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A publication of the Community Services Center


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Vol. 18 | 02



Celebrating Mid Autumn Festival

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CONTENTS October 2017 volume 18 issue 2


From the Editors Kiddies Korner Center October Gallery/Book Clubs: October Events about Town October Activity Highlights CSC Business Classified

5 6 7 8 9 30




Young Designers Set Their Sights on Society


Yen Hong Lin – Innovative Product Designer Publisher Editor Co-editor Advertising Manager Magazine Email Tel Fax Community Services Center Editorial Panel Printed by

Community Services Center, Taipei Suzan Babcock Richard Saunders Naomi Kaly coteditor@communitycenter.org.tw

02-2836-8134 02-2835-2530

Siew Kang, Fred Voigtmann Farn Mei Printing Co., Ltd. 1F, No. 102, Hou Kang Street, Shilin District, Taipei Tel: 02-2882-6748 Fax: 02-2882-6749 E-mail: farn.mei@msa.hinet.net

Centered on Taipei is a publication of the Community Services Center, 25, Lane 290, Zhongshan N. Rd., Sec. 6, Tianmu, Taipei, Taiwan Tel: 02-2836-8134 fax: 02-2835-2530 e-mail: coteditor@communitycenter.org.tw Correspondence may be sent to the editor at coteditor@ communitycenter.org.tw. 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 2017. All rights reserved. Material in this publication may not be reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner. COT is printed on FSC certified 100% post-consumer recycled fiber. The paper is certified in accordance with the rules of the Forest Stewardship Council which promotes environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests. https://ic.fsc.org/


Diwali – A Beacon of Hope A “Ghost” Month



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Pushing Stinky Tofu: A First Taste of Taiwan’s Dreaded Traditional Snack Only Cupcakes Hungry Girl – Mexican Food at Maji Square Kooks Mountain Kitchen

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Writing Therapy: A Way of Healing Both Your Mind and Body


Exploring the Mysterious Feicui Reservoir

FASHION & BEAUTY The Basic Fall Wardrobe




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Everyone needs to know why... We’ll help your whole family prepare for the big adventure.

Crown’s service offerings include: s s s s s s s



Go knowing



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For more information, please go to our website at www.communitycenter.org.tw



Naomi Kaly Richard Saunders Co-editor Advertising Manager

KC Graphic Designer

coteditor@ richard0428@yahoo.com naomi@communitycenter. communitycenter.org.tw org.tw

graphicdesigntaipei. weebly.com

Suzan Babcock Editor

Zee Dlamini Nomita Kavra Gupta Editorial intern Editorial intern

Sydney Ko Editorial intern

WRITING AND PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRIBUTORS Sue Babcock Katherine Chang Zee Dlamini Kit Farley Scott B. Freiberger Katie Gill Nomita Kavra Gupta Joan H, HungryinTaipei Eva Inman Sydney Ko

Yen Hong Lin Only Cupcakes Joseph Reilly Sara Riggsby Richard Saunders Rosemary Susa TAS The Taiwan Design Center Grace Ting

Pick COT up at: Uptown: Community Services Center, No. 25, Lane 290, Sec. 6, Zhongshan North Rd. Sprout – No. 33, Sec. 7, Zhongshan North Rd. George Pai’s Beauty – No. 14, Tienmu East Rd. Downtown: Grandma Nitti’s Kitchen – 8, Lane 93, Shida Rd. Ooh Cha Cha – 207, Sec.2, Nanchang Rd. NakedFood – 22-1, Lane 160, Sec.1, Xingsheng South Rd. Samyama (Art) Co., Ltd. – 2F, No. 1, Lane 119, Sec.1, Daan Rd.

COMMUNITY SERVICES CENTER 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 www.communitycenter.org.tw and drop by The Center to chat with us about our programs. You can also email us at csc@communitycenter.org.tw.


Adam McMillan

Office Manager

Grace Ting


I-wen Chan, Katherine Chang, Hui-shiang Chao, Jung Chin, Chiao-Feng Chung, Cerita Hsu, Carol Lee, Miranda Lin, Emilie Ma, Kuang-Shan Wan

Counseling Admin.

Joanne Chua

Please send email submissions, comments, and feedback to coteditor@communitycenter.org.tw.

The change of seasons from summer to autumn brings a renewed sense of collective energy to Taipei living. October is a month of national holidays, festivities and celebrations. After months of preparation, the Center is ready to celebrate its 30 years of committed service to Taiwan’s local and international community. So save Friday, October 20th for an evening of fun, at the Grand Hyatt Taipei. There will be prizes galore, lucky raffle draws, our popular ‘silent auction’ and of course, the main auction featuring a wide range of items from day adventures, trips, restaurant delights to luxury items. Come join us, as our friends from the community gather to support the Center’s annual fundraiser. Your contributions and support go a long way to assist our counseling services, educational and cross-cultural programs, Chinese language classes, day trips, special events and cultural activities, including our monthly morning coffees. This is one night out that you don’t want to miss. The Mid-autumn or Moon Festival will be celebrated on Wednesday, October 4th. It is a time for family and friends to meet and enjoy each other’s company. You will see people picnicking in parks or having roof-top and sidewalk bar-b-q’s, as they enjoy themselves under a full harvest moon. Tuesday, October 10th (Double Ten) is Taiwan’s National Day. Observance ceremonies will begin with an early morning flag raising ceremony in front of the Presidential Office Building, as the national anthem is sung, followed by government sponsored activities. There is a lot going on this month, especially at the Center. Our invitation to stop by for a cup of coffee or tea is on-going. The Center is a community center and we hope to see you there sometime in the near future.

Sue and Richard

Accountant Activities Coordinator Assistant Activities Coordinator Coffee Mornings Coordinator Cross-cultural Trainer Communications Events Coordinator Mandarin Chinese Teacher Systems Manager

Monica Cheng Rosemary Susa


Miyuki Boice, Daniel Chan, Vincy Chik, John Imbrogulio, AnnaMarie Loose, Ann Lu, Leslie McFarlane, John McQuade, Gloria Peng, Emmy Shih Bai Win Antiques European Chamber of Commerce Grand Hyatt Taipei Concordia Consulting ICRT San Fu Global

Benefactors Premier Sponsors

Undine Urbach John Imbrogulio Anne Jacquet Morgan Loosli Shan Lee Gloria Gwo Lee Ming Yeh

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Fun Activities for Kiddies Here are some fun places to visit with your little human beans, (as BFG would call them), and to keep them whizzpopping! TEXT: NOMITA KAVRA GUPTA






The Taipei City Government has established a parent-child play center in every Taipei district. All the centers are free, and designed to be child friendly. The centers are for children aged 0-6 years and their care-givers. They also include special under-2-years only areas with age-appropriate toys. All the centers share certain characteristics, such as an learning toys, a clean environment, and services for parents like lockers and stroller parking. However, each center also has a very distinct look and feel with different toys. The list of all the district centers and their addresses can be found on their website.

Hours: Tuesday through Friday: Session 1: 9:30 am -12 noon Session 2: 2 pm - 5 pm Saturday through Sunday: Session 1: 9:30 am - 11 am Session 2: 1 pm - 2:30 pm Session 3: 3:30 pm - 5 pm Closed on Mondays https://parent-child. taipei/?md=en&cl=index&at=index https://www.facebook.com/taipei.parent.child


This is an excellent place for kids to appreciate art. Art Taipei, organized by the Taiwan Art Gallery Association in 1992, is one of the most popular art fairs in the art world, as well as in Asia. It features premium and visionary collectors from home and abroad, fine art from eastern Asia, and high-quality service, facilities, and space designs.

Address: Hall 1, Taipei World Trade Center 5, Xinyi Road, Section 5 Telephone: (02) 2742-3968 Public Opening: October 20 - 23 Hours: Friday - Sun 11 am -7 pm (Monday to 6 pm) Admission fee: NT$350 http://art-taipei.com/2017/en/index.html http://art-taipei.com/2017/en/about_at.html


This indoor play center is located at the Mitsukoshi Mall in Tianmu. There is no time limit on weekdays and a two-hour limit on weekends. It’s open to kids under 125 cm and includes a floating balloon space, kitchen play set, blocks, ball pit, and a bounce platform.

