Only in Taiwan – Episode 6: Seven Years a Laowai

It was seven years ago this week that I arrived in Taipei with a Lonely Planet Mandarin phrasebook, a suitcase and a laptop. The only people I “knew” in town were my former landlord’s parents, whom I’d met several times during their visits to San Francisco. They were super nice people, but the language barrier prevented us from communicating without an interpreter; I had their … Continue reading Only in Taiwan – Episode 6: Seven Years a Laowai

(Not) Only In Taiwan – Episode 5: Protect Your Valuables

Suggestion is an interesting and elusive power. Sometimes a suggestion may persist long after its freshness has expired. Aside from an unshakeable and abusive relationship with nicotine, I have few compulsive behaviors on an everyday scale. The main odd, compulsive behavior is most likely how I carry money, and to a certain extent, ID and other cards. First of all, I don’t carry a wallet. … Continue reading (Not) Only In Taiwan – Episode 5: Protect Your Valuables

Taiwan president: I will not discuss reunification – CNN.com

Taiwan doesn’t make the front page of CNN very often. It happens, usually due to a typhoon, but even less common is President Ma Ying-Jeou showing some backbone. While I don’t truly have a dog in the fight, I’m 100% behind the people of Taiwan. Perhaps this is cynical ploy by the Ma administration to show him in a positive light, but the most important … Continue reading Taiwan president: I will not discuss reunification – CNN.com

Only in Taiwan – Episode 4: Fruit Beer?

If there’s ever been a bit of unsolicited advice that I would wholeheartedly share with my child, it’s that nobody likes a whiner. People who complain all the time are a drag, and they’re generally more than willing to bring you down with them. That said, my life in Taipei is somewhat stagnant. All work and very little play. But I don’t like to complain … Continue reading Only in Taiwan – Episode 4: Fruit Beer?

Only in Taiwan, Special Lazy Bastard Edition

If you’ve ever seen someone go from hero to zero, you know that the fall from grace does not always come with a warning signal or a flashing red light. And it’s really hard to have a hero in a place like Taiwan. So many people I know, myself included, have vested interests and agendas that restrict our capacity for compassion as well as courage. … Continue reading Only in Taiwan, Special Lazy Bastard Edition