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December 08/ January 09, Volume 9, Issue 4

cover story

An Artist’s Diary Man yue Auspicious Symbols – Qilin Wine and Shellfish ICRT Morning Show Team Wins Award A Walk on the Wild Side Winter Changes


December 08/January 09 volume 9 issue 4


6 National Theater & Concert Hall December ‘08/January 09 Richard Recommends 7 Cultural Corner Man Yue 8


Traditional Art Auspicious Symbols - Qilin

10 outlook A Cry for Help 12 fine dining Wine, Shellfish: No Easy Match 14

TAIPEI PEOPLE ICRT Morning Show Team Wins Golden Bell Award

16 Environment Heartwarming Holiday Cheer


17 Charity Animals Taiwan 18 AROUND TAIPEI A Walk on the Wild Side 20 COVER STORY An Artist’s Diary 23 Book Review America America 24


25 Charity Orphanage Club 26


Health Winter Changes

27 Chinese Kitchen Cooking Wine 28 Community Overseas Trailing Talent

ECCT Better Living Forum

29 Center gallery 30 Center Courses December 08/January 09 32 Community Events/ Worship Directory


33 Community Groups 34 postcard perfect

Cover Image: Jayne Dyer

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Letter From The Editor

Publisher: Managing Editor: Editor: Co-editor: Graphic Designer & Production Manager: Writing and Photography Contributors:

Community Services Center, Taipei Steven Parker Roma Mehta Richard Saunders Katia Chen Daniel L. Altschuler Amy Liu Animals Taiwan Lawrence Newton Brian Asmus Orphanage Club Susie Brand Steven Parker Tim Budden Richard Saunders Kris Carlson Denise Shepherd Ivy Chen Neil Wade Jayne Dyer Karen Wei Julie Lanshe Katherine Young Paula B. Lee 0926 956 844 2835 2530

Advertising Manager: Tel: Fax: email: Community Services Center Editorial Panel: Siew Kang, Fred Voigtmann

Printed by: Farn Mei Printing Co., Ltd. 1F, No. 102, Hou Kang Street, Shilin District, Taipei Tel: 02 2882 6748 Fax: 02 2882 6749 E-mail:

Community Services Center

Director: Steven Parker Office Manager: Grace Ting Counselors: Suzan Babcock, Kris Carlson, Amy Chang, Jennifer Chang, Perry Malcolm, Shirley Peng, Eva Salazaar-Liu, Cynthia Teeters, Jay Wilson Newcomer Orientation Program: Accountant: Taipei Living Editor: Program Coordinator: Events Coordinator: Chinese Teacher:

Amy Liu Monica Cheng Sharon Raju Robyn McDougall Paula Lee Gloria Gwo

Volunteers: Alison Bai, Celiane Camargo Borges, Janell Colon, Cherie Huang , Sharon Jagger, Helene Marwood, Deb Meyers, Scott Moses, Gloria Peng, Laureen Rivet, Rachel Van Haeff, Bunny Pacheco, Desta Selassie, Terri Tiland, Lillian Yiin Premier Sponsors: 3M Taiwan ANZCham B & Q International Bai Win Antiques BP Taiwan Breitling China American Petrochemical Co. Ltd. Concordia Consulting Costco Crown Worldwide Movers Ltd ECCT Four Star International Trading Grand Hyatt Hotel, Taipei HSBC ICRT Metacity Development Corp. Nan Shan Life Insurance Co. Ltd Nike Golf Nokia ProQC Studio International Siemens Standard Chartered Bank, Taipei The Community Services Center (CSC) is a non-profit foundation. CSC provides outreach and early intervention through counseling, cross-cultural education and life skills programs to meet the needs of the international community in Taipei. CSC offers the opportunity to learn, volunteer, teach and meet others. Check out our website and drop by the Center to chat with us about our programs. You can also email us at

Roma Mehta Editor

Richard Saunders Co-editor

Paula Lee Advertising Manager

Katia Chen Designer

Dear COT readers, Welcome to another fun-packed issue of Centered on Taipei. As we enter the busiest months of the season we have tried to make selections of topics that would provide a bountiful feast of Taipei culture, events, food and entertainment balanced with a respectful regard for our health and our environment. We welcome suggestions from our readers on topics that may be of interest to the international community in Taipei, so please do write to us. In his regular column Richard Saunders presents an overview of some rich and varied classical performances to herald the festive season and the New Year. In Amy’s Cultural Corner this month, Amy Liu explains the traditional customs surrounding the first important event in a new-born’s life: the man yue or celebration for one-month-old babies. Another tradition, that of gift giving, is taking on a whole new meaning these days with organizations such as Kiva and Seva. Katherine Young introduces alternatives that truly symbolize the idea of ‘gifts that keep giving’. Siew Kang and Susie Brand continue our Auspicious Symbols series with the qilin, a magnificent mythological creature that many of you may be familiar with. Julie Lanshe shares a heartwarming Christmas tale about how their new cat, Leon got his name. Still on the subject of animals, artist Tim Budden unwittingly takes a walk on the wild side when he sets off on a hike in the mountains surrounding Taipei. His encounter with a wild beast inspired a silk cutting that would make a great conversation starter. Jayne Dyer, an Australian resident artist at the Taipei Artist Village gives us an inside view of her rather more gentle experiences living and working at TAV studios. On a more serious note, Kris Carlson’s Outlook article is about cutting and the social and emotional consequences associated with this behavior. Daniel Altschuler prepares us for the change in weather by giving us some winter survival tips to help endure the cold temperatures. In Chinese Kitchen this month, Ivy Chen shares some of her recipes with rice wine, and while enjoying some more Fine Dining, Brian Asmus consults with Bill Marinelli at the Grand Hyatt Taipei to discover the secrets of that difficult pairing, wine and shellfish. This month Brian Asmus also brings us an interview with Rick Monday and the ICRT Morning Show Team, who have won the Golden Bell Award for community service. Finally, Lawrence Newton reviews America America, an apt selection for reflection during these remarkable times in this country’s history. At The Center, there are plenty of activities to choose from. Come and join us for our Wednesday coffee mornings, drop in to browse the Gallery or try out any of our regular courses. At The Center, the doors are always open for you. Centered on Taipei is a publication of the Community Services Center, 25, Lane 290, ZhongShan N. Rd., Sec. 6, Tianmu, Taipei, Taiwan Tel: 2836 8134, fax: 2835 2530, e-mail: Correspondence may be sent to the editor at Freelance writers, photographers and illustrators are welcome to contact the editor to discuss editorial and graphic assignments. Your talent will find a home with us! Copyright 2008. All rights reserved. Material in this publication may not be reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner. Centered on Taipei is printed on 50% post consumer waste content stock. We have also replaced the glossy laminated cover with a softer aqueous based resin coating which makes it easier to recycle. By committing to post consumer paper stock we support the market for recycled fibers and reduce environmental impact. Recycling paper uses 60% less energy than manufacturing paper from virgin fiber. "Every ton of recycled paper saves enough electricity to power a 3 bedroom house for an entire year." (

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December 2008 – January 2009

Recommends Richard Saunders

ecember at the CKS National Cultural Center sees visits to these shores by more of the great and famous of the classical music world, which set me thinking about what exactly it is that captures the imagination of the public about certain musicians. This month sees a solitary recital visit (on Boxing Day) by pianist Lang Lang, who’s cultivated the kind of worldwide fan base more commonly seen worshipping rock stars. Mr Lang is certainly a very fine pianist, but he’s gone down just about the only avenue a classical musician can go if he wants to make any serious money: blatant commercialism, which never rests well with the making of ‘serious’ music. Amid all the fan-clubs, dedicated websites and other hype it’s difficult to assess his real worth without being accused of attacking him out of musical snobbery or good old-fashioned jealousy, so except for saying I’m not a fan, I won’t even try, and speedily move on instead to the other stand-out pianist in town this month. Top class, front row tickets to the recital performance of Pascal Roge on December 2nd are predictably considerably cheaper than a similar seat at Lang Lang’s recital, because most people don’t know him, but the lower profile Roge is by no means a lesser artist. He’s commonly regarded as one of the greatest of exponents of French piano music alive today, and exclusively French music is just what he plays this time in Taipei, for which he’s chosen a wondrous concoction of pieces by Faure, Poulenc, Satie and Ravel, finishing up with Debussy’s magical second book of Preludes. One artist who’s managed to become world famous without sacrificing an ounce of dignity or musical integrity is the fabulous Anne Sofie von Otter, who makes a rare appearance on these shores on December 12th with ‘her Merry Swedish Gentlemen’ for a relaxed program of music on the theme of Christmas. On a more solemn note, so to speak, the eminent German conductor Gunther Herbig is back in town for a performance of one of classical music’s most shattering masterpieces: Bruckner’s immense Eighth Symphony. This work is vast in every way: running almost ninety minutes in length, the work, like all Bruckner’s other symphonies, is a majestic tribute to the master’s unflinching religious belief, only for the first time, the elderly composer suffers a crisis of faith, ushering in a titanic emotional struggle. One of music’s most transcendental slow movements leaves the listener in no doubt that faith returns stronger than ever before the end of the work, but parts of the work are dark indeed, such as the unforgettably powerful scherzo and, above all, the terrifying end of the first movement. In a thoughtful piece of programming, the Bruckner is preceded by another piece preoccupied by death, an orchestral piece called Requiem by Japan’s greatest composer, Toru Takemitsu, who died in 1996. F i n a l l y, 2 0 0 9 i s w e l c o m e d w i t h a g re a t o rc h e s t r a l performance presided over by American Maestro Leonard S l a t k i n , w h o h a s c o m e u p w i t h a c r a c k i n g p ro g r a m combining the mysticism of English composer Gustav Holst’s famous suite, The Planets with more traditional New Year’s Eve fare: a selection of Viennese waltzes and polkas. Sounds like a perfect way to end the old year! 

