Category Archives: Taiwan Trip

Taiwan, part 7: What You Can Learn When You Don’t Understand

It’s a particular failing of mine, and it’s not a common one, to see only my shortcomings when it comes to using foreign languages. The better my Chinese gets, the more sharply my poor usage of connecting phrases or prepositions comes in to focus, and my inability to recognize a character I’ve seen thirty times becomes intolerable. Too, there’s something… (more…)

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Taiwan, part 5: Nerds on the Hunt, Interdimensional Trash Disposal, and the Immutable Law of Rob’s Umbrella

You learn very quickly in Taiwan never to go anywhere without your umbrella. Rain here has all the easy predictability of a ninja raid. One minute you’re walking along, enjoying the shade from a few afternoon clouds, and the next you’re waiting for Noah to float by going, “If I’d known it was going to be this bad, I would’ve… (more…)

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Taiwan, part 4: 7-11’s, Noodles so Bad They Make You Ashamed to be Alive, and Cross-Straits Family Reunions

Can anyone out there please explain to me why there are so many 7-11’s in Taipei? Near the gate of our university there are two within 100 meters of each other. No lie. And that’s not uncommon. If I didn’t know any better I’d swear they were reproducing through spores carried on the wind to different parts of the city.… (more…)

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Taiwan, part III: Cockroaches, Bubble Tea, and Did He Just Say That?

Well, it’s some horrible time in the wee hours and I still can’t seem to get to sleep, so I’ll do some writing instead. Is it a good or a bad ambition to want your writing to put you to sleep? Today started out quite well indeed. I got to sleep just fine last night, due largely to extreme fatigue… (more…)

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Taiwan, part II: Airport Profanity Police, Middle School Choirs, and the Taiwanese ROTC

Aaaaaand. . .we’re off! It took a while to get through immigration and security in the Tianjin airport, due partly to the way the staff there runs things, and partly to my forgetfulness. I got to the immigration desk and the lady there pointed out that I hadn’t filled out one of those little yellow departure cards, prompting a profanity… (more…)

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