Not all news is bad news. The following is a look at some of the softer stories in Taiwan over the past week that, for whatever reason, did not quite make it to press in English: Side effects of World Cup fever Excited soccer fans in Taiwan gathered in bars and restaurants in the early hours of Friday morning to watch the World Cup kickoff half a world away in Brazil. With sports lovers likely to make this a habit over the month of matches, health authorities are warning that staying up late and pigging out could, unsurprisingly, cause weight gain of up to 4 kilograms. CNA reported June 12 that the Health Promotion Administration has cautioned that an appetite for soccer can lead to an appetite for high-calorie late-night snacks, like fried food and beer, which could lead some fans to balloon up like a soccer ball themselves. Perhaps one of the reasons Taiwanese fans are so excited for the World Cup is because soccer just may have come from China
, according to some. Taipei-based China
Times reported June 8 that a museum in Shandong Province traces the modern sport to the historic game of cuju, a competitive sport focused on kicking a ball into a net with no hands allowed. The claim has been questioned by many in the West, however, especially in England, which proudly traces its football history back to at least the 8th century. A wary populace Still shaken up over the grisly stabbings on the Taipei metro of May 21, commuters have been nervously keeping tabs on the passengers around them. It didn't help calm anyone's nerves when a middle-aged woman produced a small fruit knife on a commuter train after using it to enjoy a juicy mango. Apple Daily reported June 13 that the 60-year-old identified as Ms. Fang was washing off her 20-centimeter knife in a train bathroom on her way to work when another passenger understandably mistook the way she shook off drops of water as a threatening action. Police noted that Fang had kept the knife in a plastic bag after finishing her mango on the platform in Taoyuan City, removing it only in the restroom on board the train to clean it. She was found not to have broken any rules and was released after questioning. While eating and drinking are strictly banned on subway trains in Taipei and Kaohsiung, it is common to see passengers enjoy fruit, take-out meals and all sorts of snacks on regular trains around the island.
Still, it's probably a good idea not to risk causing a panic. Eat your mango before you go-go. (By Wesley Holzer)