National Concert Hall and National Theater NATIONAL CONCERT HALL

Ukrainian Children’s Choir of Odessa

Hymn of Praise, Song of Fate

Ukrainian and other folk songs, and Christmas music December 17

Music for voices and orchestra by Bruckner and Brahms December 1

Pascal Roge Piano Recital Works by Debussy, Poulenc, Satie, Faure and Ravel December 2 RR

Schubert G minor Mass December 3

Seeking the Yellow River Works for Chinese Orchestra December 4

Heavenly Symphony Bruckner’s mighty eighth symphony December 5 RR

Orchestral Concert Works by Richard Strauss and Spohr December 6

2008 Eurasia Charity Concert Works by Bizet, Vaughan Williams and Tchaikovsky December 8

Anne Sofie von Otter and her Merry Swedish Gentlemen The glorious mezzo sings songs for Christmas December 12 RR

Santa is Gone? Christmas musical December 19

Merry X’Jazz Dizzy Night A jazz band for Christmas December 24

Christmas Concert Orchestral music by Beethoven, Weber and Leroy Anderson December 25

Lang Lang Piano Recital Pieces by Debussy, Bartok and Chopin December 26

A Night of Brahms Brahms’ third symphony December 27

An Evening with Slatkin Conductor Leonard Slatkin is back with Holst, Korngold, Mozart and Johann Strauss December 31 RR

JANUARY HIGHLIGHT Symphonic Hero Slatkin (again) conducts Richard Strauss, Hindemith and Haydn January 4

Dancing Bohemia Orchestral works by Dvorak, Brahms and Tomasi December 14 RR: Richard Recommends

For full details, please log on to the Culture Express website at or take a copy of the monthly program from CKS Cultural Center, available from MRT stations, bookshops and ticketing offices. Publication of the National Theater and Concert Hall schedule in Centered on Taipei is sponsored by Cathay Life Insurance.

TICKETING OFFICES: • NTCH: (02) 2343 1647 • ERA: (02) 2709 3788


For more on Amy's Cultural Corner, please check out, phone the Community Services Center (02-2838-4947) or Email Amy Liu at or






Man yue

A celebration for one-month-old babies

ittle Maddie and Emma arrived at the Chinese restaurant where my younger sister was celebrating the first important event of their young lives: man yue (滿月), a celebration marking the end of their first month of life. The girls were wearing beautiful pink satin dresses with gold necklaces around their necks, and delicately engraved gold bangles on their cute little wrists. They were absolutely adorable; two beautiful live dolls. These two adorable guests of honor certainly attracted a lot of attention, causing a commotion at the party. The crowd that had been waiting inside the restaurant rushed to the new mother and father, offering congratulations and good wishes, and the twins were passed from one guest to the next on their public debut. Everyone wanted to touch them, hold them; everyone wanted to see if they look alike or if they look more like their handsome father or beautiful mother. Countless ‘red envelopes’ were tucked onto Maddie and Emma’s clothes and the designated ‘gift table’ was filled with mountains of beautifully wrapped gift boxes of all colors and sizes. The proud parents shared their experience as new parents and smiled non-stop throughout the lunch celebration as

everyone praised and sent wishes to the two beautiful infants. In Taiwan, it is customary to have a ‘welcome party’ for a newborn baby when he or she turns one month old. In the old days, the infant mortality rate was high, thus a baby was forbidden to go outside until a full month had passed after the birth. The new mother also used this one-month period to restore her health and energy (a period called zuo yue zi). It was believed that if the baby could survive through the first month, it was an event worth celebrating. Consequently, as the infant turned one month old, a party was thrown in his or her honor, an event which also marked the first time he or she was seen by other members of the family, relatives and friends. These days, this month of self-imposed incarceration isn’t always observed, but the man yue celebration remains a popular event. Everyone comes to join in this celebration when the baby’s formal Chinese name is introduced to the guests. The parents have to have a name for the newborn by this day at the latest. Proud parents may hold a man yue party at a fancy restaurant to introduce the latest addition to friends and relatives. Traditionally, due to the importance of male

children in Chinese culture, the celebration for boys was more e l a b o r a t e, b u t t o d a y (a n d f o r my generation) parties are given for babies of both sexes. Guests attending the party bring gifts. Hongbao, or ‘lucky money’ in red envelopes is the most commonly given gift as an expression of best wishes, good health and long life for the newborn. Clothes or jewelry, (most commonly gold necklaces, rings and bracelets) are also very popular, especially for baby girls. The guests don't leave empty h a n d e d, e i t h e r. P a r e n t s h a n d out red-dyed eggs symbolizing the changing process of life: the egg’s round shape symbolizes a harmonious life and unity, and it is red because this color is a sign of luck and happiness in Chinese culture. Besides eggs, in Taiwan food like sticky rice & chicken were once a common gift when the family had a baby boy, while for a girl cakes and sweets were given. In modern Taiwan, m an yue celebrations are less elaborate than in the past, and more and more choose not to have a party. Nonetheless, the new parents at least send friends and family a box of cake or candy announcing the new addition to the family.

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traditional art

Auspicious Symbols - Qilin text: Siew Kang images: Susie Brand

Q i l i n - a p o p u l a r f i g u r e i n Chinese mythology Does this vividly colored, prancing creature seem familiar to you? Perhaps you think you may have seen it somewhere, but just cannot place it? Well, chances are you have seen its likeness on a can of Kirin beer (from Japan)! Yes, Kirin is Japanese for qilin (pronounced 'chilin') - a most auspicious beast in Chinese tradition. According to Chinese mythology, the qilin is a benevolent and gentle creature that treads so lightly that it leaves no hoof marks. It is usually depicted with the head of a goat, the face of a dragon, the mane of a lion, the hooves of an ox, the horns of a deer, the body of a horse, the scales of a fish and a leonine tail. From its body emits a series of stylized flames. In decorations, the qilin is sometimes mistaken for a deer. The name qilin is actually made up of two words: 'qi' refers to the male (with horns), and 'lin' refers to the female.

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Boy riding on Qilin This ceramic figurine of a boy in princely garb riding on a qilin is a representation of the Chinese saying: qilin songzi - 'may the qilin bless you with illustrous offspring' - reflecting the popular folk belief in the qilin as a bringer of illustrious sons. Thus a qilin shown with a boy riding on its back is a common theme in paper-cut works and peasant paintings. The qilin is also considered a good omen that brings 'rui' ( blessings, prosperity, serenity), since tradition has it that it appears only during the reign of a noble and honorable ruler. In the Qing Dynasty, the qilin was also the emblem of the highest ranking military officer, as can be seen today in antique collections of Mandarin squares: the rank badges that were sewn on the breast of court robes in imperial China.

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A Cry for Help Text: Kris Carlson

“The 13-year-old girl rolls up her sleeve. She takes the blade in her right hand and draws it across her left wrist. She watches the blood start to flow. Then she does it once more. This is not a suicide attempt. The girl is sitting in a classroom at her school, surrounded by other pupils, some of whom look across to see her injure herself. She has taken the blade out of her pencil sharpener (another time, she might use her compass to puncture her skin, or even the end of her plastic ruler, gouging it back and forth across her wrists). She has cut herself, but not deeply. When healed, the marks up her arm or on her inner thighs may resemble the scratches made by a cat, or brambles, and perhaps you would think nothing of them. Anyway, she wears trousers and has long sleeves, and is careful not to let her cuts show.�

This story, drawn from The Observer of London, epitomizes what has become increasingly common throughout the world in the last two decades: cutting, an act of self-mutilation. While this behavior is incredibly frightening and seemingly inexplicable, this act of intentionally causing oneself harm, in fact, represents a way to cope with intense emotional pain. 'Cutting', as it is commonly known, is a widespread form of selfmutilation (there are others) and has seen a steady rise since the 1980s. Reports vary, but estimates suggest that between 1-4% of the general U.S. population (approximately 3,000,000 people) engages in some form of self-mutilation, with the highest concentration amongst high school and college students. All of this data is speculative however, as the secretive nature of this condition does not lend itself to thorough study. Public exposure of this condition has increased following the admissions of self-mutilation from celebrities like Princess Diana, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. These public


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admissions have done much to shed light upon this otherwise very private and painful phenomenon. Soothing of emotional distress According to the Children’s Health Encyclopedia, cutting/self-mutilation is 'the intentional destruction of tissue or alteration of the body done without the conscious wish to commit suicide, usually in an attempt to relieve tension.' Mental health professionals make clear distinctions between cutting/self-mutilation and actual suicidal behavior and while it is not the initial intention of cutting, suicide, in some instances, can result. The classic motivation of cutting is the cessation of pain, the soothing of emotional distress, and is almost always a cry for help and attention. Ultimately, the reasons for self-mutilation are as varied as the individuals who exhibit the behavior. Individuals who engage in cutting typically begin the behavior in their early teens, sometimes after a major change in their life. Females seem to outnumber males two to one in exhibiting this behavior. Research also suggests that a significant number of self-mutilators may have suffered past physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Self-mutilators tend to be high achievers with perfectionist tendencies and are well liked by others, but have difficulty emotionally expressing themselves and lack essential, interpersonal, problem-solving skills. According to Levenkron (1998), typical behavior signs include mood changes, avoidance of clothes exposing certain areas of the body regardless of weather appropriateness, avoidance of certain activities like swimming, carrying of sharp implements such as tweezers and razors, making excuses for bruises and scratches, and more secretive and increased conflict with friends. Social and emotional consequences Beyond the obvious negative consequences of cutting/ self-mutilation such as infection, disease and scaring, there also exist many social and emotional consequences. Teens who engage in cutting behavior may be ostracized by their peers and misunderstood by their family and other significant adults in their lives, thereby increasing feelings

of self-loathing and negative emotions. Ultimately, self-mutilation is a maladaptive means of coping with stress and deep emotional pain, not unlike more common, less extreme behaviors such as comfort eating and nail biting. The act of selfmutilation provides a person with relief and comfort and is therefore an extremely difficult habit to break. When one cuts, one feels better, albeit for a brief period of time. Because this behavior can quickly become addictive and ingrained, it requires professional therapeutic intervention and ongoing psychological support. Trained therapists work closely with clients and their families in order to provide them with alternative, healthy coping mechanisms to process emotional stress and pain while also helping the clients deal with any other issues that have lead to this behavior in the past. There are a variety of counselors at the Community Services Center who are trained and able to work with individuals who engage in self-mutilating behavior. It is important to seek professional help as soon as there is a concern.

Kris Carlson holds two master's degrees in social work and one in international relations. She specializes in children, teens and their families. Kris has worked in Taipei for six years, both at TAS and The Center.

RESOURCES Alderman, Tracy. The Scarred Soul: Understanding & Ending Self-Inflicted Violence. 1997. Bowman, Susan and Kaye Randall. See My Pain! Creative Strategies and Activities for Helping Young People Who Self-Injure. 2006. Conterio, Karen, Lader, Wendy and Jennifer Kingson Bloom. Bodily Harm: The Breakthrough Healing Program For SelfInjuries. 1999. Levonkron, Steven. Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming SelfMutilation. 1998. McVey-Noble, Merry E., Khemlani-Patel, Sony, Neziroglu, Fugen. When Your Child Is Cutting: A Parent's Guide to Helping Children Overcome Self-injury. 2006. Strong, Marilee. A Bright Red Scream: Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain. 1999. Vega, Vanessa. Comes the Darkness, Comes the Light: A Memoir of Cutting, Healing, and Hope. 2007.

