Thursday, December 20, 2012

North Coast Taiwan - Shi Tou Shan

On a recent outing to the north coast of Taiwan we visited Shi Tou Shan Park.  This scenic area is located mostly in the cliffs above the ocean.  My kids went on a hike with some friends that we went with.  For me, who is full time in a wheelchair it was impossible.  There were many stairs and difficulties for wheelchairs.  Much of Taiwan is changing and we are seeing a greater number of accessible places.  Fortunately, I don’t have a real life and live vicariously through my children’s lives.  So, they took some beautiful pictures and told me what I was looking at. 

One of the features of this area is couple of small islets.  The official name is the Candlestick Islands.  At one time, in the mists of the pasts these small matching islands were a part of the Jinshan coast.  But thanks to erosion they were separated and were actually an arch out in the sea.  But then the arch collapsed and left these the Twin Candlesticks.  The local people used to call them the “Husband and Wife Rocks,” but the official officials changed the name to the Twin Candlesticks.  

Photos by Emily Banducci

Saturday, November 17, 2012

On The Move: Changing Places in Taiwan

Da Nang Traditional Market

A while back I was writing about finding a new home in Taiwan.  Well, we finally decided to actually do it.  So we have moved into a new home in Bade, City.  Bade is right next to Taoyuan City, in fact, unless you know where to look, you can’t tell where Taoyuan ends and Bade begins.  

We actually only moved about two kilometers from where we were before, but the atmosphere is completely different.  We are living half a block from the famous Da Nang market.  It’s not actually a famous place except in my little world.  The traditional market is sort of like an American swap meet and bazaar at the same time.  People are yelling out what they’re selling. It’s colorful and interesting…and absolutely wall-to-wall with people.  They sell everything there, from meat, to vegetables, to clothing to sundries, to prepared food.  I can just hang out there and watch people.  The nice thing about the traditional market is that is an eight square block area with vendors on curbs and in buildings and is the most handicapped accessible place I’ve been in Bade.  Everything takes place right on the street, no curbs and steps to worry about.

10th floor view
The apartment we moved into is a brand new modern building.  We live on the tenth floor.  Every two apartments on each floor has it’s own elevator.  Say for example, apartment 2 and 4 next to each other.  Only those two apartments on each floor have access to that elevator, all the way up, (twenty-six apartments per elevator).  The ground floor has a garden, gym and an entertainment room with pool and air hockey tables.  Each apartment has three levels of security, the guarded entrance, security elevators, and door locks, so its all safe and secure.  There’s not a lot of violent crime in Taiwan, it’s one of the ten safest nations to live in, but I get the feeling there’s a lot of theft. 

The easiest way to find an apartment is through a real estate agent.  Typically, real estate firms charge half of the first month’s rent to help you to find a place.  We had some friends who went on websites that list apartments and found this one for us.  There are many listings in just about any place you want to live.  Most apartments are for sale, but some individual owners are willing to rent.  Apartments in places like Taipei are fairly expensive, but outlying areas like Taoyuan or Bade City are less expensive and it’s only a thirty-minute train ride from Taoyaun City to Taipei.

Part of the moving Crew
When we moved here from the US we used a company called Lucky Moving to transport our stuff to Taiwan.  I thought they were reasonably priced for that move.  They came to our home, packed up all of our furniture, moved it to their warehouse, loaded it into the container, sailed it across the Pacific Ocean, stored it until we had a place to live, then delivered and unpacked it and set it up in our new home.  They really worked with us on making sure that all of our needs were met.  So when we wanted to pack it up and move we remembered them.  Again for a reasonable fee they took all of the stress and pressure out of the move.  They hauled our furniture to two different locations (one location for storage the other was our home) and gave us the same high level of service we had as an international customer.  They made sure that their on the job supervisor was fluent in English and even agreed to come another day for some other things.

Lucky Moving's Phone Number in Taoyuan City
We've had bad experiences with moving companies in the US.  One company refused to unload some of our furniture until we paid them with a credit card and the payment was secured.  The price was higher than quoted and the crew was unhelpful, even insulting.  But this move was carried out professionally, for exactly what was quoted.  The crew was young, energetic and positive, what a difference.  We were lucky to find Lucky Moving!

