Friday, February 06, 2009

rant: i love comments, but please keep the mean ones to yourself

I love hearing from you guys and I love comments, but you'll have to let me know if this is mean-spirited or if I'm just taking it the wrong way... Anonymous comments from the latest post.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "tea/coffee: i recommend ORANGE TEA MANIA":
I am unfamiliar with these "San Ming", "Mingquan", "Chunghsiao" and "Jhuangjing" roads. Are they anywhere near Sanmin, Minquan, Zhongxiao, and Zhuangjing roads?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "tea/coffee: i recommend ORANGE TEA MANIA":
To not be a dick for a moment, as much as I love your blog it makes my eyes bleed trying to figure out the names of basically everywhere you post about. Would it be too much to ask for you to, you know, use the right names for things? I mean, I can understand street names, it's not like they're not on every street sign or most maps - oh wait - and as for place names, it's not like there's no single, internationally recognized, easy-to-convert-to romanization system, which just happens to be the same one now being encouraged by the Ministry of Education and the Ma administration or anything.

I can take sarcasm, but when you're just lashing out, it takes all the fun out of it.

Now seriously, this blog started out as a fun thing just for myself- a personal black book if you will. And over the years, I know that it's grown as a resource for others, so I try my best to put accurate and thorough information out there, even if it takes me a lot of time from other things that I'd rather be doing.

But I can only do so much. I have no idea what "official" romanization rules are and I rely a lot on Google Translator and what I can find online. I don't know where every restaurant is in relation to MRT stops. And my computer doesn't type in Chinese. You want to know the Chinese info, please call the restaurant or check out their official websites. Sure the names are on the street signs, but all the information- business cards, websites, etc- are usually in Chinese, and I have to figure it out myself what it is offline and how to translate it. I'm not typing in the Chinese addresses into a magical "easy to convert" machine.

Not to be a dick back, but you can take your bleeding eyes to the food blogs written in Chinese and translate them yourself if you don't want to deal with my homegrown romanization.

Okay, end rant. Deep breath.


Christine said...

*Pat* *pat* There there. You're doing great. I love reading your blog, even though I have no clue how to say those places - but that's because I barely know Mado/Canto.

I decided not to let people post as Anonymous. Maybe you should change that as well. Anyway, keep up the great work! If you're ever in Toronto or Ottawa, let us know. =)

Anonymous said...

I think Anonymous's opinion is justified, they were just harsher than necessary.

Here's a simple solution: since you already have the actual addresses in Chinese from which you do your own romanization, why don't you just directly copy and paste the Chinese characters? That way it'll be accurate, you won't need to know how to type in Chinese, and those readers who want the English romanization can translate it themselves.

samihaha said...

I just found your blog a few days ago and I love all the reviews that you have written over the years. Don't let a single self-entitled prick ruin your day. You are doing a great job.

葛曉嵐 said...

I'd have the same reaction as you. This whiny comment is ridiculous. You're writing a personal blog, after all, not an edited restaurant guide that the commenter paid for. Anyone picking nits about romanization in a free resource is an idiot. (And romanization in Taipei is a mess anyway.) I think most of your readers appreciate your generosity in sharing your experiences with the food and drink culture of Taipei. I follow a number of Taiwan-related blogs, but yours is my favorite. Keep up the great work!

Debberoo said...

There's always one!

Maybe you could make the translations an optional upgrade for people like Anon - with a nice hefty fee to go with it ;)

Love your blog, thanks for all the hard work you put into it :)

brandy g said...

Love your blog. Don't change a thing. I agree with taking people off if they leave comments anonymously. You already know their real name when they start their sentence with "Not to be a dick for a moment..."

Lastly, it's great to read your blog, but also to read other people's feedback. It's nice to have a small community which draws readers from all around the world. Keep up the good work.

P Dimond, Esq. said...

I'd like to say thank you for putting your time towards writing this blog.

I've spent hours perusing it and will most definitely use it as a resource when I relocate to Taipei this summer.