For special rates please mention promotional code: AT-2

fine dining


Wine, Shellfish: No Easy Match By Brian Asmus images: courtesy of grand hyatt taipei

y eternal nemesis, British wine and food ace Mary Nicholls always warned me about pairing wine with the three following food items: asparagus (excessive acidity), eggs (sulfurous flavors) and oysters (off-the-chart iodine). As all three destroy wine she said, the wise gourmet knows how to take these chemical equations to heart, adding various other ingredients to balance the negative properties out. This, she would conclude with a gleefully evil laugh, allows the oenophile to continue his or her degustation or tasting (wink, wink; cough, cough). I recalled this conversation upon meeting the energetic, entertaining Bill Marinelli (aka the Oyster King) at a U.S. Agriculture Trade Office-organized function celebrating California wine. Marinelli, who does consulting for the Grand Hyatt Hotel, agreed with the assertion of wine master Nicholls, while revealing that he had just the trick for pairing oysters with wine. I was all ears. Lovely Luanne Li, marketing and communication manager at the Grand Hyatt Taipei Hotel, agreed to sponsor the seafood dishes. We invited Jeff Tzeng of Chateau Harvest and Joseph Chang of Ritch Media Inc. to participate. They supplied the following sparkling, white and red wines (alcohol levels by percentage are in parentheses): Schramsberg Blanc de Noir Brut Vintage 2004 (13.1 percent) Schramsberg Brut Rose Brut Vintage 2004 (12.9 percent) Whitehall Lane Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2007 (13 percent) L’Ecole No. 41 Semillon Columbia Valley 2005 (14.3 percent) The Evrie Vineyards Oregon Pinot Gris Williamette Valley (13 percent) Ste. Chapelle Winemaker’s Series Riesling Idaho 2005 (12 percent) Ponzi Pinot Gris Williamette Valley 2002 (13.5 percent) Hedges Red Mountain Reserve Washington 2000 (13.5 percent) Marinelli was going to throw down the gauntlet to our distinguished panel of tasters right off the bat. He served up three kinds of raw oysters from Washington State: Atlantic (fat, fleshy and sweet), Belon (delicate and flavorful) and Olympia (small and zippy). According to the Oyster King, white wines, including some sparkling varieties, with high acidity are recommended matches with oysters - but not on their own. He let us find out why. The Blanc de Noir became all iodine in the mouth; the Brut Rose took on tones of gummy sludgy scudginess; the Sauvignon threw out hard, flat, bitter minerals. All, including the others, produced elements of strong, nasty fishy oil. None of us were exactly smiling with culinary contentment. Obviously, something needed to be done to redress the horrible flavor combinations. Marinelli’s solution: mignonette. “Made of red-wine vinegar, shallots and black pepper, this dressing has been around for hundreds of years,” he shared. We lined up our glasses and set out to test


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the same oysters once again, this time with the dressing. As expected, the Blanc de Noir was a solid match, emitting highly attractive citrus zest (think of squeezing lemon or lime wedges) that ended in hints of sweet onion (shallots). The Brut Rose, however, was almost too sweet and fruity and in an unattractive Sweet Tart or Starburst candy kind of way. The Pinot Gris was smooth in the mouth, releasing metallic notes (copper, zinc) with a tweak of fruit. Its lighter body allowed the natural flavors of the oyster to come out, neither covering them with excessive fruit nor heightening them to the point where they became nauseatingly fishy. My only complaint with regard to the Semillon (nice v a n i l l a f l a v o r s) is that the wine turned a bit watery in the mouth, before dying in nice green wood notes.

We decided to soldier on. Again, we would try raw scallops just to understand the basics of the combinations before trying it as a ceviche (marinated with lemon juice and accented with shallot and coriander) as well as with a light wasabi soy sauce. All of the wines, except the Semillion (light vanilla, hints of wood) resulted in harsh bitterness. As to the ceviche, winners were the Semillon and both sparkling wines. To me, the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris were bitter, nasty and harsh; Marinelli and a few of the others were more impressed and disagreed with my assessment. Again, as Nicholls used to remind me over and over and over again: “Enjoyment of wine and food is highly subjective. What you smell, taste and feel may be totally different from me, but that does not make it wrong. Enjoy what you like. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.”

Chateau Harvest Ritch Media

Tel: 2721-6930 Tel: 2709-8180

The salt in the soy sauce pulled out smoky essences with the Semillon (I was really starting to like this wine and what it did to the food); the Pinot Gris offered up fruit notes. The sparkling wines were destroyed by the salty concoction; the Sauvignon Blanc (again, to me) was harshly bitter. As usual, we all found the Riesling far too sweet and cloying. The final test was Penncove clams from British C o l u m b i a a n d m u s s e l s f r o m Wa s h i n g t o n S t a t e accompanied by an aeoli sauce made from olive oil, egg yolks and garlic. The Semillon charmed with savory tanginess with the clams, but was in-your-face umami (think MSG flavors) with the mussels, but this dissipated with the second sip, transforming into delicious creams. Again, I hated the harsh bitter nastiness of the Sauvignon Blanc and the oily fishy smells that it seemed to bring out, but I was voted down on this by many of the others. The Riesling was too sweet with the aeoli; when the mussels and clams were paired with the soy wasabi sauce, however, the acidity of the wine disappeared entirely, leaving insipid bubble gum. A final word: While most people would not pair red wine with shellfish, I found the Hedges Mountain Reserve a good fit with the ceviche as well as the mussels with aeoli sauce. The tannins were reduced by the proteins and acids, leaving red cherry, raspberry and, what I would term, hints of tangerine and rhubarb. Brian is the director of Membership and Events at the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei and regularly writes freelance for a number of publications including several international travel guides. Brian has a particular affinity for food and wine and a soft spot for all things Argentinean.

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taipei CSC NEWS people

ICRT Morning Show Team Wins Golden Bell Award text: Brian Asmus images: susie brand


Rick Monday and his team on the Morning Show at International Community Radio Taiwan (ICRT) are friendly and familiar voices to not only resident expatriates but also numerous Taiwanese with a fondness for English-language broadcasts. It has become the undisputed leader in reaching out to the foreign community in Taiwan, and this is precisely why it won the Golden Bell for community service. The Golden Bell awards have recognized radio excellence in Taiwan for 43 years. While ICRT has been nominated before, this is the station’s first-ever win.


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there is one thing to learn about radio,” said Morning Show host Rick Monday, while recalling the words of his first mentor back when he was 14 and living in Killeen, Texas, “is that you need to support your community.” According to Monday, he learned early on that a small station like ICRT was never going to be able to compete, given the advent of satellite radio broadcasts. “If we were going to focus only on music,” he stressed, “our listeners were just going to tune into someone else. We needed to focus on the local community, providing it with the information and programming that suits its interests. Over the past four years, we have worked hard to carve out a niche in this area.” One day about a year ago, he approached fellow Morning Show colleagues Bill Thissen, Gavin Phipps and Liz Tsai about sending in an application to the Golden Bell. “I figured we might as well aim high,” said Monday. “We sent in six full days of unedited broadcasts. Four of these were from America Week, another was from Taichung and the sixth was on Einstein’s birthday, when we had Canadian Trade Office in Taipei Executive Director Ron MacIntosh, AIT Director Stephen Young and British Trade and Cultural Office Director Michael Reilly all on the same day.” Monday is also proud of the fact that he was able to get TSMC Vice President and General Counsel Richard Thurston to discuss the importance of Taiwan in the global economy, despite the company’s strict media policy. The Morning Show has also reached out to both the Blue and Green camps to keep its listeners well-informed about political developments on the island. For three days in a row, Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (KMT) was a guest. During another session GIO Director Hsieh Chi-wei and former legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (DPP) outlined their party’s foreign policy platform. Besides promoting itself as an information platform, the Morning Show, said Monday, has also actively reached out to the community. “Every year, we co-host a golf tournament with the European Chamber of Commerce Taipei (ECCT) to raise money for the Community Services Center. There is no “I” in Team One of the major contributing factors behind the Morning Show’s success has been strong teamwork. “When I come into work every day,” said Monday, “Bill, Liz and Gavin have already been there for an hour.” Broadcast journalist Liz Tsai reports that: “It has been a privilege and honor to work with seasoned radio personalities such as Rick, Bill and Gavin. They are a fantastic team because of not only their experience but also the camaraderie. It makes going to work a pleasant experience. The Golden Bell win was well-deserved as the Morning Show is a great program, and I am lucky to be a part of it.”

“Radio should be fun,” said Bill Thissen, broadcast journalist and host of the Sunday Night Jazz Program, ‘Flavors,’ "and working with Rick Monday on the Morning Show is just that.” According to Thissen, the Morning Show covers a lot of territory: on the one side, the news; on the other, topics of the day, interviews and a little humor. It keeps things interesting for me, and I hope for our listeners.” Part of the good-natured joshing that goes on is evident in traffic reporter Gavin Phipps’ comments: “I heard that the Golden Bell came with NT$100,000 cash, and I am still waiting for my NT$25,000!” Monday was equally keen to express his appreciation to the Morning Show’s loyal audience. “If the community did not support our format,” he emphasized, “we would be back to playing pop music and, in no time, we would be no different from anyone else. Then, it would not be long before people were tuning in somewhere else. I was very proud when many of the other winners of the Golden Bell award told me how much they liked our show. They also concluded that it was time for the ICRT dragon to wake up. Taiwan needs a good English-language radio station, and I hope that I and the team are able to provide that.”