Lucky Moving is located in Taiwan and three cities in the US:

Lucky Moving, Irwindale, CA 626-333-1306
Lucky Moving, Sugarland, Texas 281-265-6233
Lucky Moving, East Brunswick, NJ 732-432-4299

I received no goods, services or money for this post.

Other posts you may be interested in:

On the Move:  Finding a Home in Taiwan
Taiwan Travelogue:  The Traditional Market

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Struggling through the Murk!

This is for all those looking for Taiwan flag pictures

I have been writing the Taiwan Adventure Blog (TWA) for about three years now.  I began in August of 2009.  For much of that time it’s been a pleasure to write it and document what I’ve seen and done in Taiwan.  The photos and writings will make wonderful memories at the end of this journey.  Who knows when it will all end?

I have grown to love Taiwan and its people.  I think it is a beautiful place once you leave the city, although, many of the cities are spectacular.  I believe that Taipei rivals San Francisco in its beauty, personality and quirkiness.  That’s one of the things I like about Shu Flies and Vagabond in Taiwan, the detail about little places you find in back street neighborhoods, throughout Taipei.

Taiwan has many more exciting things to see and places to go and for me, most importantly, foods to eat.  I’m not through with the idea of continuing to explore Taiwan.  I’m still excited about Taiwan and its possibilities for my calling and me.  I don’t mention my calling much in TWA, it never seems to come up, really.  I came to Taiwan for a specific reason, and that is to win souls to Christ.  I’m a missionary.  The Door Christian Fellowship in Colton, CA launched me into this nation.  I’m part of a fellowship that has more than 1500 churches in more 100 nations. 

And for those looking for M13 Pictures
I’m not ashamed of that, in fact, I’m proud of my mission and purpose in this place.  I have a website for the church,  The church is located in Taoyuan City and all the details are listed on that website. 

I have been writing TWA for a number of reasons. Mostly, as a way of relaxing.  It’s like an occasional game of golf or racquetball; a way to allow my thoughts a fallow season.  It’s interesting but when you’re faced with a job of some sort, sometimes by thinking of other things you can free your mind to engage the details of a situation.  I can be more creative on the job if I’m creative off the job.  At least that’s been the case.

But now I’m feeling a certain ambivalence toward this blog.  Last year at this time I was looking forward to writing, and engaging people around the world each week.  This year, not so much, I’m really struggling to write.  It’s not a writer’s block, it’s a motivation block. 

The reason I say that is that I have several ideas for other writing projects.  I have a couple of non-fiction Biblically oriented books that I’d like to write.  One I’ve started but have left off on working on, the other is in the germination mode.  I would also like to write a novel.  It’s a historical, science fiction, political thriller.  Well, it will be if I can pull it off.  That, by the way, is the big question because in reading other blogs, I’ve discovered that I’m not really all that good a writer.  It may take a lot more time than I’m willing to invest to write anything, we’ll have to see how that goes.

So, looking at this and thinking about my readers, you’re probably wondering why I’m sharing all this.  Believe it or not I have a reason.

This year, I have been enduring a struggle unlike any others I've faced in life, and I've had a few to be sure.  So, in struggling through this I have begun to prioritize my life.  In arranging priorities some hierarchies become obvious.  At the top of the priorities are my family and my calling.  These are the two most important things in my life.  I love my family above all earthly things.  I also am committed and still excited about my calling, I want to serve God and people.  Those are the easy ones.  Other things are a bit murky.  I don’t know anymore where TWA fits into my priorities.

On the one hand it’s enjoyable to write just for me.  I usually enjoy the time I spend on it.  There is value in doing something just for yourself.  I get that.  I’ve met people and done things I never thought I’d meet or do.  But I’m geared toward making an impact and I really wonder if that’s happening with this blog.

So I’m wondering if this is even worth continuing.  I think I will put the Taiwan Adventure Blog on hiatus for a while.  If I can’t come up with a compelling reason to start writing it again then the hiatus will more than likely be permanent.  I've actually been thinking about this for some time. If you have an opinion you want to share feel free. 

PS The Tea Blog and Taiwan Gongfu Tea are on permanent hiatus already.  The Church website and the Standing Stones Sermon Blog will continue.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Local Color: Ju Ming Museum in Taipei

Recently we took a trip to the Ju Ming Museum in New Taipei City.  The museum is nestled among the hills above the North Coast of Taiwan.  The interesting thing about this museum is that it is an outdoor museum.  You walk through a park-like setting that is filled with Ju Ming’s sculptures. 

