“It’s Our Culture” – Taiwan’s Go-To Excuse

Every culture has it’s throwaway language.  The English language, for example, explains away many things with the word “Whatever.”  Taiwanese often use the Chinese phrases “There is no reason why” and “There is no solution” in similar ways.  They all essentially mean “I’ve got nothing for you; I’m done talking about this.”  But when it comes […]

A Consideration of Happiness and Misery

Living in Taiwan often makes me think about ideas of Happiness and Misery.  Truth-be-told, it’s always a subject I’ve grappled with.  But recent years have brought greater understanding than my younger years.  Hunter Thompson, in his early 20s, wrote the following on the subject: “Happy,” I muttered, trying to pin the word down. But it […]

Teaching in Taiwan – The Basics, Before You Come

There’s many routes to take, regarding teaching in Taiwan.  Since there are a lot of outdated resources out there on the subject, I thought I’d write about a few of them, to give people some idea what to expect in 2012 Taiwan. First of all, I live in Taichung – that is my perspective on […]

Jheng Jin Copy – 偵晉影印 – Best Taichung Print Shop

I need to tell you about my friend Ann.  It’s entirely possible that Ann hates my guts (I may be her most anal-retentive client), but I consider her an amazing asset and hope that someday I can repay her for all the help she’s given me.  There is no one else that I would trust to […]

My First Ride In A Police Car

I was driving north on WenXin Lu, Monday, August 20, 2012, at 10:45am, on my scooter.  Coming off the traffic light at Daye Lu, heading towards Dalong Lu, I attempted to merge right (from the right-hand lane into the scooter lane).  I felt something hit the right rear of my scooter and turned my head to see […]

Caught With My Pants Down

Taiwan has a pretty significant amount of earthquakes.  Most of them are pretty mild, but usually I can feel one or two each month – just enough to notice I’m not dizzy and that the room is, in fact, vibrating.  But every now and then, something a little bigger comes along, and you’re faced with the […]

Traffic, Shopping Carts, And Saving Face

It has always fascinated me that a culture so aware of public perception can also be so completely self-absorbed.  In Taiwan, there is a great emphasis on “saving face,” and yet, it only applies to certain facets of life.  I have yet to fully grasp the concept, but I have made some observations. Generally-speaking, Taiwanese people prefer […]

Selling Children In Taiwan

While I no longer work with educational institutions in Taiwan, I do like to share my experiences with them. I have a unique knowledge in that I have been in both the education side as well as the managerial side; this allows me to have a perspective that is rarely gained and even less-commonly shared. […]

How Carrefour in Taiwan Hates Foreign Customers

While the people of Taiwan are often the nicest and warmest in the world, their cultural indoctrination leads to a dependence on bureaucracy, often to the point where people are unable – or unwilling – to make any decision without it being written as law or being directly authorized by a superior.  As a culture, […]

The Reality of Living In Taiwan: An Introduction

Living abroad in a land where I don’t speak the language very well, questions abound and answers are not forthcoming.  It’s my own fault, obviously; you should become literate in the language of the place you are in, not simply as good manners, but also as common sense.  What happens when you need to find […]