Passing the New Year before Noon

On the morning of December 31st, sitting in Holland, MI where snow had fallen the previous night, we were totally immersed in events 13 hours away, where the new year was about to be marked with a spectacular fireworks show in Taipei. We managed to call up the outdoor New Year concert in Taoyuan, connecting the TV to a computer in order to watch a Korean boy-group sing in Chinese, hear masters of ceremonies alternating between Mandarin and Taiwanese, and enjoy an intensely acrobatic female song and dance group move about on stage in costumes of varied skimpiness. The lead  singer gets to change outfits every few minutes, the dancers don’t even get to stop moving. There are even about a dozen 8-foot-tall dinosaurs! 

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All the time in lower left corner of the screen there was a countdown clock going. The thermometer indicated the temperatures nationwide, from 10 to 18 degrees Celsius at sea level to below zero in the high mountains. And there’s a headline scroll across the bottom giving us updates on what’s happening around the nation. 

The screen is jammed with information. It feels very familiar. 

We’ve decided that this event, leading up to 11AM here, will be our “midnight” one this year. 

Happy New Year

David Alexander now resides in Holland, MI after 39 years in Taiwan, but will return to Taiwan to vote for president in January.