On the lighter side: Ghosts on trains, pigs on freeways (Aug. 2-8)
Central News Agency
2014-08-09 09:12 AM
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 the press in English. *Train authority says no to hell on wheels* Following National Taiwan University's banning of ghosts on campus, the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) has barred wandering whisps from boarding its trains this year. Apple Daily reported Aug. 6 that the TRA has said no to the Keelung City Government's plans to mark the Ghost Festival by putting (human beings dressed as) ghosts on trains between Taipei and the port city some 20 kilometers to the north, out of fear of frightening innocent children (and presumably some adults). TRA has threatened to send ghost-busters to nab any passengers who insist on taking the train while dressed in ghoulish garb. Keelung has argued against the ban by promising that its ghosts are all "warmhearted" and "cute" -- but that doesn't square with the city's own promotional website, which promises "a hike in the horror index" for commuters, who will feel so much fear "that it will make you think you're in hell." *Bicycles, motorcycles and pigs prohibited* A pig in central Taiwan quite literally took to the streets in protest of the way it was being transported on a freeway. The Liberty Times reported Aug. 4 that the well-fed pig was found scurrying along the two-lane Baguashan Tunnel on a provincial highway, forcing cars to swerve to avoid it. Needless to say, it was not managing to keep up with the speed of traffic. The spooked pig either fell off or jumped off of the truck that was carrying it and a host of its fellow swinekind. Containing the situation would usually be a job for firefighters, but the emergency workers were busy dealing with serious matters down in Kaohsiung. That meant only the police and a tow truck operator were left struggling for more than 10 minutes to secure the frightened animal. It will cost the owner NT$9,000 (US$300) to claim the pig back from authorities due to a fine for negligence. But given the per-kg price for pigs these days, that may very well still be less than market value. (By Wesley Holzer)
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