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Centered on TAIPEI March 2013, Volume 13, Issue 6

PhotograPhy: Using Color in yoUr Photos stoP the traffik taiwan the taiwanese PUbliC edUCation exPerienCe Coffee imPaCt loCal football in kaohsiUng

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March 2013 volume 13 issue 6


letteR fRoM tHe editoR


RiCHARd ReCoMMends nAtionAl tHeAteR And ConCeRt HAll MARCH 2013


CultuRAl CoRneR PeoPle of Taiwan


CenteR GAlleRY tHe CenteR’s fAvoRite finds


off tHe BeAten tRACk The Demon STePS


spoRts local fooTball


CoMMunitY TaS events At tHe CenteR CouRses At tHe CenteR


oRpHAnAGe CluB


CoMMunitY TeS tCM CoRneR chineSe meDicine DieTary TheraPy


CHARitY coffee imPacT


Coffee CoRneR coffee imPacT


CHARitY SToP The Traffik Taiwan


pHotoGRApHY color


HeAltH faTTy aciDS anD exerciSe


events ABout town


eduCAtion The TaiwaneSe Public eDucaTion exPerience


expAt peRspeCtive celebraTing holiDayS from home


CAsuAl dininG eDDy’S canTina


Ask Bin ceramicS in yingge


GeneRAtion Y finiSh The race running


CHinese kitCHen PickleD Sour muSTarD PlanTS


CsC Business ClAssified CoveR iMAGe: CRAiG feRGuson






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: Correspondence may be sent to the editor at 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 2013. All rights reserved. Material in this publication may not be reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner. MARCH 2013

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Publisher: editor: Co-editor: Advertising Manager: tel: Fax: email:

Community Services Center, Taipei Kari Schiro Richard Saunders Paula Lee 0926-956-844 02-2835-2530

Writing and Photography Contributors: Nancy Achorn Nick Ackert Katrina Brown Ivy Chen Michelle Cheung Chi-Kwun Aly Cooper Craig Ferguson Scott Freiberger Thomas Furey Eddy González Monica Hess Bin Huang Brandon Huang

Serina Huang Ting Ting Huang Katya Ilieva-Stone Natalie Köhle Amy Liu John McQuade Shaun Ramsden Richard Saunders Patricia Tzeng Ivonne Vidal Pizarro Tina Yuan

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: Adam McMillan office Manager: Grace Ting Counselors: Suzan Babcock, Maaike Berteele, I-Wen Chan, Fawn Chang, Katherine Chang, Jung Chin, Wendy Evans, Cerita Hsu, Perry Malcolm, Eva Salazar-Liu, Ming-I Sun, Cynthia Teeters newcomer orientation Consultant: Amy Liu Accountant: Monica Cheng Communications: Kari Schiro Programs Coordinator: Rosemary Susa events Coordinator: Bianca Russell Chinese teacher: Gloria Gwo volunteers: Nancy Achorn, Alison Bai, Wen Finamore, Shana Garcia, John McQuade, Bunny Pacheco, Gloria Peng, Ruth Reynolds, Amanda Savage, Desta Selassie, Emmy Shih, Michelle Smith, Anita Town Premier Sponsors: 3M Taiwan Bai Win Antiques BP Taiwan Ltd. Breitling China American Petrochemical Concordia Consulting Costco Wholesale Taiwan Crown Worldwide Movers Ltd. Four Star Int’l Grand Hyatt Hotel, Taipei HSBC ICRT Metacity Development Corp ProQC San Fu Gas Co. Ltd. Smerwick Ltd Songfu Li Standard Chartered Bank 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. and drop by the Center to chat with us about our programs. you can also email us at

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Kari Schiro Editor

Richard Saunders Co-editor

Paula Lee Advertising Manager

LetteR FRoM tHe eDitoR I’ll admit, before becoming one myself, I held some misguided preconceptions about expats and their lifestyles. I pictured highrolling cultural interlopers, reminiscent of the stereotypical “ugly American abroad” who steamrolls his way into another culture only to turn up his nose in disdain. I imagined lavish lifestyles and little regard for the local way of life. I was, in a word, wrong. What I discovered was an incredibly compassionate and generous community of people eager to learn about the country and culture in which they were living. One filled with people who go out of their way to help others as they adjust to life in Taiwan. And I found countless individuals dedicated to giving back to the country that openly welcomed them. So I introduce this month’s issue enthusiastically but also somewhat sheepishly because it basically reads as a laundry list of all the reasons I was wrong about expats. It includes three related articles about two philanthropic initiatives led by an expat husband and wife team. First, Serina Huang introduces us to Coffee Impact, an innovative Salvation Army program that brings fair trade coffee to consumers in Taiwan – and funds public works locally and internationally in the process. Next, resident coffee aficionado Aly Cooper gives us her favorite Coffee Impact picks and encourages us to caffeinate for a good cause. Finally, Nancy Achorn explores the issue of human trafficking in her eye-opening and powerful piece about Stop the Traffik Taiwan. Also included in this issue are articles that exemplify the helpful and welcoming spirit of the international community. In her second piece about education in Taiwan, Katrina Brown assists newly arrived families in navigating the public school system by sharing three families’ – including her own – experiences with local public schools. And Thomas Furey’s article about football illustrates how a common interest in “The Beautiful Game” has created an inclusive “family away from family” for many expats in Kaohsiung. Several more articles embody one of the most interesting, in my opinion, aspects of living in an international community – cultural exchange. Amy Liu shares her perspective on the people of Taiwan, and in her popular Chinese Kitchen column, Ivy Chen invites us to try a classic Taiwanese comfort food – pickled sour mustard plant. Scott Freiberger introduces us to Eddy’s Cantina where owners Eddy González and Jo Tseng bring Mexican cuisine to Taipei. Finally, Katya Ilieva-Stone explores the nature of tradition and why, no matter where she lives, it is important to celebrate holidays from home with friends from around the world. Point taken; I stand corrected. Sometimes what we imagine will bring out the worst in people actually brings out the best. As always, we welcome your feedback and contributions. Drop me a line at I look forward to hearing from you!