Address: Shin-Mitsukoshi, 6F, 8, Tianmu East Road Telephone: (02) 2874-5312 Admission fee: One child and one adult NT$250 for non-members, NT$230 for members Additional adult is NT$50 http://www.yukids.com.tw/location/detail/ module/www/b_id/19#consume

KAOHSIUNG INTERNATIONAL The International Lion Dance Festival is a ‘must’ among things to do and places to visit in Taiwan. LION DANCE FESTIVAL Local artists, musicians and lion dance performers gather to put on performances that will bedazzle you. This year, the International Lion Dance Festival will be held in Kaohsiung at the International Swimming Pool and the Kaohsiung Arena. It is a two day extravaganza drawing tens of thousands of visitors from all over Asia. This is an event not to be missed.

Address: Kaohsiung International Swimming Pool 1, Lane 94, Zhongzheng 1st Road, Lingya District, Kaohsiung Kaohsiung Arena 757, Boai 2nd Road, Zuoying District, Kaohsiung Telephone: (07) 531-2560 #311 0958-328-259 Dates: October 28 and 29 https://www.eventaiwan.tw/cal_en/cal_49780

2017 TAIPEI INTERNATIONAL Taiwan is located on one of the world’s eight major BIRDWATCHING FAIR bird migratory routes and home to 642 species of birds. In fact, one fifteenth of all bird species on earth can be seen in Taiwan. This is why the Taipei International Birdwatching Fair has become one of the largest events in Asia and second largest events in the world.

Address: Guandu Nature Park 55, Guandu Road, Beitou District Dates: October 21 and 22 http://birdfair.org.tw/about-birdfair/birdfairintroducing http://gd-park.org.tw/en/events

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A percentage of all proceeds of items sold at the Gallery will go to the Center. Please remember that by displaying your items or shopping at the Gallery, you will be helping the Center to continue to provide valuable services to the international community.

SAHAR SHAIKH –AN EXQUISITE INDIAN JEWELRY COLLECTION Sahar’s exquisite collection of handcrafted Indian jewelry features one-of-a-kind selections from Rajasthan and Gujarat. Special Kundan stonework, silver and stone pendants, earrings, bangles, bracelets and necklaces in turquoise, coral, pearl, amethyst, onyx, marcasite and garnet are perfect gifts for those who are looking for something unique. INK AND WATERCOLOR PAINTINGS BY KRISTI THORNBURY Kristi has a deep resonance with nature and Taiwan’s natural beauty provides endless inspiration. Her experiences with nature are best described through color, light and movement resulting in imagery that represents a special moment of a particular time and place for her. She is the founder of Yili Arts Studio where she holds classes as she fulfills her dream to create beauty through art and her passion for teaching. She can be contacted at www.yiliarts.com KP KITCHEN TAIWAN KP Kitchen Taiwan is bringing a taste of ‘home’ this fall/winter to the Tianmu community with our North American style-DIY Baking and Spice Mixes. Make cinnamon rolls for a breakfast treat or gingerbread cookies for your annual cookie exchange. On the savory side, bake fresh cornbread or dinner rolls for Thanksgiving dinner. Spice up your weeknight dinners with our Taco, Chili and BBQ Rub Spice Mixes. All mixes are made fresh here in Taiwan and can be baked in a toaster oven with easy-to-follow English/Chinese instructions. Follow us on Facebook: KP Kitchen Taiwan – www.fb.com/KPKitchenTaiwan for more information.

October 2017 Book Club Selection My Traitor's Heart by Rian Malan Morning Book Club: For meeting dates, times & location, contact: mcelroy22000@yahoo.com Evening Book Club: For meeting dates, times & location, contact: ljtoews@ hotmail.com


Do you have a skill or talent that you would like to share? Or have you found some great places around Taipei that you would like to take others to see? Then why not consider teaching a course or leading a tour for the Center in Spring 2018? If you are interested, or would like more information, please contact Rosemary at ce@communitycenter. org.tw.


Mid-autumn Festival holiday

Double Ten holiday

The Mid-autumn Festival holiday will be held on October 4th this year. Traditionally, it’s a time when family and friends come together to help harvest crops and to give thanks for a good harvest. It is also time for special requests to be made to the gods for continued good luck. The exchange of moon cakes is a relatively new custom. These small round cakes are usually made with red bean, lotus seed paste or the yolk of an egg, symbolizing a full moon. Sitting outdoors under a full moon, having a picnic dinner with family and friends, is a lovely cultural experience.

The Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan, celebrates its National Day on October 10th. The Taipei celebration begins with a flag-raising ceremony in front of the Presidential Building, as the national anthem is sung. This year, a parade featuring local schools, interest groups and the military will be held, followed by a public address by President Tsai Ing-wen, along with government sponsored activities.

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EVENTS ABOUT TOWN Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival

The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is one of the many vibrant cultural festivals in Taiwan, and was voted by the Discovery Channel as an event not to be missed. During Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival, folk performances, lantern riddle contests, and street folk carnivals can be enjoyed. WHEN: October 4 – November 2 WHERE: Shifen Sky Lantern Square, Nanshan Village, Pingxi District, New Taipei City INFO: http://skylantern.ntpc. gov.tw/en/ Art Taipei (the Taipei International Contemporary Art Fair) Art Taipei is one of the longeststanding art fairs in Asia, and a highlight of the art scene

in Taiwan. The Fair offers the best and most up-to-date art of the region by established and emerging galleries, attracts significant art collectors and professionals from around the region every year, and has become a must-visit for many. WHERE: Hall 1, Taipei World Trade Center, 5, Xinyi Road, Section 5 WHEN: October 20 – 23 INFO: http://art-taipei. com/2017/en/index.html

Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship is four days of 72-hole stroke-play, drawing the world's top women golfers to vie for the top honor and US$330,000 in winner's prize money. Over the years, LPGA Taiwan Championship has become the top sporting event in Taiwan in terms of the total prize money and world rankings of attending golfers, as well as media attention and fan interest. WHERE: Miramar Golf & Country Club WHEN: October 19 – 22 Marie Claire Pink Run

Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship in Taipei

The 2017 edition of the

Marie Claire magazine (Taiwan) is hosting its fun annual ladies marathon, as a fundraising run for breast cancer. All proceeds will go to Taiwan Cancer Clinical Research and Development Foundation to aid in breast

cancer prevention and control efforts. This year’s run is themed “Think Pink, Run Chic.” Participation fees are as follows: NT$600 for 5km; NT$800 for 11km; NT$1,000 for 21km WHERE: Bali Culture Park (八里文化公園) WHEN: 7 am to 11 am, October 14 (runners gather at 5:30 am) INFO: http://www.marieclaire. com.tw/events/2017/07/pinkru n/?utm_source=fb&utm_mediu m=event&utm_campaign=2017 pinkrun&utm_content=post01 Sappho LIVE Enjoy a laid-back and cool music environment in downtown Taipei. Live music, dance floor, bar and good food; also mic/jam sessions. Tuesday to Friday, 8 pm – 3 am Venue: B1, 1, Lane 202, Anhe Road, Section 1, Taipei Further information: sappholivetaipei@gmail.com

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Recognizing The Community Services Center's Steering Committee and Foundation Board Community Services Center Steering Committee

Fred Voigtmann, Faye Angevine, Diane Baker, Tim Berge, Michael Boyden, Todd Bretzlaff, Jade Chien, Christopher Collins, David Gatley, Lara Harris, Sharon Hennessy, Freddie Hoeglund, C.Y. Huang, Siew Kang, Andrea Wu

Foundation Board

Ruu-Tian Chang (Chair), Lorraine Chen, Georgie Hsieh, C. Y. Huang, Yvonne Kwauk, Juchi Tang, Cathy Hsu, Patricia Tzeng, Fred Voighmann.


