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 […]

The Cost of Living in Taichung, Taiwan

One of the most important things to understand when living somewhere is the cost of living there: this is my report on my cost of living in Taichung, Taiwan, as of November 2013. I think the best way to look at your cost of living is yearly, because months can vary quite a lot, sometimes. […]

My Cool Taiwan Apartment

This is a video of my extremely cool Taiwan apartment. After living here for a little over a year, this is what my home looks like.   Check Out My Cool Taiwan Apartment   It’s 1100sqft (100sqm) and costs US$400 a month.     If the video doesn’t work embedded like that, click here to […]

YOLO Bitches: Why Your Life Isn’t Worth Living

YOLO bitches. The modern usage of YOLO (in particular, “YOLO bitches”) drives me straight up the wall.  It’s not clever.  It’s not accurate.  It’s not even funny.  It’s just lame and often sad. I remember, when I was young (you know: twenty years ago) my mother used to say, “You only live once.”  Occasionally, it […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

I Should Know My Self By Now

But, don’t get me wrong.  I know.  At least, I think I know better than most.  I’ve spent most of my life in existential exploration and what is true for me now is as true for me as it has ever been: All knowledge is self-knowledge. Anything we think about the world or about anything, […]