The e-mail address might be faster than a sky lantern, should you want to send me private correspondence. I do have a very soft spot for sky lanterns, though I hear there’s an ordinance against them in Taipei, so you probably shouldn’t fire one up for me.

I make no promises to answer any and all random questions (though I can dodge quite elegantly at times, if I do say so myself).

If you’d just like to say hello, leave your thoughts or critique on the blog in general, scrawl your name through a heart to say that you were here, pass on an interesting link, recommend a place for yummy dumplings or amazing art, gather to gang up on me and get me to make you brownies, or give me a present of your own creation, comment below!


46 Responses to “Say Hello…”

  1. 2 B
    August 8, 2007 at 6:29 am

    Where u headed next? Take my ass!! Hahaha..


  2. 3 Shelley
    September 21, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Ran across your site while taking a trip back in time to Taiwan, via the Internet. I was born in Taiwan in 1959 and lived there, off and on, for a total of ten years. I left when I was 15 and will always remember how amazing the experience was. I’m at a place now, financially, where I can go back, and will. Your site, photographs and links are getting me closer.

    Thank you.

  3. September 24, 2007 at 4:03 am

    Shelly– I’m so glad that my site is helping to inspire you to come back to Taiwan. It truly is a vibrant, amazing place. It has changed a lot since you left, but it still has the same scent of incense slipping out onto the street every now and then. I hope you do make it back soon!

  4. 5 Judy
    October 12, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    Hi, Came across you site while searching for other information. I really enjoyed your pictures. My mother’s family is from Changhua/Yuanlin area. Although, I was born in the states I spent most of my summers in Taiwan with my grandparents in countryside so in many ways it always feels like “home” when I go for a visit. My last visit was last year–the sight, sounds, and smells of Taiwan evoked fond memories for me.

  5. October 16, 2007 at 5:17 am

    Hi Judy–I’m so glad you liked the pictures! Taiwan has fond memories of my grandparents too. It certainly can latch onto you, though I’m a bit sorry that my visits as a child were only during the sweltering summers, missing out on the fireworks and lanterns of New Year. If you ever get the chance, it’s definitely very different and lots of fun to be in Taiwan during Lunar New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival (though be prepared for traffic if you decide to brave the highways.)

  6. 7 hsin
    October 21, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    Oops, realized a bit too late that THIS was the proper area to make a random comment.


    I was wondering, what kind of work are you doing in Taiwan? I’m a xiao hua qiao (meaning I was born in Taiwan but moved to the states early) and I’m thinking about going back to Taiwan. I have a US teaching license and a BA from university, so I was thinking about teaching English…except I heard that it’s pretty hard for Asians to be taken seriously as “real” English speakers. Have you found this to be so? What kind of work do you recommend looking into (I’m graduating this year, so entry-level on…everything). I appreciate any tips you can give me, thanks!

  7. 8 Idetrorce
    December 15, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  8. 9 bil..
    June 18, 2008 at 10:30 am

    give us more play time~~~~~~~~~~~~ha

  9. June 19, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    I’m so generous because I’m the awesomest teacher ever… I’ll give you two whole months!!! How does July and August sound to you??


  10. 11 yannie
    June 24, 2008 at 6:13 am

    Hi just wanted to say you have a really great site! I love your entries on the stuff you saw in TW, its history, culture and the occasional tw vocab ^^. I stumbed upon it while searching for advice on meeting the boyfriend’s mother.. and yes their family is Taiwanese @_@ I’m Chinese myself from Hong Kong can speak english and cantonese and only the least bit of mandarin let alone anything half fluent in taiwanese!!!

    I’ve learnt a few words in taiwanese from the guy but theyre pretty spoilt-toddler-one-worded-and-blunt-language which by no means polite or should be used when in conversation with the potential MIL T__T . If by any chance you are interested the list consists of:

    “bei” – want
    “bo ai” – dont want
    “hngeeh” – yes
    “mm see”/”bo” – no
    “bei tsai” – cant
    “ho wa” – give me (veryvery impolite!!!)
    “moarji” – mochi/daaifuku
    “jak bun” – eat dinner
    “bei ai bo” – want it?

    Ive only just found out i’m meeting the mother 2 days from now and i’m right in the middle of my exams (way to go boyfriend =_=).. any essential tips on older traditional Taiwanese folks (manners/rules) to not making an idiot of myself?

    Reply or not i’ll stay tuned to your site :p thanks heaps,

  11. June 24, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Hi Yannie! Thanks for the little primer… I’m pretty set for my impolite Taiwanese vocabulary of the potty-training age, but you did teach me a few things!… πŸ˜‰

    I’ll see if I can remember any tips for you and post them on the blog!

    Good luck!

  12. 13 discoverynarrative
    June 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Stumpled across your site while looking at tags in wordpress. You have a great blog and the fact that you enjoy both Jonathan Carroll and Neil Gaiman warms my heart. Carroll is my favorite writer. πŸ™‚

  13. 14 discoverynarrative
    June 25, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    er, stumbled…

    staci/ πŸ™‚

  14. June 25, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Hi discoverynarrative-

    Thanks for your kind compliment on the blog! I must confess that I still have to read Carroll’s books– I’m a huge fan of his blog though. He writes vignettes so perfectly. That, and the poetry he puts up often shakes me up.

