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Random Anecdotes


They’re creepy and they’re kuga,
Mysterious and spuga,
They’re altogether uga,
The Guga Family.

Their house is a museum
Where people come to see 'em
They really are a scream
The Guga Family


:open_book: A quick tour of the mansion
One of the recommended attractions of Taipei is the Lin Family Mansion and Garden (to which I strongly agree), and we planned to see it on our last day in Taiwan, before heading off to the airport. It’s just a few streets away from the subway exit, but we weren’t entirely sure about it’s and our whereabouts. As our schedule was tight, we asked for the way. The first person vaguely indicated straight, then right, leaving us not that much wiser. The second, a young woman, thought for a bit, likely decided it was too difficult to explain and instead offered to make a slight detour and deliver us in person. Seems she had also been on a tight schedule, because she sets out at breakneck speed along the crowded, narrow sidewalk. My wife and I follow behind, dodging food booths and passers-by, finally turning right into a small alley without car traffic, where we can catch up to her. She starts asking us some questions about our time in Taiwan, but she’s not slowing down. Eventually we reach the edge of the garden, so she changes subject (but not pace) and starts briefing us about the history of both the Lin family and the property and related fun facts until we turn left and finally arrive at the entrance. We’ve hardly time to thank her and wave goodbye before she darts off.

While we’ve met helpful people elsewhere, nowhere did we receive a more comprehensive tour of a place before actually entering that place.


:open_book: Lost in translation

So last night hubby and I were reading our books in bed, in a bid to sleep better. He opens Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and starts reading out loud for amusement. ‘ONCE UPON A TIME…’

Then there’s a pause and he says, ‘No… sorry… what?!’

I look up and close my book.

‘Once upon a time, there was a fisherman and his wife who lived in a piss-pot near the sea.’

This propelled me into one of those laughing fits where all the air is sucked out of your lungs :joy:

Obviously it’s a translation thing, but as a first line it’s just hilarious. I’ve found other variations of The Fisherman and HIs Wife that say ‘pig sty’ or ‘dirty shack’, so it’s obvious what they were getting at.

But I’m quite grateful to whoever translated this version. I slept better than ever.


2011 , George R. R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons , p. 498:

“It should have been you who threw the feast, to welcome me back,” Ramsay complained, “and it should have been in Barrow Hall, not this pisspot of a castle.”

(Copied from


Haha :laughing:

Though that’s a little different as ‘pisspot of a castle’ is using the term as a metaphor, whereas in the Grimm story it comes across completely literal. I think that’s what made me laugh so much – I instantly had an image of them actually living in a giant pisspot.


Looking at the first edition original:

Daar was mal eens een Fischer un siine Fru, de waanten tosamen in’n Pispott, dicht an de See – un de Fischer ging alle Dage hen un angelt, un ging he hen lange Tid.

I don’t think that’s really any different in the original German. I think calling a place a pisspot is just an outdated metaphor, no matter the language. :slight_smile:


Oh yeah, that´s distinct northern german dialect.

I also wonder if Alexandre Dumas was inspired by this fairy tale when he wrote Peter and his Goose.


Yeah, it’s practically Dutch if you just change the spelling a little.

Er was eens een visser en zijn vrouw, die woonden samen in een pispot, dicht aan de zee — en de visser ging alle dagen heen en hengelde (viste), en ging hij lange tijd heen (bleef lange tijd weg).



We love you Gugas!