Ecologically Grown: Farm Tour and Vegetarian Lunch Tuesday, October 24th 8:30 am – 2:30 pm; $1,600 Guide: Ivy Chen Are you ready to get out of the big city and into the countryside to see life on a farm? Do you like healthy and delicious food? Then join Ivy on a visit to an ecologically friendly farm and learn all about the techniques used to grow pesticide-free fruits and vegetables. Tour the fa r m, h e l p to p i c k s o m e fresh vegetables, and enjoy a delicious vegetarian lunch. Comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes suitable for walking around the (possibly muddy) farm are a must. Transportation, farm activity and lunch included. Staying Healthy with Chinese Medicine: Dealing with Stress and Other Common Ailments Thursday, October 26th and November 2nd 9:30 am – 11:30 am; $1,200 Instructor: David Edsall In this two-part course, you will learn how to deal with stress and other common problems in order to live a more healthy life. Dr. Edsall will show you how to use

mindfulness, meditation and Qigong techniques to bring about these results. He will also show everyone basic concepts of acupressure, cupping, and scraping techniques. You will learn how to use these beneficial techniques for stress, as well as for other issues like insomnia, chest discomfort, headaches and muscle t e n s i o n. T h r o u g h s o m e paired activities, everyone will have the chance to get some hands-on practice to try out what you are learning in the course.

cupcakes to enjoy at home. Trick or Treat! Exploring Qingtiangang: An Easy Hike Through Buffalo Meadow Tuesday, October 31st 9:00 am - 1pm; $700 Guide: Richard Saunders Ya n g m i n g s h a n N a t i o n a l Park is not far from Taipei’s busy streets and is a lovely place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. If you haven’t yet ventured up there, here’s

your chance. Starting from the Jiantan MRT we will take a local bus up the mountain t o Q i n g t i a n g a n g (a.k.a. Buffalo Meadow to expats), the high (800 meters-plus) grassy meadows just east of Mount Qixing, the highest p e a k i n Ya n g m i n g s h a n. This short, circular walk makes a loop around the m e a d o w s, t a k i n g i n t h e summit of Mount Zhugao, lots of panoramic views, and of course the beautiful grasslands themselves. This is a fairly short hike, suitable for all regular walkers, almost entirely on stone-surfaced paths, with steps and several moderate but fairly short climbs. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Bring water, snacks, your EasyCard (or change for the bus fares), and sun/rain protection (a raincoat is preferable to an umbrella), as required.

Trick or Treat: Spooktacular Halloween Cupcakes Friday, October 27th 10 am – 12 noon; $1,200 Instructor: Karen Farley Halloween is just around the corner! Don’t miss the chance to learn how to bake and decorate some amazing holiday-themed cupcakes. The class will begin with a b a k i n g d e m o n st rat i o n by Karen, who will share her recipe for chocolatepumpkin swirl cupcakes - one of her favorites! Then, with a focus on decorating using frosting and candy, she will skillfully guide you to create six spooktacularly-decorated

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Mawi Asgedom Returns to Taipei American School


TexT: SArA riggSBy

s an Ethiopian refugee, Mawi Asgedom arrived in the U.S. facing poverty, language barriers, and cultural differences. Instead of giving up, he found strength in his struggles and successfully graduated from Harvard University with a scholarship, delivering the commencement speech to 30,000 Harvard graduates. In 2001, he chronicled his family's story in Of Beetles and Angels, his best-selling autobiography. His visit is an important part of our character education program and the overall wellness initiative at TAS. In anticipation of his visit, TAS upper school teachers and students in Grades 8-12 read Of Beetles and Angels. Middle school teachers and students read The Code: The 5 Secrets of Teen Success, in which Mawi shares his experiences, insights, and five proven secrets to help teens succeed in high school and beyond. Mawi first visited the TAS campus in October of 2011 and returned this September to speak with middle and upper school students, parents, and faculty. In the six years since he last came to Taiwan, he has seen an organized, committed, and energetic focus on character and wellness at TAS, and believes the school is using “powerful leverage to provide a world-class holistic education consistent with unlocking student potential.” Mawi has the ability to make topics relatable to all ages by using relevant metaphors in his speaking and his writing. He emanates a genuine love of helping young people on their journey by sharing his stories, and helping them find internal


iMAge: TAS

power and strength as they write their own story. One student-centered tool Mawi shared is the Locus of Control, based on focusing internal energies on things you can control, while tuning out external focuses that leave you in a poor state of mind, to harness your full potential. He encouraged students to push their “turbo” button to gain energy, save time, feel empowered to solve problems, and reduce stress. The second tool Mawi shared for student wellness is the Growth Mindset. He explained, “Academic achievement is one narrow part of our human potential.” We miss many more goals than we achieve. Mawi believes it is important to practice things you are not good at, not just those that come easily to you, so you can stretch beyond your comfort zone. Even if you miss your goal, you are still further ahead than if you never tried at all and your “can do” circle has grown. After several years of speaking to over a hundred audiences annually, Mawi now only presents around twenty times each year, when he feels like he is a part of something special. He stays motivated by changing his presentations based on audience feedback, and “constantly learning how to do it better” through the challenge of developing relevant metaphors and methods. Mawi feels at home in an international environment like TAS and appreciates how his visit is part of a larger initiative that will make an important and significant impact on this community.

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Young Designers Set Their Sights On Society TexT: evA inMAn

iMAgeS: THe TAiwAn DeSign CenTer

FingerReader(Product Design)


aiwan is well known as a hub for design innovation in the Asia region. Now its impact is spreading internationally as well, as witnessed by the success of one of the island’s top international design awards for talented young and emerging designers – the Golden Pin Concept Design Award. This year, the competition organizers, the Taiwan Design Center, sought to celebrate the wildest, weirdest, and weightiest design concepts from around the world under the theme, “In craziness lies genius.” A cutting-edge poster designed by popular Taiwanese graphic designer Aaron Nieh was particularly successful in advertising the award to young designers. By close of entries in June, organizers had received a recordbreaking 4,395 entries across four design categories: product, visual communication, packaging, and spatial. In late August, following grueling preliminary and secondary selection judging stages, the Golden Pin Concept Design Award announced that 31 projects from Taiwan, Chile, China, Lithuania, and Singapore had been named 2017 Design Mark recipients. ————— After a quick rummage through the winners of this year’s award, it’s apparent that today’s emerging designers care deeply about the issues our society is facing.

AMAZING MEDICAL DEVICES Bamboodia, by Taiwanese d e s i g n e rs Yu-C h i Wa n g and Yu Man Huang, takes advantage of the flexibility and sustainability of bamboo to create a lowcost prosthetic specially designed for teenagers with below-knee amputations. Bamboodia (Product Design) T h e f l at-p a c k d e s i g n o f BoneAid, submitted by the same Taiwanese design team, makes it perfect for emergency care situations where lightness and transportability is a core need. A FOCUS ON ASSISTANCE FingerReader, a project by Singapore-based Roger Boldu, Shanaka Ransiri, Suranga Nanayakkara, and Pattie Maes that was first developed as an MIT Media Lab project, is a wearable device that assists visually impaired users with reading printed text or words, while the designers behind Dian Mian (Jin-Wei Liang, Yu-Rou Zhan, Hsiao-Chi Sung, and Yu-Wei Kao from Taiwan) look at assisted living from a lowtech standpoint. By incorporating Braille, a double-layer design and protective patches, Dian Mian assists the visually impaired to participate in an activity most of us take for granted.

(above) BoneAid (Product Design) (right) Dian Mian (Packaging Design)

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DESIGN (below) AQUAIR (Product Design)

NEKO (Product Design)

f ro m C h i n a) t ra n s fo r m o rd i n a r y, everyday products into something m o r e u s e f u l o r e n ga g i n g. E l b o w Cassette Player provides audiophiles with a contemporary way to listen to a medium considered by many as outdated, while Disappeared Hair offers users a stunningly simple way to clean the hair out of a hairbrush.

HELPING DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES Another project targeting disadvantaged or remote communities is AQUAIR. Designers Wei-Yee Ong, Hsin-Ju Lin, Shih-Min Chang, and Marco Villela from Taiwan take the popular concept of the fog collector system a step further by creating a collapsible, highly portable water collection funnel that can be attached to poles, and fitted with buckets, pipes, and weights found in any village or town, or even in wilderness areas. SAFEGUARDING OUR ENVIRONMENT

FUNNEL (Product Design)

————— INNOVATING ON THE PAST The designers behind Elbow Cassette Player (Andrius Žemaitis and Marius Paulikas from Lithuania) and Disappeared Hair (Qing Zhu, Binxu Jia, Shuai Zhao, Kunyue Peng, Ziyuan Shao, and Yingying Huang


INHABITING HIGHEST IN THE ANDES, by Jonathan Mendez, Rodolfo Cespedes, and Edgard Torres from Chile, is a series of three structures that allow tourists to interact with the natural environment in an unobtrusive w a y. F U N N E L , b y C h e n g - F e i K a i from China, can be fitted into urban stormwater drains to collect the trash that flows into them. Once full, FUNNEL can be easily removed and the waste responsibly processed instead of polluting the oceans or clogging city water processing systems. 12

CARING FOR CATS NEKO, designed by Pin-Ciao Zeng, Meng-Shu Tsai, Yu-chi Liu, Tzu-Fu Hsu, Wei-Fan Wang, and Hao-Ting Lin from Taiwan, was also a project that inspired jury members in Taipei. The only animation project to earn a Design Mark this year, NEKO uses the unique story of a girl who journeys into the fur on her pet cat’s back to battle the fleas that live there, in an effort to encourage people to take better care of their furry family members.