On the romanization issue- I don't speak much chinese and I don't even live in taipei yet. Still, I don't have any problems understanding your romanizations. Taipei isn't that big, and it isn't rocket science.

So, in short.. Thank you and keep on rocking.

Anonymous said...

I thinks your blog is very well done, way better than lots of other blogs I've seen. Sure, issues with translation are going to pop up and "purists" will always complain. Let them do the best they can, while you keep on doing your superb job of walking us virtually through the streets of Taipei.

I don't have a google/blogger account, but I won't hide behind anonymity to whine.

abstractpoet said...

The fact that it was done anonymously is what makes it particularly asshole-ish and cowardly. I think there's an option on Blogger that disallows anonymous posts, if you really feel like it's a problem.

Don't pay the guy (or gal) any mind, Joan!

fashionfoodculture-life said...

I totally agree with you Joan, this comment is inappropriate. This is very common in fashion blogs where people go on a RANT about the blogger (of course in anonymous mode). I've seen comments where they actually attack the person based on their outfit and clothes they posted. It's just plain mean.

Blogs are a lot of work and are done for fun. If these types of commentators have problems they should at a minimum be respectful in their comments and give constructive criticism. Better yet, they should go spend time writing their own blog and then see how hard it really is.

Moreover, having been to Taiwan it is a confusing place when it comes to finding restaurants even when you have the exact name and address in Chinese. You're right, the person should always go to the website to get the most accurate information especially if they want it in the traditional characters. It's not your job to hold their hand to get to the place. That's what the internet and google maps is for!

Pauline said...

i love your blog. :) you're the only person i know that does this kind of thing and i enjoy reading about restaurant reviews from you --whether i've been there or not! (mostly not). keep up the great work! :)

Anonymous said...

For the 'Anonymous' poster: Not to get too political but there's actually two ways (or more)to 'convert' Mandarin Chinese to Roman characters. To simplify the arguement, there is the Taiwan way and there's the Mainland China way. Being originally from Taiwan, I tend to notice that Taiwan mandarin words tend to end more with 'ng, K, Ch etc. while the mainland Chinese way of spelling don't end with 'ng, uses Q without U following it, and X instead of Ch. Now, I'm not sure of any government efforts to converge or convert the spelling of these translations but I admit that the mainland Chinese spelling is a bit more accurate to the actual mandarin pronunciation. I tend notice that Hungry Girls' spelling tends to lean to the way that Taiwan's spelled for much of her history. Like Hungry Girl, I'm also chinese that from Taiwan that doesn't read or write much chinese because I left when I was 5, so the spelling she uses seem very normal to me and I have no problems figuring out the words. Hungry Girl: for those who can read chinese, how about taking a picture of a menu or business card if the establishment has one. I mean just a suggestion. Actually I think I've seen you do that before. Please keep up the work, I love all the food porn.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the assholes you've been attracting. My wife and I thoroughly enjoy your blog as we have referenced it when traveling to Taipei which we do once a year.

Seeing as how you are doing this as a non-paid "for fun" commentary, I say screw the critics. No one is asking them to read your blog. They can go out and find their own restaurants to recommend.

There will always be trolls on the internet so I would just let it roll off your back and keep doing as you are doing.

KevCheng said...

One time someone got offended on a food entry I wrote because I showed a picture of a boiled crawfish. There's always gonna be crazies out there, don't take it personally. I love reading your blog, don't let some crybaby discourage you.

Anonymous said...

to be honest, it sometimes does get a bit confusing, but pinyin in taipei is still not standardized (i think what he is referencing is mainland china's and almost every chinese book's pinyin system); if youve never taken a chinese class and learned this system its hard to tell the difference between it and the other "pinyins"...but even that poster knew what roads you were talking about, they just have a different spelling! i agree with some other posters, maybe you could post the characters along with the romanized version. also, what pc do you use? i know apple has pretty good chinese typing programs and windows has lot available online for download, although almost all of them use the mainland pinyin system for input. if you have any questions contact me, ive been learning chinese for a while and would be glad to help ; )

April said...