Kari 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." ( MARCH 2013


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national Theater & concert hall march 2013

ReCommenDs RichaRd SaundeRS


ensual, savage, scary, sultry, even seminal: the adjectives that come to mind to describe the musical highlights at the CKS National Culture Center this month all seem to begin with ‘S’. Certainly they all aptly describe Stravinsky’s intense masterpiece, The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre de Printemps), being performed here as a ballet for the second time in as many years – a rare treat for more adventurous local music lovers. This time it appears the music will be recorded rather than played live, but as ample compensation it will be with choreography by the late Pina Bausch and danced by her group, Tanztheater Wuppertal. More savage sensuality this month in Prokofiev’s Rite wannabe the Scythian Suite. Written two years after Le Sacre in 1915, and with colorfully-titled movements such as “The Evil God and the Dance of the Pagan Monsters,” Prokofiev’s source of inspiration is no mystery. A lesser composer might have turned out an unholy mess; Prokofiev’s score though, while a pale shadow of the earlier work’s greatness, is an immensely fun, wild ride, and one well worth catching, since we’re unlikely to hear it again in Taipei for many years. The Scythian Suite forms the climax of a very fine program by the National Symphony Orchestra, also including Falla’s delectable Nights in the Gardens of Spain for piano and orchestra (by turns seductive, raptly peaceful and darkly passionate), Debussy’s masterly distillation of Spanish character, Iberia, and Bartok’s Third Piano Concerto (the most listenerfriendly of the three that he wrote) which features one of the composer’s distinctive ‘night music’ movements in the middle for a rather spooky touch. Ascending into more rarefied, spiritual planes, March 24th sees Mozart’s late, achingly beautiful Clarinet Concerto (written just months before his death in 1791), played by the great German clarinetist Sabine Meyer. We stay up in the clouds for Brahms’ last, great symphony (no. 4 in E minor; the one with the gorgeous, modal slow movement), and then plunge back to earth for Richard Strauss’s ebullient (and rather silly) Till Eulenspiegel, which incidentally also features a very famous clarinet solo. Staying with the theme of death for just a minute more, the Novel Hall (out near Taipei 101) is the venue for an enterprising concert coupling Rachmaninov’s sombre Isle of the Dead, Ravel’s calamitous La Valse and (on a more hopeful note) Richard Strauss’s beautiful Death and Transfiguration. Taiwan’s greatest violinist, Chou-liang Lin makes an uncommon return to play the odd-man-out in the program, Samuel Barber’s sunny Violin Concerto, famously written for a young violinist who, in the event, is said to have found the work too difficult to play! Finally, I will be giving a piano recital (my first for over two years!) at The Forum Auditorium in Minzu West Road on March 30th. My program also includes a work by Barber (the four jazzy Excursions), plus two movements from Albeniz’s magnum opus, Iberia, and Poulenc’s irreverent collection of musical portraits of friends, Les Soirees des Nazelles. The main work is half of Godowsky’s huge, ambitious Java Suite (I’ll be playing the remaining six movements at the end of the year), receiving its premier performance in Taiwan. Hope to see a few of you there!



The Gambler

Dostoyevsky’s famous play, performed in German march 2-3

Café Muller and Le Sacre de Printemps

Tanztheater Wuppertal performs Stravinsky’s scary ballet march 28-31 RR


World Premiere of a new music theater work march 2

Jian Wang and James Judd

Orchestral music by Shostakovich, Elgar and Beethoven march 14

Sabine Meyer and NSO

Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto march 24 RR

Zukerman Chamber Players Pinchas Zukerman and friends march 27 RR

Verdi’s Requiem march 30 RR

NOVEL HALL Love and Death VIII

Orchestral works by Richard Strauss, Ravel, Rachmaninov and Barber march 10 RR

FORUM AUDITORIUM Excursions: A Recital of Piano Music from Three Continents march 30

Twilight in Scythia

Orchestral works by Prokofiev, Bartok, Falla and Debussy march 17 RR 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.

TICKETING OFFICES: • NTCH: (02) 3393 9888 • ERA: (02) 2709 3788

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Amy's ulturaal Corner

people of Taiwan:

The diverse groups living on this beautiful island


any expatriates ask me if they should refer to the locals as ‘Taiwanese’ or ‘Chinese,’ a sensitive issue that may become a subject of tension, depending on who you talk to. There’s no simple answer to this question, as there are more diverse ethnic groups living on the island of Taiwan than most visitors or foreign residents imagine, but let me provide some basic background information on Taiwan and my personal perspective on its people. The Fujianese The vast majority of people living on the island of Taiwan are ethnic Chinese. In 1624, the Dutch established a commercial base in Tainan (台南) and were the first to import a large number of Chinese laborers from Fujian (福 建), a southeastern coastal province of mainland China and the closest province to Taiwan. Subsequently, Ming loyalist Zhen Cheng Gong (鄭成功, also known as Koxinga) retreated to Taiwan with warships and soldiers when the Ming Dynasty was superseded by the Qing Dynasty on the mainland. Zheng defeated the Dutch and ended their 38 years of colonization. Zheng’s kingdom lasted only 21 years, and in 1683, Taiwan fell to the Qing Dynasty rulers and became a county of Fujian Province. For the next two hundred years, immigrants – mostly the Minnan people (閩南人) from southern Fujian province and some Hakka – continued to enter Taiwan. In 1887, Taiwan officially became a province of China, (台灣 省, Taiwan shen) with its capital in Taipei. hakka The word Hakka describes both an ethnic group and its language. The name literally means ‘guest’; in Taiwan most Hakka people are originally from Guangdong province and speak either Shihsien (四縣) or Hailu (海陸) Hakka dialects. Hakka place a significant emphasis on education and keeping their own culture and language, and they follow traditional work ethics. Quite a number of outstanding figures such as Sun Yat-sen, Charlie Soong, Deng Xiaoping, and former President Lee Teng-hui are of Hakka descent. After Taiwan had been a province of China for just eight years, Taiwan was ceded to Japan after China was defeated in the Sino-Japanese War. Japanese occupation began in 1895 and ended in 1945 when Japan lost World War II. Fifty years of Japanese occupation had a long-lasting effect on Taiwan and Taiwanese culture.

Most significantly, infrastructure like the government, educational and postal systems, agriculture, city planning, and railroads were started under Japanese rule. Most Japanese nationals left the island unconditionally in 1945. The ‘Mainlanders’ The last large group of Han Chinese immigrants that settled in Taiwan came from various provinces in China when the ROC government arrived in 1949 after the Communists took over the mainland. About two million arrived, mainly soldiers, Kuomintang (KMT) party members, businessmen, and intellectuals. This group is generally referred to as ‘mainlanders’ or waishen ren (外省 人, the ‘people from other provinces’). ‘Mainlanders’ account for about 13% of the current population of Taiwan, while people whose ancestors have lived in Taiwan since the 1600s, the so-called ‘Taiwanese’ or ‘benshen ren’ (本省人, the ‘home province people’), comprise about 85% (70% Fujianese and 15% Hakka). The indigenous peoples The last yet very important group is formed by the indigenous peoples of Taiwan. They are the original natives of the island, belonging to a number of tribes who occupied the plains and mountains and are believed to have lived on the island for thousands of years. When the Han Chinese came, they drove them into remote valleys and into the mountains. The Japanese government was the first to classify and recognize nine main tribes during their occupation; as of 2008, the Taiwanese government had officially recognized a total of fourteen distinct indigenous peoples in Taiwan. They now make up less than two percent of Taiwan’s total population. The lifestyle and culture of the descendants of aborigines have continued to change; they have adjusted to rapid modernization and assimilated into mainstream Taiwanese culture. However, many of the original customs and tribal identities have been retained by the older generation. Recently, more young people have returned to their home villages to trace their roots. Many aborigines have also reverted from their Han Chinese name back to their native aboriginal name on their official Taiwan ID. Though each individual may not necessarily identify him or herself as a ‘Taiwanese’ due to their family history, I can guarantee that each person in Taiwan is proud to express that he or she is from Taiwan, a beautiful and precious island. MARCH 2013

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The Center's Favorite Finds

GALLERY March 2013


Porcelain Paintings by Michelle Tan Coming to the Center Gallery wall this month is the artwork of Michelle Tan. Michelle has been painting on porcelain plates and tiles for a number of years, and her work has been exhibited at art galleries in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Michelle's paintings range from pictures of flowers and birds to portraits, all of which are beautifully painted in vibrant colors that will capture your imagination.