Elbow Cassette Player (Product Design)

“The Golden Pin Concept Design Award aims to provide a platform for talented designers from various industries to express their ideas in their works. I’m very impressed with the creativity witnessed amongst the projects submitted in 2017, which fully embody the spirit of this year's award: In craziness lies genius,” says Tung-Jung Sung, CEO of the Taiwan Design Center, the executive organizers of the Golden Pin Concept Design Award. Golden Pin Concept Design Mark recipients win the right to use the Golden Pin Concept logo on their marketing materials and websites, NT$10,000 in prize money, and are in the running to take home one of three coveted Best Design trophies at the Golden Pin Design Award ceremony in December. Follow the progress of the 2017 edition of the Golden Pin Concept Design Award on Facebook (facebook. com/GoldenPinDesign) or the official website (goldenpin.org.tw/en).

Disappeared Hair (Product Design)

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Yen Hong Lin – Innovative Product Designer TexT: Sue BABCOCK

iMAgeS: yen HOng Lin

communication, architecture, visual communication and digital media. Yen Hong Lin is one such Taiwanese designer. ADVOCATING CULTURE WITH CREATIVE DESIGN For Yen Hong Lin, incorporating culture, creativity and innovation are important facets of his design process. In fact, he is a strong advocate for Taiwan’s emerging cultural and creative industry. Creating a product that has cultural and artistic significance is important to him and it was one of the underlying principles for the creation of his portable name card printing press.


aiwan is getting the world’s attention as an innovationbased economy. And it has a lot going for it; a strong tech manufacturing background, a growing energetic start-up sector and a large talent pool, especially when it comes to the innovation-design sector. Supported by its advanced technology, young Taiwanese designers are now excelling in the areas of p ro d u c t d e s i g n, c o m m e rc i a l a n d industrial design, fashion, media and

centur y, large-scale bronze plate printing techniques were developed to produce paper money and government documents. Sadly, the application of traditional methods has now given way to the digital age and digital products. Yen Hong says, “For me, it is simple. I see beauty in tradition and this is what inspires me to be motivated. Words and sentences printed with ink and moveable lead type preserve a special texture and memory that can’t be replaced by any other kind of printing.”

WHY INVENT A PORTABLE NAME CARD PRINTING PRESS? Our ancient roots Printing in China goes back one t h o u s a n d y e a rs. I t i s a n a n c i e n t form of providing information and information products to people. It has been recorded that there were two types of printing techniques used in ancient China: wood block printing and moveable type printing. Moveable type printing was used in China as early as the 11th century. With the invention of moveable type during the following www.communitycenter.org.tw OCTOBER 2017

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Name cards help foster relationships In Asia, the name card plays an integral part in the business culture and etiquette. The presentation of a business name card reflects the giver’s organization, rank, name and contact information. A name card is presented when meeting someone for the first time and it is a sign of “intent,” for developing a business trust relationship. Since guan xi relationship networks are important in Taiwan, they must be carefully maintained.

Combining traditions with new innovative technology Lin told us that this small portable press is a wooden box made from reclaimed pieces of cypress wood, gathered from old buildings destined for destruction. Each press has an easyto-reach compartment for blank cards, a roller, which provides stable and continuous pressure by manual control, a wo o d e n t ra c k syste m a l l o w i n g each card to move easily through the printing process. An innovative personal printing plate, specialized font and typesetting sessions are available at Lin’s studio for creating stylish and personal name cards. WORKING WITH THE EXPERTS Yen Hong Lin continues, “The Ri Xing Type Foundry, which started in 1969, is Taiwan’s only remaining moveable type foundry. We are working with them to help them to preserve the ancient craftsmanship of traditional Chinese character font and typesetting. We a l s o h ave re c e i ve d a l o t o f a s s i s t a n c e f r o m Ta i w a n m a s t e r craftsmen and artists who have inspired us through each stage of our portable printing press development. Their conversations and generous willingness to share their knowledge and expertise contributed greatly to the success of


our portable printing press. We are grateful to them for instilling in us a renewed spirit to seek out Taiwan’s past, so that we can preserve it, while creating new innovations for its future.” To contact Lin: comcept.lla@gmail.com.

S u za n B a b c o c k i s a long-time resident of Taiwan. During her stay here, she has managed four successful careers in education, cross-cultural relations and counseling, although being a mother has been her favorite.

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Diwali A Beacon of Hope TEXT: NOMITA KAVRA GUPTA



iwali, also known as t h e Fe st i va l o f L i g ht, i s celebrated by the majority of Indians in the Indian subcontinent and in various other countries across the world. The most significant aspect of this festival is the lighting of clay lamps that symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness. The festival of Diwali has different significance for different parts of India. For example, northern India celebrates the story of King Rama's return to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana, by lighting rows of clay lamps, while southern India celebrates it as the day that Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura. In western India, the festival marks the day that Lord Vishnu, the Preserver (one of the main Gods of the Hindu trinity) rid the world of demon King Bali. However, all the interpretations signify victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. FIVE DAYS OF DIWALI Diwali celebrations take place over five days, two days before the actual day of Diwali and two days after. These five auspicious days fall between October 17th and October 21st this year. These days vary every year as

they are determined by the Hindu lunar calendar. The first day is known as Dhanteras, with “Dhan” meaning wealth and “teras” meaning the 13th day of the lunar fortnight on the Hindu calendar. On this day prosperity is celebrated and people clean their houses in preparation for welcoming Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth and prosperity. People purchase precious metals like gold and silver or even new kitchen utensils. The second day is known as Naraka Chaturdasi or Chhoti Diwali, meaning small Diwali. People decorate doorways and courtyards of homes on this day and they start setting off firecrackers as the Diwali celebrations kick off. The third day of the celebrations,

the most significant day of the Diwali festival, is known as Amavasya and falls on the new moon. This is the darkest day of the month. People light diyas, which are small clay lamps, and candles. The fourth day of Diwali is celebrated as the start of the New Year in some parts of the country, while in others, Bali Puja is performed to seek the blessings of demon King Bali. The fifth day is known as Bhai Duj. This ceremony is a celebration of the brother-sister bond, and signifies the duty of a brother towards his sister, and a sister’s blessings for her brother. FIREWORKS Fireworks are an important part of Diwali celebrations. Some historians believe that the knowledge of materials used to make firecrackers existed in India as long ago as 300 BC. However, until the 15th century it was primarily used in warfare instead of for aesthetic purposes. Evidence can be found in numerous Mughal paintings depicting fireworks in grand celebrations and texts describing

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CULTURE people on Diwali and brings prosperity. The prayer ritual is generally followed by people greeting their friends and neighbours and letting off firecrackers. The Diwali dinner is an elaborate affa i r. Va r i o u s t ra d i t i o n a l I n d i a n delicacies are prepared, such as boondi raita, poori and kachaori, shahi paneer, spice-stuffed okra, gulab jamun, jalebi and more. And for once, dessert doesn’t have to follow the meal. Special care is taken to make the meal all vegetarian, even in homes that eat meat.

Women dressed in fine traditional clothes making rangoli

the use of firecrackers in weddings and other events. On the night of Diwali, after the p ra y e r s, c h i l d r e n e n j o y l i g h t i n g firecrackers with friends and family in the community grounds, or their courtyards. FAMILY TRADITIONS People visit their family homes to celebrate Diwali together. It is also the day to donate generously to charities a n d g i ve g i f t s to f r i e n d s, fa m i l y, employees and business partners. The day of Diwali starts off with preparations for evening prayer and rituals. New clay lamps are washed and filled with mustard oil, raw cotton wicks are rolled, final touches to the rows of decorative lighting around the house are finished. Sweets and delicacies are prepared, and verandas and entrances are decorated with flowers or colored powder designs called rangolis. An auspicious time is picked by the priests to perform the evening rituals.Charnamrit is prepared, and incense & diyas are lit. Tilak marks are put on foreheads, and Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi are worshipped and offered fruits, flowers, sweets

and the special Diwali delicacies for blessing. This is followed by Aarti for Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi. Afterwards, diyas are taken to be placed in every room of the house to spread blessings. Prasad is served to all the people who attend the prayers. More diyas can be lit to line the courtyards and put around the house. The house is well illuminated throughout Diwali night, and sometimes even the main entrances are left open to welcome Goddess Laxmi, as it is believed that she visits

DIWALI IN TAIPEI In recent times, Taipei has seen a gradual rise in the number of Indian restaurants. Around Diwali, a lot of these places have special menus or events planned. The international schools celebrate Diwali in their classes. Children make Diwali crafts and learn more about Indian culture. Apart from this, the India Taipei Association (Indian consulate in Taiwan) is organizing the Diwali Fair at the National Palace Museum on 7th October. Check it out for Indian dance performances, g r e a t fo o d, a n d I n d i a n c l o t h i n g and merchandise for a full Diwali immersion.

