Blogs

Why You Shouldn’t Think all Expats are “Losers”

I’ve been guilty, like a lot of people, of believing that something around 50% of expats in Asia, Taiwan, China or wherever you may be losers. There’s a lot of talk about how people come to Asia because they couldn’t make it in their own country. It’s an easy lie to fall into because it’s […]

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Blogs

Waiguoren in Taiwan — What it Means, Why it Matters

Waiguoren (外國人) is an interesting word that doesn’t simply mean “foreigner.” Waiguoren’s polysemic meanings as a word are diverse, meaning, it has multiple meanings depending on who the person is saying it, and the person hearing it. As much as we like to simplify the meaning of words as having definite meanings, I think this […]

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Blogs

5 Tips for Transitioning from English Teaching to a Business Job in Taiwan

By and large, the single biggest sector for professional foreigners in Taiwan is English teaching. Naturally, many people are attracted to the above-average pay ($600-$800 NTD an hour starting off) and might not be aware that English teaching is a very challenging job and it’s not for everyone. This article isn’t about putting down teaching […]

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Blogs

Realizing What A “Straight White Male” Is In Taiwan

There was a time when I cringed at people saying “straight white male.” It was a strange statement to me. The kind of statement that bunched together a very large group of men together and treated their entirety as wrong. But the more, and more I live in Asia and see how US politics is […]

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Blogs

The Problem of Taiwan’s Libel Laws – How to Avoid Being Sued

Taiwan’s democracy, civil society, and all round freedoms are something to be proud of. But, there is one problem, freedom of speech isn’t so free. In Taiwan, defamation and public humiliation is, incredibly, a criminal offense under Article 310 of the Criminal Code. You might be thinking, “what’s the big deal about Taiwan’s libel law then?”, well, […]

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Blogs

Small World in Beijing: How I Randomly Met Family in a Hutong Bar

There’s nothing more cringe-worthy than being asked if you know someone from Ireland because you’re Irish. I remember drinking with Americans that were tracing their roots in Dublin, and they kept asking me if I had ever heard of their great aunt this, great Peter Willy Malone, and whatever they were going on about like […]

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Blogs

English Teaching in Taiwan – Overt Racism That Everyone Knows About

News broke that a school in Taipei was discriminating against black and dark-skinned people in their hiring practices and everyone lost it. By everyone, I mean mostly the international community and some locals. As quickly as the story broke, it was gone. There hasn’t been much discussion on the topic since. I didn’t want to […]

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Blogs

Being an Irishman With a Beijing Accent in Taipei

In 2011 I took the dive to study Chinese and International Business for my undergraduate. Many people ask me “why did you study Chinese?” and my answer has always been “I really don’t know.” I didn’t put much thought into my future at 17 and I chose 10 courses, and I came out with Chinese […]

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Blogs

The Enjoyment of Being a Foreigner – The Foreigner in the Room

I’m not crazy about always being referred to as a foreigner. Even in my local little beef noodle spot, I am still referred to as the foreigner despite the owner and staff knowing me on a first name basis. I don’t enjoy being reminded with interactions that I’m “different”. I know I’m different because the […]

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