Foreigners in Taiwan Can Forget About Civil Rights

In recent news, a 25-year-old Spanish national living in Taichung was accused of sexual assault by an unnamed 17-year-old Taiwanese girl. As with many democratic nations, Taiwan has laws that are designed to protect those within its borders to ensure fair and just treatment.  Taiwan has a variety of customs (backed up by various laws and traditions) that protect The People.  It’s one […]

How Many Expats Are In Taichung?

How Many Expats Are In Taichung? I often find myself wondering, “How many expats are in Taichung?”  Turns out, there’s a lot.  Of the 2,700,000 people in Taichung, just under 87,000 are expat residents…and that doesn’t even count all the expats who don’t have legal residency!  So, just under 4% of those residing in Taichung are from another country. […]

Taiwan Has the Worst Culture

It’s not just the sociological issues or the political obnoxiousness, but the deep resentment they harbor for each other that hits you in the face like your first whiff of stinky tofu.  After living in Taiwan for only a short time, it becomes clear to anyone who moves here that Taiwan has the worst culture many people will […]

Taichunger’s Guide: Four-Star HK Visa Run for TW$7000

I’ve written all about visa runs.  Visa runs for under NT$10000.  The worst visa run you can do.  While stigmatized for a variety of reasons (most notably for their being used by English teachers to teach in Taiwan illegally, which I do not advocate), there are all sorts of people who use visa runs.  There […]

Why Every Expat Should Have a YouTube Channel

I believe that every expat should have a YouTube Channel. Expats who don’t simply confuse me, for many reasons, the first of which being   What You Are Doing Is Cool I don’t care if you’re going hiking in Nepal or getting coffee in a small town in Paris or just walking down the street […]

“This Is Taiwan”: A Dangerous Taiwanese Excuse

A few months have passed since I wrote “It’s Our Culture” – Taiwan’s Go-To Excuse, but a friend of mine the other night brought it up and made an interesting point: before “It’s our culture” is uttered, “This is Taiwan” is sure to escape their lips first. As I stated in my other piece, “It’s Our Culture” is often said […]

“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 […]

Those Moments of Culture Shock in Taiwan

Everyone that’s spent some time here knows all about those moments of culture shock in Taiwan. The truth is, most people who live in a place far from where they consider “home” will have significant moments of culture shock.  These feelings can creep up on you or simply blindside you, whether you’ve been here a […]

Taichung Facebook Groups: Crucial Resources

Over the past few years, Taichung Facebook Groups have been popping up.  Most cities, it seems, have the same sorts of groups – information exchanges, swap shops, et cetera – but in a place where you are an expat (especially when you’re new) these kinds of resources can be invaluable.  So, if you’re moving to […]

Taichunger’s Guide: Classy Overnight in Hong Kong for Under NT$10000

by Joseph Fritz  all prices listed in New Taiwan Dollars   (NT4:HK1 / NT30:US1 / NT40:EU1) For many expatriates in Taiwan, leaving the country every 60-to-90 days is a normal part of life, and it can be a frustrating part of it.  I handle these blasé-but-necessary overnight trips by traveling at as high a standard as possible, […]

Moving to Taiwan: Avoiding Disaster

There are always people moving to Taiwan.  I talk a lot about it in what I write; I give a lot of advice on this site regarding moving to Taiwan, getting settled in Taiwan, and living in Taiwan.  One topic I haven’t addressed is moving back to The World. On July 22, 2013, I received […]

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 […]

Bystro Taiwan – Best Restaurant in Taichung

Bystro Restaurant Grill is the absolute best restaurant in Taichung.  [EDIT: was the best – they are now gone]  For me, it’s not just the best restaurant in Taichung, or even Taiwan: it is my favorite restaurant in the world.  And I have my reasons.  The husband/wife team of Patrick and Anita really have it […]

jsphfrtz’s How-To Guide to Taiwan Visa Runs

When you live in Taiwan, chances are you will have to do a “Taiwan visa run” at some point. A lot of the information in this piece is outdated. I recommend you look at my February 2014 piece about Visa Runs.   I’ve lived in Taiwan, off-and-on, since January 2008.  My total time in Taiwan clocks in […]

My Taiwan Apartment in Taichung City

Taiwan Apartment I moved to Taiwan in January 2008; after almost two years, I went back to the USA.  Then I moved back in October 2010.  And then I moved back to the USA in December 2011.  And, now, I’m back in Taiwan, again, since this past August.  I have always lived in the City […]

An Expat’s Guide to Staying Connected with Skype

I’m an American who has spent three of the last five years living abroad in Taiwan, a relatively small island off the coast of China.  Up until two months ago, I was one who refused to get a smart phone.  I’d never had a real reason to have one beyond the novelty of it.  But, […]

ChinaTrust Banking Policies

I recently had some issues at ChinaTrust bank, finding information that would be relevant to foreigners in Taiwan.  Hopefully, conveying what I learned can save you some time. My situation is a common one: I wanted to know how much money I could withdraw from my Bank of America account using one of ChinaTrust’s ATMs.  […]

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 […]

Visa Extensions in Taiwan – Another Example of Asinine ROC Bureaucracy

There are a lot of great things about Taiwan.  But this isn’t gonna’ be about those.  This is about how annoying Taiwan’s Bureaucracy is. You have to understand that the concept of “majority rules” goes haywire here.  Nails that stick out are hammered down or, as the Taiwanese put it, the fattest pig is the […]

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 […]

Say Cheese Restaurant Review – Taichung City, Taiwan

I am fortunate to live on the outskirts of “Little Europe,” here in Taichung.  I have the best of both worlds – close enough to access the coolest part of the city while at the same time living in a relatively quiet and relatively affordable apartment.  But the best part about my neighborhood are the […]

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 […]