Food offered to Lord Ganesha and Godess Laxmi to bless

Nomita Kavra Gupta is a writer and india cuisine instructor that lo v e s b a k i n g . W i t h her roots in India, she is passionate about exploring different cultures and traditions.

Goddess Laxmi ready for Diwali rituals


Diyas placed around a rangoli in a home

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A “Ghost” Month TEXT: SYDNEY KO


he month of October, and e s p e c i a l l y H a l l o w e e n, i s often associated with ghosts, w i t c h e s, a n d o t h e r s c a r y creatures in Western society. Children dress up as their favorite spooky character and knock on their neighbors’ doors demanding candies. However, Halloween is not the only holiday that celebrates scary traditions. In fact, the Taiwanese also have their own ways for appeasing the dead. Ghost Month in Taiwan takes place during the seventh month of the lunar calendar, and its climax falls on the fifteenth day of the month (around the end of August or the beginning of September). Perhaps the biggest difference that one can spot immediately between Halloween and Ghost Month is the time span – Ghost Month lasts much longer. However, as spooky as the name may suggest, the superstitions and stories that have been associated with Ghost Month are not actually chilling. In fact, the entire month isn’t meant to be creepy or scary at all. Ghost Month, also known as the Ghost Festival, is an annual event when spirits and dead ancestors come to


visit the living from the lower realm. Humans make visits to temples and offer food and gifts as a means to honor these returned spirits. In spite of the worship and offerings made to their ancestors, people still continue to refer to Ghost Month as a haunted time, where superstitions such as avoiding outdoor activity are observed. However, chatting with my grandma one afternoon about Ghost Month, a time that had always seemed so chilling, actually became a lesson in kindness and warmth for me. My grandma explained to me that instead of being regarded as a spooky time of fear, the original purpose of this month was to observe filial love and happiness. So, what is the connection? According to Buddhist beliefs, July of the lunar calendar is a time when children show their thanks and appreciation to their p a rent s a n d el d ers. M y gra n d m a proceeded to retell to me the story of Mulian and his mother. Briefly, the story Mulian Saves His Mother from Hell is a popular Chinese Buddhist tale that originated in the third century. Mulian’s mother was condemned to the lowest and most

painful purgatory, for a few earthly wrongdoings. Mulian was frantic, and tried to find ways to rescue her. With assistance from the Buddha, Mulian was instructed to offer food and gifts to monks and monasteries on the fifteenth day of the seventh lunar month – a tradition that is still observed today. Mulian’s dedication to save his mother demonstrates one of the most important Confucian beliefs – filial piety. The extent that Mulian was willing to go to save his mother shows how much he appreciated and loved her, even if she did some things that were wrong. After hearing my grandma’s explanation, I understood why humans offered the spirits and their ancestors food, paper money, and things that they may need to make their lives more comfortable during this month. They did so out of love and filial piety. I also learned that instead of following a tradition and the superstitions associated with it, that I need to look more deeply into the tradition. When my grandma told me the story about Mulian and his mother from a Buddhist point of view, I learned that the moral of the story was to show appreciation and be thankful to our parents and elders. So, maybe instead of calling the seventh month of the lunar calendar “Ghost Month”, we should instead embrace this time with positivity and not with a list filled with negative superstitions.

Sydney Ko is an avid coffee drinker and an aspi ring writer with an insatiable hunger for hard truths. She wishes to travel the world one day, but before that happens, she will patiently sip her mocha and read the nearest book she finds.

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Pushing Stinky Tofu: A first taste of Taiwan’s Dreaded Traditional Snack TexT: KiT FArLey iMAgeS: weB


own a little lane in Taipei’s Gongguan district are rows of street vendors with small stalls or pushcarts selling shaved mango ice, sushi, steamed corn, stirfry delicacies, gooey noodle soup, candied small tomatoes on-a-stick, pork or chicken cutlets in curry sauces … and stinky tofu. On this particular afternoon, it was the stinky tofu seller that caught and held my attention. His metal pushcart wa s eff i c i e nt l y co n st r u c te d w i t h one large gas-fueled wok filled with bubbling oil, a wire scoop on a long bamboo handle, plastic containers of stinky tofu, and wooden skewers to eat the tofu cubes from small, hand-sized paper bags. Before I go on any further, I need to clarify that in Taiwan, stinky tofu is considered “street” or “night market” food. So, when I read about stinky tofu making an appearance at a recent Smithsonian Museum of History cultural event, my interest was piqued. If stinky tofu was being served to Washington’s elite, then it had to have something positive going for it. Maybe I


needed to get over my initial “no way” response because of its smell, and give it a second chance. Sitting next to the Gongguan stinky tofu seller was one of the more unique experiences that I have had in Taiwan. As he was explaining to me his special recipe for fermenting tofu, he was frying up batch after batch of the smelly stuff. As each fermented cube of tofu was dropped into the bubbling hot oil, wafts of a highly pungent aroma rose, like a fog, completely enveloping the seller and myself. There was no getting around it: I stank. As the crispy deep-fried cubes were removed from the wok, the seller carefully made a hole in the top of each piece with his chopstick. Into this hole was poured a mixture of sesame oil, vinegar, shredded cucumber and pickled cabbage. Then it was topped off with a little minced garlic. I learned that the fermentation process is kicked into action with a brine solution. The recipe for the brine varies from family to family and locale. However, the tofu seller told me that the basic ingredients that he used

included vegetables, food scraps, salt, rice water and wine. He lets microorganisms work on breaking down the mixture for about six months in uncovered earthen jars. When the brine is ready, he takes soft squares of tofu and lets them soak in the brine for six to seven hours. They are then rinsed and placed in a refrigerator for another seven to eight hours to age. Once this final stage has been completed the treated tofu is ready for the wok. This brings me back to a question that the tofu seller asked me: “Would you like to try some?” Taking a deep breath and mentally trying to prepare myself for the worst, I took a bite. OMG, it was delicious. The look on my face brought a huge smile from my newfound friend, the stinky tofu push cart seller. He had made a convert.

Kit Farley is an educator, researcher and writer currently on assignment in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

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Only Cupcakes

TexT: nOMiTA KAvrA guPTA


upcakes: the word evokes a sense of nostalgia as well as excitement. They are small enough not to make you feel over-indulgent, but big enough to leave you satiated. They come in regular as well as mini sizes. You can have a bouquet of different flavours in a box, or just an overdose of your favorites. They can be served at a party, or as a treat after your family dinner. You can have a cupcake tower at your wedding, or take them to a game to share with your team. Cupcakes can go from simple to glitter and sparkle to extremely fancy with edible gold and



silver accents, and couture cupcakes, which have royal colors and floral patterns, in between. I can go on and on about the awesomeness of cupcakes: they are addictive, not just to eat, but also to bake and get creative with. Taipei has its fair share of bakeries, but I had a tough time finding cupcakes that had the right balance of moisture, taste, flavor, and freshness. In addition, over consciousness of the hazards of ingredients in some store-bought bakers’ confectionary stirred a dormant hobby into a fulltime passion. Cupcakes allow you to play w i t h d i ffe re nt f l avo rs a n d f l avo r

combinations. Just to give you an idea of how crazy it could get, have you heard of bacon and peanut butter cupcakes? How about popcorn and salted caramel? Or would you care to try zucchini and apple cupcakes? How about margarita, spiced liquor, lavender, or marmalade cupcakes? To sum it up, the realm of cupcakes is colossal, and one where you are limited only by your imagination and creativity. Watch this space for more fun facts and inspiration from the world of cupcakes. Only cupcakes: h t t p s : // w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / onlycupcakestoorder/

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MEXICAN FOOD at Maji Square legit street tacos. Meanwhile I made my way back to Mecato Colombia, because I figured I would kill two birds with one stone and try both stalls out, plus empanadas with tacos sounded pretty good. Mecato had drawn my attention with their bright and festive sign, flanked by the yellow, blue and red stripes of the Colombian flag, and more importantly, photos of TEXT: JOAN H, HUNGRYINTAIPEI IMAGES: HUNGRYINTAIPEI