  15. 16 Beck
    August 17, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Hi there. I notice you have some info about learning Chinese on your site. A very useful site for anyone interested is where there are some very easy to follow Chinese lessons with audio.

  16. August 17, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Hello! Found your blog while looking for something else — isn’t that always the case? I’m a Taiwanese American as well. My most recent visit to Taiwan was in March. You can see some of my blog entries on the trip at:

    See you around!

  17. November 2, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    This is a very small world indeed. I invited a woman – I know from long ago -for tea last week Saturday, and she told me about her cousin… sorry, but…
    Dear Linda, i guess I am confusing you. But I enjoy your site.
    I’ll tell about my writing of Oikos vs Polis (fancy words?), since I am talking with an acadimea I should use fancy words.

  18. 19 Sue
    November 4, 2008 at 7:02 pm


    You might be interested in this new blogsite:

    Always a pleasure to read your blog!

  19. 21 Hanzu-a
    November 10, 2008 at 2:10 am

    Hello meiguotaiwanren,

    I stumbled upon your website among links to political Taiwanese blogs, so I was expecting to find entries on student protests and rallies. Instead I found a website that pays attention to the dimensions of human observation – you have written about your experiences in Taiwan in a way that describes the appeals of Taiwan, whether the subject is the landscape, flora, fauna, or its people. Your photos have a certain nostalgic value to them, but I think the most striking part is that without the descriptions, most of these pictures could be from anywhere else in this world… a piece of still life that is spiritually conductive. From your statements it is clear that you enjoy living life to its fullest, which is no small achievement.

    I imagine that the feeling of being “out of place” somewhere is not too uncommon. What really makes the difference is our willingness (or capable means) to find somewhere through which we feel comfortable. It wasn’t until I took some Taiwan-related college courses that I decided the awkwardness I felt being in the US was more of a cultural divide than a misunderstanding of this particular society. I don’t think there’s a “best country in the world,” just places that are more suitable for people with different tastes.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences within Taiwan; for such a small country there are too many great places to visit.

    • February 9, 2009 at 9:31 am

      Dear Hanzu-a,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I think one of the reasons to travel is to get to know other places rediscover yourself in the process. I’ve learned that there are certain elements that make me feel at “home” in small towns, cities, fields, mountains, and beaches, in the US, Taiwan, France, and Malaysia, though I’ve yet to find the confluence of all three!

      I’m so glad you enjoy the blog. Thanks again for sharing your insights.

  20. November 21, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Hello, I’m Anahi, I am Mexican.
    some years ago (2005) I was in Taiwan, specifically in Tainan County in a dance festival Nanjin Festival
    Enjoy a lot to know Taiwan, now that I found this site, it seems to me to remember everything i learned in Taiwan.

    I also like very much to write and take pictures but I’m an amateur.

    I liked very much your blog, I would like to keep in touch.

    • February 9, 2009 at 9:19 am

      Hi Anahi! I didn’t know there was a dance festival at Tainan county– another reason to go back now I guess. As another amateur who loves to write and take pictures, I’m so glad you enjoy the blog. I wish my Spanish was better so I could fully appreciate yours. Thanks for saying hello!

  21. March 20, 2009 at 3:12 am

    I recently had the good fortune of visiting Taiwan with my wife, who is a native of Kaohsiung. It was fantastic. Lovely, friendly people, great food, beautiful places, and I can hardly wait to come back and do more exploring. We visited Taipei, and several smaller cities while there, but I loved Kaohsiung the most, probably because it reminds me of my hometown and the Port of Baltimore. I hope we can get there at least once a year, and next time I want to stay longer and see more of the mountains and eastern coast.

    Best wishes from Baltimore!

    • March 26, 2009 at 10:43 pm

      Thanks Mike! The mountains and the eastern coast ARE wonderful. Kaohsiung is a lot of fun. I had a stroll on the Love River with my family there a while back. I’m glad you had fun while you were there. πŸ˜€

  22. 27 pingtunggirl
    April 3, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Hi, meiguotaiwanren.

    I really reading the entries on your blog, which I stumbled across while looking on some political stuff. I was born in Pingtung, and moved to the US some 30 years ago. Now, I’m planning to take my family back to Taiwan for a school year so my children can really learn Mandarin and Taiwanese. (Yannie’s vocab list–from 6-24-08–cracked me up!) My daughter loves to say “ja-bbunnnggg”–eat dinner, which Yannie spelled “jak-bun.” There’s no good romanization of all the different vowels of Taiwanese, let alone the tones which change depending on context. Taiwanese is so much more complex than Mandarin.

