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Light, shade, and temperature

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In February of last year, a good friend stayed at our apartment for a long weekend. On his second day, I took him to a Filipino restaurant in San Mateo for brunch. We arrived early, so the place, called Kuya’s, hadn’t opened yet.

As we waited outside the establishment, I noticed how my guest started to [...]

Taiwanese honesty

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A good friend in Taiwan, a former co-worker and fellow Filipino, posted this on his Facebook status today:

I left my son’s national ID card and insurance card in a cab on the way to the hospital. An hour later at home, the doorbell rang and when I opened the door, it was the cab [...]

Book review: Lonely Planet Taiwan

Tweet   By Robert Kelly, Joshua Samuel Brown

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Take your tastebuds touring around the buzz of food stalls at Taipei’s Shilin Night Market Soak yourself in the steaming, smooth waters of the Taian hot springs Hike the Walami Trail to the sound of monkeys crashing through the jungle canopy Emerge from the temples of [...]

Street signs

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Street signs are so much a part of city life; it’s very easy to take them for granted. At the corner of any street of consequence back home, you’d find a post from which hangs, or sticks out, a sign that indicates the name of the street. In the case of some low cost subdivisions, [...]

Chopsticks required

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One humongous mistake I made before moving to Taipei, Taiwan was to neglect my chopsticks skills. I could pick up large pieces of meat, so it didn’t seem like such a big deal. “After all” I thought “all restaurants should have forks and spoons, right?” Dead wrong.

While pricier restaurants do provide forks and spoons, [...]

Taipei taxi language laboratory

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Taipei taxis weren’t just a means of getting around. They were also an interesting way to work on my Mandarin.

All the foreigners I knew that managed to get over the hump between between language classes and actual conversation all told me the same thing: “Just do it”. I had to find as many opportunities [...]