Jo an c reated Hungr y in Taip ei in 2005 when she mov ed to Taiw an from California and couldn't find much information online ab out restaurants in English. She has since b lo gge d a b o u t o v e r s i x h u n d re d Taipei restaurants, found places to fulfill her Mexican, cupcake, BBQ and pho cravings. She has explored Taipei's night markets, shaved ice, dumplings and fine-dining scene extensively. Hungr y in Taip ei has been mentioned by BuzzFeed, CNN Travel, NY Post, Lonely Planet Taiwan, Taipei Times, Bizarre Foods and the Culinary Institute of America. http:// hungryintaipei.blogspot.tw/



’ve found possibly the best tacos in Taipei right now, and you'll never guess where. Forget all you thought you knew about Mexican food in Taiwan and get yourself to the outdoor food court at Maji Square. Hidden in plain sight among the jumble of stalls of oyster vermicelli, burgers, poutine and Indian food are two food stalls you must try if you've been craving something better than the landscape of "It's good for Taiwan" Mexican food. I didn't even realize what the name of the shop was; my eyes just went from the word “TACOS” on the sign straight to al pastor, carnitas, and chorizo. The photos of the tacos looked promising, the person manning the shop didn't look bored, and the price of NT$150 for two tacos or NT$200 for three was reasonable. After peppering the guy at the stand with a flurry of questions, I decided to get a plate of three. Regrettably the carnitas weren't ready yet, but I could get al pastor chicken and al pastor pork. He said it would take 5-10 minutes, so I would wait in anticipation by making another circle around the food court. A small price to pay for the promise of

their empanadas. I asked which ones were best and settled on the traditional chicken and the chicken and mushroom, which the owner said also had cheese. Sounded good to me. There's also pork, salami and Hawaiian empanada on the menu at Mecato (Is Hawaiian a real thing for empanadas or is that just for Taiwan?), as well as arepas, drinks and obless, which looked like Colombian tortas. I think I made the owners a little bit nervous with all my questions and by concentratedly eyeing them getting the fryer ready for the handmade empanadas, so while they cooked I went back to look for my tacos. I have seen (and eaten) a lot of tacos in Taiwan (and around the world!) and the look of the tacos dictates a lot about how they are going to taste. And these tacos al pastor definitely looked right. First, they had corn tortillas. Second,

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they were sprinkled with diced onions and cilantro, and only onions and cilantro. Third, there was a proper meat-to-tortilla ratio, enough meat that when you rolled up the taco you could see it coming out of the edges. And the fact that the corn tortilla was thin and pliable enough to roll up… you couldn't imagine what a rarity that is in Taiwan! And the taste? HEAVENLY. I did not realize how much I wanted to eat a taco until my mouth was chewing the tender bits of spitroasted pork and fat mixed with the punch of the bits of onion and cilantro, and I forgot that I was even in Taipei. I didn't even have to think, this is good for Taipei. I thought, this is good, PERIOD. The al pastor had enough flavor from the tomato (which gives it its reddish color) and spices do not need any extra hot sauce. But if you like it with a bigger kick, they did have a bottle of Cholula and house-made hot sauce on hand. This food is obviously being made by someone who knows what it's supposed to taste like. I walked back to pick up my empanadas, which were golden, fist-sized puffs with braided edges, and I knew that I was probably the only person in the food court eating both tacos and empanadas right then. And everyone else was missing out. The chicken and mushroom empanada (NT$55) was deliriously cheesy: so much so that they should put the word "cheese" in the description so people know they are basically getting a savory fried cheese and chicken doughnut. The crust was flaky and the center cheesy, and I didn't even mind that I didn't taste any mushroom. I seriously could not believe my luck; the taco and empanada universe finally expanded to include Taipei. The chicken and potato empanada (NT$50) was also delicious, and reminded me of a croquette since it had the diced potato, but with the bonus of the fried crust around it. As I write this up, I’m thinking about if I should go back tomorrow for more…. Quantum Tacos and Mecato Colombia (哥倫比亞小吃在台) Maji Square, 1 Yumen Street (玉門街1號) MRT: Yuanshan, exit 1

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Kooks Mountain Kitchen

Dynamic Drinks and Capital Culinary Creations Beckon at this Restful Respite TexT & iMAgeS: SCOTT B. FreiBerger

Fresh, Clean & Sierra Serene: Welcome to the Kooks Mountain Kitchen Scene!


ooks Restaurant (異嗑堂) co-founders Liam McDonagh and partner-for-life Emma Chen (陳佩 君) certainly give Eddy and wife Jo Gonzalez of Eddy’s Cantina (艾迪墨西哥餐廳) a run for the proverbial money for the coveted title of Taipei’s hardest-working restaurant couple. After opening the original Kooks Restaurant (異嗑堂) a stone’s throw (or fiveminute walk) from Tamsui MRT Station, Mr. McDonagh and Ms. Chen established a sizable customer base of local Taiwanese patrons, both short- and long-term expatriates, and adventurous globe trekkers. The restaurant b e ca m e k n o w n fo r i t s u n i q u e b l e n d o f international cuisine consisting of particularly piquant flavors (hint: try the savory burgers and relishing wraps!) and custom décor, artwork hand-painted by none other than the accomplished Mr. McDonagh himself. In addition to perfect pitas, the menu also boasts homemade hummus and ample vegetarian offerings. LIFE ON DATUN MOUNTAIN: WHERE BEAUTY IS NOT A RARE OCCURRENCE After nearly a decade, business grew to the extent that the couple decided to expand their edible offerings and open Kooks Mountain Kitchen (異嗑堂二店), an enticing Westernstyle bar and cool café that offers international fare coupled with serene mountain scenery. All this is just a 20-minute ride on the MRT red line. The new location provides ample tranquility for customers to consort, and space for Mr. McDonagh to create new, ambrosial offerings. According to Mr. McDonagh, this perfectly productive pair “…fell in love with the location and its natural surroundings” and knew instantly that they not only wanted to continue to build on the success of their business, but also develop and grow their lives there. IT FEELS LIKE HOME TO ME… Arriving at Kooks Mountain Kitchen is a bit like discovering a hidden delight nestled cozily off a main highway between Banff and Lake Louise in Canada. Indeed, the quaint, tranquil mountain vibe beckons the moment one arrives


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FOOD AND DRINKS at the terrific teal, select scarlet, and singular citron-colored “Kooks” sign and spacious outdoor patio; patrons from the West may also appreciate the au courant café’s dynamic décor, which infuses Beatles photos and Decca Records album cover classics with sui generis stock from bygone eras. The restaurant, meticulously embellished, boasts indoor and outdoor bar areas with spacious seating that comfortably seats around fifty, free Internet where patrons can post selfies or fantastic Kooks food photos in real-time, and leg room to relax.

AN APPROACHABLE AND FRIENDLY CREW = QUALITY TIME TO RELAX WITH A BREW Co-owner Ms. Chen’s disarming smile and warm greeting puts customers at ease, as does the enticing aroma of the delectable dishes to come. Prices are reasonable, averaging NT$200 to $300 per meal, and food is handmade immediately after being ordered. “Liam does most of the cooking, and approximately 90% of all food is handmade in the kitchen,” related Ms. Chen. “We work hard to ensure that all of our customers are satisfied with their meals,” she added. Indeed, both Ms. Chen and Mr. McDonagh personify industry, poise, and spirit, and in spite of his considerable business success, M r. M c D o n a g h re m a i n s h u m b l e, s o f tspoken, and easily approachable. He later related that both he and his wife are sincerely grateful for all the positive customer feedback (“We totally appreciate the support!”). As Co-Founder and Head Chef Mr. McDonagh worked industriously in the kitchen, conscientious co-owner Ms. Chen spoke candidly about her careful consideration in selecting an appropriate location for the second restaurant.

