TAINAN (台南) 2013–2014, current roll call & new links


#21

I have noticed that nobody has mentioned Rogers’. Which was my local (I lived across the street) and he has the best record collection (vinyl) on the entire island, bar none. It’s a quiet bar that only attracts music nerds like myself. He’ll play any sort of music you want. I’m sure he’s still there, he’s been around since 1987. Likewise, the Kinks is right down the road - great selection of music, but with a younger crowd (these guys were ex record store clerks), near the train tracks. DJ’s also is a good pub for those who want to hear classic rock, but with a bigger crowd and a more crowd-pleasing atmosphere.

Roger’s also attracts motorcycle nerds, as well. A very interesting guy to have a beer with (he doesn’t drink, but tends the bar 7 days a week, more or less). Extremely knowledgable about music (he gives lectures at record stores regularly). Really, if there’s one bar to sit down and have a beer in Tainan, it’s Roger’s on Dongmen Road (right after the train tracks), simply because he’s one of the most interesting local characters to meet – and has an amazing record and motorcycle collection, only part of which is on display. Very few customers because the bar is small and dingy (it ain’t called “Dirty” for nothing).


#22

[quote=“MyNameisWAR”]I’d just note:

I’m neither exclusively nor primarily interested in expatriates (my original post neither used the word expat nor foreigner even once).

Normally one of the advantages of being online (in English) is that you can make connections with the local community of Chinese people who (i) happen to speak English, or (ii) who really want to make English fluency (and conversation) a part of their lives, or (iii) who have one foot in a foreign country for some other reason (business links, family link, or they went to university in the U.S., etc.).

Often enough in Taiwan, it seems that you meet more Chinese people who went to school abroad (and returned) than actual foreigners --and that suits me fine. Those are, also, very often the type of local-yet-cosmopolitan people that I’d want to meet.

I met a remarkable number of (interesting) bilingual people on the mainland in Kunming (昆明) despite that town being very much landlocked, isolated and under fairly heavy political repression at the time.

It will be many years before I can really offer an interesting conversation in Chinese, so those are the types of characters I try to seek out (online or offline).

I’m also willing to do the usual “language exchange” with university students, but it’s a tricky thing to find university students who would really find that rewarding (some think they would, but, really, they find it boring once they try, etc.).

I’m aware that I’m looking for some kind of minority of people with some kind of common ground, and I’m open minded about it. I have experience elsewhere in China, and elsewhere in Taiwan.

I don’t have much in common with other expats, for the same reasons that expats rarely have much in common with each-other (e.g., a water-quality engineer from England may have nothing in common with a land-surveyor from Denmark, etc. --you tend to get a random assortment of specific trades “roped in” by expat contracts, and they may have no special interest in Taiwan, Asian politics, etc.). It is what it is.[/quote]

You are in Taiwan now, so why the ‘the Chinese bit’?


#23

[quote=“MyNameisWAR”]I’d just note:

I’m neither exclusively nor primarily interested in expatriates (my original post neither used the word expat nor foreigner even once).

Normally one of the advantages of being online (in English) is that you can make connections with the local community of Chinese people who (i) happen to speak English, or (ii) who really want to make English fluency (and conversation) a part of their lives, or (iii) who have one foot in a foreign country for some other reason (business links, family link, or they went to university in the U.S., etc.).

Often enough in Taiwan, it seems that you meet more Chinese people who went to school abroad (and returned) than actual foreigners --and that suits me fine. Those are, also, very often the type of local-yet-cosmopolitan people that I’d want to meet.

I met a remarkable number of (interesting) bilingual people on the mainland in Kunming (昆明) despite that town being very much landlocked, isolated and under fairly heavy political repression at the time.

It will be many years before I can really offer an interesting conversation in Chinese, so those are the types of characters I try to seek out (online or offline).

I’m also willing to do the usual “language exchange” with university students, but it’s a tricky thing to find university students who would really find that rewarding (some think they would, but, really, they find it boring once they try, etc.).

I’m aware that I’m looking for some kind of minority of people with some kind of common ground, and I’m open minded about it. I have experience elsewhere in China, and elsewhere in Taiwan.

I don’t have much in common with other expats, for the same reasons that expats rarely have much in common with each-other (e.g., a water-quality engineer from England may have nothing in common with a land-surveyor from Denmark, etc. --you tend to get a random assortment of specific trades “roped in” by expat contracts, and they may have no special interest in Taiwan, Asian politics, etc.). It is what it is.[/quote]

You are in Taiwan now, so why the ‘the Chinese bit’?


#24

I’ve been in Tainan for close to three months and will be shipping out in a couple of weeks. I hardly met anyone at all here despite going out to several of the bars and clubs mentioned in this thread. The expat scene is really laidback around here. Didn’t really care for it, to be honest. I found Taipei way too slow for my taste so Tainan feels downright somnolent. That’s okay; those who like a slow pace of life are welcome to it.

Apart from all the historic cultural stuff there are many good local restaurants, cafes, and little hole-in-the-wall breakfast shops, ice cream stalls, etc., though you will need to be smart about finding such places. One way is to treat the city like one giant night market, ride around slow and try any place that has a crowd or a line-up. Like most Taiwanese cities there are endless secrets to be uncovered… if you’re into that kind of thing.

I think the main reason to move to a place like Tainan is to experience more of the “real” Taiwan. You’ll get way more out of the experience if you have some level of Chinese proficiency, of course. I moved here to challenge myself to get outside of the Taipei bubble more than I have been. It has been good and bad. Good in the sense that I’ve been fairly productive, bad in the sense that I don’t go on as many long bike rides as I did in Taipei.

Actually, if anything, living in Tainan for three months simply enhanced my opinion of Taipei. It’s actually a very livable city with lots of awesome stuff within an hour’s travel time. Now if we could just do a little something about the rain…


#25

Anyone know a nice bed & breakfast in Tainan?


#26

I now have a section on my blog for stuff to do with Tainan. Some of it is quite personal but there are other articles that provide more general recommendations. In case this is of use to anyone out there…
synapticism.com/places/taiwan/tainan/

If you’re looking for working cafes in Tainan this might be of help:
synapticism.com/tainan-working-cafes/


#27

How to eat like a local in Tainan (even if you don’t know much or any Chinese):
synapticism.com/how-to-eat-like- … in-tainan/


#28

Xeno these links are great. Thank you!


#29

I’m in Tainan BTW. In case anyone wants a drink.


#30

so… really interested in both of these. bikes and vinyl. and i cant find said bar on the maps… i know its been a few years… but…
Dongmen road only shows up in Kaohsiung for me… and never crosses any railroad tracks…

(moving to Tainan this june to study chinese at NCKU for a year, than prob master in Lingusitics, so ill b around for 3 yrs, before moving to Taipei to hopefully master or PhD in sustainable architecture at NTUT. so… anotehr 5-7yrs. :wink:
I will be comeing with my wife and 2.5 and 4yr old daughters.
pleased to meet yall…

i love cycling. and motorcycles. and modding cars.
im a photographer, linguist and chef. love cooking and learning new things (incl. dishes)
i also enjoy meeting people, learnin culture and sharing stories.

hello future fellow Tainanese!
and yes. lets bring this thread back to the present


#31

Has the picturesque city lived up to its reputation?


#32

It’s pretty nice. Really enjoy biking down random alleys.
Too much time spent sorting family things to fully enjoy tho…


#33

Tainan is great.
The city streets are a haven for eating all kinds of goodies.