Anne Wu’s Elegant Bag Hangers and Jewelry Have you experienced the awkward situation of determining where to place your handbag when you’re dining at a restaurant? The dazzling crystal purse hangers brought in by Anne Wu will solve your problem. Also on display for the March Gallery are Anne’s collection of rings, bracelets, and glazed bottle essential oil necklaces. Come to The Center to check out these beautiful fashion accessories. They make great gifts for friends.

Jewelry by Primrose Vilakati On the sideboard display in the Gallery this month is a collection of jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets and earrings made from precious stone beads, pearls and silver. The pieces come in multi-cultural styles, with Chinese knotting and elegant metal chain, which create both an Asian and a Western feel to the jewelry. To ensure satisfaction with the jewelry, personalized designs and length alterations can be made. A percentage of all proceeds of items sold at the Gallery goes 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.


peaking in front of a group can be a cringeinducing activity – for anyone. Your knees knock and palms get sweaty. You hope no one will hear the catch in your voice. Even experienced speakers aren’t always 100% confident standing in front of a group to give a speech, but they – and you too – have a secret weapon to help overcome any qualms and transform even the most timid into an accomplished orator. You’ve probably heard about Toastmasters. Would it surprise you to learn that there are more than 60 clubs in Taipei alone? Often, clubs are formed by interested co-workers who want to advance their careers by improving their communication skills. Toastmasters International aims to help members learn the art of speaking, listening, and thinking in a mutually supportive environment. From my experience (I belong to several local clubs and have attended other local club meetings), this rings true. A first-time attendee who was called on to give an impromptu “Table Topic” speech told me: “It was lots of fun, with lots of interaction; everyone was very open and supportive.” When you attend a meeting you’ll notice that they are well organized, and everyone has a chance to speak. We laugh a lot (with, not at, each other) and are enthusiastic in our enjoyment of the time spent together. Many, if not most, of the Taipei clubs are English-speaking. To find a club near you go to: http://www.toastmasters. org/ and click “Find a club near you.” Come on, join in the fun and improve your speaking ability!

ECCT-ICRT International Charity Golf Cup

Friday, April 19, 2013 Royal Kuan Hsi Golf & Country Club, Hsinchu To register a team of four, visit If your company is interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Adam McMillan at

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the demon steps


ith the annual Flower Season already well underway, the Yangmingshan Park area has once more become a no-go area for anyone in search of a little peace and quiet. Yangmingshan is, of course, vastly larger than that tiny area around the park which heaves every February and March under the weight of countless locals (and the occasional expat too) enjoying the cherry and azalea blossoms, but at this time of year those heading to another part of the National Park might find even the normally simple act of driving or bussing it up into the hills a traumatic experience. Happily Yangmingshan Park is so close to Tianmu that walking up is a very pleasant option. The Tianmu Steps (more properly known as the Tianmu Old Trail) spring immediately to mind, but that path, although attractive and convenient, isn’t exactly a quiet commune with nature. If convenience is less important than scenic beauty and peace, several other walking routes up the mountain are more rewarding, and if the cherry blossoms of Yangmingshan Park are your goal, then there’s no better way to go than to follow the Yang Feng (‘bright peak’) Old Trail (陽峰古道), which starts at the head of Phoenix Valley, in the foothills of Yangmingshan, about midway between Beitou and Tianmu. The trail falls into two halves, the first a gentle ascent

through woods rich in unusual plants and fungi, giving fine views across to Mount Datun (the third highest peak in Yangmingshan). In just thirty minutes or so, it emerges on Dongsheng Road, just a few minutes walk from Flower Season Ground Zero: the Flower Clock and fountain (turn right). If the shuffling masses here begin to overwhelm, walk back along the road past the trailhead, and follow the road for a few minutes in the other direction. After crossing a stream, turn right off the road up a path which climbs through a beautiful wooded glen to the small but pretty Datun Waterfall. This is still Yang Feng Old Trail, which once connected the markets of Beitou with the farmland of Jhuzihu (where tasty Penglai rice and various vegetables were once cultivated in the same fields that are now covered in snow-white calla lilies). This upper half of the old trail is a tad harder to follow and you’ll need a good map or directions to follow the route. It’s quite different in character from the wider, more gentle path lower down the mountain, and is narrower, sometimes climbing stiffly up old, worn stone steps, to emerge at the calla lily fields of Jhuzihu. Also, since this section of the path is well up in the heights, on the slopes of Mount Datun, thick Yangmingshan fog is a common occurrence. Hence the alternative, slightly spooky Chinese name of this stretch of trail: 魑魅仔崁, which translates, with a little artistic creativity, into ‘demon steps’!

the route of Yang feng old trail, from above Beitou to the Jhuzihu calla lily fields, is described in detail in Yangmingshan: the Guide (pages 143-148), available at the Center and at taipei bookshops.

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) and Taipei Escapes I and 2, which together detail sixty day trips and hikes within easy reach of Taipei city. A fourth book, a guide to Taiwan’s offshore islands, is due out in April 2013. MARCH 2013

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Dispatches from Kaohsiung: Local Football TexT & Images: Thomas Furey


ootball, soccer, or zuqiu (足 球) may not have as strong of a following in Taiwan as many other sports, but that doesn't deter the Kaohsiung Massive Football Club from keeping the culture, camaraderie, competition, and cheerfulness of this great sport thriving in Southern Taiwan and across the country. They are The Massive by name and literal description. This wiry conglomerate of football fiends has 25 regularly participating players and 120 current and former disciples in addition to quite a significant following in Southern Taiwan. And it is this massive interest that keeps the team rolling. The Massive are not your standard football team. In fact, they shy away from the old blood that associate


with the sport in Kaohsiung and have developed a fresh approach to running a football team. They are one of two expat teams in Kaohsiung – the other being the older, more traditional Pacers. “The difference between [The Massive] and the Pacers is that we encourage anybody – no matter your skill or where you are from – to come play. The Pacers are selective and that’s the hardest part – balancing competitiveness and just enjoyment,” explained Jason Hare, a current team member, advocate, and representative of The Massive. Hare, one of the team’s many leaders, is a medium-build striker who sports a head of dreadlocks that would make Bob Marley proud and who has an intensely optimistic personality. His dedication to The

