I was channel surfing the other day, and singer Chou Jie Lun's press conference admitting that he had a girlfriend was being simultaneously broadcast on about ten different channels, the kind of treatment reserved for major presidential announcements. What is sad is that the primary story on google is from the Shenzhen Daily. Will Taiwan's English dailies just loosen up a bit? These are front page stories in the Chinese language press, and they don't even get a mention in the grey old English papers. What, they couldn't ask "Bank of Japan Board Leaves Monetary Policy Unchanged" to move over and make a little room? The closest acknowledgement of this side of Taiwan life is the very limited Taipei Times Friday "Pop Stop" feature. The other papers don't even do that.
The very same day that Jay and Hou Bei Tsen were hooking up, model Lin Zhi Ling announced that she was involved with the son of a major hotel owner. Lin is the real deal - a true product of Taiwan pop culture, having become famous without having apparently done anything of note or proven to have any talent at all. Not that I'm being critical - actually, I find it reassuring- it makes me feel like I've still got a shot myself. In a recent article from the Chinese press that I painstakingly translated, she expressed an interest in getting into movies and working with some of Taiwan's most famous directors. You go, girl! Incidentally, a recent internet poll of Taiwan men put Hou in the top place as the most desirable female, with Lin in second. Her previous boyfriend was the son of Lien Chan (see post below), so we know she is a playuh. Honestly, it is amazing how many foreigners have no idea who these people are, despite their being all over: on advertisements, on TV, in the local press. It ain't Japanese monetary policy, but it is part of making the environment you move in a bit more meaningful and, hey, it's fun.