Yes, that person was unnecessarily rude. (You can set up your page so that all comments need to be approved by you first.)
I love your blog, I only wish I had found it BEFORE we went to Taipei for the first time. However, not your fault.
Keep up the good work!

Tom said...

This whole discussion may provide a clue why not enough people provide blogs like this. It would seem the general area and the phone number would be enough for someone wanting to go to the restaurant. Suggesting ways for you to improve the romanization of the address is as rude ("trying to help) as the original anonymous poster in my opinion. Keep up the good work.

Jake said...

I think that Anonymous is just being a whiney brat! While Taiwan has adopted a certain phonetic system, that does not mean it is universally understood.

Admittedly, I come here for the (fantastic!) food reviews and recommendations - not to be critical of the street names - but it is a shame that some readers lack the capacity to recognize that "Mingquan" and "Minquan" are the same.

You have a wonderful blog and I have found it immensely helpful! Don't mind others whiney comments :-)

Tina said...

I totally get you. Sometimes people take things for granted and don't really appreciate the effort that it takes to make an awesome blog like yours. I love it, and I know lots of other people do too. Keep it up!

JT1111 said...

u r doing a great job. Keep up the good work. don't let one Ahole ruin ur day, not worth it. i've been reading ur blog for a long time and love everything about it. =)

Anonymous said...

That person obviously knows what you mean, but wants to be a dick about it. If you don't like how the streets are displayed, go find them yourself.

Jean said...

Whoa.. 21 comments.. that's a lot more than the 7 I read this morning. You are popular.

Unfortunately, when you're in the "public" eye - you can be susceptible to mean comments and criticism. Doesn't mean you deserve, but you know you're better than that. And you can take what you want from it to "improve" in your own way, in the way that you can/want to. That guy is a total dick and he knows it. Previous anonymous is right and he "knew" what you meant... just being a jerk. Unless.. is it possible that Anonymous 1 & 2 are diff people? Or did you track that it's the same?

Either way.. those person/people are retarded. Pinyin is and never made a lot of sense to me in the "oh.. I get exactly why it's spelled out that way". It's not your job make it "right" for them, as in, if they had half a brain they could figure it out without THAT much fuss. So "Yes, anonymous, it is too much to ask. Hope you have a tissue."

Your blog is awesome, people are stupid. The end.

MEK said...

You're not the public-at-large's concierge and it's perplexing that people would chastize you for not being so. Keep up the great work, I'm a dedicated follower of your blog.

Sera said...

please, i think its so admirable that you give thorough commentaries and write all the addresses down, even some of the other branches.
i've been getting lazy and i just write quick entries now.

Anonymous said...

seriously. don't even worry about someone who chooses to be an ass just for the sake of being an ass. your blog is great; i've spent so much of my life in taiwan and yet i still use this blog all the time for suggestions. or when someone asks me "where was that ramen place again"? this is the first place i go, and *poof* it's here. keep up the good work; seeing all the comments already posted in the last day, looks like a lot of people appreciate it just as much as i do.

as for romanizations... if i can read it and understand it, who the heck cares how it's spelled?!

Chipy said...

I totally agree with you! If the person is unsatisfied with the information on your blog, then they can go elsewhere. Are they so lazy that they can't go and look places up for themselves? You're not expected to provide every single detail. It's just nice being able to read your reviews to get a real opinion. Keep up your great work!

KT said...

I don't have much to add - just wanted to add my support & let you know that we love your blog just the way it is! I have no idea how to translate from Chinese characters to Pinyin so I love that you do it for us - even if your way may be a bit different than the way it is spelled on my map.

EatTravelEat said...

That is so mean! Don't let it discourage you though. He/She should have thought they should be the same as if you said them they basically sound the same.

It isn't easy to get chinese on the computer either; to type you have to use pinyin and then they give you choices. Very time consuming at times.

tt said...

First of all, it is spinelessly WEAK to complain as Anonymous. If one truly believes in something to say, have the courage to back it up with a name.