Bizarre Facts Truth is often stranger than fiction, and that is also true of radio journalism. Monday, for example, was once held hostage for several hours in Killeen, Texas by a fanatic who intended to shoot him and blow up the radio station to attract the attention of cult leader Charles Manson, in hopes of being adopted into his family of nut jobs. “This was back in 1976, so I was 17 years old,” said Monday. “This guy came to the door and I opened it, thinking that he had a tape from the local military base at Fort Hood.” The whacko did have a tape, but it was one filled with instructions to the military to bow down and worship Charles Manson. “I tried to throw him out when I realized he was crazy, but he pulled out a gun and bashed me in the forehead.” Eventually, Monday’s mother sensed that something was amiss and called the police, who rescued Monday. This strange event is now part of R&R (Radio & Records) top 365 events in radio history.

dec 08/ jan 09



Heartwarming Holiday Cheer text: Katherine Young

"To share often and much . . . .To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


ith the holiday season upon us, some may be smiling contentedly contemplating loved ones’ delight upon receiving the thoughtful gifts already purchased perhaps. Others of us, however, are grimacing - far from finishing the gift search, we wonder when we will carve out time in the coming weeks to continue the search for 'perfect' presents. Wherever you may find yourself in the spectrum, let me offer you some meaningful alternatives to this annual gift quest. By choosing a gift which offers s u p p o r t a n d h o p e t o o t h e r s, we highlight an issue or people

with whom we feel an interest or connection. In choosing this special gift for a loved one, we share not only the true spirit of the season, but we shine a light onto a group or entity in need. Finally, by choosing from amongst a myriad of alternative gift-giving o p t i o n s o n l i n e, w e c a n a v o i d frantic last-minute purchases and the consumerism that pervades the holidays, and possibly even certain familiar laments - "Oh, what can I possibly buy my ________ this year.” If you are looking for a present for an animal lover, you might consider The Jane Goodall Institute or the

World Wildlife Fund. Both offer the opportunity to adopt an animal, a chimpanzee or any of ninety animals in need through the WWF. When my husband and I adopted a gorilla for our niece, we included the adoptee details in a picture book featuring gorillas. Imagine our delight when, other presents pushed aside, she sat immersed in the story. This gift winnowed the struggle of a species down to an individual animal, making the plight of gorillas more accessible and meaningful. Many organizations focused on community work allow one to earmark a gift to a specific cause. The Seva Foundation, for example,

RESOURCES • The Jane Goodall Institute: • World Wildlife Fund: • Seva Foundation: • Kiva: • The Just Give site, =animals&sponsId=&offset=0 (links to twenty two organizations focused on endangered animals.) • Visit the Treehugger site for ideas on how to create greener, more sustainable holidays.


dec 08/ jan 09

focuses on helping those less fortunate than ourselves by providing clean water and restoring sight (among other good causes) throughout the world. Seva has made it easy to give; you can send your gift with one of their beautiful images in the form of a card or an ecard. As one parent explains on the Seva site, the Gifts of Service seemed like a powerful way to connect her children to the idea of helping others, since even young children can identify with images, and that is enough to begin an important dialogue. In this instance, her four- and six-year-olds became so captivated by the idea of giving other children the gift of sight that they chose to have pirate parties for their birthdays so that they could wear patches and identify with the feeling of having sight only in one eye. Her children suggested that their friends donate to Seva rather than bring them gifts. Children and parents alike loved it – children were keen to help others and parents were delighted to have such a natural way to engage in conversations about sharing. K iva offers the opportunity to actually loan money to someone in need and follow the development of the project. Mohammad Yunus,

the founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, brought worldwide attention to micro-loans to the poor when he and the bank won the Nobel Peace Prize for “their efforts to create economic and social development f r o m b e l o w. ” B y b r i n g i n g microfinance to the Internet, one can browse descriptions of entrepreneurs in need of funds and to then, over t i m e, f o l l o w t h e i r a c t i v i t y a n d repayment. Entrepreneurs can be viewed by geographic region, gender or sector. A photo and a description accompany each individual or group, and there is even a journal where some individuals provide updates on their work. Each of these gifts personalizes need and serves to connect us to a specific person, animal or cause. There seems no better time than the holidays to give a gift that reverberates with hope and has as its goal the survival or well-being of another heart.

Katherine Young is interested in sustainable living and environmental issues.

What Goes Around Comes Around – The Ultimate Recycler Remember the Island of the Misfit Toys, made popular in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer? All those unloved, barely unwrapped toys are sent away to a lonely island - that is until Santa saves the day and distributes them to appreciative children. is the adult version! Freecyle provides the forum to rid yourself of any undesired or misfit items, though it also allows you to easily and freely accumulate more! (“no item is too small, weird, or lowly”). Go to the worldwide site www. and enter "Taipei, Taiwan" when asked to find a group. To see all the goodies, you have to join, at which point you are able to post your giveaways, and enquire about others. You can enter under the following categories, 'Offer', 'Wanted', 'Taken', 'Received.' A recent check found free office equipment, a child’s bed, and a tent among other things. A posting for a room full of office equipment merited more than a dozen replies in the span of a few hours, so all signs point to the sight being actively watched!

Save a Life! Hi, my name is Tiger. Please don't be misled by my name; I am one of the sweetest, gentlest dogs you will ever meet! I was named Tiger because of my fur color, which is tiger striped, but I don't really think that Tiger is such a great name for a girl dog, though. Perhaps you can think of a better name for me? Here is a picture of me with one of my best friends, Tripod. Tripod is the white dog with me in this picture. He got this name because he only has three legs. Tripod is also living at the Animals Taiwan Rescue Center and, like me, is looking for a home. But enough about Tripod. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. After my previous family left me to fend for myself, I took up with a kind lady near Shida University. I waited on her doorstep every day for her to come home and followed her around when she ran errands, which she thought was terribly cute. She enjoyed having me around, but knew that what I really wanted was a family, so she brought me to Animals Taiwan so they could help me find one. Now I am waiting


Adopt from AnimalsTaiwan

patiently for someone to give me a good home. I am very mellow, and would like to just sit quietly by your feet as you watch TV or use the computer. I'm out of my puppy years (I'm about 3 years old) and am very friendly and obedient. I will be a great dog for someone who wants a close companion without having to do a lot of training. A loving family is all I want, but I am able to give so much in return! Contact Animals Taiwan at inquiries@animalstaiwan. org or at 2833-8820.

dec 08/ jan 09


around taipei


ecently a photo in a local newspaper caught my eye. It showed a group of strapping young Paiwan tribesmen wrestling with a wild boar they had caught as part of a tribal celebration. Their porky catch brought back vivid memories of a quite different encounter that I had with a boar while walking in Taiwan’s mountains. It all happened one warm sunny day last December. My good friend Matt and I met up for our regular walk. Our previous walks had been very pedestrian affairs – a short stroll on Yangmingshan followed by a welcome coffee. Having already hiked many of Yangmingshan’s trails, I suggested somewhere new. Recently, on a visit to the Northeast Coast National Scenic Area I had seen a sign and found a map for a trail going inland from the coast, up a valley then returning to the coast road along a mountain ridge. Previous experience led me to believe it’d take an easy hour-anda-half to complete, but with the added attraction of sea views and salty air. Perfect….

It was such a memorable experience Tim made a silk paper cutting of it.

text: Tim Budden


dec 08/ jan 09

The point of no return A forty-minute drive from Taipei brought us to the small car park at the trailhead. On one side rolled gentle Pacific waves, on the other, mountains rose sharply. We set off along a paved track which climbed gently up to a weir over a small river, a jovial spring in our step. I teased Matt about his combat trousers and wide brimmed hat while I felt I looked ‘cool’ in my shorts and T-shirt. It was only later that I realized how sensible his attire was. Crossing the weir, our trail came to an abrupt end. A dangling rope invited us to pull ourselves up a steep bank leading to another track, narrow, overgrown and muddy. But hey what’s the matter with a little bit of an adventure? Previous walkers had helpfully tied coloured plastic strips to trees, so we followed them. The path gradually climbed the valley, green and lush with thick undergrowth. Up high, looking back, the ocean still seemed close, but a distinct line of cloud edged towards us. Resting and chatting, we were caught unaware by a dramatic whoosh of wind charging up the valley. Trees swayed wildly, the sky grew ominously heavy and dark, and maybe it was then that we should have turned back.

Found and lost Still following the fluttering plastic strips and two-thirds of the way up the other side of the valley, we came to some old stone ruins. There was a small Earth God shrine carved out of stone and it was on my map! Now we knew exactly where we were. Great! The map indicated we continue up so that’s what we did. Reaching the ridge top, we began to descend to where I thought the road might be. It was a steep trail, and the thick undergrowth clawed at my legs, but anticipating the nearness of the end of our walk numbed the pain. On reaching the bottom we came out onto a small flat meadow covered in tiny wild strawberry. A small river curved through the valley. “The road must be just around that corner,” I exclaimed, somewhat relieved. Struggling across the overgrown meadow, still following the unnervingly less frequent plastic strips, we found no road, just another twist in the river, another bend. There was now a hint of desperation in the air, but we persevered. Then the undergrowth became too thick for progress and I had to admit I was lost. Matt, however didn’t seem too worried and suggested we walk in the river. After all it flows down to the sea and would have to pass the coastal highway at some point! The river was shallow but rocky and slippery. Progress was very slow. At every bend our hopes were raised only to be dashed by the sight of another bend further on. Finally, with scratched legs stinging from the water and new bruises from the rocks, we sighted a white plastic strip next to what seemed like a path. The relief was palpable. This must be the path back to the road! I was sure I could even hear the rumble of heavy trucks nearby. The climb up the path was arduous but not impossible, exposed roots giving us foot holds, but luck was not with us - the plastic strips disappeared, undergrowth consumed the path and we ground to a halt. A dead end!!!

Matt suggested we arm ourselves with logs – not branches, not sticks but thick logs! There was nothing to hand, however and I certainly did not feel like fighting some tusked beast. Our options were limited - a dead end in front of us, the boar behind. My heart was pounding and the adrenalin was flowing. With the boar standing its ground there was only one way to go, and that was down, straight down to the river. With Matt following me, I grabbed a branch and, Tarzan- like, swung, dropped and swooped through the foliage; not quite a dignified retreat for two middleaged urban expats, but certainly effective. Standing back in the middle of the river, scratched amd bruised, our male egos in tatters, we calmed a little, falling into nervous laughter as we realized the beast was not following us. Soon, talk of our wilderness adventure revived our macho spirits. We continued our river trek downstream, finally glimpsing houses and 'civilization’ a few kilometers away. We thought about taking a path beside some cultivated land or diverting by a farm, which on closer inspection revealed a shack with fierce dogs, but we were so used to ‘our river’, we continued our watery path, even at one stage unfortunately having to wade through the farmhouse’s effluent of rotting chicken carcasses and stinking gray sludge.

Beating a retreat In the middle of discussions over what to do next a tremendously loud low grunt reverberated through the trees. Matt glanced back and there on the path behind us stood a wild boar, its massive frame partly hidden by the undergrowth, but its size chillingly clear. The first grunt seemed to serve as a warning. “You’re on my path. Move or face the consequences.” It stared at us and then there was a second emphatic grunt. We were trapped.

