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why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

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why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby headhonchoII » 17 May 2012, 14:04

Thanks for the suggestions Finley. Now it is known as mosquito mountain as of course they love bamboo.

I did have a crazy idea to do Hakka outdoor cookouts on weekends for city folk or tourists going to Dahu. I have to check how the mountain is located (only been there twice) and there are no dwellings or electricity up to the site I believe. Whenever there is a funeral or wedding the older inlaws get together and cook these amazing authentic dishes with locally grown chicken and duck etc.

To explain about the history of the mountains my wife has a relative with a drug habit that fucked up his life and ended up living on the mountain and sand mining illegally. The police would drag him away and and then he would just go back again with his digger. All the inlaws were afraid of him as he is violent and has attacked and threatened them before. Finally the rest of the family figured out the high quality building sand is worth a fortune and applied for a mining permit, which was turned down as it is a sensitive natural area.
I believe my wifes grandfather will be looking down smiling, I don't think he would have agreed with that. My inlaws knew it is not the best thing to do but easy money is a dream of many. I was also glad that the mining has stopped even though we could have done with the money too.

Now a lot of the farmers just sell land for house construction and development. The farmers don't make much money, labourer salaries are really low so when somebody comes along and says I will give you 2 million or 3 million NTD it's hard to say no.
A few years ago somebody wanted to open an amusement park or university or something in the back hills near Gongguan and this was also blocked because a few of the old timers said no fucking way we are agreeing to this. The land is often shared between multiple parties so it does act as a brake at times.
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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby finley » 17 May 2012, 15:40

To explain about the history of the mountains my wife has a relative with a drug habit that fucked up his life and ended up living on the mountain and sand mining illegally. The police would drag him away and and then he would just go back again with his digger. All the inlaws were afraid of him as he is violent and has attacked and threatened them before.

Grief. There's always one in every family, isn't there? My Taiwanese side of the family has a couple of mafiosi cousins (i.e., idiot kids who think it's clever to join a gang and become the boss's fall guy when the police come sniffing around). One of the things that really bothers me about Taiwanese society is the "keep quiet, don't make trouble" attitude to these characters. Back in the old country (both of them) there's usually a patriarch type who will sort them out, either by setting him straight or breaking his arms, whichever works best.

I did have a crazy idea to do Hakka outdoor cookouts on weekends for city folk or tourists going to Dahu. I have to check how the mountain is located (only been there twice) and there are no dwellings or electricity up to the site I believe. Whenever there is a funeral or wedding the older inlaws get together and cook these amazing authentic dishes with locally grown chicken and duck etc.

It sounds to me like you've got all the ingredients there for a successful business. Taiwanese people + good food = profit. A lot of work to set up, certainly, but once done it should be cheap to operate.

How big is it? I'd guess you need at least 1.5ha to make it worthwhile.

I suppose the key problem would be transport or road access. People need to be able to either drive there, or you need to provide some sort of shuttle from the nearest rail station/bus stop/large car park. An electric-scooter hire station, perhaps? I've seen those operating successfully in a few tourist areas. Power is not a problem - solar panels are dirt-cheap these days and one of my side projects is infrastructure-class PV system controllers (hint hint). I strongly recommend composting toilets, which are very clean as long as you build them properly (you have to install a powered air duct to create negative pressure in the actual toilet and draw air through the composting chamber). I seem to average 100 litres of rainwater per month from a very crude 1m2 collector; you could install a sand filter followed by an off-the-shelf reverse osmosis unit for water supply. The mosquitoes - I'm thinking traps. Lots of containers filled with grungy water which will attract egg-laying females more often than the bamboo. Empty them out when full of larvae. These are all things I intend to experiment with myself soon, so I'll let you know if it really works or not!

btw, if it's a sensitive area, I bet you could milk that to the max. Not only could you use it for advertising purposes ('area of outstanding natural beauty' and all that), it might also help stop customers trashing the place, which city-dwellers are wont to do.
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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby headhonchoII » 17 May 2012, 17:23

Thanks for all your suggestions. I have to admit I often talk more than actually doing things, especially something that I have no experience of. Still it's given me something to chew over. Some experiments and real effort is in order! Sometimes when you talk to Taiwanese they kind of go negative, which doesn't help. Just got to go and do it I guess.
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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby Taiwan Luthiers » 17 May 2012, 18:03

headhonchoII wrote:Thanks for all your suggestions. I have to admit I often talk more than actually doing things, especially something that I have no experience of. Still it's given me something to chew over. Some experiments and real effort is in order! Sometimes when you talk to Taiwanese they kind of go negative, which doesn't help. Just got to go and do it I guess.


