Monthly Archives: June 2016

A farmer’s birthday

The wife, a no-nonsense woman, was dreading the party. She is vegan and the food for the party was, “how say in English” , she showed me a translation on her phone: ‘queer, peculiar, strange’. I saw her point later … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The tea tales

On a whim and a prayer yesterday, I took the train up to Luye, a small fruit and tea-producing town in the east Taiwan foothills. The abstract map I had in my possession showed it was a short walk to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Singing to the sea

A short bicycle ride from Taitung city centre, I found myself the only person on the grey sandy beach, between crashing waves and screaming cicadas. It was midday and over 30 degrees. Swimming or sunbathing are obviously not a popular … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

To talk of thighs

Yesterday I took a bus into town. It was a challenging experience, partly because I didn’t know how to say where I wanted to go to, but mainly because I didn’t know where I wanted to go to. Perhaps I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An evening in a Taiwan Hostel

The loss of a common language has been one of the hardest things about coming to Taiwan, but the sudden disappearance of common sense can be the most humiliating. Examples include not knowing how to use the toilet -I googled … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Taiwan Trip So Far

The tea is cold, and I don’t mind. I have taken my trousers off and no-one has screamed. In theory,  cars and scooters drive on the right, but generally stick to the middle, or even the left or pavement  if … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How not to climb Tsukuba-san: Pottery stop

I have been working on a book for a few years now, a guide actually: How Not To Climb Mountains. I am skilled at the basics: wait for the worst weather, never take a map and always go alone. Today I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments