We just got notification from the Canada Council today. So Roy Miki, Fred Wah, Marilyn Dumont, Wayde Compton, Hiromi Goto, Ashok Mathur, Glen Lowry and yours truly are on our way to a big CanLit blowout in Taiwan. A few of us will go on to Japan afterwards.

Going to Asia feels like going to the future. All the architecture and technology is sleeker, faster, better-designed. It’ll be interesting to bring Canadian critical thinking/politics there, and our open-ended ways writing/performing. The last time I went to Taiwan, I had a chance to talk to people about some pretty interesting stuff– what it’s like to be the citizen of a small country lying in the shadow of a major world power, the effects successive waves of colonization on language and culture, what it’s like to live intimately with new technologies. Yes, I’m wired, but in Taiwan people are really jacked in. Especially young people. I had a long conversation with a young woman there about how she met her boyfriend. The whole conversation revolved around cel phones– the etiquette, the nuances, what kinds of connections they do and don’t make possible, and also the object-ness of the thing. Style, line, size, all that. Hers was pink and sleek, and a third the size of the smallest phone I’ve seen in North America.


  1. Frances Kruk on September 30, 2005 at 3:43 am

    congrats! this is awsome!
    best of luck in the future…

    over here people are really into their gadgets. they’re clunky compared to what’s to be found in asia, but they’re certainly much more ominpresent and heavily-used than in canada. only small domestic animals and alien lifeforms like myself are sans mobile phone. texting is HUGE and used extensively…not just for chatting between friends and associates, but also for business, civic stuff, information, contests. everywhere you go, even the smallest little shithole has a www address and a texting number, and then a regular phone number below that. everyone has an ipod or ipod ripoff. retirement-aged business people with the little white earphones and the tiny box in their breast pocket. back home it’s just the young tech-savvy havemoney that have started to use them.

    you’d mentioned things beings slower and sort of behind here, technologically speaking, but i’m finding it’s mostly ahead. furthermore, my problematic orbitastudios email account works just fine here – it was often very slow and unreliable in calgary. which is a clear sign that telus high speed internet was the problem. everything is zippy over here. i have yet to do any printing or scanning or whatnot, so i don’t know what the equipment will be like, but there seems to be a good chance that it will be above my expectations.

    as far as having a mobile…
    i like being anonymous and somewhat unreachable, and yet i’m tempted to join the circus. it’s not just convenience – it’s pretty much become necessary. standard.
    and it’s really surprisingly cheap.

    but what i really want is one of those mini teenie tiny phones, like derek zoolander.

  2. Larissa Lai on September 30, 2005 at 8:21 am

    may be that’s the difference between london (where you are) and norwich (where i was). my forearm did not like having its wires pulled out.
    but yeah, i loved the text thing when i was there. and it’s true, there was a whole culture around it. i’d often text my favorite people several times a day. it’s great because texting doesn’t really stop you from doing what you’re doing, but you stay hooked in to your important relationships. it’s pretty funny though, hearing everyone on the bus, in restaurants, and on the street constantly beeping.
    i think you want one. give into your feelings, kruk, you know it to be true…

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