Taipei Gay Pride Festival 2011

Taiwan has one of the largest gay communities in the whole of Asia, and in turn hosts one of the largest pride festivals on the continent.  Taiwan was in fact the first Asian government to propose legalization of gay marriage and the right for same-sex couples to adopt.  The proposition was ultimately shut down, but it’s a start!  Although gay marriage remains banned, there is legislation protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

This year’s Gay Pride Festival fell on the last Saturday in October (also Halloween weekend which the Taiwanese are avid celebrators).  Tens of thousands of people gathered in the streets of Taipei in support of the movement.  Below are some photos of characters from the afternoon.

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Teacher’s Pet

When you’re young you like to think that teachers like all the students equally.  There may always be a “teacher’s pet”, but deep down you liked to believe that they liked you all the same – even those who were always stuck banging erasers after class.  This fondness all those beyond the age threshold of adulthood foster for the younger of their species.  Like how your parents love you, and all your friends’ parents love you, regardless of past misbehavior.

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Dog Café

I found something new!  Well, experienced something new anyway.  I read about these “dog cafés” in an ESL text book with one of my classes a few months back.  Sounded brilliant!  I tried with all I had to make my middle school boys care about people drinking coffee with other people’s dogs in English – a futile attempt that could make an unanesthetized leg amputation feel like afternoon tea.  Though it did get me excited about the prospect of one day coming across one.

I had a terrible dream last night that I was out to dinner with some people who decided to order dog meat soup.

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Goodbye 2010

On this day exactly one year ago I scribbled down my Personal Goal for 2010.  I refuse to call it a “New Years Resolution” since that sounds more to me like a wish for some genie in a lamp.  It also has proven just as effective.  I will lose 20 pounds.  I will work out every single day.  I will stop eating sugar and/or carbs.  I will hang up my clothes instead of flinging them all over my room.  Yeah right.

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I sometimes like to wallow in nostalgia by leafing back through old journals that are the past prophecies for my own future.  It’s odd how the mind’s eye pictures the future so vividly; specific moments and events that will happen if I follow down a certain path, yet looking back I have gotten it all wrong every time.

Maybe this can be credited to the winter coming, and having been away from family and friends for so long.  But lately I’ve been more introspective than usual.  Trying to realize my angle on life; my niche in the world, but hitting a perpetual brick wall.

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Pensive Poultry

Technically Thanksgiving Day.  I feel as if I should be a bit more nostalgic or homesick maybe, but to be completely honest it’s not phasing me in the least.  These emotions could possibly be pacified by the knowledge that I will be celebrating with some friends this weekend to simulate the whole experience I would be having back home, or maybe the whole thing just doesn’t seem real at this point considering the lack of indication by my current surroundings that such a holiday ever existed in the first place – maybe all the warm memories are a construction of my vivid imagination…

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Pepero Day

Today is Pepero Day.  Each November 11th, Korea becomes a maniacal frenzy of the purchase and trade of chocolate covered biscuit sticks   – Pepero – which are manufactured, heavily marketed and distributed by one of the largest conglomerates in both Korea and Japan: the Lotte Corporation.

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