MG 0002
IMG 7522
IMG 9283
valley 3534988 1280
IMG 4026
IMG 0507
IMG 6810
IMG 8756
IMG 5571
IMG 6763
IMG 4405

Stopping by the Totoro Bus Stop

Posted on

On the way back up to Taichung from Tainan, I stopped by what has been called “Danei Totoro Bus Stop” (大內龍貓公車站 / da nei long mao gong che zhan) It’s a slight detour on the 3, between Tainan and Chiayi. It is a magical place full of beautifully painted murals and whimsical characters. Coming up to the location, you’ll feel…

2016 12 18 20.38.55

Copy That, Copycat

Posted on

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 remixing popular brands. Regardless of the legality or morality behind all of this, it is interesting to note how concepts…

2016 12 20 14.59.57

A World Apart, But Still Familiar

Posted on

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 in the US are also popular in Taiwan. Most notably, I came across a Candy Crush-themed candy store in Jiufen…

2016 12 28 21.59.33

Mascot Love

Posted on

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 coercing you to come in. Even now, I don’t remember a lot of the store logos, but I do recall…

muslim friendly toilet

A Difference in (Cultural) Attitudes

Posted on

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 few things that you probably wouldn’t see in the US: Lines? What line? The concept of a line can sometimes be…

keelung night market

Smartphones in Taiwan

Posted on

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 all times, traveling to Taiwan. What I found, instead, was 1. most people have a smart phone and 2. crime…

chinglish in real life

English, Not so Good

Posted on

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 the island is pretty Mandarin-centric. Turn on the radio and travel down the coast and you’ll even come across Taiwanese…

cones as trees

Taiwanese Design, Invention, and Aesthetic

Posted on

While musing over a breakfast sandwich one morning in Kenting (墾丁 / ken ding), I came across a fairly strange invention. It consisted of two loops of wires protruding upwards from a plastic base. Curious, I asked what this device was for. To my surprise it was to hold trash including boba straw wrappers. In the land that gave rise to…

IMG 3173

Fruit in Taiwan Versus the US

Posted on

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 Taiwan has been referred to as the “Fruit Kingdom.” As someone who loves fruit, I wanted to try Taiwanese fruit…

felt market

Sparrow Mart: Where Everything is Made of Felt

Posted on

Had a chance to check out Sparrow Mart at The Standard Hotel in Los Angeles. It’s part grocery store, part art exhibit, and all kinds of cool. Essentially, Sparrow Mart is a market where most everything is made from felt. In total, 31,000 pieces were handcrafted for the felt market. The exhibit is the brainchild of Lucy Sparrow who first…