TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Starting today (Aug. 14), limited edition EasyCards will be available which are shaped like a lucky Kuai Kuai (乖乖) snack bag to keep gremlins away from computers during Ghost Month.
Taipei’s EasyCard Corporation has teamed up with Kuai Kuai Company Limited to produce 10,000 limited edition EasyCards. The Kuai Kuai-themed stored-value cards go on sale today for the price of NT$190 each.
Kuai Kuai snack bags are often placed on top of or next to computers by Taiwanese office workers, especially in IT, who believe that because the name in Mandarin means “obedient” or “well-behaved” the devices will function without problems. The green snack bags are also popular treats to give to “Good Brothers” during the ongoing Ghost Month.
The special EasyCards are 7 cm by 5 cm in size, are made to resemble a mini bag of Kuai Kuai puff corn snacks, a key ring, and a snap hook to attach to a backpack. Given the unusual shape of the EasyCard and it’s auspiciousness during Ghost Month, it is likely to sell like hotcakes.
EasyCard attached to a backpack. (EasyCard Corp. photo)
The EasyCard is an e-smartcard system that is used to pay for the Taipei MRT (subway), buses, and other public transport services in Taipei. It can also be used in convenience stores, department stores, supermarkets, taxis, and other retailers to make payments.
Taiwan’s Ghost Month is when Taoists and Buddhists believe that the gates of hell are opened for “hungry ghosts” to roam the world of the living in search of food, money, entertainment, and possibly souls. A “hungry ghost” is a being that has been sent to the underworld to suffer an eternal state of hunger for their misdeeds or for not having a proper burial.
The terms “Good Brothers” (好兄弟) and “Good Sisters” (好姐妹) are considered the preferable terms to politely refer to lost souls, as opposed to “ghosts,” to avoid offending them. These apparitions are not worshiped by anyone as ancestors and can vary from pitiful to dangerous.