Secondly, the comments themselves are completely uncalled for. It is an incredible effort to maintain a blog such as this, and you have been doing a great job. The reader knows what names and places you are referring to, and that is all that matters. It is a food blog, not a cartographic guide or translation service. Idiot.

Monica said...

I thought I'd jump in for a sec too just to say that I also read your blog fairly religiously, and it has led me to be slightly more confident in different parts of the city where otherwise I wouldn't have a clue what's going on. And my tummy seriously, seriously thanks you.

dennis said...

hey when did u come back from bali, how was the trip?

that person is obviously some dumb dick being frustrated at himself haha! what a sad case, it's all good~

alisaz said...

I love your blog and I think your directions are just fine. Not to mention that on the same street in Taipei you will find three different spellings of the same name. All you have to do is sound the name outloud, seriously, not that difficult. You are doing a great job and every single recommendation you have made, I have agreed with ;)

Annster said...

I saw that post when I was posting a comment in that blog and I thought it was inappropriate. Keep doing what you're doing, there's always bound to be people who are never satisfied with anything they see or hear.

mim said...

Hey, just wanted to say I really enjoy your blog!

And I agree with one of the other commenters about the difference between hanyu pinyin (used in China) and Wade-Giles romanization (used in Taiwan traditionally, but I've seen a mixture, especially in Taipei). It's weird that the crazy rude anonymous person even complains about your romanization -- by the standards he was using Taipei should be Taibei and KaoHsiung should be Gaoxiong. It's like a Brit going to America and complaining that the street signs are spelled wrong! Or an American going to Rome and asking why they keep calling their city Roma. Sheesh, complete nonsense.

Wayne said...

Love the blog. Forget the a-hole comments. It's the price you pay for popularity. And like mom says, you can't please everyone. Keep up the great work.

joanh said...

THANK YOU everyone for taking the time to leave me your comments and show your support. I am overwhelmed to see how many readers there are out there- so thanks for reading and thanks for your show of positivity/understanding. I appreciate each and every one. Hope you'll enjoy all the posts I have coming up!

christine: thanks- i will have to email you the next time I go to Toronto!

protocolsnow: i usually don't have the Chinese characters, but i usually try to include a pic of the store front for people. i've thought about including the chinese characters in the past, but just opted not to do it because i felt that this blog is for myself and others who don't read chinese- and usually the most accurate way is to directly call the restaurant itself.

samihaha: thank you!

葛曉嵐: thank you! you articulated exactly what i was thinking

Debberoo: he he! yeah.. thanks for reading!

brandy g: thank you!

P Dimond Esq: thank you! good luck w/ the relocation.

anonymous: thank you!

abstractpoet: thanks! well, i know not everyone that reads doesn't have an account, so i probably won't turn off the anon option.

ffc-life: thanks. totally- it's confusing even when you do have the name and address!

pauline: thank you!

anonymous: yes, i've thought about this too.. but sometimes i don't have the business card when i'm writing up my posts, or the place doesn't have one. so if i had to try to do that for every place, then my posts would come out a loooooooot slower.but i might try doing it more often in the future

anonymous: thank you!

kevcheng: thank you! i wonder what the person who was offended by the boiled crawfish said. which entry?

carly: yeah.. i've never taken a chinese class here, so i just go by what business cards or google translator says. someday i'll learn how to type chinese and pinyin, but in the meanwhile, i'm just posting what i've got. :)

april: thank you!

tom: thank you! yeah i was pissed for about an hour after his comments but got it out of my system after ranting. that's totally what the phone number is for!

jake: thanks! i think he recognized it was the same, he was just trying to make a point.

tina: thank you and thanks for reading!

jt1111: thank you!

anonymous: exactly. thanks

jean: sure, i'm always trying to improve but it's how you give "constructive" criticism right? i think it was the same but i'm not sure. thanks for your comment, it made me laugh

MEK: thanks for reading and your comment! totally not a concierge! :)

sera: yeah... i think it was the other branches that got me in trouble. oh well! that's what you get to for trying too hard.

hellobeebs: thanks so much!

chipy: thank you!