Ju Ming is a Taiwanese Sculptor famous in both Taiwan and new York.  His art is exhibited throughout the world.  He began his early training as a woodcarver but began to apply those skills to a number of mediums including, rock and stainless steel.  The Ju Ming Museum was built at his own expense, and showcases a number of sculptures from his Tai Chi, Military and Living World series. 

In addition to the art exhibits, there is a small water park and arts and crafts centers for the children.  In other areas, children are encouraged to do chalk art on paths, with frames painted onto the sidewalk.

 For more information on the Ju Ming Museum, follow this link:

Other posts you may be interested in:

Taiwan Travelogue:  The National Palace Museum.
Day Tripping:  Jiu Fen
Taiwan Travelogue:  The North Coast

Photo Credits:  Elizabeth Banducci

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Taiwanese Weather: Typhoon Tembin

Typhoon Tembin in the Philippines and bearing down on Taiwan

A week ago Typhoon Tembin blew through Taiwan.  This was an interesting typhoon because it was what is called a recurved Typhoon.  That simply means that it turned back on itself.

The Typhoon came up from the Philippines, crossed the southern tip of Taiwan, spun into the ocean south of Taiwan and then curved and ran up the east coast. It finally moved up between Japan and the mainland and crossed into South Korea before burning itself out.

The typhoon made an impact on Southern Taiwan resulting in six people killed and $200 Million NTD ($ US 6.6 Million) in damage to the agricultural industry.  Because of the devastation caused by Typhoon Morakot in August 2009 the Government put some effort into preparation and emergency relief.

Typhoons are hurricanes that happen on the Pacific Ocean.  In the post, Tyhoon Conson:  Here it Comes, I write about how typhoons are formed.  In the post, Taiwanese Weather:  Monsoons and Typhoons, I show the paths of all the typhoons in 2011.  Take a look at those links if you are interested in typhoons.

In Taoyuan City we’re pretty well protected and sine we are on the west side of the island the typhoons lose a lot of their power crossing the mountains.  Typhoon Saola came through a few weeks ago dumped lots of rain on us, but we felt very little wind.  Typhoon Tembin affected mostly the south of the island, we had little rain and no wind. 

Taoyuan City is in the upper left hand corner of the island
One thing that’s interesting is the reaction of the people to typhoons.  Generally, the government will call for a typhoon day in the affected areas.  Businesses will be closed, and the streets will be pretty empty, because it’s a pretty sure thing the typhoon will hit.  Some areas will be evacuated if there is a threat of mudslides, but for most part life just keeps happening.  People go to work, go to school and you see them riding scooters.  Shops are open, Chinese tourists are seeing the sights and you wouldn’t even know a typhoon is coming.

I remember one typhoon when we first came, Emily and I decided to be storm chasers and went off to find it.  It was the day the typhoon was crossing our area.  We never really did find it.  But we came upon a place, a bridge in Daxi that was filled with tourists.  I couldn’t believe it. 

I guess because growing up in America, we really, kind of fear hurricanes.  When one comes in to the coast there’s extensive evacuation, a run on the stores to stock up food, the news is full of it every day.  Here, life just seems to go on. 

I was thinking that maybe hurricanes are more powerful than typhoons, but a comparison of Tembin to Isaac showed the same wind speeds and rainfall.  The answer might be found in the fact that Taiwan averages about 14 typhoons a year and the US has fewer.  At any rate, things slowed down for a few days and then got right back to normal.

Other posts you may be interested in:

Storm Chasers:  Driving into the Belly of the Beast
Taiwanese Weather:  Monsoons and Typhoons
Typhoon Saola;  How's That Ark Coming Along

Photo Credit:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Taiwan Blog Review: Shu Flies

The header of Catherine Shu's Shu Flies

There are many “expat blogs” in Taiwan.  These are blogs written by people from other countries, usually in the language of their home nation.  This blog is one of them.  They come in a variety of flavors, if you will.  Some are about individual lives in Taiwan; someone who’s left home and wants to update loved ones about their lives here.  Others have different purposes, like political commentary, or cool places to visit, or food.  Occasionally, I will highlight one my favorites.  This is as much about Taiwan as it is about the perspective of the "expat experience."

