Friday, October 29, 2004

A Naturist November

October has gone, November is round the corner and I haven’t done a thing about naturism the past month. Am I a natural procrastinator or is it too cold for naturism?
Well, today in Taipei it was 27 degrees centigrade, so it can’t be the weather. Though over the past month, we’ve had our share of naturism-unfriendly weather: cool spells that wouldn’t scare off me or any other naturist from Europe or North America, typhoons that close down schools and offices and rage with winds and rain that keep you inside for more than a day.
But no, that’s no excuse. I should’ve worked on my naturist project, but guess what: I also have other projects going. Yes, there is my daily job, which sometimes takes up more time than I would really like. There is the fact that I am moving to a new home, and that my spare time is better spent on moving clothes, books and furniture from one place to another rather than writing for this blog or getting in touch with fellow naturists. And there are my other writing projects. Apart from this blog, I also have other plans: publish a book about Croatia for example. Having traveled there for August’s International Naturist Federation congress, and having spent a couple of weeks before trekking up the country’s coast from Dubrovnik in the far south, I believe I could sell my idea for a picture book to a publisher here in Taiwan. The book stores here are filled with picturesque travel accounts of the Greek islands, China, France and Italy, so why not Croatia, a land that is largely unknown in Asia.
By the way, several of those Taiwanese books about the Greek islands have polite pictures of the Paradise and Super Paradise beaches on Mykonos, and the writers are not shy about saying the reason they went there to look at the nudity. While we’re on the subject, a Taiwanese TV station, CTI, sent a team to Greece this summer for a documentary on those islands, and yes, its crew visited both Mykonos beaches, but their footage had no nudity beyond topless. Were there too shy and afraid of Taiwanese government censorship, or have those beaches changed? Have they attracted so many “tourists” that the real naturists are now outnumbered by the “textile” peeping Toms? Maybe I should go and find out.
But no, I have not forgotten what my plan is for this year: form a group of foreign naturists in Taiwan. I’ve even come up with a name for the group: TINA, or Taipei International Naturist Arena. Come back to this blog over the next few weeks and months and find out if it gets off the ground. Wish me well!

Saturday, October 02, 2004

A Naturist October

October has arrived and with it the first cold front in Taiwan. The island's winter is relatively mild so foreigners living here cannot complain. Even this cold front means that maximum temperatures lie around 20 degrees instead of the usual summery 29 to 35 degrees centigrade.
Taiwan is a relative exception in Asia with its mild winters. Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia - think Bali - have no real winters at all, just scorching, humid summers 12 months a year. While Japan, Korea and a large of part of China have real winters, with snow.
So October would seem like a strange month to be starting up naturist activities, as I'm planning. But those who know Taiwan, know the cold fronts are just short windows of cold air that never last more than a day of three. The trick is to schedule your activities just inbetween those fronts. That's where some friends of mine failed at today. They were planning to head for a beach - a "textile" beach because that's the only kind we know here in Taiwan - but the first cold front of the season has not only brought lower temperatures, but also abundant rain. That's why most naturist activities in Taiwan are held inside, not just because of their illegal nature.
As to nudity in Taiwan, the only "news" on the horizon is that the Eslite bookstore, a well-respected luxury book chain, will hold a discussion of nudity in (European) theater in early November. Such stageplays in Taiwan often have runins with the law before they are allowed to go ahead, mainly after support from the cultural authorities. Such a seminar might contribute to a wider acceptance of non-sexual nudity in Taiwanese society, so we welcome such a discussion. Though I still don't expect the discussion itself to receive a lot of media attention.