Massive comes in between teaching English, disc jockeying, creating multimedia, and running his own custom T-shirt and design business. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Hare found a second home in Kaohsiung and a second family with The Massive. He explains, “The motto of the team is we play with everybody. We’re really working on being the team to get people playing and involved.” Though the team aims to win, and competition is fierce, Hare says, “It is chill and relaxed at practice. At games it’s more serious, but we are still laidback. We’ll go out for beers after practice. It’s a really nice atmosphere for foreigners looking for a home.” T h e M a s s i v e s t a r t e d i n 2004 and, after growing from a fledgling organization, is now one of the top teams on the island. Originally they were called Da Massive, as a play on the Chinese word for big, “大 .” Later, this was changed to simply The Massive. The team formed as a merger between two teams – The Gangshan Gang and Nations United. Spencer Hogg was the original

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manager of the team and, inspired by an Ali G. skit, came up with t h e t e a m’s n a m e. N o w a d a y s, Vi c t o r Liang, a Filipino expat, at, runs the team in addition dition to playing regularly. The Massive boasts players from a hodgepodge of different countries. Players hail from Canada, Holland, Sweden, Italy, The United Kingdom, Mexico, Belize, Germany, Vietnam, The Philippines, Nicaragua, The United States, The G ambia, and Ireland. “On any given day, we represent five to six – or more – different countries,” Hare says with a grin. Among other priorities, creating interest in football is one of the team’s many objectives. “I think there are lots of people and teams who play football in Kaohsiung. [T h e r e a r e] t o n s o f Ta i w a n e s e teams and we're beginning to get to know them – especially through scrimmaging and having friendlies

( matches). (friendly T This really helps u us come together w with the Taiwanese fo football community and an helps to expand name,” said Hare. our n Their relaxed “anything attitude attracts a lot of goes” attitud newcomers. Brickyard, a nightclub and bar in Kaohsiung, sponsors the team, and the sponsor’s party vibe translates directly to team members. During tournament play, it’s possible to see team members lighting up a smoke or even cracking a beer between matches. The fellowship developed among the team is obvious, and they encourage each other to hang out after practices and games and go out for drinks regularly. T h i s o f f-f i e l d c a m a r a d e r i e translates to cohesive play on the f i e l d. I t i s t r u e t h a t T h e Massive represent a peppering of the w o r l d o v e r, b u t they still manage

Interested in playing football in Taipei?

Check out or contact Robert Iwanicki at or 0972 202 373 You can find The Massive on their Facebook and Instagram pages at Kaohsiung Massive FC

to work together, using English as the common language to communicate with one another. And while the athletes’ cooperation is apparent, each one also brings a unique playing style and different attitude. The Massive uses these differences to its advantage. “We have some African guys from the army who are really fit and an asset to our team,” Hare s a y s. F e l l o w t e a m m a t e N i c o l a s Trojanowski from Ontario, Canada slightly disagrees, stating, “Actually, our greatest asset is that we can attract all of these different players. We don’t care if you’re a girl or [where you’re from], we will let you play.” The Massive’s style of play is different every match depending on the players at their disposal. “It depends on the day.... We have a lot of individual talent, so we don’t regularly plan together,” Hare said. The approach is working. In the Foreign Cup, an event that bring brings together football tea teams from across the i s l a n d, T h e M a s s i v e are the defending cchampions. But to The Massive iit appears that winning not only entails defeating opponents but also creating lasting bonds through an amazing worldwide sport. The team’s contentment and friendship with each other is overwhelmingly positive, and it is remarkable to see players from across the globe come together for a common goal.

To m F u r e y i s a rec e nt g ra du at e from the University of Oregon with undergraduate deg rees in jour n ali sm an d Chinese language and culture. He recently moved to Kaohsiung to pursue teaching opportunities and employ his M and arin language skills. Yo u c a n f i n d h i m bl og g i n g about life in Taiwan at http:// MARCH 2013

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aipei American School upper school students have numerous opportunities to participate in scientific research. They can take the Scientific Research I and II classes and conduct research in the new Sandy R. Puckett Memorial Research Lab in the new Upper School Science and Technology Building. TAS students have conducted many research projects in our new facility already. For example, one student studied the relationship between DNA and Brownian motion. The goal was to modify the DNA’s structure so that it would be resistant to senescence as well as cancer. Other projects include comparing seeds and pollen collected from wind towers at school using the scanning electron microscope in the lab; designing an iPad application to work like flash cards in which one half of the screen says the word aloud in Mandarin and the other half in English; and developing a motorized wheelchair that allows a user to control it by blowing or drawing in air through a tube. The students will present their findings at a Scientific Research Symposium in the Lecture Hall on May 30, 2013. Several other students in the Scientific Research I and II classes conduct their research offcampus with mentors

at local hospitals and universities, such as National Taiwan University (NTU), NTU Hospital, the NTU College of Medicine, and Academia Sinica. The students are carrying out a diverse range of research projects. For example, one student is examining the relationship between metabolism and obesity as a function of an activated immune system. Another student is analyzing molecular methods to inactivate cells in vitro that have been manipulated to carry the hepatitis C virus, which may serve as a method to turn off cancer cells. Currently, we are seeking to extend the research laboratory experience to include the industry sector. We need more mentors to do so. We are also working to establish a speaker series in which students may engage with speakers who come to TAS to share their findings and experience in research. If you would like to participate as a mentor or speaker, please contact Mr. David Devore at or Dr. Ivonne Vidal Pizarro at

Events at The Center SPring baZaar anD luncheon Friday, March 8, 10:30am – 3:00pm The Regent Taipei Celebrate International Women’s Day in style and support a worthy cause. The Bazaar offers the unique opportunity to browse the wares of some of Taipei's finest artisans...all under one roof! Join us for lunch, raffle drawings, and, of course, shopping! A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to Stop the Traffik. Learn more on page 18.

book clubS: $Expat Wives by ulrica marshall The morning book club will meet Tu e s d a y, M a r c h 19, 10:30a m o n w a r d s. For more information, email coteditor @ The evening book club will meet on Thursday, March 21, 7:15pm onwards. For more information, email

Courses at The Center Activity Survival Chinese I Survival Chinese II Evening Survival Chinese II Tea Tasting and Walking Excursion of the Old Tea District Skin Care and Make-Up Workshop Indian Vegetarian: Snacks, Appetizers and Chutneys Shadow Puppet Workshop 12 MARCH 2013 The Grand Hotel: History, Rumors and Secret Tunnels Little Burma Tour Tantalizing Thai

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First Meeting Date

# of Sessions

Monday, March 11 Monday, March 11 Monday, March 11 Wednesday, March 13 Friday, March 15 Friday, March 15 Saturday, March 16 Monday, March 18 Thursday, March 21 Friday, March 22

