Neatest "It-Would Never-Happen Elsewhere"?


I’d like to hear what is the neatest or most unusual or most interesting thing you’ve gotten to do in Taiwan that you never would have gotten to do in your home country no matter what?

For example, I got to be a lounge singer in Taiwan (trust me, there are laws against people like me singing in public in the States!) and actually got tips for singing “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”…my former housemate worked as a hand model, although she bit her nails almost to the elbows…and almost 20 years ago (when things were much simpler in Taiwan!)

My favorite “job” was working as “Miss Obi Swiss” in the then-new Asiaworld Shopping Plaza (white dress, beauty-queen banner, trying to get shoppers to try apple juice samples, which no one was willing to do in those days). I almost got caught one day when some German guy wanted to know where the peanut butter was…my high school German just barely got me out of it, although he certainly knew he was dealing with a fake Swiss miss…



I got an interview on Voice of America talking about a local/expat environmental group I was involved in at the time. I tutored the head of the Taiwan EPA at the time Jian You Xin. I did voice recording work for English materials. I owned my own bushiban with my husband. Maybe some other stuff I forgot. I don’t have any of the bed-hopping stories that make up the peak experiences of many expat men here, though.


I became the legendary utility pole navigator

Now when I go out I take my personal atlas,
[I added the electical pole codes to their atlas].

featuring my favorite photo

I told the publisher, , not to give me any
money, just make sure to use the photo. I didn’t sign anything
because I told them I was putting all the secret formulas on my
website anyway.

There are north Taiwan & south Taiwan volumes, in Chinese,
appx. NT$2700 total. Why don’t you visit them, their office is in
Xi4zhi3. Hmmm, don’t need to know Chinese to use the electric pole &
box numbers.


I got a date!


This was in Thailand, but I got invited to a hill tribe wedding of two people I’d never met before, simply because some people saw us wandering around town the day of the wedding and thought we might be interested. A beautiful ceremony and friendly people, with some nasty (home-brew?) alcohol.



I didn’t get deported, but I forgot about my playing piano for a jazz band that was shut down by some individuals with submachine guns, fortunately on the night that our trumpet player was soloing. I didn’t think he sounded that bad, either.


The gangsters must have disagreed. On a similar note, a (foreign) friend of mine in Taichung opened a bar and was regularly raided by police and gangsters alike.

On another note, a different friend got to play drums for a semi-famous band on one of those variety shows. I think the host was that funny looking guy with the curly hair.


Ah, there’s just too much to write here. I guess killing several hundred diseased pigs during the FMD epidemic ranks up there as one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever done here.

Meeting then-President Lee Teng-hui in a mall was another. He was buying clothes. I was putting slinkies on the escalators.


Oh, I forgot. I got to meet Jackie Chan when he was filming a scence at Whiskey-A-GoGo in 1991. We talked for about 10 minutes and he gave us tickets to one of his movies.


Dan, very creative!!! I got to the first of your links, but the others said ‘page not found’. Did your book sell a lot of copies? Pao- your book ne? Pao, do you ever consider coming back to live in the US?


I’m still in the process of trying to find a publisher. There’s lot of interest in the Chinese version, and several large publishers here are really eager about it, but it’s hard to get in touch with the English market publishers from here, so I haven’t really done that bit yet. Probably do the Chinese version first.

If I went back to the US I’d have to apply for a green card and stuff. It depends on the situation I guess.


We sat next to Ma Ying Jeou for Christmas dinner at the Hilton one year.


Alien, steady on. We should keep this about good experiences (or at least interesting ones) or it might degenerate into another bitching about Taiwan session



Probably the most bizarre thing that I and many others have done here is give children English names that many if not most of them will retain for the rest of their lives.
Unless you have a harem, you probably don’t get the chance to name hundreds of individuals.
By the way, I always frowned on giving them goofy names so that they didn’t lose face every time someone tried to hail them – like Ovid Tzeng and Apollo Chen, for example. (Don’t they know that they are derided behind their backs for these asinine names? Or are the foolish names a sign of fools?)
See the reaction you get from a Chinese when you tell them that your Chinese name is Kungtze, or Laotze. Same deal.


Thank you for interest in “my” atlas. I will tell the publishers to
fix their website. I put their address on anyway.

You can see it at the book expo.
Note that as all my work is under the “GNU GPL”, you can get the same
information without buying the atlas, from my website… [and then
annotate your favorite maps].