SENSATIONAL FLAVORS FOR THE GLOBAL-MINDED Kooks Mountain Kitchen offers a healthy, hand-picked selection of culinary creations t h at s h o u l d a p p e a l to b o t h v i va c i o u s vegetarians and extraordinary omnivores alike. The restaurant boasts a smorgasbord of fine, hand-made foods (at reasonable prices) even your most fastidious friends should enjoy. Starters, which could impress even the most simple-minded of epicureans, include corn chips with salsa and a chicken wings combo rife with far-out flavors: The “Four Flavor Platter Set” impresses via distinct jerk chicken, barbeque, smoky chipotle, and Thai sweet and sour sauces, with separate carrot and celery sticks. Dive into that distinctive Kooks dip! Other novel options include fine French onion soup or Macao-style potato beef hash. All meals are carefully crafted and, when served, appear as marvelous edible masterpieces for any diner. The specialty menu (with photos) boasts salmon and combo pizzas, spicy Thai-style steamed fish, New Zealand organic steak, American-style pancakes (consider ordering the set meal with bacon and scrambled eggs; the eggs

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are served light, fluffy, and not overlywatery), and signature falafel or pulledpork burgers. The taco combos (hard or soft) are perfectly paired with chili, and choices include pulled-pork, beef, chicken, or vegetable. THE STELLAR CELLAR IS RIFE WITH WINES, DELECTABLE DRINKS & DELICIOUS DESSERTS Delectable desserts include massive milkshakes, piquant pineapple cakes, and homemade chocolate caramel donuts. Kooks’ homemade jams (far superior to those concocted by those mischievous yellow Minions, of course!) have received rave reviews: “We make our own jams and usually have fig, mulberry, lemon and banana jams for sale, as well,” the chef added. That fact alone could make any Minion’s mouth water! M r. M c D o n a g h a l s o n o te d t h at handmade bread, choice cookies, and other tempting goodies are typically for sale on the counter: “Our regular desserts include pineapple and dark rum upside-down cake, cinnamon


rolls, lemon tart, brownies, cranberry blondies, banana cake, and various ice cream concoctions.” In other words, consider waiting to shed those few extra pounds until after you have indulged in these not-so-subtle sweet sensations! For those seeking inebriant libations, cold beers are available by the bottle or on tap, as are a variety of gin, rum, tequila, vodka, or whisky-blended drinks (the restaurant’s ambrosial Long

Island Iced Tea may jog memories of serene walks along any coastal shore). On the topic, Mr. McDonagh informed, “Our alcohol selection includes a wide variety of cocktails and a more limited selection of imported beers. We also have half a dozen red wines and a couple of white wines available at any given time.” FROM AMOROUS ADVENTURES TO GROUP GETAWAYS, KOOKS MOUNTAIN KITCHEN BOASTS CULINARY DELIGHTS FOR RELAXING RESPITES Long-term patrons and countryhopping adventurers alike seem to appreciate the creative Kooks Mountain K i tc h e n c u i s i n e a n d c l e a n D at u n Mountain air coupled with the new restaurant’s cozy, alluring environ, perfect for quick city getaways or celebratory occasions. After ordering the chicken wings “Four Flavor Platter Set,” for instance, repeat customer Jim Chang commented that he preferred Ko o ks’ s p e c i a l h an d m a d e s a u c e s

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FOOD AND DRINKS to those of chain restaurants. Mr. Chang then pointed to the menu and mentioned that he was also fond of Kooks’ behemoth-sized burgers. “It’s a different kind of restaurant,” he said. A nearby diner, who identified herself as “Mimi,” said her daughter craved Kooks’ marvelous mac and cheese meals and savored the sumptuous chocolate milkshakes. Kooks Mountain Kitchen is select for either small or larger groups. When asked directly about the best times to make a reservation, Mr. McDonagh cheerily responded, “Anytime is a good time to make a reservation! We look forward to serving anyone a n d eve r yo n e!” A c co rd i n g to M r. McDonagh, the largest group the new restaurant has entertained is 55 people. He and his spirited staff members “regularly handle large groups and private catering,” he commented, “so 12-15 is no problem.” For even larger groups, or for large party reservations during peak hours, the restaurant offers a convenient pre-ordering service whereby customers can complete either a partial or entire order in advance to help ensure that large

orders arrive quickly once patrons are seated. Reservations can be made and recorded on the answering machine if the restaurant is closed. If a customer provides a message with reservation details, a staff member will call back to confirm. For traveling families, the restaurant is also child-friendly, as Mr. McDonagh and Ms. Chen ensure toys are available for children to tinker with on the outside patio; the perspicacious, hardworking pair is now raising three beautiful boys, who appear to enjoy spending time at the new restaurant and sharing their toys with other children who visit. For a brief respite from the urban trappings of Taipei, take the MRT red line, depart at Tamsui, and head up the hill to the Temple of Heaven (無極天元宮). This grand temple towers five stories (108 meters) and attracts thousands of visitors annually for its cherry blossoms that bloom every spring. After a succinct spiritual sojourn, cross the street, delve into nature, and experience Kooks Mountain Kitchen, where mouthwatering meals could easily be catered to the Gods.

Kooks Mountain Kitchen (Kooks 2 異嗑堂二店) 32-1, Nanshipu, Tamsui, New Taipei City (淡水區水源里南勢埔32-1號, 251) GPS: 25.179358, 121.484011 Phone: (02) 2625-6610 Hours: Thursday through Sunday 12 pm until 9 pm https://www.facebook. com/Kooks-2-異嗑堂二 店-1745499505696843. Bus: F101 and F103 (both free); Uber: NT$120; Taxi: NT$250

Scott B. Freib erger h a s p e n n e d d o ze n s of ar ticles for blo gs, magazines, newspaper, and regional tour guides. His latest venture is the bestselling Taiwan travel book Taipei In A Day includes: Taiwan From A To Z (http://www.TaiwanTravelBook.com).

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Writing Therapy: A way of healing both your mind and body TEXT: KATHERINE CHANG IMAGES: WEB

If you're unhappy because you can't seem to get over a traumatic or stressful event and you’re having trouble sleeping, working, and relating to others as well as you'd like to, try taking out a piece of paper and writing. SCIENTIFIC STUDIES SHOW THE CORRELATION BETWEEN EMOTIONAL DISCLOSURE AND HEALTH Since the mid-1980s, hundreds of scientific studies have emerged and shown an intriguing connection between state of mind and physical health: when people spent a few minutes each day writing about a traumatic or upsetting event in their lives (and their thoughts and feelings about it), not only did they begin to have better moods and self-esteem, but their physical health measurably improved as well. The latest finding published by a team of researchers in New Zealand revealed that writing about personally distressing events can speed up physical wound healing in an older population. In previous studies, this type of emotionally expressive writing (as opposed to writing on neutral topics) is shown to affect the immune system positively, and can be a powerful tool in the treatment of trauma, mental distress, and chronic pain (studies have examined everything from asthma and arthritis to breast cancer and migraines). Researchers have found something even more striking: having a traumatic experience was bad for people in many ways, but people who cope


by repressing the memories or emotions of a trauma and are unable to find words or expression for their emotions were much worse off; they are at higher risk for major and minor illnesses compared with people who did talk about their emotional upheavals. There is a correlation between disclosure and health; expressing your deepest thoughts and feelings enhances the immune system and allows it to function at its optimum level. HOW, WHEN, AND WHY WORDS HAVE HEALING POWER When people write about something stressful or traumatic, it brings up emotions that made them feel down or distressed. But the relief that comes with, “Ok, now I’ve got all of this off my chest,” could reduce the extent to which the event troubles them, and possibly improve their sleep. Furthermore, many people who have written about their negative experiences report it allowed them to make sense of what happened, gain greater insight into the event, and to put it into perspective. In the process of continuous writing, people begin to understand their situation, and in turn create solutions or find resolutions. Having to work though all these things helps them to bounce back. It is likely this emotional change assisted the healing process. It has been found that stress causes a physiological change in the body that slows healing. When people put traumatic or distressed experiences into words, it enhances emotional regulation, and they show immediate signs of reduced stress. Interestingly, studies have shown that when people disclose a trauma to someone they don’t know or trust, they

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OUTLOOK hold back, and don’t receive any benefits from this. So the purpose of expressive writing is to be completely honest and open with yourself. Your audience is you and you alone. Your emotional writing doesn’t need to be read by anyone for you to benefit from it. WHAT YOU COULD WRITE ABOUT Writing about what keeps you awake at night is a good place to start. Begin with the emotional upheaval, and if you find yourself moving to another topic, go with it. Some people write about things like losing their job, the end of a relationship, or a major mistake they made that had negative consequences. All of us have major conflicts or stressors in our lives. Write about anything that is causing you distress, affecting your thoughts and keeping you from moving on. Also consider any topic you have been actively avoiding. The general guideline is to write about something that is extremely personal and important to you. HOW TO WRITE Try writing continuously for fifteen minutes a day for several days. Write about what happened, how you feel about it, and why you feel that way. Don’t edit or censor yourself; don’t worry about grammar or sentence structure; just write whatever pops into your head at the moment and go with it. The most important thing is to get your thoughts and feelings out without imposing any order on them (refrain from writing, reading, editing, deleting, re-writing…and so forth). Acknowledge and label both the negative and positive emotions that occurred during and following the event. Write to learn where you need to go: trust where your writing takes you. You may start with an emotional topic but soon begin writing about another topic. As long as these other topics are emotionally important, follow them. Write what is present in your mind. What are your emotions and thoughts at this point? What things have you learned, lost, and gained as a result of this event in your life? Why did this happen? How has this upheaval shaped your life and who you are? How will this event guide your thoughts and actions in the future?