14 14 12 1 2 1 1 1 1 1



Meet @

Gloria Gwo Gloria Gwo Gloria Gwo Jackson Huang Claire Yeh Shakha Gupta Robin Ruizendaal Jennifer Tong Ivy Chen Saithip Tantiwongkorn

9:00am - 10:20am 10:30am - 11:50am 6:30pm - 8:30pm 9:30am - 12:30pm 12:15pm - 2:15pm 10:00am - 12noon 10:00am - 12noon 9:30am - 11:30am 10:00am - 12noon 10:00am - 12noon

The Center The Center The Center ABC Tea Shop The Center The Center Lin Lui Hsin Puppet Museum Jiantan MRT Sta. Exit 2 Nanshijiao MRT Sta. Exit 4 The Center

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book workDayS Saturday, March 2nd On March 2nd from 9am to 5pm, Orphanage Club members, chairpersons, and volunteers will be sorting through our vast collection of donated books. We will be categorizing by genre and pricing all the books in preparation for the annual Book Sale.

hunger week Monday – Tuesday, March 18th – 26th Orphanage Club’s Hunger Week is a week for hunger awareness within the Taipei American School community. The annual soup sale will be held with bowls crafted by TAS art students. All proceeds plus a NT$20,000 donation from the Orphanage Club will support the Salvation Army soup kitchen near Taipei Main Station. Hunger Week will also include hunger lessons taught by Orphanage Club members to TAS lower school students. Furthermore, teachers, administrators, and TAS upper school students will be encouraged to fast on Hunger Day, March 26th, to experience an empty stomach. A donation booth will also be set up on Hunger Day, and all proceeds will go to Oxfam International to fight hunger. book Sale Saturday, March 16th As one of the largest book sales in Taiwan, the muchanticipated annual Book Sale will offer a wide variety of books


at great bargains. There will be a variety of genres that includes children’s books, young adult fiction, comic books, nonfiction, magazines, self-help books, and much more! In particular, children’s books number in the thousands, and there is a young adult title for every middle school student. In addition, there will be an impressive assortment of books for teachers, students, and ESL students studying for the SAT, TOEFL, AP, or other standardized exams. Although the majority of titles are in English and Chinese, there are also many books in other languages, such as Japanese. Admission to the sale is free, and it will be held rain or shine. Everyone is welcome to browse through our incredible collection of books, and we are always accepting donations! By buying our books, you will be helping the Orphanage Club and the many orphans we support! reminDer: We encourage all raffle winners to claim their raffle prizes at the Book Sale from 10am to 5pm.



Orphanage Club

flea markeT Saturday, May 11th As a reminder, the annual Flea Market will be held on Saturday, May 11th, and table registration will begin at the end of April. rummage DonaTionS The Orphanage Club is always welcoming of any donations for our Rummage Sale, which will be held on Saturday, June 15th.

Please visit our website at All inquiries can be directed to or to our sponsor Mr. Arnold at MARCH 2013

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Student from the Taipei European School achieves Top in the World results on Cambridge International Examinations TexT & image: TeS


ensen Yang from Taipei European School has received a prestigious award from Cambridge International Examinations to acknowledge his outstanding performance in the June 2012 Cambridge International Mathematics General Certificate of Secondary Education. The Cambridge Top in the World awards recognize the success of learners who have achieved the highest standard mark in the world for a single subject. Cambridge places learners at the center of their international education programs and qualifications, which are inspired by the best in educational thinking. Dr. Allan Weston, CEO of Taipei European School, said that the award, which was also received by Willie Hung for Mathematics and Karishma Mahtani for Chinese in 2011, recognized the talent, dedication, and commitment of both learners and staff. Jensen Yang received his Cambridge Top in the World award at a recent school ceremony on the 10th of January. Janet Morris, Director of Cambridge International Examinations Communications and Customer Relationships, said, “It is extremely rewarding to congratulate Cambridge

learners and teachers at Taipei European School who have worked so hard to achieve tremendous success in Cambridge examinations. The results are a reflection of the enormous talent in Taiwan, not only amongst learners but also within the teaching profession. Learners from Taipei European School have a bright future ahead of them, and I wish them every success in their future.” Jensen said, "It's an honor to receive this prestigious award. It's truly an awesome feeling. I guess all that hard work through the year ultimately paid off." TES graduates are also doing extremely well after graduation. Students graduating from TES have gained places at some of the most prestigious universities around the world, including the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London (UCL), London School of Economics (LSE), University of Warwick, Stanford University, Brown University, University of Michigan, Carnegie Mellon University, University of British Columbia, and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Some TES students have also gone to top local Taiwanese universities, including the world-renowned National Taiwan University.

tcm corner

Chinese Medicine Dietary Therapy


TexT: Shaun RamSden

h e Chinese M a t e r i a M e d i c a describes over 8,000 different substances, and each substance is characterized according to its effect on the body. With so much knowledge gathered over the centuries about the interactions between these substances and the body, Chinese Medicine Dietary Therapy is sometimes quite different from the beliefs of modern medicine. Chinese Medicine Dietary Therapy has nine basic rules: 1. Balance the yin and yang foods for your body type You need to observe the foods you eat and your body’s reaction to those foods. These observations can allow you to understand what body type (yin or yang) you have, and then you can adjust the amount of warm (yang) and cooling (yin) foods that you consume accordingly. Foods that are yang in nature affect the function of your organs, while yin foods are generally rich in nutrients. In Traditional Chinese Medicine there are two types of toxins. Yang toxins reside in the yang organs and need yin foods to clear them out.


Jensen Yang (middle) receives the cambridge International Examinations Top in the World award from Dr. allan Weston, cEO of Taipei European School, and mr. Stuart Glascott, head of TES British Secondary and high School Section

Conversely, yin toxins reside in yin organs and need yang foods to remove them from the body. If you eat too much yin food when you have yin toxins, you will multiply your internal toxins greatly. The same is true for yang foods and toxins. Therefore, learning to eat correctly is the single most effective way to prevent future illness. 2. Don’t overeat Overeating damages the function of the spleen and stomach and will disturb your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. 3. After eating rest for a while After eating one should spend about 40 minutes doing something that does not involve deep thinking. The blood and qi, or bioelectricity, of the body must go to the stomach and spleen to help the digestive process. Over-thinking will cause the blood and qi to rise to the head imposing a greater burden on the digestive system.