Many thanks to Michelle Miles for helping out with the editing.

Alive! The weather had really closed in by the time we reached journey’s end, one of the many tourist car parks that line the coastal highway. The sky was a formless dark gray, the wind was chilly and it had begun to rain. It was still seven kilometres back along the highway to the car; we were five hours late and that meant apologetic phone calls had to be made to worried spouses. On the other hand, there was certainly a victorious feeling between us that we had survived our titanic battle with the beast of the mountains and at the same had had one heck of a singular adventure!

Tim Budden is an artist and author whose ‘real’ job is as a publishing consultant. Despite living in Taiwan for almost twenty years, this was the first time he encountered something as wild as a boar.

dec 08/ jan 09


cover story

An Artist’s Diary Australian artist Jayne Dyer has been exhibiting and working in Asia since the early 1990s, and is now based in Beijing. Jayne is at the Taipei Artist Village for three months on an Asialink residency funded by Arts New South Wales and the Australia Council for the Arts. Her two-part project Treasured Possession and I Wish focuses on the issue of identity in Taiwan, Hong Kong, mainland China and Tibet. Black Friday shows at the Taipei Artist Village Gallery from December 5, 2008 to January 18, 2009 (check www. for more information). text & images: Jayne dyer

Just arrived. The Taipei Artist Village (TAV) facilities I glimpsed when I visited last year are even better 3 knowing I’m here for three months. A gallery, seminar, dance and recital spaces, even a dark room; I can already feel the TAV energy through their exhibition and performance calendar. My studio is a white space that is very 'gallery-ish' (fantastic for an artist), and different from my studio in the artists’ compound in Bei Gao, Beijing. Su Yaohua and the staff are dynamos - and Hsin has found me a trusty bike…. OCT

People often ask why and how artists maintain a cross-cultural practice. How does an artist establish enduring connections between seemingly disparate cultures? What changes in an artist’s practice when he or she lives and travels between two countries? What does it mean to be both an 'insider’ and an ‘outsider' in these cultures? OCT 3 (later)

My birthday. Taipei has me hooked, and the look of the place is so interesting - alleyways with little bars, great small local markets with all the things I need to make artwork spilling out the front, perfect as the project idea dictates my choice of media - photographs, sound, video, objects, installation and site-specific work. I cycled to the Jianguo flower market - wobbled back with five cyclamen-coloured orchids, each fractionally different. OCT


All day at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. The Taipei Biennial has some terrific videos that track issues, 5 especially Nicoline Van Harskamp’s take on the Christiana Development in Copenhagen, Liu Wei’s interviews, and who can resist The Yes Men? (to January 4, 2009) OCT




dec 08/ jan 09

Visit to TAV’s other site, Grass Mountain Art Village (GAV), once Chiang Kai-shek’s mountain residence. Very special, perched between the sky and the thermal

To Yongkang Street with Taiwanese artist Yin-Ju Chien tonight. As we 23 devoured two huge mango sorbets (three scoops and so much ice I thought I’d gone to Alaska!) she told me about the local women on Green Island who perform a traditional hair dance. Am planning to go. OCT

springs, and now under renovation, with three studios for local and international artists and plans for a gallery, the first in Yangmingshan National Park. Just back from Cloud Gate at the National Theatre – a piece called 9 Whispers of Flowers. Astounding union of dancers with the mirrored stage was simultaneously decadent and fragile – writhing, reflected bodies suggesting civilisation at the point of collapse. OCT



Bought a yoga mat yesterday.

Every day is unexpected. On my bike all day – first to the very biggest computer 12 complex ever at Zhongxiao Xinsheng MRT, six floors, full of whizz-bang stuff, plus endless stores in small winding streets with anything I'd ever want and haven't even thought of! Wanted a tripod for my camcorder and ended up with that and more. Then back to Jianguo for bunches of wild orchids (that look a bit like the 'egg & bacon' plant that grows wild in the Australian bush – when it crackles you know there’s a fire nearby). By luck wandered into Daan Forest Park and joined crowds of Taiwanese sampling all sorts of sweet and savoury delights. It was fantastic – little dishes of pickles and fish, creamy green tea to die for – went back for another taster, much to the interest of my sampling mates who decided to grab me and show me the best of the best, which meant bloody fluids and black lumpy things. We all shook hands and I sped off into the night on my gearless, almost breakless wonder. OCT

F i r s t i n t e r v i e w. C o l l a b o r a t i v e , interactive - a visual and verbal 14 conversation between me and the interviewee. I think of my practice as having a quiet activism – making works that provoke questions and discussion rather than provide answers. OCT

Am madly scouring Taipei for wholesale and retail artificial tree suppliers for my 16 exhibition in December. Tearing my hair out as I need 2,000 black butterflies…. OCT

Met Hui–Yu Su today. His photographs and videos are great – cheeky, ironic 25 and deadly serious all at the same time. Interviewed some of his students at VT Art Salon, a cool gallery and bar in Yi Tong Street. I try to keep the interviews spontaneous to reveal the personal. Tonight is The Daniel Pearl World Music Day, day and night music benefit hosted by TAV. OCT

Pilgrims’ Dream by the Taipei Dance C i r c l e a t N a n H a i T h e a t e r, i n t h e 30 National Taiwan Arts Education Center grounds. Four naked men covered in oil, with red painted feet and palms, rolled onto the stage and took me on a mesmeric and occidental pilgrimage – physically precarious yet psychically calm. OCT

Ideas are accelerated while living in Asia. It’s like walking a creative and 4 political tightrope undercut at times by rampant consumerism. NOV

Continue to interview people from all walks of life, recording Taiwanese, 6 Chinese, Hakka and Japanese voices. Go to Chiayi today for a few days – to hear local dialects. NOV



A collective voice is emerging.

Black Friday opens. Two thousand black butterflies swarm into the Taipei 5 Artist Village and cling to the windows, ceiling and walls of the gallery; the butterflies are fugitive and directionless, simultaneously having a film noir ‘Hitchcockian’ presence and a sense of absence and loss. A single tree is uprooted and suspended upside down from the gallery ceiling. The tree appears dislocated; its unnatural blackness forebodes a bleak environmental future. Black Friday looks at environmental change. Nature in shock. There is a pressing concern to protect our environment in the midst of overwhelming evidence of rapid climate change. The exhibition parallels our fragile times. DEC

The Kuandu Biennale I Have a Dream at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts. Ten 19 Asian artists; Japanese artist Pyuupiru’s seemingly insouciant video Snow White became increasingly unsettling…. Irish artist/performer Gerard Mannix Flynn’s production, James X, at Taipei National University of the Arts, equally disturbing. OCT

dec 08/ jan 09


康寧心 台灣情

關懷台灣 真心回饋 w w w. c o r n i n g . c o m . t w

和這塊土地共同成長是台灣康寧的社會承諾。從台南到台中的建廠投資,關懷弱勢族群、積極參 與社區公益、重視孩童教育成長、研發生產更環保的產品等,我們從未間斷對這塊土地上的人與環 境的關懷與付出。期待能與大家一起打拼讓社會共榮共好,讓處處充滿平安喜樂。


november 08

America America Ethan Canin

America America Text: Lawrence Newton

“People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.”

Bill Clinton (from his speech at the DNC)

Lawrence Newton is an avid reader and is thankful for the opportunity to share his reading experiences. dec 08/ jan 09


book review


s political strength reconcilable with moral rectitude? With Barack Obama as the American president elect, is America on the path to a new brand of ethical leadership? I finished Ethan Canin’s latest novel America America the eve of Election Day and, stunned by its relevance to the current political climate and occasion, have since been pondering these questions. If Canin’s bold title is an allusion to America the Beautiful, then attention must be paid specifically to stanza three and the line, God mend thine every flaw, for flawed characters and a fractured American dream are at the forefront of this evocative social commentary. Corey Sifter, the narrator whose last name suggests his attempt to ‘sift’ through his past to make sense of his present, is a typical unreliable narrator. In the early 1970s, when he was 16 and hired to be a groundskeeper by the great, though morally renegade, landowner, Liam Metarey (a rags to riches benefactor), he was exposed to the political malaise so pervasive during that period: Richard Nixon sought a second term as president, the United States was mired in the war in Vietnam, and the fictional liberal Senator Henry Bonwiller, whose campaign was largely financed by Liam Metarey, was running for the White House. Hence, Corey’s apprenticeship (he actually becomes an aide to Bonwiller) shows him firsthand the corruption inherent in the power play between money and politics — a social ill he could not fully comprehend as a teenager. His unrefined, adolescent persona, therefore, becomes the main ingredient in the novel’s recipe for moral ambiguity. As an adult and media savvy editor of the The Speaker- Sentinel, a small town newspaper, Sifter endeavors to make sense of the political past and to reconcile his reverence for someone as morally compromised as Henry Bonwiller. His quandary recalls Nick Carraway’s challenge as the squeamish narrator of Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby. Similar to Sifter’s fascination with Bonwiller, Carraway too is seduced by Gatsby’s romantic readiness, but he is also repulsed, for in his eyes Gatsby represents, “everything for which I have an unaffected scorn.” By comparison, Sifter wallows in uncertainty and is not so definitive in his feelings. An even stronger link between Bonwiller and Gatsby involves a car crash, a young woman’s death and a cover-up. A drunken Bonwiller, in the midst of his campaign run, flees the scene of a crash and leaves for dead JoEllen Charney, a young woman with whom he is having an affair, and though Gatsby was Daisy’s passenger when Myrtle Wilson was struck dead, he also faulted, making no effort to stop the car afterwards. Did Canin have 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy, Chappaquiddick, and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne in mind when he wrote his novel? Kennedy (implicated in Kopechne’s death) did not receive the presidential nomination when he ran, but he devoted years of ardent service to the democratic cause. The fictional Bonwiller does not receive the nomination either — he, along with McGovern, loses to Nixon. Yet Bonwiller dies at 89 (his death and funeral, in fact, comprise the novel’s initial exposition) after championing the same liberal causes. Unfortunately, the suggested allusion, rife with ethical controversy, comes with awkward timing since Kennedy has only recently fallen ill with a malignant brain tumor. The broader climatic landscape of 1970s America is relatively stable. There are oblique references to the Vietnam War and to other social upheavals of that period, yet these details serve mainly as a backdrop and have little influence on the main action. This is not to say, however, that they are gratuitous: they do add nostalgic spice to the already captivating, swift prose of this 'page turner.' The same relative serenity characterizes the novel’s present day, upstate New York town where Sifter lives out his middle age. Perhaps this subtle omission of conflict is purposeful: perhaps the societal calm provides the necessary contrast to Sifter’s individual struggle to make sense of his youthful perceptions. Perhaps, in the end, one must eschew complacency and pierce society’s status quo atmosphere in order to examine the ethics behind political leadership.

