When I taught English in Taiwan, I lived in Chia-yi, a bustling mid-size city in the middle of the island, where I first went because I knew people and then stayed in because I liked it. Some views of that city are scratched into my soul. From rooftops, roaring down wet dark streets on a motorcycle, drunk at dawn, the orange groves, the temples. I’ve not been back since I left in 1992. The other day an American expat writer, Dan Bloom, wrote to me — he’d seen a description of Um… somewhere, saw the Taiwan connection, wanted to write about it.
Here’s the piece.
Bloom lives in Chia-yi, too, so if I ever go back, we’re going to have crab legs and beer, asparagus and bamboo shoots, in the street markets.
His piece does say that Um… will be translated into Chinese, which is news to me. Anyone have an idea how to translate spoonerisms, or how to represent exchanges of sound segments in Chinese characters?