Not sure why but anytime I talk to a Taiwanese about economics its always negative, like we're somehow really poor and the economy is shit regardless of how the economy actually is. I think most Taiwanese has rose colored glasses regarding places like the US or Europe when it comes to money and politics. No matter who I speak to they'll always say that Americans are richer than Taiwanese even though it looks like the reverse is true (Americans may appear to be more rich, but the average Taiwanese not only have little to no debt, they often have a large amount of savings).

Thing is, they don't realize that there are more corruption in the US than most people think.
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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby finley » 17 May 2012, 18:26

Not sure why but anytime I talk to a Taiwanese about economics its always negative, like we're somehow really poor and the economy is shit regardless of how the economy actually is. I think most Taiwanese has rose colored glasses regarding places like the US or Europe when it comes to money and politics. No matter who I speak to they'll always say that Americans are richer than Taiwanese even though it looks like the reverse is true (Americans may appear to be more rich, but the average Taiwanese not only have little to no debt, they often have a large amount of savings).


Indeed. That's what the OP was saying. There are still plenty of Taiwanese people who want to send their kids abroad to America so they can have a "better life". I've seen adverts offering to help you have an "American baby" (i.e., have your baby in the US so that he/she is a US citizen).

If they spent half as much effort on improving Taiwan as they did on their family emigration programmes, a lot of the things that people (Taiwanese and foreigners) moan about would have been dealt with long ago. But in that case, maybe Taiwan would be as boring as the US ...

I have to admit I often talk more than actually doing things, especially something that I have no experience of. Still it's given me something to chew over. Some experiments and real effort is in order!

Me too .. although it's not laziness as such, there just never seem to be enough hours in the day.

Sometimes when you talk to Taiwanese they kind of go negative, which doesn't help. Just got to go and do it I guess.

Another cousin has an uncle with a large-ish land holding that was completely ruined and then left idle, and we (I and the cousin) had a conversation about doing something with it. She's Buddhist/vegetarian and wants to open a vegetarian restaurant, so I suggested we could rent the land, grow food and sell it fresh in the restaurant. She was totally enthusiastic and went to chat with the uncle. No dice: she thinks he's planning to put a house on it (illegally) and is worried if we built a business around the food we grow, he wouldn't be able to kick us off. I wasn't overly bothered because the plot was a bit too small to generate much income, but this sort of dog-in-the-manger land speculation seems common here. Winston Churchill, I believe, had a major rant about it.
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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby Pingdong » 18 May 2012, 03:57

HH: most mountain crops that require little work are either mango or betel nut. both are valuable and heavily watched by thieves. I had someone steal an 8 foot tree that had been in ground 4 years (= large roots) and drag it trough rebar I had laying in the weeds and lots of prickles for about 200m to their truck. this was directly behind a greenhouse, and I am well known in the area with 3 houses nearby. this was done in the daytime on a friday. the only way to prevent theft is live there.

thats whats already done here. I say start something new, to do that research plants that can handle dry rocky earth, heavy rain but also drought, as mountains get dry. also think export. some things that are very popular other places are not so much here and so export would be the only market. but because they grow so damn well here it is worth the effort.

weeds can be eliminated everywhere but the perimeter with simple planting strategy and a mulch. 100% controlled almost. the outer edges you can laying plastic fabric, and even use a hand held whacker. I use a machete on my farm.
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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby finley » 18 May 2012, 09:24

Pingdong wrote:HH: most mountain crops that require little work are either mango or betel nut. both are valuable and heavily watched by thieves. I had someone steal an 8 foot tree that had been in ground 4 years (= large roots) and drag it trough rebar I had laying in the weeds and lots of prickles for about 200m to their truck. this was directly behind a greenhouse, and I am well known in the area with 3 houses nearby. this was done in the daytime on a friday. the only way to prevent theft is live there.


It sounds like someone ought to apologize to the tree. WTF is wrong with these people?

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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 18 May 2012, 10:01

The irony is that I can't imagine that a tree that had been dug up (probably hastily and carelessly) and dragged around would end up being too healthy (and thus, yield a lot of fruit) anyway. Such short-sightedness.
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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby finley » 18 May 2012, 10:30

Course it wouldn't. The guy was clearly a blithering idiot. If he wasn't, he would (a) have a proper job or (b) wouldn't have spent a few 000's on a truck just so he could steal worthless (after he'd finished with them) trees.

And that's why we need Mr Eastwood.
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Re: why does everyone think taiwan is poor?

Postby Taiwan Luthiers » 18 May 2012, 10:43

finley wrote:Course it wouldn't. The guy was clearly a blithering idiot. If he wasn't, he would (a) have a proper job or (b) wouldn't have spent a few 000's on a truck just so he could steal worthless (after he'd finished with them) trees.

And that's why we need Mr Eastwood.


Would get more if he stole the fruit instead of the tree.

Maybe next time you should keep a pitbull on your farm...
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