TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Last week, foreign residents of Taiwan discovered the ultimate photograph that sums up life for many in Taiwan with a man on a scooter, a Taiwanese dog, and bubble tea to go.
The image is part of a series of photos that first appeared on the Facebook page Kato Army (加藤軍台灣粉絲團 2.0) in April of 2019, showing shots taken from various angles of a black dog perched on a scooter while holding a cup of bubble tea in a plastic bag in its mouth. On Sept. 18, a user of social media site Reddit posted a photo of the dog with the caption "Doesn't get anymore Taiwanese than this..."
In the photo, a man wearing a motorcycle helmet can be seen on a scooter while a black dog sits facing backwards behind him, using his mouth to dutifully grip the bag containing the precious pearl milk tea. Based on additional photos posted on Dcard, netizens concluded they had been taken near Jiantan MRT station in Taipei's Shilin District, an area known for its night markets, and naturally, boba tea.
The general consensus is that bubble tea started in Taiwan in the 1980s. However, there is some dispute as to whether it first started at the Chun Shui Tang (春水堂人文茶館) tea shop in Taichung or its rival, the Hanlin Tea Room (翰林茶館) in Tainan.
Netizens' attention then focused on the breed of the dog, which some identified as the Taiwanese native dog (台灣土狗) due to its size, perky ears, and black coat. As mentioned in the comments section, those characteristics are indicative of a pure breed, but 100 percent pure Taiwan dogs, also known as Formosan mountain dogs, are in fact extremely rare and expensive.
Although many Taiwanese netizens who first saw the post in 2019 thought the scene was cute, others were concerned about the dog's safety, with comments such as "Did anyone help him fasten a seat belt?" and "Give him a helmet."
(Facebook, Baoxiao Commune photo)
(Facebook, Kato Army photo)