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4. Don’t eat too late The basic rule is not to eat later than 7pm as food will stagnate in your stomach. Eating late also may affect your sleep and can lead to obesity. 5. Follow the seasons The composition of a healthy diet depends on the season. You can achieve the correct yin/yang food balance quite naturally by eating the foods in season. The basic guideline for a healthy and balanced person is as follows: Spring: 55% yang and 45% yin foods Summer: 65% yang and 35% yin foods Autumn: 55% yin and 45% yang foods Winter: 65% yin and 35% yang foods In summer your body’s yang is being pushed to the exterior; this makes you sweat and feel hot. For this reason, the interior of the body is in a state of relative coolness. In winter the yang contracts inward, your pores close, and you stop sweating. This leads to a state of excessive yang internally. To maintain the proper internal yin/yang balance, you should consume more yang foods in the summer and more yin foods in the winter. 6. Keep your stools free If you have constipation, your body will begin to build up toxins within the intestines. To prevent this, keep your intake of fiber high. A simple remedy for constipation is to eat bananas and papayas. 7. Eat all five tastes To maintain the health of the five major systems (Heart, Spleen, Kidney, Lungs, Liver), one must be sure to eat bitter,

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sweet, salty, pungent, and sour foods. 8. Enjoy and thank your food Food is one of four things that sustain us (the other three being water, air, and sleep). It is important to take your time when you eat, taste your food, enjoy the whole process. The practice of thanking one’s food has been lost in the modern world. It doesn’t need to be spoken; it is just a feeling that you have towards the food you eat. 9. Yang qi It is important to remember that we need to protect that which gives life to all – the sun of the body, yang qi. Yang qi is a collective term for anything that cannot be seen and is functionally based. When it comes to safeguarding the body’s yang qi, there has been a lack of education concerning foods. For instance, we commonly are told that green tea is a wonderful antioxidant; however, it is very cold in nature and is a major cause of period pain. Similarly, ice cream and cold beverages all severely damage the yang qi because they contract the arteries, which restricts blood flow. Eating healthily is not complicated. If you eat with the seasons, listen to your body, and eat a broad range of foods, you’re already halfway there. Shaun Ramsden is a native Australian. He has a Bachelor of Medicine from the Beijing Chinese Medicine University and numerous Diplomas in Remedial Massage Therapies. In addition to running his own Physical Therapy and Massage Clinic he enjoys training in different styles of martial arts.

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’m sure you’ve seen those TV commercials: for only the cost of a cup of coffee a day, you can donate to a charity and make a difference. But what if you could still drink your coffee and make a difference, too? Coffee Impact is the brainchild of the Salvation Army’s Major Robert Duncan, who has proudly engineered a social enterprise business model, producing coffee that “looks good, tastes good at the right price.” The secret will be repeat customers: yes, he is confident that his carefully chosen Arabica coffee beans are that good. Listening to Robert talk about Coffee Impact is mesmerizing. He relates how the green coffee beans are specially selected and shipped to Taiwan by a reliable importer. The beans’ origins are dependent on the harvest of individual farms and, because of this, some varieties change throughout the year, but there are more than enough to choose from. They currently offer five coffees but aim to produce twelve. (See coffee aficionado Aly Cooper’s article on page 17 to find out her favorite.) Once a customer places an order, the beans are roasted locally in 3-kilogram


batches. “The small batch size is essential to maintain consistency and quality,” Major Duncan explains. The beans are then allowed to cool, sorted to remove any flaws, sealed, and date stamped in zip-sealed bags. The coffee is at its best for around a month after opening the bag. Robert and his wife, Leanne, have a strong connection with Taiwan, having adopted their daughter from the island 25 years ago. A few years ago a friend gifted them with the airfare from Australia to allow them to meet their daughter’s birth mother. The experience made such an impact that the Duncans moved to Taiwan to help the local community. They are a husband and wife team, with Leanne’s work focusing on social justice projects including the Stop the Traffik program (see page 18 for more on Stop the Traffik). According to Robert, the Salvation Army has a long history of social entrepreneurship. While they welcome donations, grants, and volunteers, they also believe in establishing businesses that benefit the local community. In Australia, he used his previous business n o u s (h e w a s a h i g h-e n d j e w e l e r before joining the ministry) to start

and manage eight profitable Salvation Army stores. Impact coffee sells for between N T$520 – N T$660 p e r 16-o u n c e (454-gram) pack. The Salvation Army promises to deliver within 48 hours of roasting. Consumers can save on postage by bulk ordering (free delivery for five bags or more), and charity groups can earn commission. Beans are sold whole to retain freshness. Robert is ironing out some glitches in the website, which he promises to have online soon (www.coffeeimpact. In the meantime, customers can order by emailing jason_ chen@, telephoning (02) 2738-1171, or faxing (02) 2738-5422. And despite the marketing campaign having just started, they already have people clamoring to buy their fresh roasted beans.

Ta i w a n x i f u ( Ta i w a n d aughte r- in - l aw) is the pen name of Australian e x pat r i at e food , t ra vel and culture writer Serina Huang, who blogs at

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coffee corner

TexT: Aly Cooper ImAges: serInA HuAng & THe sAlvATIon Army


hether you are a coffee drinker or not, little compares to the aromatic bliss that is coffee. There is a reason that the very smell of it is a mood enhancer. Entering the Salvation Army this particular evening was no exception and left me with little doubt that I was in the right place. With five different coffees to dip into, the smell was intoxicating. As Serina can attest and elaborate upon (see Serina’s article opposite), Robert Duncan is the mastermind behind the brainchild that is Coffee Impact. I can attest that if you purchase this coffee you will not be disappointed. Again, not claiming to be a coffee e x p e r t, I m a y n o t b e a b l e t o adequately describe the “notes” that are present within a particular blend or be able to accurately describe a coffee’s body or finish; but I can tell you if a brew is good or bad. While I, of course, had a favorite amongst the Impact brand, you cannot go wrong with any of Coffee Impact’s single origin coffees; they’re all good and all chosen intentionally and deliberately by Robert. I started off with the Mandheling, a surprisingly mild brew with none of the bitter aftertaste that is present in all too many coffees. I

moved right along to the Kachalu that had a bit more of a hit (which I like) followed by my favorite, the Antigua, which is described as “having a citrus/berry flavor with medium/heavy body.” I’ll have you know, I took all these coffees straight black, none of the frills. I’ll also have you know that some coffees just don’t need all the “shtuff” in order to be good. THAT is how you know you’ve had a great cup of coffee. Let me also address the proverbial e l e p h a n t, s h a l l I? T h e r e a r e preconceived notions surrounding fair trade coffee; that while the premise is honorable, the coffee just doesn’t live up to the consumer’s standards. Again, not so with the Impact brand. There are a variety of single origin coffees to choose from, and while all have different levels of boldness, all meet a high standard of quality that you look for in your daily caffeinated cup. Many don’t think before they drink, but if you did, you would know that when drinking Coffee Impact you are promoting and furthering social justice around the world. Did you know that while you are sipping the Antigua, a percentage

of your purchase goes to provide funding for children with special needs in the local orphanage? Or take the Capucas that funded the construction of a local soccer field for two neighboring villages with its profits. Lives are actually changed because you purchased this coffee! Those are just the benefits to the local villages that produce the coffee. For the Salvation Army, the proceeds from Coffee Impact go right back into programs in Taiwan that assist children, the homeless, and the elderly, and it is the main sponsor for Stop the Traffik, which strives to raise awareness of and prevent human trafficking (see page 18). As the Salvation Army so eloquently put it, “Impact your world one cup at a time.” I’d say this is definitely a cup of coffee worth writing home about.