KT: thanks! i guess that's why i started to include google maps

eatTravelEat: thank you! yeah.. too time consuming for me.. thanks for understanding

tt: thanks for your support and comment! you almost sound as mad as i felt! :)

monica: i'm glad! thanks for reading.

dennis: the trip was short! gotta upload my pics soon and will do a post. thanks for commenting!

alisaz: thanks! i know! i just saw a few different official signs for Zhongxiao and Chung Hsiao yesterday so I know I'm not crazy

annster: thank you!

mim: haha. thanks!!

Todd said...

Looks like I'm late to the conversation! I love your blog and thanks to you I've been introduced to a lot of wonderful restaurants. No need to make a fuss over romanizations... Keep up the good work!

KK said...

Hey Joan, don't let these foolz get you down. You have tons of readers and fans. I write about my Taiwan trips on yelp and quite a lot of people frown on that, but hey like yourself I wrote it for me as a memoir. If people benefit from it, so much the better.

Write more!

Anonymous said...

Stop the presses! The internet has a bunch of creeps! Shocker!

This site kicks some serious ass. Forget all the haters! Keep up the great work!

To the troll(s): learn some Chinese. And get a life.

billy said...

I'd say most people who visit your blog absolutely love it, as do I.

Seriously, finding your blog has been a life-saver for me.

Keep up the great work, please.

We're all supporting you.

And, kudos to you for sticking up for yourself.

Andy said...

Keep up the great work, there will always be haters. Don't let it stop you!

shuflies said...

As other people have pointed out, romanization in Taiwan is a mess, despite recent efforts at standardization. It's not just signs on private businesses, either. If you pay close attention to gov't signs (including, ironically enough, those little illustrated maps they make for tourists) on a day out in Taipei, you'll see pretty much every system of romanization ever created.

In my opinion, the only thing you can do is stick to one system for your writing (as you do on this blog). I think it's the responsibility of non-native speakers to familiarize themselves with as many systems of romanization as they can, because whether or not they like it, that's just a fact of life in Taiwan. And, honestly, picking up differenty systems of romanization is actually pretty easy for people who are willing to spend the effort, which makes picking on people who are just trying to be helpful completely inexcusable. I'm sorry you had to deal with such pettiness.

Maoman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maoman said...

I get the posters' point, but he could have been more helpful. Hanyu Pinyin is the international standard for Chinese romanization, it became the standard for Taipei when Ma became mayor, and now that he's prez, it's the national standard as well, although no signs outside of Taipei City have been changed yet. If you want to know the street names for Taipei City, here's an excellent link:
And here's a link for all the MRT stations:

Daddy Alex said...

It ceases to amaze me the number of rude idiots out there. Jesus! It's free blog which you spend your valuable time on and write it for the benefit of others.
I think people should be free to comment and let you know their ideas on how to make your blog even better. I'm sure, even you, would welcome that. But that person just had no tact especially when they knew the street names.
Plus, in the 12 years I've been here, the spellings have changed many times so all are correct.
Keep up the good work. Hope you are having fun back at home.

keauxgeigh said...

Once you get a little bit of notoriety, you're gonna get people nitpicking at details that are irrelevant or they don't understand the complexity of.

"San Ming"? I've never heard of a "San Ming", what could that possibly be? I only know "Sanmin", ah just saying it makes me feel so much better.

Anonymous said...

what a dick! It's not like you're running a professional website and service that you're charging people for. You've already contributed a LOT, and as someone who found themselves stranded in Taiwan for the past 3 yrs, let me tell you that your work is appreciated!

Don't pay attention to the a-holes that can only pick faults in already wonderful things. They can shove it in their piehole =P

Joseph said...

What a schmuck, and I really don't understand why there are people who understand that guy.

Thank you for all of your hardwork, my dining experience in Taiwan is largely your doing. I also wish I had your writing talent. I have to say as mean-spirited as that person was, I love your sharp, witty and sincere response. It was very endearing and distinguishes you.

Cash Gifting said...

looks like your blog is bout delicious foods. well it made me crave after reading., your blog is nice and its obvious that you love it so much.,


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