festivals Text & images: julie Lanshe


hristmas Eve in Taipei last year was cold, rainy and miserable. I was getting ready to go to a friend’s house for Christmas Eve dinner, when my son Zach came home from his friend’s house. “Mom, that little kitten in the neighbor’s yard is sitting by our yard, mewing and mewing. It’s all wet and it’s really cold out there!” The neighbors had just packed out on their way to their new posting in Singapore. I had talked to my neighbor about the stray cat that had given birth in her yard — she had said she was going to catch the cat and the kittens and take them to the vet. But apparently she hadn’t been able to do so, and now here it was 5:30 on Christmas Eve, the neighbors had moved, and this poor little kitten was out in the cold and wet. Zach and I went out with a flashlight to see. The tiny black and white kitten was huddled against the fence pillars dividing our properties, mewing incessantly. It had a very loud meow for such a small kitten! We looked around for the mother cat, but I hadn’t seen her since the moving trucks had appeared. Apparently she had abandoned this kitten; I don’t know if there were more in the litter or not; I had only seen this one. Seeing no sign of mom, I made my decision to rescue this tiny bit of life. After all, it was Christmas Eve. I had Zach go get a towel in case the kitten was frightened and tried to scratch or bite, but surprisingly, other than mewing non-stop, the kitten didn’t put up a a fight or run away when I reached for it. We wrapped it in the towel and took it inside. Our house already boasted Belle the beagle and Xiaoming, our cat from China, so we decided to put the kitten in the spare bedroom. Zach and I found a basket and a towel, and dried the kitten off the best we could. “Is it a boy or a girl?” Zach asked. We turned the kitten over and took a look. “Hmmmm.” Unlike puppies, kitten anatomy is strangely vague when they are young. “I t h i n k i t’s a g i r l”, I ventured; assuming that s i n c e I c o u l d n’t s e e a n y t h i n g, t h e r e w a s nothing to see. “L e t’s c a l l h e r Noel, since it’s almost Christmas!” Zach said.


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I was a little hesitant to call her anything, since I wasn’t sure whether she would survive at this point. I left Zach cuddling with Noel while I went to look for a bowl for water and something to feed her. I found a small shallow bowl and filled it with water and got some cat food that I kept to feed the strays in the neighborhood — including Noel’s mother before she disappeared. I knew it was critical for the kitten’s survival that she was old enough to lap water and eat. When I put down the bowl of water she sniffed it briefly and turned away with complete disinterest. Maybe she’d had enough water today anyway, with the rain streaming down. Then I offered her a small bit of cat food with my fingers. This was a bad idea. Her response to the smell of food was dramatically different from her disinterest in the water; she attacked the food — and my finger — with vigor. “YEOW!” I yelled and pulled back my wounded thumb. Blood welled from two tiny puncture wounds. “Well, she has teeth anyway!” We left her crunching enthusiastically on the food and hurried off belatedly to our Christmas Eve party. The next morning when we entered the spare room, the kitten ran to meet us yowling. We decided she was lonely in her room and gave her a buddy — a stuffed cat that she loved to stalk and attack. After breakfast and the opening of Christmas presents, we took Noel to the vet. Yes, the vet was open on Christmas Day — obviously it's not a big holiday here! He said she was about four weeks old, should be okay with solid food and water, and was surprisingly healthy and parasite-free for a feral kitten. He did say her body temperature was a little low — easily remedied by ten minutes under a blow dryer. The kitten tolerated this only because she was too small to do much about it. He also declared her a him. “So let’s call him Leon — you know, like the country song!” my husband Ken volunteered. For those of you who aren’t country fans, he was referring to “Noel Leon” the country song sung by George Strait

about Leon Dixon who leaves his Christmas lights up all year long, including a big lighted Noel sign in his yard, which when viewed in a rear-view mirror blinks Leon. So Noel became Leon. A few months later, as 'Leon' got bigger, I noticed something missing anatomically. I asked the vet about it at our next visit. He conceded that indeed, Leon was a female, and so she reverted to Noel. Christmas is approaching again — Noel Leon is a part of the family now. She has kept my lap warm while I’ve written this little story, hoping to spread a little Christmas cheer. Merry Christmas y’all! "Leon Dixon leaves his Christmas lights up all year ‘round It’s somethin’ different about our town We’ve often wondered why he never takes ‘em down But Leon leaves his Christmas lights up all year ‘round There’s a big bright noel flashin’ off and on In the yard where the children play the whole year long We’ve all gotten used to it year by year Now it’s kinda gotten to be a part of things ‘round here Peace on earth, Good will to men Christmas time is here again Can it be all that wrong To feel like Christmas all year long?

Leon got sick, it’s been back awhile Short on luck and money, but he still wore that smile And nobody could stand to see him do without So we all drove over to see if we could help out Yeah, the noel flashed on and the bills stayed paid I felt so warm as we drove away I had never seen Christmas spelled so clear As when I saw "LEON" flashin’ in my rear view mirror Peace on earth, Good will to men Christmas time is here again Can it be all that wrong To feel like Christmas all year long? (Music and lyrics by Mike Geiger/Woody Mullis/Ricky Ray Rector)

Julie Lanshe moved to Taipei in 2005 from Shanghai. Throughout her traveling and living in Asia she has written of her experiences for magazines and most recently, co-authored a book with her writers group, a compilation of stories by women writers in Shanghai. She is working on finishing her degree in writing (and cannot wait to be done!) She and her husband have five children, two grandsons, a dog and three cats

text: Karen Wei

Orphanage Club thanks everyone who supported us during our Flea Market Sale as well as Hunger day on November 25th. Remember to visit daily!

H allmark Christmas Sale December 2 & 3 On December 2nd and 3rd, we will have a Hallmark Christmas Sale on the TAS campus. This is a great opportunity to buy cards and various decorations for the upcoming merry holiday!

R affle Tickets/Prizes Our annual Raffle Ticket Sale is still going on now. Purchase tickets for great prizes such as plane tickets, hotel and food vouchers, stuffed animals and lots more! We’d also appreciate any donations of raffle prizes with a value of at least NT$300.

A ngel Tree


Orphanage Club

Watch for the angel trees in the division offices which allow people to help purchase Christmas gifts for orphans and needy children supported by the Orphanage Club.

P earl S. Buck Party December 21st Orphanage Club will be sponsoring our annual Christmas Party for the Pearl S. Buck Foundation in Taiwan on December 21st. The party will take place on school campus and we are expecting about 450 guests. We’d appreciate any donations of cooked turkeys, cookies, salads, baked goods, mashed potatoes, fruit, and Vietnamese, Indonesian and Filipino food. Also, pens and pencils as well as suitable items for gift packages are needed. Anyone who would like to help serve on the day of the party or help set up on December 19th and 20th, are welcomed to do so. If you are interested, please contact Mr. Arnold or Ms. Koh.

Any questions? Visit Alternatively, email or call Mr. Arnold (, Tel: 2873-9900 ext. 239), or Mrs. Koh ( Karen Wei is a senior at TAS and co-secretary of the Orphanage Club. dec 08/ jan 09



Healthy Being:

Winter Changes

text: Daniel L. Altschuler, L.Ac, PhD


n locations around the northern hemisphere which experience the annual change of the four seasons, November and December is the time when fall moves into winter. The transition between the seasons creates day to day shifts in temperature. Taiwan, especially the northern part of the island, tends to have two seasons — summer and winter, and the temperature change can be particularly dramatic, making it difficult for our bodies to respond adequately. In a previous article, I discussed a similar phenomenon that occurs in the winter to spring transition, a time of increasing warmth and expansion. I n t h i s s e a s o n, t h e d a y s a r e shortening, weather becomes colder and, in Taipei, wetter. Drizzling rain often lasts for weeks. This presents numerous challenges to our health that, with a little care and some simple herbal tricks, can be enjoyed rather than dreaded. Fall and winter is the time of withdrawal. We collect inwards. Stay indoors. Animals burrow deeply into their dens and hibernate for long periods. Our qi, or energy, also collects deeper in the core of our body to keep the vital organs warm. The pulse on your wrist will be noticeably more sunken, relative to what it would be in the summer months. And with cold, rain and snow setting in, our immune system becomes more vulnerable and chances for catching a ‘cold’ increase. Anybody who has gone through a winter in Taiwan knows what a challenge it can be. Often Taiwanese will boast to me how, while the cold in Taiwan is not as cold as in the United States, it somehow feels colder. It penetrates to the


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bone. Perhaps this is partly due to the incessant rains. Perhaps it is because the concrete houses allow the dampness to slowly seep in. The general lack of central heating in homes and businesses provides little respite from the cold, which is exacerbated all the more by the use of air conditioners to keep everything dry. Winter Survival Methods Chinese sages have long taught proper methods how to make it through winters. First and foremost we must alter our lifestyle habits. Sleep more In accord with the lengthening, we are told to sleep early and wake up late. Hibernation is the instinctual mode of survival through the winter. Allow yourself to take a power nap during the day. Pull the blankets up over your shoulders at night when you sleep. This is especially important if you like to crack open the window at night to let in some fresh air. Otherwise you may find yourself waking up the next morning with a stiff neck from the damp cold. Stay indoors The Yellow Emperor’s Classic on Int e r n al M edici n e (Hu a ngdi Neijing) reminds us that the truly ‘upright’ person (君子) stays indoors as much as possible over the winter months. In modern society with 9 to 5 jobs, we can heed this advice by reducing late-night parties and pub hopping, opting instead to come home earlier and perhaps socializing over warm tea. The Ye l l o w E m p e r o r ’s C l a s s i c also exhorts us to conserve our essential

energy or jing. If we do not take care in conserving jing, it states, we can expect to become sick in the spring. This latter statement is extremely interesting and has been interpreted in several ways over the course of two millennia of Chinese medicine. In general, this asks us to reduce strenuous labor so that we do not overwork ourselves as well as be more conservative in sexual habits. According to Chinese medicine, by recklessly depleting our core energy, it becomes easier for pathogenic influences to sneak in and cause trouble later. Eat more Because the body needs more energy to keep it warm, we tend to experience larger appetites. As long as you maintain a reasonable amount of exercise and eat healthy foods, there is no need to feel guilty about eating larger portions of food. Several popular recipes can help us get through the coldest spells: a dried fruit which is used both as a herb in Chinese formulas and as a popular food in kitchens is guiyuan (桂圓). This can be added to soups, desserts or made as a tea. It is warming, calming and helps the body generate blood. For desserts, you can bake it into muffins or cakes. Try it in your seasonal fruit cake. You can also add it into hot breakfast cereals such as oatmeal, or dessert puddings. A personal favorite is adding a few into a sesame paste pudding (芝麻糊) as an evening dessert. Look around for low sugar brands of this sesame paste pudding in local health food stores. Sesame is also warming and makes for a cozy evening snack.