I have certain interests that I am interested in.  So there you go a classic banduccism.  If I’m interested in something that must be my interest, right?  English is supposed to be my first language but sometimes, I’m not sure that it is.  Maybe one day I’ll take the time to learn how to write.  Those of you that are asking me to proofread and edit your dissertations be forewarned.  I always thought of myself as a good writer, until I read blogs by people who really are good writers then I’m forced to acknowledge the sad truth that without Microsoft Word’s grammar check, I’d be in deep trouble, even with it I'm in pretty deep trouble.

"Hey Madge, get a shot of this temple, eh? ...Perfect"
The same with photography:  I never thought I’d be intimidated by a teenager’s photo skills, but once again I’m forced to face facts.  Adrienne from Vagabond in Taiwan is a much better photographer than I am.  My photo’s usually look like some tourist snapshot.  They look like, “Hey Madge, I’ll stand in front of the LaLa Shan sign so everyone can see how beautiful this place is,” when all you can really see is my white pasty skin, Bermuda shorts, and the pink zinc sun protection on my nose and one sorry little tree protruding from behind my ponderous bulk.  It’s sort of like looking at Jabba the Hut in a hipster fedora.  Once again I’ve wandered off the subject and into the deep recesses of my psyche, which is probably not a good place to go, so let’s get back to the subject at hand.  I wanted to review some expat blogs that I enjoy.  I probably won't do this every week, but occasionally.  

The first is Shu Flies, by Catherine Shu.  I check this blog every couple of days looking for something new, which is interesting because it’s not a manly blog; there’s no mention of guns or kung fu, or fast cars or anything like that, but it’s very interesting.  Catherine, is an American-born Taiwanese woman who is experiencing life in the place of her heritage.  She is inspirational for me because she’s straight-forward about overcoming her battle with depression and her fears of living here, and she writes honestly about those things.

She is the one who really inspired me to begin to write about living in Taiwan and how I deal with my own disabilities here.  The important thing here is that she doesn’t come from the point of view of the victim, she always speaks in the terms of this is what I face, and I can overcome it.  I really admire and look up to her, even though she’s young she has a powerful personal testimony. 

I don’t want you to get the idea that she’s just sitting around and contemplating these things, though.  She’s learned Mandarin well enough to be a staff writer for the Taipei Times, a large, English language newspaper.  It’s written in English, but you have to speak mandarin to interview folks.  Because of her job she gets to go to a lot of different, sometimes quirky, but cool businesses.  She sees parts of Taipei that people like me never get to.  I wouldn’t even know those places existed without her blog. 

I think Brenda and Catherine would become fast friends if they ever met, because they both seem drawn to the same things: Crafty, artsy things that are just cool.  (I'd add some photos from the blog but I don't want to infringe on her copyrights, you'll have to go to her blog to see them.) If you have a few minutes and want to see parts of Taipei that are off the beaten path, and just plain interesting take some time to check out this blog.  Meet Catherine, her husband Ron and her vegetarian, houseplant-eating cat Taroko George, (did I mention that she’s occasionally a clever punster?).   

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Typhoon Saola: How's That Ark Coming Along?

Typhoon Saola hovering over Taiwan

All things considered, Taoyuan City is a good place to weather a typhoon.  We seem to be fairly well protected from the wind.  The infrastructure is pretty good.  We don’t see a lot of flooding in the streets.  The place stays in pretty good shape through it all.  As a result we have been a bit cocky when it comes to typhoons, we laugh and joke and say things like, “Typhoons are boring!” 

Emily and I even took the car and went looking for one, one time.  We went with great bravado.  We acted as if we were fearless and intrepid adventurers; defying death to peer into the belly of the dragon…well you get the idea.   There wasn’t much to see that time, though. 

But that was then, this is now.  Things are a little different this time.  Typhoon Saola is cranking through, even as I write this post.  Once again, the natural protection around Taoyuan City has protected us from the wind.  It gusts up a little bit but not the 38m/s (85 mph) that the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) told us to expect.  But my, oh my look at it rain.

