Worst Visa Run: Camping at the Hong Kong Airport

I’ve written about visa runs in the past, but I’ve never included details on the worst visa run you can do: camping out in the Hong Kong airport for a few hours in the earliest of the morning hours. Doing this without proper provisions is something I wouldn’t recommend.  Though, to be fair, even with my […]

Five Ingredient English Toffee Cookies Recipe

Growing up, my mother’s English toffee was one of my favorite candies.  She only made it around Christmas, but now I’m grown up and see how easy it is to make, which means I make it more often. The ironically-named English toffee (being a toffee some say is not toffee) is incredibly simple and easy to make.  […]

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 A lot of the information in this piece is outdated.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 […]

Meitian Hotel, West Pudong, Shanghai Review

I’d never been to Shanghai before.  My parents were staying at the Waldorf-Astoria (which is as nice as you’d expect), but my brother and I weren’t looking to spend quite so much money for our accommodations.  The problem that I found – and, likely, you are finding, if you are trying to find budget hotels in […]

More Fun With ChinaTrust and Bank of America: The Madness of International Transfers in Taiwan

I recently wrote a blog about banking with ChinaTrust and Bank of America.  So, I sent the money transfer from Bank of America to ChinaTrust; it cost me $35US ($1200NT).  BoA’s policy states that the money will arrive within two days, which it did; I checked online and confirmed it was delivered  then went to my […]

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 […]

Homemade Brownies: A Healthier Alternative To Box Mix

I got to thinking about homemade brownies as they compared to cost, labor, and nutrition, compared to cooking out of a Pillsbury box.  Finding recipes online can be a real frustration.  I recently went looking for a homemade brownie recipe, as an alternative to typical store-bought “Box Brownies” that are both not necessarily available everywhere […]

jsphfrtz’s Guide to Writing Gooder

I think when people are forced to write, they often don’t do it well. I believe people can write in a very “tunnel-vision” manner when they are very focused on their writing, and quality suffers for the sake of content. I hate writing poorly, but sometimes, I can’t avoid but to appear to write badly. […]