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. […]

Costco Taiwan Beef Scandal

Of the many food scandals in Taiwan’s recent history, the scandal surrounding Costco Taiwan butchers’ practices with USDA beef is the most recent. Taiwan has had a number of food scandals in recent years, ranging from the food scandal of 2014 to the food scandal of 2013 to the food scandal of 2011.  Basically, if you […]

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 […]

Free McDonald’s In Asia

Free McDonald’s In Asia   If you live in many parts of Asia (including Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong), there’s a good chance that McDonald’s wants to give you free food every day. I know that McDonald’s doesn’t have the best reputation, for a variety of reasons.  While I certainly wouldn’t advocate eating at McDonald’s […]

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, […]

My Frustration With the Taichung MRT

My Frustration With the Taichung MRT   I live next to a road called Wenxin Lu (said “When-Shin Loo”), in Taichung City, Taiwan, and I’d like to discuss my frustration with the Taichung MRT.  Wenxin Lu was a six-lane road with multiple intersections with each intersection having formerly included a turning lane.  Before we go […]

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 […]

Detailed Taichung Population Density

This Is a Simple But Detailed Taichung Population Density Report If you’re moving to Taichung, you’re probably looking online to find a detailed Taichung population density information.  Officially, Taichung has 2.6 million people spread out over 1500mi2 translating into a population density of around 1800 per mi2, but that’s pretty misleading.  90% of the population lives in […]

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 […]

Taichung Apartment Rent Guide

2013 Taichung Apartment Rent Guide   I spend a lot of time thinking about real estate in Taichung, so I’ve made a simple Taichung Apartment Rent Guide.  I wanted to share what I’ve found about the cost of living here in Taiwan.  Costs range quite a lot here in Taichung, but this should give you […]

Typhoon Soulik Taiwan

Typhoon Soulik Taiwan Typhoon Soulik Taiwan Typhoon Soulik started as a Category 2, but it quickly got augmented by other Pacific storms and became a Category 4. By the time it got to Taiwan, it was a Category 3. Here’s how it looks from my place:       Typhoon Soulik Taiwan

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 […]

Riding in Taiwan: How to Avoid Dying

I began riding in Taiwan back in 2008.  Well, actually, it was a motorcycle.  A sweet ride called a Yamaha RXZ (or RZX) 135cc two-stroke.   A few weeks after getting Max, I got myself into an accident.  I had never ridden before I came to Taiwan and the principles of centrifugal force were very […]

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 […]

Making Soup in Taichung: My Minestrone Recipe

I don’t eat soup, but I know a lot of people do.  Without a doubt, my favorite soup is a minestrone.  It’s hearty and flavorful; it’s rare to hear someone say they dislike minestrone, so it’s a very safe bet. One fun thing about Taiwan is getting ingredients – for example, I couldn’t find celery […]

Pizza Rock: Best Pizza in Taichung

Until today, I barely knew about Pizza Rock, but I am happy to say it’s the best pizza in Taichung.  I had heard a friend mention it two months ago, but I had no idea where it was.  Imagine my shock as I drove through my old neighborhood to find a (relatively) new pizza joint […]

Honey-Almond Granola Recipe

I live in Taiwan, where cereal is expensive.  Beyond that, cereal is not particularly healthy.  I took an old family recipe for baking granola and modified it to what I can acquire here in Taiwan and what I enjoy, in terms of flavor.  Enjoy. Ingredients List Oats Wheat Germ Shredded Coconut (unsweetened) Chopped Almonds Sunflower […]

Taiwan Strip Clubs and Lady KTVs

I’ve written before about how my blog is disgusting, but I’ve pretty much gotten over the fact that the vast majority of people who find my blog through Google are doing so to find some kind of sexual service in Taiwan or the Philippines; so it’s time to talk about Taiwan Strip Clubs and Lady […]

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, […]

Paid To Entertain – How A “Talking Bar” Works

Asia’s a unique place, for a variety of reasons.  It’s also a huge place with a variety of culture, both indigenous as well as adapted.  This is to say that while you will find “Lady KTV” in Taiwan and China, you will not see “Gogo Bars” like you do in the Philippines and Thailand.  To […]

Missing Macaroni

One of the things I miss from back in The States is Kraft Blue Box Macaroni & Cheese.  Yes, I know it’s processed crap.  I don’t care.  And I’m willing to bet a lot of people reading this right now feel the same.  After being served it since children, we develop the taste for it, […]

Pesto, As Promised

You have one big problem making a legitimate pesto sauce here in Taiwan: pine nuts.  Everything else is so easy it makes my marinara sauce recipe look difficult. To make a pesto sauce, you need nothing more than basil, olive oil, Parmesan, and garlic…and that elusive pine nut. I’ve only seen pine nuts at Costco and, […]

Eating Italian In Taiwan

Taiwan has a lot of great food.  But both Italian and Mexican food are not on the list of things they do well. Traditionally, the Chinese like noodles served in a much more broth-like sauce – even their Italian versions of cuisine are noticeably loose.  Think when you go to a bad Italian joint in the USA […]

Addicted To Crack

After a few days of undergoing “intensive chiropractic therapy,” including daily half-hour-long treatments plus eating the most disgusting Traditional Chinese Medicine (a blend of 7 herbs/roots) three times a day, I feel better than I have in years.  I’m still waking up with a slightly sore neck, but this man knows what he is doing.  After only three […]

Three In Twenty-Four

The human vertebral column has 24 bones called vertebrae. A few years back, I managed to somehow move three of my lower cervical vertebrae (C5, C6, and C7) out of position.  It has resulted in chronic pain, mostly in my left trapezius.  It’s not uncommon for me to turn my head suddenly and feel as if […]

A Brief History of My Life on Two Wheels

I haven’t been much into machines, in terms of my lifetime.  There wasn’t much exposure to me – my dad wasn’t into them – I didn’t hang out with any gearheads.  I’ve always been great behind the controls of most anything that can be steered, but it wasn’t until I moved to Taiwan that I […]

I Need To Write Every Day

I’m going to try to start doing that more, like I did in college. Back then, I was impressed when I would pound out 8000 words in an all-nighter.  Now, I can do 2000 words an hour without breaking a sweat. So, why don’t I write more? As I age, am I becoming more jaded? […]

This Blog Is Disgusting

This blog has been operational for about a year.  Last spring, I decided to put all my old work on here, for people to read – everything from when I was in high school up until my late 20s.  I put a lot of academic writing on there and a lot of personal writing from […]

Whoring Around Asia

to learn about Taiwan Strip Clubs and Lady KTVs, click here Ever since I came to Asia, I noticed that prostitution was different here than what I was used to back in The States. The differences are almost too many to count, but in this article, I’m going to briefly discuss a few things, focusing […]