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translation from Dutch by LCB
 You can watch but don’t touch !…
message posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2013

It’s warm outside and no wind. The sun is high in the blue sky and the temperature rose above 25°C. Spring is all around here. Flowers bloom, trees and bushes are all covered with green leaves. Butterflies dance up and down, all signs that winter is finally over. But Taipei doesn’t know a lot of winter; it’s rare that temperature falls below 10 degrees…what a difference with our weather in Belgium.

美麗的台灣-日出、日落 !
Taiwan's early morning and sunset
TAIWAN, paradise par excellence.
THE LOST SON lived here for 20 years.


Silently walking down the streets and the avenues, when I noticed that a lot has changed since we left this island about 10 years ago. Buildings with apartments and offices all around. Everything has become more expensive, also life but the salaries remained stable. The question is how much longer they can keep up with this? And nevertheless, the restaurants are still very busy and crowded. You can’t understand it all, as a foreigner, when you get confronted with all of this.
A few days later: enjoying the good weather on a silent Sunday morning, sniffing the warm, moist air. The streets are silent and lost because the busy traffic and the mass of people of every day didn’t arrive yet. Here it’s early day (5 o’clock AM) but in the evening it gets dark much sooner than with us in Belgium (18 o’clock PM). Of course it has everything to do with the neighbourhood of the equator. Hong Kong and Singapore are even much closer and so they have an even warmer, tropical climate. There it feels muggy on days when the temperature climbs above 30°C.

Despite of all development and expansion, the beauty of the weak sex on this paradise island, remained intact. It’s probably nature that takes care of the flourishing of the female beauty. As a man you should be blind not to admire and enjoy this.
Pigeon sport in Taiwan has become more localised. Both federations (CRPA and THPA) have got less power and control over it. But when it comes down to the game and the money they gamble on it, almost nothing has changed. Almost no clubs, which organise races across the land. Almost all, the North, the South and the Centre of Taiwan but also the East and the West sides all race oversees. One of the reasons here for is that the pigeons that race oversees, can’t be collected in the valleys in between the mountains, which could forge the whole race. Of course, now the see does it’s natural selection and that’s not minor. But then again, this helps out the real gamblers, who only want to win a lot of money. To them, the natural selection and elimination on the races oversees, are very important. Last weekend in the South of Taiwan: at the beginning 8000 pigeons started. Now, after the third of the 5 last races, only 88 pigeons left in the race and now way they stop it and divide the big money. Next weekend there will be another race and this continues till just a bit more than 50 birds are left. The actual purpose is almost always reached: the division of the big amounts among only few lucky ones. Still, they search for good Belgian or Dutch pigeons with experience and which already proved their qualities black on white.

Visitors get explanations in
in Blue Heaven Loft
Despite the harsh weather
trainings have fully started
in Blue Heaven Loft

The trend and the progress of the scenario between the offer, the buying, the payment and the delivery has changed a bit.  The import of European pigeons wasn’t allowed in Taiwan a few months ago.  Now it has changed but now the problem moved to the Belgian seller who’s obliged to take his pigeons in quarantine before they can be send to Taiwan. Pigeons for Taiwan have to stay in quarantine in Belgium for three weeks. The Taiwanese government is always frightened that infected animals should come into their country. They even say that the Taiwanese authorities are looking for an ideal place, where the pigeons should be separated after their quarantine in Belgium.  The funds are already present but this should mean that there would be a period of 6 weeks between the sale and the delivery. This could be disastrous for the import of pigeons coming from Europe. Of course it’s not going to happen shortly but as they say: with smoke there’s fire.

March 19th 2013: on our flight to Beijing, the capital of China, situated on land.  Here they have different traditions and a different climate. The weather here is almost the same as what we have in Belgium these days. March 20th: Beijing covered with snow and above that also the smog with which the capital of China regularly has to deal with. Luckily for the inhabitants that the weather will change soon, when it slowly gets warmer with more sun and this gives less pollution, according to some statistics.
The “ONE LOFT” races in China are still doing well. Also Europe yearly participates to these events, despite of what they say that it sometimes has to do with manipulation. I know some lofts in Europe, which score normally at home but in China they do very well. What could be the reason? A different approach, other preparation methods, isolation of the world outside, no contact with other pigeons? Who can tell? We only can guess. But you can’t think that we know everything that’s going on in the heads of our feathered friends, when they are released for a race.
Pigeon sport in China is doing well. It’s developing very well. For years now, the Chinese fanciers found their way to Europe. They keep on looking for super pigeons and it knows its heights. Demand and offer aren’t always in balance. Their personal “ego” and the fear to loose their face are very important here.

The loss of a friend:
Our German friend P.T., born on 9-02-1936 has passed away… At the beginning of last week (19-03-2013) he lost his battle against an incurable disease, at the same moment that we were having a nice time thousands of kilometres away from home. Fate stroke and the news fell like a bomb.  Somewhere deep down, I suddenly felt afraid for the future. The loss of a very good friend was hard to deal with and it does something with a man because we spend some years together in Taiwan.  My friend Peter also discovered paradise on earth. We both had the same hobbies: the love and the passion for pigeons and women were never far away. We could talk about pigeons for hours. He never hesitated to invest in super pigeons. Together, we visited several top-lofts in Belgium and he almost always bought the birds he liked.  Several times we visited the Late Jan Grondelaers, the Houben family,  Norbert Norman,  Gerard Vanhee  , Maurice Delbar, Oscar De Vriendt…and later also the Herbots family. He was very well known for his knowledge and soon he became one of the best fanciers in Germany. I was a witness of his marriage with Jukie, a very beautiful woman from Taiwan. That was real love…and that exists as long has giving and taking stays in balance, of which I’m very sure. But in a relationship you have to learn to live with what you have.  In my 20 years in Taiwan, it happened several times to me that I was forced to express my feelings with: “I know what I want, you can’t give me what I want and I can’t give you what you want.” And this always was the end of the relation… Also my friend Peter could tell you more about this but it’s too late. Goodbye my friend.  I’ll never forget you.

Your servant


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© 2004 Michel Vanlint
Michel Vanlint
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