Taipei Taxi Talk

I don’t get too many taxi drivers in Taipei who speak much English.  When I do, the conversations are often memorable. Like last night, when I got in a taxi and asked him to take me to Carnegie’s.

Taxi Driver: Jazz bar?  Piano bar?

Me: I don’t think so.

TD: You will sing there?

Me: No, I have a terrible voice.

TD: I don’t think so. I think you have a wonderful voice. Have you ever heard of the singer Neil Diamond?

Me: Yes.

TD: I think your voice sounds just like his.

Me:  Um ….

TD: I think when Neil Diamond was young, he was very handsome.  Is he a Christian?

Me: I’m not sure. [He was born Jewish.]  But most Americans are Christians.

TD: Like Dolly Parton?  Johnny Cash!

Me:  Yes, they’re Christian.

TD: Whitney Houston!

Me: Yes.

TD: She was very beautiful.

Me: She was very sexy. So sad.

TD: I think you have a very kind heart.

Me: Thank you.

And we arrive at the bar.  The meter says NT$105 and he says I should just give him 100.

Me: Are you sure? Thank you!

TD:  God bless you.

Me: Thank you.

TD: God bless you.

Me; Take care. Have a good night.

TD: God bless you.

Okay, maybe you had to be there.

Oscar Nominations Announced

Best Picture:

  • Amour
  • Argo
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Django Unchained
  • Les Miserables
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Zero Dark Thirty

At this point I’ve only seen 3 of the above – Argo, Beasts, Django – and of the 3 I’d pick Argo but then again, there’s 6 more I haven’t seen!

Best Actor

  • Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
  • Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
  • Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables
  • Joaquin Phoenix -The Master
  • Denzel Washington – Flight

Best Actress

  • Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
  • Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
  • Quvenzhane Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild – you could hear the gasps of surprise on this one, she’s just 9 years old
  • Naomi Watts – The Impossible

Best Supporting Actor

  • Alan Arkin – Argo
  • Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
  • Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
  • Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained

Best Supporting Actress

  • Amy Adams – The Master
  • Sally Field – Lincoln
  • Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
  • Helen Hunt – The Sessions
  • Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook

Seth McFarlane’s comment: 5 women who can now stop pretending they’re attracted to Harvey Weinstein

Best Director

  • Michael Haneke – Amour
  • Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Ang Lee – Life of Pi
  • Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
  • David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook

So no nom for Tarantino but he did get one for writing. And no nom for Ben Affleck, I think he deserved it.

Best Animated Film

  • Brave
  • Frankenweenie
  • ParaNorman
  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  • Wreck-It Ralph

12 nominations for Lincoln.  8 for Silver Linings Playbook & Les Mis

You can see the full list of nominees here.