post-Work Sexual Needs of the Japanese Salaryman

In central Tokyo, one never knows where the most flourishing neighborhoods are.  One alleyway from a main street could lead to a quiet neighborhood of small offices and high-end apartments, but just the other alleyway over may very much be the center of all action, a line of neon lights attracting the tired white-collar workers with no work-life balance into establishments that offer everything from the cheapest fast foods to the priciest female companions.  This is especially true on a Friday night, when the obligatory drinks with the coworkers to end the tough workweek, is of course, in session.

Monday, July 7, 2014

World Cup and the Internationalist-Aspiring "One-Month Soccer Fan"

The 2014 Brazil World Cup is now down to the last few games, but here in Taipei, the sudden soccer fever among the younger residents only seem to grow stronger by the day.  Every night when the game is on, multiple bars advertise showings and multiple social groups and official gatherings emerge to indulge in all-night binge-watching, replete with the usual face-painting of national flags and wearing of soccer jerseys.  This is all happening in a place where the national soccer team has never made it to the World Cup (nor has any chance to in the foreseeable future).

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Newfound "Fluidity" of East Asian Relations

For those paying attention to the intricacies of East Asian politics, some recent events could contain some serious game-changers.  For one, the Abe government in Tokyo has announced one of the most radical military reforms since end of World War II, effectively giving the Japanese Self-Defense Forces the ability to initiate war and place combat personnel outside home soil through "collective self-defense."  In other words, if Japanese allies (such as the US or South Korea) are attacked, the Japanese government now has the legal basis to deploy troops to directly assist in combat, anywhere on the globe.