From ICRT to Happy Radio

I am a man of music. Can’t live without music. When that’s the case, listening to the radio becomes an easy way to satisfy the craving. On the same time, the choice of radio station becomes of substantial importance.

I can still remember the awkwardness that struck like a log, when I first heard Mandarin out of the radio in the old Cefiro back in 2002, the year of "the return." It was probably Best 98.3, one of my favorite station of the past, yet I couldn’t find comfort until ICRT was tuned. From that moment on (a long time it’s been now to think back), I’ve been a loyal listener. And it is only fitting because, even until now, I can only barely stand that ultra-soft (or weak?) Mandarin "pop" music. Let it be Jay Chou, Jolin… they are acceptable, withstandable, but far from embraceable.

These "Asian-pop" have gotten much more "infiltrated" into me recently, mostly due to me being in a lab, where the music is on 24-7. The most popular (and also the one and only detectable station in the building) station is "Kiss Radio," followed by ICRT, for English enriching purposes. Recently the nostaligia of North America has once again flooded up my mind, which urged me to throw in "Z100" and "the Q."

To my surprise, I actually prefer "the best rock station from the Island" much more, and haven’t clicked much to "the New York’s most popular radio station." That semi-slow, half-competitiveness, and that sense of ruralness in the show, with all that country music element in pretty much every track they play, are astonishingly complementing with some particular waves of my blood flow. These waves ride like a memory rush that brings my mind through the hands of time, through the mist of air, and lands in the air of the greeny Vancouver Island.

If this response signals the status quo of my mind, does it mean that I have not cultivated myself into this new-found home that I’m living in?

Far from it. Check my most frequently "attended" radio station: Kaohsiung Happy Radio. The pure "Taiwanese" radio station, with famous political critics like "Big Party" and other politians as hosts. This station targets the most grassrooted residents of Taiwan, and brings them the best essences of the host while still retaining the interests of the common goal of Taiwan normalization as a nation. By listening to the station, not only could I hear the minds of some elites of experts (former head of bureau of health etc), global news reflected to Taiwan, but also the voices of the people from the call-ins. A whole wide range of voices, heard. In a way it’s like the ICRT, where you hear Robbie Williams coming to Taiwan, and a second later a foreigner labor calls in trying to win 2 tickets for the concert. However, in the "green-come-together show," the people call-in to express their voices of opinion, and not to receive any prices.

I once wish myself to become the expert that lives in the ordinary. This concept reminds me of Prof Hsiao Hsin-Yi, the kind old honorary visiting professor who lives in the dorm and dines at the student cafeteria. I know I am already on the way to have my own world of expertise, and it’s a bittersweet to acknowledge my little steps of success. Yet it is equally gratifying to know that, I’ve come to natually connected with the wide-spectrum of cultures. I will be able to chill it in my t-shirt, shorts and slip-ons, with a beer in my hand, sitting somewhere in the quick-dishes stand off the traffic streets, ONE NIGHT after returning from an international champagne banquet.

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