Aly Cooper is an expat wife of two years who enjoys adventures with her five-year-old son, reading, eating, blogging, having A LOT of coffee with friends, volunteering and spending free weekends exploring what the island has to offer with the family. Got a suggestion for our resident caffeine addict? Send them in via MARCH 2013

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Stop the Traffik TExT: NANCY ACHORN


t o p t h e Tr a f f i k i s , i n t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n’s o w n words, “a growing global movement of individuals, communities and organizations fighting to PREVENT the sale of people, PROTECT the trafficked and PROSECUTE the traffickers.” The campaign started as a grassroots organization in the UK in 2006. It now has over 45,000 members in 257 countries. In striving to put a stop to the buying and selling of human beings, Stop the Traffik is not just spreading information to various countries around the world but also sending people to work within these communities to facilitate real change. The Salvation Army has been designated Lead Advocate for Stop the Traffik in Taiwan. To learn more about human trafficking – the fastest growing international crime – and Stop the Traffik Taiwan, I sat down with Major Leanne Duncan, an Australian expat who has spent the last 20 years working as a leader for the Salvation Army, and the past 14 months learning about human trafficking in Taiwan. Here is what I learned. The first questions: Is there really that much human trafficking in Taiwan? Yes. Are we alone? No. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (U N O D C), h u m a n t r a f f i c k i n g involves every continent and every c o u n t r y i n t h e w o r l d, e i t h e r a s sources of humans trafficked, transit countries through which they are moved, or destination countries. M e n, w o m e n, a n d c h i l d r e n a r e

1.2 million children are trafficked every year — Estimate by UNICEF trafficked. While Europe’s victims come from the widest range of countries, victims from Asia are trafficked to the widest range of destinations. This is an issue that, in order to be solved, requires not only a global effort but also local advocacy, with people working within their communities to stop the buying and selling of people at every level. S o t h e n, w h a t d o e s h u m a n trafficking look like in Taiwan? Some victims are brought in as sex trade workers. Predominantly women, they often come from China and rural areas of Taiwan. The majority of trafficking victims in Taiwan, h o w e v e r, s t a r t o u t a s m i g r a n t workers from all over southeast Asia. Some are factory workers and fishermen, although most are domestic workers and caregivers. When I asked Leanne Duncan to explain how a person can arrive as a migrant worker and so easily “slide” into becoming a victim of

human trafficking, she told this story, one that is so typical she has heard it many times over from numerous women here in Taiwan. lena A young woman who we’ll call Lena leaves her home to escape c r u s h i n g p o v e r t y, m o s t l i k e l y from Vietnam, Indonesia, or the Philippines. There are no jobs at h o m e, n o t e n o u g h m o n e y a n d sometimes not enough food. She has run out of options. So she makes the hard decision to leave her home and her family to get a job in Taiwan. She knows other girls found work through a broker in her area, so she signs on with him to do the same. She is relieved to find he has a “really good job” for her, one that may pay her as much as NT$30,000 a month, but she must agree to pay almost NT$210,000 once she starts earning money just to secure this job. Of course she doesn’t have that

Human trafficking is the second largest source of illegal income worldwide exceeded only by drugs trafficking. — Patrick Belser, International Labour Organization, 2005 18

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People trafficking is the fastest growing means by which people are enslaved, the fastest growing international crime, and one of the largest sources of income for organised crime. — The UN Office on Drugs and Crime kind of money now – if she did she would not need to leave her family to work in a foreign country – but once she starts earning real money she’ll pay it back and have enough to send some home. She signs a contract with the broker before she leaves home, making her feel confident that this is a legitimate business deal. She doesn’t think much of it when the broker does not give her a copy of the contract; she didn't understand most of it anyway. She does not k n o w i t, b u t w i t h t h i s s i m p l e omission her victimization has begun. Lena flies to Taiwan on a ticket paid for by the agent whom Lena must reimburse with her first earnings. She has no idea how much the ticket cost but must pay what she is told it costs. She is met at the airport by another broker who tells her that she must agree to pay him a percentage of her future earnings before he will take her to her new job and her new life. She balks, knowing this is wrong, explaining that she has already agreed to pay the first broker. But the new broker is adamant. Lena cannot produce the first contract she signed and has no way to prove she is right. Her choice is to get right back on a plane and return to her home, where she now owes an impossible amount of money to the first agent, or she can sign a second contract, written in a language she does not understand, and hope for the best. Reluctantly she agrees. Her job begins, but the promised pay does not come with it. The second agent will receive her salary from the employer directly, taking most or all of it to “pay back the debt” she owes before giving any to her. Lena may work for 18 months or 2 years without receiving any payment at all or, at best, a tiny stipend that barely covers personal expenses. She has no one to advocate for her in this new culture and nowhere to turn. She does not speak the language, is no longer sure of her legal status as a migrant worker,

and she fears the police, her boss, and immigration officials who could deport her or send her to jail. There are no labor laws protecting her and no authorities to go to. She may be beaten, sexually abused, or threatened with impunity. She has no way to get home and no proof of the broker’s dishonesty. There are many legitimate employment agencies in Taiwan, and many employers who are not exploiting their foreign workers, but it is sometimes hard to tell the difference. The insidiousness of the trafficking network is not readily visible even to those looking for it. There are many stories far worse than Lena’s tale, but one of the most shocking details that Leanne Duncan told me is that there are traffickers r u n n i n g s h e l t e r s i n Ta i w a n – shelters purportedly set up to assist victims of human trafficking. These shelters are supposed to help victims find legitimate jobs and better working conditions but are, in fact, re-trafficking workers. Vi c t i m s l i k e L e n a a r r i v e a t t h e shelter with nowhere else to go and find themselves once again at the mercy of yet another broker in human lives. Desperate, they hope it might be better this time, that their story might be one of the successful ones. They might find a “good” job working 12–14 hour days for substandard wages, but this time they might actually receive that pay, be able to send some home, and feel like a human being, not a product. So they sign again. Women are not the only victims of human trafficking. In Taiwan, fishermen are often trafficked from other countries. They arrive as migrant workers, but their passports are kept on land “for safe keeping” while they are out at sea. Some have been kept working offshore for up to three years, and those that do come ashore are kept like animals in small rooms with far too many people. They have no legal recourse

and, without a passport, cannot even prove their identity. How do we make people more aware of human trafficking? One way is to connect the products of human trafficking to our everyday lives. In the same way we became aware of the inhumane conditions in factories and sweatshops in southeast Asia, so too do we need to raise awareness of the work being done by trafficking victims and stop allowing the perpetrators to make money this way. Check out Stop the Traffik’s website (see below) to learn about the chocolate you eat, how taxi drivers can help, and what the average citizen can do to make sure we are not among the many people worldwide being used by human traffickers. Human rights advocates talk about the 3 P’s – Prevention of human trafficking, Protection of its victims, and Prosecution of the perpetrators. In Taiwan, where legislation was passed in 2009 acknowledging the problem and beginning the long struggle to combat human trafficking as a crime, there is a fourth P – Partnership. In a culture where competition has often been the impetus for growth, a changing sense of partnership is emerging that may well be a model for communities and organizations around the world. If agencies, citizens, and communities work together to meet the challenges o f “S t o p p i n g t h e Tr a f f i k,” t h e dreams of people like Lena can come true. Lives can be changed and communities transformed. for more information about human trafficking visit:

Nanc y, origin ally f rom A m e ric a , ha s been living overseas fo r o ve r 1 2 y e a r s . S he and he r family have had endless adventures living in Korea, China, Malaysia, Denmark and Greece, and are now enjoying m a k i n g f r i e n d s , e x pl o r i n g a n d learning about Taiwan.