Taoyuan City Rainfall:  140mm (5.5 in)  Then it really started to rain!
Near Yilan, where the typhoon started toward the coast, rainfall accumulated over the last three days has been 1348 mm (53.07 inches).  That’s a whole lotta rainfall, baby.  Southern California doesn’t see that much rain in 4 years unless El Nino is really rolling.

The average monthly rainfall for July is 269 mm (10.6 in), for August it’s 266 mm (10.5 in).  Three-day rainfall from Typhoon Saola 1348 mm (53.07 in) that’s more than twice as much rainfall as the average for July and August combined. 

Generally, I don’t really worry about the rain, especially if I don’t have to go out in it.  After all, this is the rainy season.  We are nearing the end of the Plum Rains (summer monsoons), so it is expected that there’d be a bit of rain.  This time, though, things got personal. Water came in through the roof and flowed down the stairs and flooded the first floor, destroying a bunch of furniture and stuff on the way down.  No peaked roofs in Taiwan, so you’ve got to keep drains and things flowing clear, otherwise you’re in trouble in a typhoon like this.

Typhoon Saola just before sweeping across the Northern tip of Taiwan!
We have survived so far, because our landlord came riding in like an avenging army and fought back the floods.  Typhoons just seem to call for hyperbole…In the storm drenched city of Taoyuan a lone man stood like a fortress against the marauding forces of wind and rain…or something like that. 

We wanted to see what a real typhoon felt like.  I guess we found out.  It ain’t over ‘til it’s over, still a day or two of rain to go!  Whee!

This storm is from a typhoon in 2011.  Multiply this rainfall by a factor of 10 for Saola.

Other Posts you May be interested in:

Here it Comes:  Typhoon Conson
Taiwanese Weather:  Monsoons and Typhoons

All weather information, charts and tracking:  Taiwan Central Weather Bureau

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Night Market Food: The Oyster Omelet

In the Idol Drama, “Corner with Love,” Alan “Show” Luo is a starving
artist.  He has moved to Shang Hai to
pursue a career as an artist. Apparently, he was tricked by a unscrupulous agent, into moving to Shang Hai and giving him all his money.  He now has to work for a restaurant called “Happiness 131,” just to make ends meet. 

But while he’s there he makes the restaurant a huge success by cooking a
popular night food market snack, the Oyster Omelets.  He is trying to raise the money for a ticket back to Taiwan, where he has left his grandmother, the best Oyster Omelet cook in all of Taipei.  Along the way he meets the beautiful heiress, played by Barbie Xu (Da S), whose parents suddenly find themselves bankrupt and disappear into hiding, leaving poor Barbie to fend for herself.  She decides to move to Taiwan and well… do I really need to go into any more detail?  It’s a typical idol Drama story.  The rich one falls for the kid from the other side of the tracks and it’s all flowers and rainbows and love and betrayal and the usual nonsense.

But when I was starting to learn Chinese I watched this show.  I know…I’m not their target market, but it was simple Chinese and I could almost follow it.  It was cute, okay?  There, I said it and I’m not ashamed…well maybe a little; it does kind of destroy my macho, man about town image, but that’s only in my mind anyway so…enough rambling.

As I watched I got more and more interested.  Not in the drama itself, but in Oyster Omelets.  You know I talk to people and they call themselves, “foodies,” and I can only assume that they consider themselves
culinary connoisseurs, I have no such pretensions, I just like to eat; some things more than others, and I love oysters.

My favorite way to eat an oyster is to suck it off the half shell, with lime juice and hot sauce.  But I like them smoked, steamed, and even fried, as well.  The local teppanyaki place makes a great Oyster Teppanyaki.  It’s fried with onion and garlic and served with bean sprouts and cabbage and a nice caffeine free wheat tea. 

The most "famous" Taoyuan Oyster Omelet
After three years in Taiwan, I finally made it to the Taoyuan Night Market and tried the most “famous” Oyster Omelets in all of Taoyuan City.  In Taiwan, the words famous and popular are used almost interchangeably.  If a place is well known it’s said to be famous. If the place is popular with customers it’s also said to be famous.  The place we went to is well known and popular…it’s famous!  The name of it is,
“Something in Chinese that I can’t read…yet!”
(The word yet is spoken with the greatest of optimism.) 

