Globetrotting entrepreneur brings a taste of the Baltics to Taiwan

The following article appeared in today’s Taipei Times:

An eight-year-old Peter Young (front, left) at Yangmingshan in 1966, with his sister, grandparents, mother (second from left) and aunt.

Once Peter Young (楊良棟) gets going, you can’t be sure where he’ll end up. One minute, it’s eighteenth-century Baltic history, the next, the health benefits of chokeberry wine.

A discussion of the current situation in his native Hong Kong kicks off a sweeping tour of Chinese history that begins with the 1966 riots in the city state, then jumps back seven centuries to Mongol rule, before rejoining the twentieth century with the massacre of the Manchus in the wake of the 1911 Revolution. Along the way, there are detours to Vichy France, 1960s Taiwan and Young’s school days in Geneva for good measure.

It’s hard not to warm to Young as he holds forth at Little One Bar (立陶宛) just off Dihua Street (迪化街) in Taipei’s Datong District (大同區). Admittedly, it’s difficult pinning him down at times, as he seems compelled to offer meandering perspective and background on any given topic. On some subjects, though, Young is unambivalent: the recent popularity of Lithuania’s Volfas Englemann beer, for example.

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