    I’ve been grappling with the idea of a Taiwanese identity, both on the political level and on a personal level. In my case, I was Taiwanese first as a child, then at one point I became American, or more American than Taiwanese. And now, a few more years later, it’s a little like the needle on the dial is swinging back to the Taiwanese side, or at least I’m more aware of my Taiwanese roots. Every few years I seem to find myself adjusting my sense of who I am. I enjoyed reading your Who Am I piece.

    • April 21, 2009 at 3:40 am

      Hi Pingtung girl!

      Thanks so much for commenting. Contemplating my own Taiwanese identity, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. I’m glad to hear that your kids will get the chance to really learn Mandarin and Taiwanese. I think I would have appreciated that opportunity, though I’m sure it will be an adjustment.

      I guess identity evolves over time, whether it’s figuring out the Taiwanese side, or whether I’m going to really be a grown-up! I do wish that Taiwan could have its own identity valued and recognized culturally and politically.

      In any case, I wish you and your family a wonderful time getting back in touch with Taiwan. Drink some bubble tea for me!

  23. 29 Ed Rockland
    June 16, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Joyce, and here I thought you were just a little girl who liked to write about cats and dogs who talked… thank you so much for sharing this blog….

  24. 30 Dan
    November 13, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I visited Taiwan last month and your great photos and stories on your blog make me want to go back. Thanks for posting this.


  25. 35 john
    January 20, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Hi meiguotaiwanren,

    I am a meiguoren myself and recently started dating a girl from Taiwan.
    I know a little Guo yu and so we might visit Taiwan together in the summer.
    ( I can’t believe anyone would prefer McDonald’s to the night markets!)

    Since valentines day is coming up I thought I’d ask if you might have any
    ideas for a special gift. She’s very much into Japanese culture and Cape No. 7
    is her favorite movie of course. Is now the right time or should I wait for
    the 7-7 holiday for something extra special?

    peace – john

    • January 22, 2010 at 7:09 pm

      Hi John,

      I would never *prefer* McD’s to night markets (esp. after watching Super Size Me, though I did find McD’s slightly more conveniently located to and from dance class, though it managed to negate all the hopping about I did in dance class πŸ˜› )– I’ve been longing for an oyster pancake lately.

      I’m absolutely the entirely WRONG person to be anyone’s gift guru unfortunately (several toddlers hopping about while their baby blankets have yet to be pieced together could attest to this). I’ve managed to miss Cape No. 7, so have no real reference to base a recommendation on… (Though Hello Kitty chopsticks can double nicely as hair sticks, but that’s probably just me and probably not in the “something extra special” category.)

      As far as timing goes– my experience is that most people enjoy presents whenever they can get them, so 2/14 or 7/7 or any time you happen to run into something lovely in-between might work. (Though I do remember feeling that 2/14 was more commercial than 7/7, which may have been because I wasn’t in major dept. store vicinity for 7/7). For something extra special– a personal day like an anniversary could be good too… As long as you’re a thoughtful sweet significant other, I’d think that’s the most important thing (and obviously by posting the above, you must be!)

      Best of luck!

      /end advice guru attempt
      + additional disclaimer– I’m really truly terrible at gifts (which is very not good Taiwanese-ish of me, since after all, it’s very much a gift-giving culture), so if anyone else has better feedback, do post!

  26. 37 Helen Liu
    January 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Hello, anyone and everyone who cares about Taiwan’s future.


    Prominent political figure Peng Mingmin ε½­ζ˜Žζ• to speak at the University of Oregon, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 at 3:30 pm. A very rare opportunity to hear him speak here in the US.

    If you would like to see the flyer for more info, email me


  27. 39 Li Yun
    August 15, 2010 at 6:29 am

    I saw your website as I was researching on Taiwan..It’s my first time and I really don’t know when is the best time to go!

    All I know about Taiwan is shopping for cosmetics, skincare, bags, shoes… But I was hoping to see another side of Taiwan.

    I was wondering if you can recommend a few farms for me to pluck these fruits: mangoes and apples? Which is the best month/date to go for fruit plucking?

    Please email me!!
    Thank you!!!

  28. 41 sabri bora
    October 6, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    wo yaw showey jongo howa wo howey i din diyen jongo howa keshi bu huwey ni yen gin sheh wo yaw book with bo po mo fo thank you

    • December 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm

      Sorry for the late response, sabri– I think your comment is asking about the bo po mo fo book. You should be able to find bo po mo fo books and classes to train foreigners in Chinese at the school sponsored by a children’s newspaper– the Mandarin Daily News ( )– it’s close to Shida, a short walk from Gongguan station. Otherwise, if you check Eslite ( ) or PageOne bookstores in Taipei, they generally have sections for learning Chinese. I’m pretty sure I picked up the books I self-studied from at Eslite. The children’s section of the bookstores will have bo po mo fo books, but without the English for comprehension by foreigners. Good luck!

  29. 43 Dragunfleye
    April 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Born in Taiwan 1971. Mother was a native. She passed away last year and I am now researching to write a book about her.

  30. March 4, 2015 at 1:21 am

    My girlfriend is from tiawan yang sha I am finding it really hard to communicate I want to learn every word she loves me so very much

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