Earlier this month, I stumbled upon a farm in the middle of Taipei: It was surprisingly... pastoral: Believe it or not, this farm is on the National Taiwan University (NTU) campus! I was heading to the student center for an appointment that day and the path Google Maps told me to take was under construction,… Continue reading The Japanese Roots of Taiwanese Rice 🍚 (And Its 30 Years of R&D)
The first time I went to Yilan was when I was a child. I went with my family, including my cousins and aunts/uncles. In fact, this trip is still one of my most distinct childhood memories! We had gone to Yilan to "play with water" (玩水), i.e. have fun in a river park. A part… Continue reading Yilan Trip Highlights (Toucheng Old Town, Jiaosi Hot Springs, Yilan City)
"Vestiges of Imperialism" (일제 강점기의 잔재) is a very charged term here. It has been grounds for a variety of controversial actions, from the 2014 banning of a song with the Japanese word for "shiny" in it to the demolition in 1995 of the former Japanese General Government Building (조선총독부 청사), at the time home… Continue reading GUNSAN 군산: An Ambivalent Home to Many “Vestiges of Imperialism”
On a family trip to Canada, we stopped by the Montreal Chinatown, where my dad tried to order dinner in Mandarin. The waiter embarrassedly admitted that he couldn’t understand, saying, “Only Cantonese, English, and French sir.” This was not the first time I saw the predominance of non-Mandarin Chinese languages in Chinese communities outside of… Continue reading Why do Singaporeans speak Mandarin?
Visiting Singapore means that I’ve now completed my pilgrimage to all Four Asian Tigers—South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. (I hate the term, “Asian Tigers,” and all its orientalist baggage, but I must admit it does sound more dramatic. haha) Anyways, Singapore was the second and final leg of my mind-blowing week-long trip. In… Continue reading Musings on Singapore
Up until now, the most diverse country I’d been to in this corner of the world was Taiwan. Compared to Japan and Korea, where most people speak Japanese and Korean, Taiwan is way more diverse. My parents call home to their parents in different languages; my mother in Hokkien, and my father in Hakka. To… Continue reading Halo Halo: Thoughts on the Philippines