The Oyster Omelets is made with a number of ingredients:  Eggs, of course and oysters, and rice flour and some kind of green, leafy vegetable. 
The vegetable is interesting.  I’ve asked the name of it a number of times. That conversation usually goes something like this:

Me:  “This vegetable is delicious, what is it?”
Waitress:  “Vegetable.”
Me:  “Yes, I see that, but what is the name of the vegetable?”
Waitress:  (with some hesitation.) “Vegetable.”
Me:  “That’s the name of it?”
Waitress:  (smiling happily and nodding)  “Vegetable.”

Okay, so I finally figured out that whatever it’s called doesn’t translate well into English.  I would be perfectly happy with the Chinese name, but it probably wouldn’t be enlightening as to it’s nature or composition, anyway, but no matter, there is a type of vegetation in there that’s tasty and apparently safe to eat. 

On top of the omelets they put two types of sauce, one is a red sauce made of catsup and sweet chili sauce and the other is a brown sauce that I
couldn’t discern.  I’m guessing it’s oyster sauce and something else but if someone knows please let me know.  I should write to the people at Taiwan Duck
I will bet that they’ve cooked it and know it well.

I also tried it without the sauce, at the suggestion of a friend who happens to be an American.  I found it to be  too eggy, and dry.   In my opinion, the
sauce makes it.  If you make it to a
night market, this is one treat you need to try.

Other posts you may like:

Eating My Way Through Taiwan:  My Locust Impersonation
Eating My Way Through Taiwan:  The Stink of Adventure

Photos:  Elizabeth Banducci
Vegetable:  Wen's Delight

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

On the Move: Finding a Home in Taiwan

Listings on the office window, Taiwan Realty, Bade

We have been in Taiwan about three years.  September 14 will be the three-year mark.  It also means that our lease in our current domicile will soon be expiring.  There have been a number of changes that have taken place, since we got here and we have decided it’s time to move.

When we were looking for this home, people told us that Taiwanese landlords were difficult to work with.  For one, they didn’t want to fix anything; they didn’t clean or paint before you moved in:  They were just plain difficult to work with.  But thatwasn’t our experience the first time, we have a wonderful landlord, who has been nothing but helpful.  Part of the reason for that is that we’re foreigners.  We were talking with the landlord recently about why we won’t be renewing our lease and he said, “Because you’re foreigners you will have favor in Taiwan.”  That has certainly been our experience. 

So we have begun the process to find another place.  This time we’re looking for a flat that is up around the twelfth or thirteenth floor, or higher if we can find it.  It will take a good deal of downsizing but I think it will be good for us.

John (2nd from left) and his co-workers
There is a process for finding an apartment in Taiwan.  The simplest method is to find a real estate agent and he/she will look up flats that meet your criteria and show them to you.  There are several advantages to this.  Often the real estate agents know the owner and can negotiate with him/her.  They do all the footwork and make the arrangements for you.  You just show up and look.

There is one thing that’s difficult, and that is that if you find one on your own, it may be difficult to find out which real estate office lists it.  They don’t seem to have a multiple listing service like real estate agents in the US.  You have to find the office with the listing.

Most apartments in Taiwan are for sale, so when you want to rent one, you have to find an owner that’s renting.  You can’t just show up at the office and ask for vacancies, this is the main reason you need an agent.  There may be more than one apartment for rent in a building or community but each one has a different agent, so it’s hard to find out who lists the apartments.

For us, because our Chinese is so poor, we have to find an agent that speaks English. We got very lucky to meet an agent; his English name is John, on his first day of work at Taiwan Realty in downtown Bade.  His English is excellent and he’s a lot of fun.  I think his boss realized he’d made a good choice, when foreigners showed up and he was the only one who could communicate with us. 

John showed us a number of places that met our criteria.  I, for one, want to live in a new modern place, and we all want a view.  Often, apartments are close together and the view out your window might be of a wall, or into the window of the next apartment over.  We haven’t found the perfect one yet.  They seem to be pretty small.  We’re not opposed to downsizing but we still want to keep our washer and dryer, and our good old American refrigerator.  The refrigerator we have wouldn’t fit into our kitchen so we left it in the garage.  I’ve seen people stop and stare at it when the garage door is opened.   They think all Americans are fatties, anyway.  You should see them look at out cart at Costco. I always try to tell them we live an hour from Costco and only come once a month.  They always smile, roll their eyes and say, “Suuuure.” I know they don’t believe me, they think I’m just fat.  They’ll know what fat’s all about, when I roll my wheelchair over their toe!

