What is the most terrifying question a friend might ask me? It's this. "Hey, I am visiting Taipei next week. What should I buy for my families back in xxxx?"
Having lived in Taiwan for several years, I should be able to bombard my friend with a shopping list, compiled in an Excel sheet and attached to an email, right? The reality is, I still have no idea what to answer.
It's not that I live a secluded expatriate life (that is already realized by my avatar in Second-Life). There are stuff I would absolutely want to bring to other countries:
Technically, it is possible to bring them overseas. The problem is that they will start leaking strong odors while on the way back, forcing the plane to make an urgent landing due to potential biohazard.
What, moon cake has no problem? Here we had 1,000 cakes during last month. In my office, there were more cakes than complimentary packs of tea. Whoever mentions moon cake should be gunned down right now. Now.
But this dilemma will finally come to an end. Stupidly, I have totally forgotten Taiwan's secret weapon. The MASK. For what? For protecting your life from smogs and occasional insects jumping into your mouth when you are enjoying high-speed motorcycle ride, turning the whole joy into a suicide mission. It works, it is ubiquitous, it is cheap, it takes little space, and it is Taiwanese. Es perfecto.