Monthly Archives: November, 2017

5 Things You Should Never Ever Do in Taiwan

Most travel guides have etiquette sections for Asia-bound travelers and would-be expats, and most of those contain situationally relevant advice for Taiwan, e.g.: Don’t stick your chopsticks standing upright in a bowl of rice, ostensibly because it resembles the incense burned at Buddhist temples. Never use your hands to beckon someone, and never gift clocks,(…)


Catalonian Crisis: Is Language the Root of Nationality?

The story of Catalonia is a complicated one, but it is one heck of a fascinating linguistic phenomenon. Catalan plays a fundamental role in the region’s debate for independence, serving not only as fuel for the opposition but as the highest expression of identity. Before we dive into cultural debates, I want to make it(…)


Health Care Abroad: Something to Consider

Several months ago, I found myself, once again, in a Taipei City Hospital emergency room. It was a fairly busy evening patient-wise and I was lying on a gurney in the far corner of the lobby with an IV drip tagged to my wrist, waiting to be admitted for further care. This vantage point offered(…)


7 Common and (Sometimes) Disastrous Mistakes of Newbies in Taiwan

The rookie ex-pat. Those that have lived abroad have been there: floundering, anxious, and overwhelmed. Like most jokes, it’s funny unless it’s happening to you. For the record, nearly every mistake described herein was committed by yours truly at some point in my journey; thus, I have a confident familiarity with both classes of mistakes.(…)