This looks interesting, look at the close-up below

Other posts you may be interested in: 

Photos by Chris and Emily Banducci

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Promotions and Gratitude: Friends of the Blog

An interesting thing has happened.  This blog is running between 3,00 and 4,000 hits a month.  Since it has become somewhat popular, (It's still a small blog compared to others), I have received numerous requests to advertise things for people.  A lot of people want me to write posts on their particular website, product or link to their page.  While I’m flattered to be asked I have to say, I’m probably not going to write or post posts that are unrelated to Taiwan, especially if you are trying to make a profit.  

I don’t want to be harsh, but this blog isn’t written to make a profit.  It isn’t written to advertise products.  It certainly doesn’t exist to benefit anyone.  It is written to promote the culture, beauty and people of Taiwan.  There have been times when I have written a post that promotes a local restaurant or something, but those are written in the spirit of helping someone with making a successful living for their family.  Generally, these are people that I care about for one reason or another.  I have never asked for or received any compensation for any posts promoting some place.

So the policy of this blog is that we will not promote other websites or organizations, except the following:

Christian Fellowship Ministries – This is the organization under which I am here in Taiwan.  I feel a great sense of gratitude to The Door Christian Fellowship in Tucson, Pastor Harold Warner, and The Door Christian Fellowship in Colton, Pastor Eric Strutz, because of the investment they have made in the people of Taiwan, through this ministry.

We Blog the World – This blog has carried and promoted the Taiwan Adventure for a couple of years.  Renee Blodgett has kindly allowed us to be a part of We Blog the World, even though, my posts are probably not up to the quality of the others who are professional writers, or at least have a basic understanding of English Grammar. 

The Expat Blog – This blog is designed to help expats to find services, jobs, housing and other needs while living in a foreign country.  There is no charge for their service.  They carry The Taiwan Adventure as a blog about life in Taiwan. Use the link to find out all you need to know to live in Taiwan or other places.

Go – Similar to the expat blog, but is aligned toward teaching and educational opportunities in many different nations.  They carry the Taiwan Adventure in their Top Taiwan Blogs section.

Radio Taiwan International – International radio “The Voice of Asia.”  The Taiwan Adventure was promoted by them on their radio show, “Taiwan Today.”

Taiwan Gongfu Tea – Is a website that I own and use to sell Taiwanese Tea on the internet.

The Bard and the Bears – This is one of the groups that has written to me to write a guest post.  I agreed because they will be competing in the Mongol Rally to benefit Children’s Hospital in Orange County California.  As an infant, Children’s Hospital helped me through a surgery that saved my life.  I’m happy to provide this small bit of support back to benefit them.

There are others bloggers whom I support.  They are small blogs or blogs that promote Taiwan from perhaps a different perspective.  I’ve never personally met any of them but they’re the blogs that I enjoy reading.  They are: – They provide lots of useful information on life in Taiwan for expats, as well as carrying a number of English language blogs. 

Shuflies – An excellent blog written by Catherine Shu.  She is an American Born Taiwanese woman, who writes for the Taipei Times. 

Vagabond in Taiwan – This blog is a photo/written blog by another American Born Taiwanese woman who blogs from her perspective; 16 year old teenager.

Taiwanna Eat A Lot – Kind of cool photoblog about food. 

Taiwan – How to cook Taiwanese food.  I love Taiwanese food.  A couple in the UK does this recipes and videos.  She is the star of the videos, her personality is delightful and food is delicious and authentic.

So there it is.  These are the things I promote on this blog.  Please feel free to write me with things you might want to promote, but bear in mind the criteria that I mentioned.  If it doesn’t promote the culture, beauty and people of Taiwan it probably won’t be selected for a post. 

I want to take a moment to express my gratitude and appreciation to the following individuals. These are  people that have helped and supported me either personally or through promoting the blog or being a faithful reader and sometimes critic.

Ps. Harold Warner            Ps. Wayne Pelren
Ps. Eric Strutz                   Henry Wang
Renee Blodgett                 Natalie Tso
Jennifer Kalmbach            Mordeth 13
David Reid                        Yvette Pelren
Valerie Gomez                  Julien (