Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fasten Your Seat Belts, Fly Naked

The Americans did it before, organizing a flight for naturist holidaymakers between the United States and Mexico.
Now, it's the turn of the Europeans to do the same. The report about a nude flight between two towns in the former East Germany made headlines worldwide, and even the Taiwanese media picked up on it, mostly through its newspapers and the news headlines on the Yahoo! Taiwan website.
It must be fun to be able to take your clothes off on a plane, because it puts you in the right mood for the beach holiday to follow. However, I also have a couple of thoughts.
The flight in question flies between Erfurt and Usedom, both within the eastern part of Germany. I have never traveled there, but I imagine the flight can't last much longer than one hour. So you wait for the flight, and then you board, which is when you first can undress. There's probably time for an orange juice, but then it's time to land again, and you have to put your clothes on again before leaving the plane. So that makes it a mighty short time to enjoy nudity.
Also, you still have to wear your seat belt, which must be uncomfortable, certainly in combination with a hairy chest like mine.
Okay, it's a fun thing, and it will get the travel agency a lot of free publicity, but is it practical? A nude bus trip from the airport to the holiday resort would be much more pleasant, in my humble opinion.
Find the main media report at
and the organizers at
The Chinese New Year holiday here is turning into a wet and cold affair for Taiwan, and a supersnowy winter for China, so there won't be much naturism in my near future.
Enjoy your holidays!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Buy an Island

Buying an island is a dream for many people.

Yesterday, a Taiwanese tycoon made news because he spent about millions of New Taiwan dollars on an island as an anniversary present for his wife.

The island is reputedly the only private island in Taiwan, and is located in the Penghu archipelago - also known as the Pescadores - halfway between Taiwan's main island and China.

I have mentioned Penghu in this blog before - when a member of the islands' county council suggested there should be a naturist beach to attract more tourists. The idea was quickly shelved after dissenting voices by some locals. In fact, the Penghu islands have been desperate about getting more visitors. The main idea has always been to make the archipelago the only place in Taiwan where gambling is allowed, but the plan has met vociferous opposition especially from religious groups, who fear that once casinos open, organized crime and prostitution will not be far behind.

Maybe we can suggest to our friendly county councillor to meet with the tycoon who now owns that island and again launch a new plan for a naturist beach with or without resort.

There are loads of islands for sale in the world, some even at reasonable prices of a couple of million New Taiwan dollars (say about 100,000 US dollars), but they often are inhospitable rocks sticking out of the sea, with no amenities, no running water, no electricity, and certainly no Internet. In addition to that, you still have to built a decent house on the island, and make sure you have a sturdy boat, otherwise you'll be stuck there alone. Many of the cheaper islands for sale are located in Eastern Canada, and there must be other places I prefer spending my winters in.

Even my wife has caught the island bug, suggesting one piece of waterbound real estate in the Philippines, cheap, but with the typhoons in the area and global warming heading our way, maybe not such a wise investment.

By the way, the island you see on my photo is not the one in Penghu that was sold, it's an island near the Croatian town of Rovinj in the Northern Adriatic, pictured during a rare spot of bad weather.