Stews Many families naturally tend to eat stews, hot pots and other hardy foods in the colder months. Taiwanese mothers often add a few slices of the Chinese herbs danggui (當歸) and shou dihu ang (熟地黃) into their winter soups. These can be bought at any herbal pharmacy and add a nice flavor. Often they will also add the small dried fruit hongzao (紅棗) as well, which has similar medicinal properties as guiyuan. Try adding these along with yams, potatoes, carrots and some split peas or lentils into a miso soup broth. A winter tea recipe Boil a small handful of guiyuan with 3 to 5 slices of raw ginger (more if you like spice) in 3 to 4 cups of water (about 1,000cc) for about 20 minutes. You can keep this in a thermos to keep you warm as you navigate the air-conditioned buses and department stores. There is no need to suffer over the cold months. Try some of these ideas and change them according to your personal taste. If your body is unable to handle the winter and you experience extreme discomfort, consider visiting a doctor of Chinese medicine. There are many herbal formulas and acupuncture methods that can increase your warmth and cold weather endurance.

Daniel would like to hear your comments regarding his column or Chinese medicine in general. Due to time constraints, he may not be able to reply to everybody. He may be contacted at

Daniel Altschuler (古丹) studied Chinese medicine and Taijiquan in Taiwan for 15 years. He earned a PhD in Chinese medicine and is currently living in Seattle where he teaches and practices Chinese medicine. Daniel regularly returns to Taiwan to visit friends and family, drink tea and teach classes.

Images: Ivy Chen

COOKING WINE 料理酒 [liaoli jiu]

(I) Rice wine 米酒 [mi jiu] Taiwanese use rice wine as both a cooking and drinking wine, but the kind known as liaoli jiu (料理米酒), with added salt, is for cooking only. Rice wine head (米酒頭, mijiu tou) (fig. 3) uses unpolished penglai rice (蓬萊米) through fermentation and extraction to enhance its strength and flavor. It is the highest quality kind, with a special fragrance, pure and transparent. Natural alcohol content is 34%. Use one or two tablespoons only. Red label rice wine (紅標米酒, hongbiao mijiu) (fig. 5): The most popular traditional distilled spirit. It is made from unpolished penglai rice through fermentation and distillation, and blended with rectified alcohol (a bi-product from the process of making sugar). Alcohol content ranges from 22% to 40%, and the wine comes in square brown bottles. Cooking rice wine (料理米酒, liaoli mijiu) (fig. 2): Blended with distilled rice wine with 1.5% table salt, this is used as an inexpensive supplement to rice wine. Alcohol content ranges from 20% to 58%. Rice wine water (米酒水, mijiu shui) (fig. 1): This is rice wine diluted with water, and is used particularly for the health care of Chinese women in confinement. (II) Shaohsing wine 紹興酒 [shaoxing jiu] Originally from a city south of the Yangzi River called Shaoxing (紹興), this is made from glutinous rice, wheat and selected koji. In Taiwan it is made in the town of Puli (埔里), in central Taiwan. An improved traditional brewing method is employed and it is stored in an earthen jar for at least two years (紹興酒, shaoxing jiu—fig. 6), four years (陳年紹興酒, chennian shaoxing jiu—fig. 4), and up to ten years (精釀陳年紹興酒, jingniang chennian shaoxing jiu) before being bottled. Alcohol content ranges from 14.5% to 17.5%. A similar type named (花雕酒, huadiao jiu) is more often used as a drinking wine than for cooking. Shaohsing wine is best drunk warm. Shaoxing Drunken Chicken 紹興醉雞 [shaoxing dzui ji] INGREDIENTS: 2 boneless chicken legs, 1/2T salt SPICED WATER: 1 stalk of spring onion, 4 slices of ginger, 1 star anise, 3C water MARINADE: 2C chicken broth, 2C Shaoxing wine DIRECTIONS 1. Tie up chicken leg with a cotton thread. Add chicken and spiced water in a pot, bring to boil and simmer for 5~6 minutes. Put lid on and let chicken stay in broth for 20~30 minutes. 2. Pierce chicken with a chopstick, and if no bloody water runs out, then it is done. Remove chicken, and allow to cool. 3. Rub salt over the chicken. Place chicken in marinade, and refrigerate overnight. 4. Slice chicken and pour 2T of wine marinade over it. Correction: In the October issue of Ivy’s Chinese Kitchen,"Cooking plain rice": water added to the outer pot should be 2 measures of the rice cup. dec 08/ jan 09





text: Denise shepherd

re you a 'trailing spouse'? For many people, the term conjures up a vision of someone meekly following along behind. If the meek follower is not your self-image, you might be interested in finding out about a new group here in Taipei that is making the most of the 'trailing' situation by forging ahead. Overseas Trailing Talent (OTT) is a group of professionals who have put their own careers on hold to travel abroad with their spouses. Its self-described mission: to help spouses who have given up or temporarily halted a career in order to support a spouse in this move to Taiwan. It seeks to provide a forum where these spouses can “meet other smart people, network, find job or career opportunities or simply join events and discussions with a professional focus.” The founding members came up with the idea over the summer and set about finding other like-minded spouses. Already, the fledgling group has set up a Yahoo Group (go to and search groups for OTT_Taiwan); hosted a launch party; had a guest speaker from Harmony Home to introduce the charity and its mission; and formed a planning committee which has met twice to organize events and activities for the next few months. Among the upcoming events penciled in on the calendar: • Setting Up Your Own Business in Taiwan, planned for early to midDecember with a follow-up discussion in January (check the OTT group on Yahoo for exact dates); • Social evening on January 14th at Sommelier Wine Shop in Tianmu; • G e t t i n g a j o b i n Ta i w a n — T h e Options, tentatively planned for mid- to late February; • Discussion of ongoing education and

Better Living Forum now online The Better Living Forum of the European Chamber of Commerce (ECCT) is now online on the ECCT's website. The forum, an initiative of the ECCT's Better Living committee was set up to provide an interactive means for ECCT members and the broader public to raise and discuss issues or make suggestions on how to further improve the quality of the living environment in Taiwan. The ECCT's Better Living committee raises quality of living issues and makes recommendations to the Taiwan government on how to improve Taiwan's living environment. Every year the committee submits a position paper to the government listing its priority issues and recommendations for improvements. Members of the public and the ECCT are invited to post submissions on a variety of issues relating to the quality of


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professional qualifications, scheduled for March; • Guest speaker from Shinlu Foundation (date to be determined). T h e o n l i n e f o r u m a t Ya h o o a l s o includes links to several websites that may be useful to spouses in Taiwan, as well as minutes from previous meetings and the group’s mission statement (reprinted on the next page). Imogen Knight, OTT’s first chairman and founding member, explains how the group selected its name: “The name ‘Overseas Trailing Talent’ came from a quick brainstorming session at the first meeting and reflects the fact that trailing spouses are intrinsically talented, that often we come from overseas toTaiwan and need to connect with our host country,” she said. Also, “the acronym, ‘OTT,’ is not only used now to describe people who are bold and don’t stay in their box, but also on a more serious note, was derived from the infantry soldiers of the First World War who came out of the trenches ‘Over the Top’ into battle. This reflects the courage of the spouses who have given up their careers and previous lives to make the foreign posting successful for their families.” The group welcomes new members. If you are interested, visit the OTT’s Yahoo forum and send a message requesting membership. (A sentence describing your interest in the group will speed the process by setting you apart from potential spammers.) You will receive email notifications when the group plans a new event, posts a new link or finalizes any other activities. The OTT yahoo group is at http: //

the living environment in Taiwan on the forum. Message boards on the issues raised in the Better Living committee's 2007-2008 Position Paper have already been set up covering the following topics: the English-Language Environment, Domestic Helpers, Residence Status of Family Members, Traffic and Transportation and Support for International Schools. An additional board on "Other" Better Living Issues allows posters to suggest further areas where improvements could be made in Taiwan's living environment. Anyone is free to post on the forum although they are required to login first. ECCT members already have assigned user names and passwords for login purposes, but non-members are required to register first before posting. A link to the forum can be found on the home page of the ECCT's website at:

Dec 08/ Jan 09 GALLERY

In the Gallery this December, Lily Heng brings us the popular Jingshan peasant pictures from Hang-zhou, China. These prints are of paintings found in prestigious art collections around the world and represent everyday village life. Also back by popular demand this month is Nancy Yin's selection of beautiful ceramic items such as pen stands, candy jars, vases and plates from Masterpieces Merchandise Co., Ltd. Add a touch of class to your curtains, vases, and dinner table with Rachel Van Haeff's hand-crafted 100% non-endangered natural shells with silk tassels to create an elegant home accent.

For a personal gift, Jennifer Chau offers a collection of little girl’s jewelry made of freshwater pearls and silver. There are also contemporary designs with Akoya pearls, gemstones, and artisan beads.

