Latest Headlines
  • Soulang Cultural Park (蕭壠文化園區)

    Soulang Cultural Park (蕭壠文化園區)

    November 1651 was an irksome time for Nicolas Verburg, the 10th governor of Formosa, and Reverend Daniel Gravius was the biggest of the irks. The clergyman had already got Verburg’s back up by issuing poll tax papers to the Chinese settlers of Soulang village and allegedly extorting a large sum of money from two different [...]

    Read More

  • What’s the deal?

    What’s the deal?

    This one has bamboozled me for years. Why, oh why do market vendors announce that something is “25 NT each, four for a hundred!” like that’s some kind of deal? I’ve asked people and invariably got blank looks. “It’s 25 NT. Four for a hundred.” Some of the more wily, rascally types down the market [...]

    Read More

  • Chinatrust: A Mea Culpa

    Chinatrust: A Mea Culpa

    Banks in Taiwan discriminate against foreigners. Anyone who has tried to get a credit card here will know this. When I first tried to apply for a card almost a decade ago, I was flatly rejected. In 2007, I managed to wangle a card through Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐國際商業銀行) with my wife as a [...]

    Read More

  • Hsieh Tung-min’s former residence, Ershui Township (謝東閔故居,二水)

    Hsieh Tung-min’s former residence, Ershui Township (謝東閔故居,二水)

      Today is the 68th anniversary of the 228 Incident, a dark chapter in Taiwan’s history. I thought I’d post something on Hsieh Tung-min (謝東閔), a former governor and vice-president of Taiwan under President Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國). Because of his background and one defining incident in his life, he is an interesting figure when it comes [...]

    Read More

  • Getting my goat

    Getting my goat

    There seem to be few ram/sheep/goat-related New Year idioms and puns in Chinese. The best-known, I think, is sān yáng kāi tài (三陽開泰), which welcomes in the spring and prosperity for the year. It uses the yáng (陽) character from the Taoist yin-yang (陰陽) concept (that half black, half white Chinese symbol to my people back home) [...]

    Read More

  • The 228 Accident (in need of assistance)

    The 228 Accident (in need of assistance)

    A mate of mine forwarded this bit of comic genius to me yesterday. As you can see from the header, it’s from the Hsinchu City Government Foreigner Assistance Center. Lord knows what the benighted denizens of said metropolis would do without these thoughtful souls to guide them. A purveyor of education, my friend was agog [...]

    Read More

  • About bloody time

    About bloody time

    At long last, Taiwan’s legislature has amended the horrendously archaic laws concerning immigrants with HIV. As reported in today’s Taipei Times, following these long overdue changes to th HIV Infection Control and Patient Rights Protection Act (人類免疫缺乏病毒傳染防治及感染者權益保障條例), people will no longer be banned from entering the country or summarily booted out if it’s discovered that [...]

    Read More

  • Burkinabè Need Friends of all Stripes

    Burkinabè Need Friends of all Stripes

    My latest Taipei Times op-ed, with Viviane Bayala. With President Blaise Compaoré and his ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDC) party swept from power at the end of last month, Burkina Faso found itself on the front pages of newspapers around the world. The West African nation seldom makes the headlines.   Burkina Faso [...]

    Read More

  • The Orphan of Argentina: Interview with Ignacio Huang

    The Orphan of Argentina: Interview with Ignacio Huang

      I interviewed Taiwan-born actor Ignacio Huang in Buenos Aires in late June. Here is the original of my piece that appeared in today’s Taipei Times. After starring in one of Argentina’s highest-grossing films in recent years, Taiwan-born Ignacio Huang struggles with typecasting, identity issues and institutional racism. The mezzanine at Bar Imperial in Buenos [...]

    Read More

  • Salt, Stodge and Sarapatel: Getting Stuffed in Salvador de Bahia

    Salt, Stodge and Sarapatel: Getting Stuffed in Salvador de Bahia

    Never one to miss a trick, my son Herbie was immensely tickled at the name of the first airline we used in Latin American: LAN. “Felix would love it,” he said of his little brother who, much to my regret, I could not afford to bring along on this six-week trip. Herbie was referring to [...]

    Read More

  • RSS Global Voices Taiwan Feed