any benefits, or if you still need help in coping with your experience, consult a physician, psychologist, or counselor. Traumas have the potential to set off a cascade of biological changes that result in disorientation and distorted thoughts; in such cases, it may be difficult to put many pieces together at once by yourself. Expressing painful emotions is hard, yet it can actually improve our mental and physical health. The power of expressing emotions is one of the most important discoveries psychologists have ever made. Writing our deepest thoughts and emotions openly and honestly can help us look inward and examine who we are, and help us to adjust to the situation better. If we are worrying about things from the past, we have less working memory to connect with the present moment. As people write about it time after time, their reactions to the experience become smaller and smaller. Writing emotionally enables us to identify, label, and integrate negative emotions into the broader context of our life, and make meaning out of them.

Katherine Chang is a licensed counselor both in the United States and Taiwan, and enjoys working with kids and individuals of various cultural backgrounds. In summer she likes hiking and backpacking both in Taiwan and abroad.

A FEW REMINDERS - Depending on the severity of a trauma, people are often disoriented in the first one to three weeks after it happens. If you feel as though you cannot write about a particular event because it will push you over the edge, then don’t write about it. Write about something else that you can currently handle. Deal with topics you can’t handle now in the future. It’s normal to feel worse – sad, even weepy – immediately after writing about distressing topics. Writing may make you sad for a brief time, but the effects are generally shortterm, and may last for a couple minutes to an hour or two. However, across multiple studies, later people reported feeling happier and less negative than they felt before writing. - Give yourself some free time after writing to let your mind reflect on what you have written. Don’t schedule any important appointments immediately after your writing. Give yourself at least a couple of minutes to stand back and think about the events, issues, thoughts, and feelings that you have disclosed. - If after writing, you feel as though you haven’t reaped

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Exploring the Mysterious Feicui Reservoir TEXT & IMAGES: RICHARD SAUNDERS


l i m ps e s o f i t s e m e ra l d s u rfa ce a re o n e o f th e highlights of the trip along t h e o l d Ta i p e i to Yi l a n highway (now blissfully quiet, since most traffic takes Freeway 5 through Hsuehshan Tunnel), yet to appreciate its great scenic beauty properly, you have to stand on the bank of this huge, serpentine expanse of water. It’s extraordinary to think that whenever a tap is turned on in Taipei City, the water flowing out the faucet is coming from these enchanting waters, which are an exquisite deep green, even on the overcast, rather moody morning as I stand at its edge However, this is easier said than done. Unlike Shimen Reservoir (石門 水庫), the other big one in northern Taiwan (which serves as a recreational area for locals and tourists), the aptly named Feicui (“emerald”) Reservoir (翡 翠水庫; misleadlingly re-christened ‘T h o u s a n d I s l a n d L a ke (千島湖) a few years ago, as it actually has only

three) is mostly out-of-bounds to the general public, which lends it a vaguely mysterious air, one made even more attractive when catching glimpses of the always brilliant green waters of the reservoir, lying at the foot of steep, densely wooded mountains, from the highway high above. Unfortunately, there’s no way to see the impressive 120-meter high dam of the reservoir except in photographs, however there are several little-known but perfectly legal ways to get down to the edge of the scenic waters, along roads that serve the single settlement that still stands on the reservoir’s banks, and the farms of neatly tended tea bushes that line steep hillsides above. Exploring these backroads makes for a wonderful half day’s drive from Taipei, but note that they’re steep, incessantly winding and often little more than the width of a car (with passing places) - quite a serious test of the driver’s ability and nerve. Perhaps because of this, even if you go on a

weekend, you’re unlikely to see anyone else apart from a few locals and the occasional (illegal) fisherman. T h e e a s i e s t (a n d w i d e s t) r o a d down to the reservoir serves the tiny, forgotten settlement of Yongan (永 安), which clings to the steep, wooded slopes just above the shore of the lake. Take one of the two turnings (each marked by a small arch across the road) off Highway 9 eleven kilometers west of Pinglin (坪林). Both descend towards the shore of the reservoir in a long series of bends and hairpins, with sudden breathtaking views of the reservoir suddenly opening up below for a few meters before the road dives back into the dense forest. The settlement itself, a tiny place with a couple of little shrines, looks quite unexceptional, but the terrific view over the reservoir, coupled with the eerie quiet (the result of an almost complete lack of any traffic anywhere nearby) makes this place unique in the Taipei area.

Richard Saunders is a trained classical musician and writer who has lived in Taipei since 1993. He has written several books (available at the Center and in bookshops around Taipei), including Yangmingshan: the Guide (a complete guide to the National Park on Taipei’s doorstep), Taipei Escapes I and 2, which together detail sixty day trips and hikes within easy reach of Taipei city, and The Islands of Taiwan, a guide to Taiwan’s offshore islands. His latest book, Taiwan 101: Essential Hikes, Sights and Experiences around Ilha Formosa, is out now. 28

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The Basic Fall Wardrobe TEXT: ZEE DLAMINI

DAY DRESS The convenience of a day dress is welcomed this fall. Sleeveless shift dresses seem to be the most liked style. However, there are other simple yet elegant choices to invest in; try long-sleeved versions that make the trend work for all ages and styles. Day dresses are commonly uncomplicated to wear and hassle-free to pair. Think less is more.


THE PLEATED SKIRT The pleated skirt is not a new kid on the block but like many other clothing items, it is enjoying the spotlight once again, and has been reinvented to suit the needs of the everyday girl who enjoys a bit of fun with her clothes. Thanks to Gucci (Gucci Ghost pleated skirt), it has gone from a street style-favorite to fast-fashion darling. The most noticeable style this season is accordion-style pleats, available in different color hues and tones. And if trends are not your cup of tea, then you can avoid metallic or shimmery pleated skirts and stick to neutrals and earth colors.

BRIGHT COAT When it comes to fall cover-ups, I admit that even I tend lean towards neutral colors. But this fall is full of color-popping, highly saturated hues, and eye-catching coats. The one that stands out is the belted coat style; clinching the waist has never been so trendy with coats; belting your outer wear creates a ‘V’ shape between the wide lapels that's a brilliant face-framing trick. The beauty of styling one of these bright clothing items is that everything else can be a cheat for us all. Black, navy, or beige underneath is how to best highlight brightly colored coats. Work that belt - keep it tied.

Zee Dlamini is a digital PR strategist turned fashion stylist/fashion blogger, in addition to being a full-time mommy with a zest for life and a lover of all things good.

WHITE SHIRT …or Edwardian white shirt to be exact. This style emphasizes the collar with stunning, stand-out details, and that may take a little daring to wear. They are nothing like the usual buttondowns we all own, which is what makes this a unique yet wearable investment piece for fall: different but practical. They are best in comfortable cotton fabric which does not strangle you. This style of shirt calls for subtle if not minimal pairings so that your shirt or makeup will do the talking.

COZY SWEATER / CARDIGAN I believe that the ultimate luxury is comfort, and if you can manage to have style and comfort effortlessly, then you are a luxurious being. Cardigans, a s ca s u a l a n d a s dressy as they may be, have long been hailed as one of the most comfortable fashion pieces. I love them because they can be slipped over your ensemble. This season, the prep schoolinspired knit is what you need to get; a partiallybuttoned sweater combined with equally soft pieces will look effortlessly casual and comfy.

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#14 Tienmu E. Road

| Telephone 2871-1515 | GP168@hotmail.com.tw

Taiwan 101: Essential Sights, Hikes and Experiences on Ilha Formosa by Richard Saunders

Taiwan 101 presents Taiwan’s finest attractions to anyone who wishes to get to know this island of kaleidoscopic charms, complete with transport information and GPS coordinates of nearly 800 fascinating places.


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he Great Getaway

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Profile for The Center

Centered on Taipei October 2017  

Centered on Taipei, an English publication in Taiwan.

Centered on Taipei October 2017  

Centered on Taipei, an English publication in Taiwan.