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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 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

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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 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

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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…

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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 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

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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…