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Copy That, Copycat

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As much as Taiwan loves its Japanese culture, it also loves a lot of Western things. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the branding of stores and items for sale. Specifically, there’s a sizable culture behind copying and…

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A World Apart, But Still Familiar

Last Updated on February 28, 2019

In another post, I explored some contrasts between US and Taiwan culture. While there are differences, there are a lot of reminders of how prevalent western culture still is. Here are some of my observations: The really popular mobile games…

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Mascot Love

Last Updated on March 14, 2019

With so many brands competing for attention in Taiwan, logos often take the back seat to adorable mascots (吉祥物 / ji xiang wu). It’s hard to walk around without seeing a mascot emblazoned over windows, walls, and street signage—each, gently…

muslim friendly toilet

A Difference in (Cultural) Attitudes

Last Updated on February 12, 2019

From the skyscrapers in Taipei to the farms in Tainan, there are numerous similarities between Taiwan and the United States. Where things tend to diverge are in little day to day details that, otherwise, might go unnoticed. Here are a…

keelung night market

Smartphones in Taiwan

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Especially living in San Francisco, I’m particularly aware of people stealing phones. I’ve heard too many horror stories of friends getting their phones stolen while strolling around. I was particularly on heightened alert about knowing where my phone was at…

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English, Not so Good

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Being a mostly English speaker in a land of Mandarin (普通話 / pu tong hua), I found it nice to occasionally see English. Though Taipei has more signage geared towards English speakers, outside of the more touristy areas, most of…

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Fruit in Taiwan Versus the US

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One thing that becomes apparent, traveling in Taiwan, is the abundance of fruit (水果 / shui guo). From sprawling produce markets to fruit teas stalls (especially in Taipei) the sweet smell of fresh fruit was everywhere. It’s no surprise that…