Taipei is really sort of a loud city in comparison to Warsaw. No question the grumble of cars, buses and the loud roar of scooters adds up to a tremendous level of noise pollution that I could do without.

On top of that there are horns, whistles and alarms for parking garages, nonstop honking by the army of  taxis  prowling the city streets, more whistles from cops and parking garage employees directing traffic, garbage trucks blaring their classical music, random fireworks that seem to go off for no apparent reason, and people hawking their wares by use of mega phone advertising. They’re around in the night markets and various assorted other places. Sometimes people will ride around on bikes selling their food via megaphone, and they are sure to be found wherever anything is sold.  They can even be found in the grocery section of Carrefour thereby encouraging me to get in and out so quickly that half the time I leave without getting the very things I went to buy. After four months in Taipei I’m used to it. Part of living in a different society and culture is embracing all the little things that make it special.

It’s the political ad campaign that’s currently going on that I’d like to talk about.

I hate it. I simply just hate it.

It won’t be around forever (just one more week to go, whoo hoo!) but these last couple of months it has been getting increasingly annoying.

The megaphones are, apparently, a form of advertising for local politicians in the upcoming election.

Take Thursday night, for example, when a megaphone blared underneath my window at eleven p.m. Because I wasn’t trying to sleep or anything.

Or Saturday morning. Seven thirty a.m.  My alarm clock hadn’t even gone off yet. But what do you know? Turned out I didn’t need it. Because  some obnoxious asshole decided that this is the perfect time of day to blare their political agenda to the entire world. Simply awesome. Nothing like starting my day off in the right frame of mind.

Or how about this morning? Brand new today!  Now they’re setting off fire crackers every half block along with the megaphones. Whooo hooo guys! Let’s all go vote this weekend! In the past two hours that I’m sitting here on my laptop trying to enjoy my morning they have rolled by no less than 15 times, with firecrackers going off at least 7 of those times.

These guys usually truck around in small brightly painted trucks.

Like this one:

My new best friend.

Or this one:

Vote for MEEEEEE!

Or even this extra trendy one:

A Jeep!? Sold!

I love listening to firecrackers and watching the smoke clear (but not on a random Monday morning)….

That's not smog.

Up until now I would have sworn that the election campaigns in the US where the worst I have ever seen, with the incessant TV ads and radio commercials running negative smear campaigns every 1.5 minutes, the constant litter of fliers stuck in doors, on windshields and sometimes just thrown all over the ground, bumper stickers and banners…but I was wrong. This is worse. Much, much worse.