In January 2009, Jenny Feuerhahn and her company, Fusion Flame will bring two collections to the Gallery for you to enjoy. "Tatiana" boutique's gorgeous artisan limited edition and couture-style jewelry is created from precious gemstones to make women feel radiant and special. Also on display will be high-end stainless steel cutlery and tableware handmade using a traditional hammering method; beautiful and made to last. A percentage of all proceeds of items sold at the Gallery go to The Center, so please remember that by displaying and shopping here you are helping us to provide much needed services to the international community. dec 08/ jan 09


Center Courses CULTURE & TOURS IN TAIWAN Auspicious Symbols in Chinese Furniture Tuesday December 2nd 10:00 am – 12:00 noon NT$400, Meet @ Bai Win Antiques Faye Angevine

Suho Paper Museum Thursday December 4th 10:00 am – 12:00 noon NT$600 Cost of Admission Included Meet @ MRT Zhongxiao – Xinsheng Station Jennifer Tong Trip to Antique Warehouse Tuesday December 9th 9:00 am – 12:00 noon NT$400, Meet @ Bai Win Antiques Faye Angevine Di Hwa Street and Chinese New Year Tuesday January 13th 10:00 am – 12:00 noon NT$500, Meet @ Shuanglian MRT Station, Exit 2

Breakfast with the Locals Tuesday January 20th 8:30 am – 10:00 am NT$600, Meet @ TAS Front Gate Ivy Chen Entertaining Out of Town Guests Tuesday January 20th 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm NT$500, 1 session at The Center Robyn McDougall FAMILY & HEALTH Counselor’s Conference “Alcohol and Your Teen” Friday January 16th 11:00 am – 12:30 pm FREE, 1 session at The Center

Counselor’s Conference “Bloom Where You Are Planted” Monday January 19th 11:00 am – 12:30 pm FREE, 1 session at The Center Pilates Tuesdays, Begins January 20th 9:00 am – 10:00 am NT$4200, 14 Sessions @ The Center Jennifer Peng

December 2008 – January 2009 To sign up, please call The Center at 2836-8134 or 2838-4947.

Kindermusik 1 (0 – 1 ½) Wednesdays Begins January 21st 9:00 am – 9:45 am NT$4000, 7 Sessions @ The Center Jennifer Chau Kindermusik 2 (1 ½ - 3) Wednesdays Begins January 21st 10:00 am – 10:45 am NT$6800, 14 Sessions @ The Center Jennifer Chau HOBBIES & SKILLS Chinese Paper Cutting Thursdays Begins January 15th 10:00 am – 12:00 noon NT$1400, 3 sessions at The Center Pei-Ling Wei

Beginning French Thursdays Begins January 22nd 9:00 am – 9:50 am NT$4200, 12 Sessions @ The Center Robyn McDougall SURVIVAL CHINESE W/ Gloria Gwo All classes @ The Center

Survival Chinese 1 Mondays & Wednesdays Begins January 19th 9:00 am – 10:20 am NT$4900 14 Sessions Survival Chinese 2 Mondays & Wednesdays Begins January 19th 10:30 am – 11:50 am NT$ 4900 14 Sessions Chinese Study Group 1 Tuesdays & Fridays Begins January 20th 9:00 am – 10:20 am NT$ 9100 (Textbook extra) 26 Sessions Chinese Study Group 2 Mondays & Wednesdays Begins January 19th 12:00 noon – 1:20 pm NT$ 9100 (Textbook extra) 26 Sessions WHAT’S COOKING New Year Eve Family Reunion Banquet Friday January 23rd 10:00 am – 12:00 noon NT$ 1000, 1 session at The Center Ivy Chen

The Wish List What is a Wish List? And why have we included it in Centered on Taipei magazine? Well, people often ask me how they can help The Center, and this is trying to help people answer that question. Different people help in different ways; by giving their time, money, donations, and expertise amongst other things. This list is a wish list of some of the goods or services that we desperately need to keep running the vital services of The Center. If I put something in this list it means that we either don’t have it or the one we have is on its last legs. So if you know a free or inexpensive way that we could access this kind of equipment or service then please let us know! 1. Commercial quality photocopier/scanner with doublesided printing function 2. Portable overhead projector for presentations. 3. Digital answering machine

Contact: Peter Lee Danny Shih

Tel: 02-2836-1000 ext.20 Fax: 02-2831-9942 E-mail:

Many thanks, Steve Parker (Center Director)


dec 08/ jan 09



CSC business classified art gallery

medical service




hair dresser

Get Noticed, Get Centered

Call Paula B. Lee for details at 0926 956 844

dec 08/ jan 09



Worship Directory (For full details of services please refer to Taipei Living or contact the church organization directly)

Community Events 12/08, 1/09

COT advertises community groups free as a public service as room permits. If you would like your group included write to with contact information and the dates of upcoming events.

Coffee Morning at The Center Join us for a coffee and a chat every Wednesday at 10:30 am. It's a great way to meet new friends or re-acquaint yourself with old ones. Everyone is welcome! Timothy Nathan Joel That was now, this is then Date: Nov 29 - Dec 18, 2008 Venue: Lili Gallery 760 ZhongShan North Road, Sec. 6, Taipei Tel: 2876 0798 BCCT Christmas Fundraising Auction & Luncheon Date: 11:30 am - 5:00 pm , Friday, December 12, 2008 Venue: Shangri-La's Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, Shangri-La Ballroom, 2F


The Center's counselors are here for you

Do you have issues with relationships, communication, living in Taiwan, alcohol or drugs, depression, problems with children, or cultural clashes...? Our professional counselors are ready to help with any issues that you may have while living in Taipei. For more information regarding our counseling services, call The Center at (02) 2836-8134 or (02) 2838-4947. or Email:

Agape 3F, 21 ChangChun Road, Taipei, Taiwan Tel: 2598-1009 (office) Anglican Episcopal Church Church of the Good Shepherd 509 ZhongCheng Rd., Shilin Tel: 2873-8104, 2882-2462 Calvary International Baptist Church 21, YangDe Blvd., Sec. 2, Yangmingshan Tel: 2831-3458 Fax: 2838-5792 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 5, Lane 183, JinHua Street Tel: 2321-9195, 0939-687-178 City Revival Church B1, 210, ZhongXiao E. Rd., Sec. 4 Tel: 8921-8250 Fax: 8921-8272 Friendship Presbyterian Church 5, Lane 269, Roosevelt Rd., Sec. 3 Tel: 2362-1395 Grace Baptist Church 90 XinSheng S. Rd., Sec. 3 Tel: 2362-5321 ext. 135 Jewish Community For information call Ahrony Yoram on 0939-763-135 Living Word Church B1, 304, ShiDong Road, Shilin Tel: 2834-6549 Mother of God Catholic Church 171 ZhongShan N. Rd., Sec. 7, Tianmu Tel: 2871-5168 Fax: 2871-7972 New Apostolic Church 2F, No. 5, Lane 39, Keelung Rd, sec. 2, Taipei, New Life International Seventh-day Adventist Church 4th Fl. Health Center- Taipei Adventist Hospital 424 Ba De Rd. Sec. 2, Taipei 105 Pr. Robbie Berghan 0958-732-704 email Oasis Bread of Life Christian Church 10F, #55, ZhongCheng Rd, Sec. 2 (DaYeh Takashimaya, Tian Mu) Tel: 28310299 Fax:28317214 email: Taipei International Church Meets at the Taipei American School 800 ZhongShan N. Rd., Sec. 6, Tianmu Tel: 2833-7444 Fax: 2835-2778 gateway.htm Transforming Faith Church (f.k.a. Bread of Life Christian Church) 5F, 295 ZhongXiao E. Rd., Sec. 4 Tel: 8772-2207 Fax: 8772-2210


dec 08/ jan 09


Telephone Website/Email Address

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 2836-6994 Al-anon (English speaking) Alliance Française de Taiwan 2364-8833/ 2364-1919 American Chamber of Commerce 2718-8226 American Club in China 2885-8260 American Institute in Taiwan 2162-2000 Amnesty International 2709-4162 Artist Connection Australia & New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (ANZCham) 7701 0818/ 0922 109 089 British Chamber of Commerce 2547-1199 British Social Group 8237-9352 Canadian Society 2757-6977 Christian Salvation Services (Betty Brown) 2729-0265 Community Services Center 2836-8134 Democrats Abroad (Tammy Turner) European Chamber of Commerce 2740-0236 Gateway 2833-7444 German Cultural Center 2365-7294 Indians' Association of Taipei 2542-8091 International Community Choir (Siew Kang, Choir Director) 2873-4272 La Leche League (Breastfeeding Support) lé the francophone Lions Downtown Club Taipei, English speaking (Peter Wu) 2701-1811 Oasis Youth Group 2831-0299 Paradyme Youth Group 2833-7444 POW Camps Memorial Society (Michael Hurst) 8660-8438 Republicans Abroad Taiwan 2592 2840 Shilin District Office 2882-6200 Tagalog Hotline 2834-4127 Taipei International Women’s Club 2331-9403 TYPA (Taipei Youth Program Association) 2873-1815

SCHOOLS Dominican International School Grace Christian Academy Morrison Academy Taipei Adventist American School Taipei American School Taipei European School Taipei Japanese School

2533-8451 2785-7233 2365-9691 2861-6400 2873-9900 2862-2920 2872-3833

SPORTS Biking site in taiwan Hash House Harriers 0952-025-116 International Golf Society of Taipei Scottish Country Dancing (May Chen) 2706 3179 Taipei Women’s International Golf Group (TWIGG) 2691 5912, ,





Argentina Australia Austria Belgium Belize Bolivia Brazil Britain Brunie Burkina Faso Canada Chad Chile Costa Rica Czech Republic Denmark Dominican Republic El Salvador Fiji Finland France

2757-6556 8725-4100 2712-8597 2715-1215 2876-0894 2723-8721 2835-7388 8758-2088 2506-3767 2873-3096 2544-3000 2874-2943 2723-0329 2875-2964 2738-9768 2718-2101 2875-1357 2876-3509 2757-9596 2722-0764 3518-5151

2875-3911 2501-6188 2875-6952 2876-6718 2875-5512 8501-1200 2757-6112 8752-6179 2725-1691 2757-9692 2725-1542 2713-8000 2871-7712 2725-2324 2713-2626 6636-8112 2713-5760 2757-6725 2874-9034 2757-6987 2543-5484

2722-0684 2509-9189 2873-6310 2757-7017 2723-2527 2757-6140 8780-3011 2876-1444 2876-6519 2772-1940 8780-3231 2715-3251 2518-4901 2872-5934 2757-6573 2720-1001 2723-1800 2757-7318 2162-2000 2516-6626

Gambia Germany Guatemala Haiti Honduras Hungary India Indonesia Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jordan Korea Malaysia Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Nigeria Norway

Oman Panama Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Russia Saudi Arabia Senegal Singapore Slovak Republic South Africa Spain Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Thailand Turkey United States Vietnam

dec 08/ jan 09


A crowd of people waiting to get in for that all-important first prayer on the first day of Chinese New Year at Lungshan Temple, Taipei.


dec 08/ jan 09

Neil Wade specializes in travel, sports, and candid photography. When he's on assignment or relaxing, Neil likes to drive his motorcycle in Taiwan's beautiful mountains. His website, features photographs from all over the world.

Centered on Taipei Winter 2008/2009  
Centered on Taipei Winter 2008/2009  

An English language lifestyle magazine produced for the International Community in Taiwan.