A portion of the proceeds from The Center’s Spring Bazaar and Luncheon on March 8 will benefit Stop the Traffik in Taiwan. Join us in celebration of International Women’s Day and in support of this important campaign. MARCH 2013

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Color TexT & Image: CraIg Ferguson


o l o r i s e v e r y w h e r e. I t surrounds us to the point where we begin not to notice it. Even though we may take it for granted, it still has a powerful effect on our subconscious, and we can harness that to benefit our photography. By paying attention to the colors that are in your photos – and also to those that you leave out – you can create more compelling images. Look for strong, bold colors. Deep, rich, and saturated, they often work best in simple compositions with few elements in them. Think of something like the green grass and blue sky of the default background of the older Windows operating system. When blue skies are lacking, look around for more subtle, almost pastel colors. Perfect in overcast weather, they offer a softness to the photo and are great for portraits, flowers, and still life. Primary colors (red, blue, yellow) can be very effective when you allow one of them to dominate the photo. Imagine something like a red brick wall with flower pots in different shades of red in front of

it. Staying with the idea of primary colors, look for situations where they are contrasting. A yellow taxi parked in front of a blue wall, for instance, makes an effective photo of contrasting colors. We often associate different colors with different feelings or emotions. You can use this to your advantage w h e n y o u t a k e p h o t o g r a p h s. B y including a particular color, even subtly, to demonstrate a particular feeling, you can evoke an extra sense of atmosphere in your imagery. Blue We usually think of blue as being cool, sad, or quiet. Think of the commonly heard phrase “feeling blue” or of music such as the blues in which women always leave and dogs always die. Blue is also the color of pre-dawn, which stirs up thoughts of chilly winter mornings. A blue seascape can evoke feelings of peacefulness. Red E x c i t e m e n t . E n e r g y. A n g e r. Attention-getter. Red really grabs the viewer’s eye. The slightest hint of red

can grab attention, so use it wisely. If you don’t want the viewer’s eye going to some particular subject, make sure it’s not red. Conversely, if you want to pull the eye somewhere, include red in that area. GReen The spectrum of green is wide, ranging from the cooler, bluish-hued end through to the warmer, yellow end. Green is often lively and vibrant but in a non-aggressive kind of way. It denotes peace and tranquility as well as a sense of being alive. Yellow Warmer than green but cooler than red, yellow stands out when mixed with cool colors but sometimes hides when overpowered by red. Yellow is often associated with the sun and its energy, and is often considered a happy color in the same way that blue is sad. Other colors tend to take aspects from these four main ones. Orange is warmer still than yellow and aqua or turquoise often conjures up thoughts of tropical seas and relaxation.

Craig is a professional photographer and has worked with the likes of Lonely Planet, Monocle, Asia Business Traveller, Asian Geographic and many more. In addition, he also teaches regular photography workshops and individual classes in and around Taipei. Visit his website at 20

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Fatty Acid and Exercise TexT: michelle cheung chi-Kwun


pring is just around the corner! This time of year surely excites the outdoor sports enthusiasts. Whether you engage in outdoor cycling or brisk walking, your diet can affect your performance. DiEtAry FAt Dietary fat is essential to our lives. It is required for making hormones and absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, and it enhances the flavors of our food. Our bodies use fat as energy, especially during exercise; however, the exact utilization of fat depends on various factors such as the types of exercises performed (i.e. the intensity and duration of the exercise). For instance, hiking, one of the most popular recreational exercises in Taiwan, is a lowintensity and long-duration exercise, and it relies on the stored body fat triglycerides. Triglycerides break down into free fatty acids to provide energy to our muscle cells and to minimize the use of glucose, which altogether helps to maximize performance. Excessive dietary fat intake, however, increases our body weight and the risk of chronic health problems. One may start wondering then, how much is too much? rEcommEnDAtions For DiEtAry FAt intAkE According to the American Heart Association, total fat intake should be less than 25–35% of the total daily calories or about 500 to 700 calories for a 2,000-calorie diet. Because fatty acids are the sources of energy during exercise, let’s take a closer look at these important molecules.

resulting in the loss of muscular strength, decreased range of motion, and muscle soreness. trAns-FAtty AciDs vs. omEgA-3 FAtty AciDs According to the World Health Organization, the intake of saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids should be less than 10% and 1% of our total daily intake, respectively. For a 2,000-calorie diet, less than 22.2 grams of saturated fatty acids and 2.2 grams of trans-fatty acids should be consumed.

Total fat: 9.8g/30g food Saturated fat: 4.9g/30g food Trans-fatty acids: 0g

Food (per 100g)

Content of trans-fatty acids (g) Hard margarine 11 Butter 2.6 Butter pound cake 0.68 Cream soup with puff pastry 0.5 Scone 0.3

There are 2 main groups of fatty acids. Characteristics Food sources

Saturated fatty acids Unsaturated fatty acids Solid at room Liquid at room temperature temperature Lard, butter, cream Canola oil, olive oil, corn oil, peanut oil

Unsaturated fatty acids are subdivided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. All fatty acids play different roles in our body. Types of fatty acid Unsaturated Monounsaturated Polyunsaturated HDL (good) cholesterol


No effect


LDL (bad) cholesterol




AppropriAtE FooD For ExErcisE? To minimize unnecessary fat intake, visible fat and extra oil should be avoided. Check nutrition labels on food packaging to determine the amount of total fat and saturated fat in a product. Trans-fatty acid is another type of fat that is worth noting. It is made during partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils, and thus it is not naturally occurring. Its detrimental effects are similar to saturated fat; it increases the risk of heart diseases, and it may also exacerbate exercise-induced inflammation,

Omega-3 fatty acids (polyunsaturated fatty acids), on the other hand, are an essential part of our diets because our bodies cannot make omega-3 fatty acids on their own. The recommendation is 1–2% of our daily energy intake. A few scientific studies suggest that the ingestion of omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in counteracting exercise-induced inflammation. However, it should be noted that too much omega-3 fatty acids may lead to immunosuppression and prolonged bleeding time. MARCH 2013

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Certain seafood are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids as are avocados, walnuts, and almonds. Food (per 100g) Salmon Tuna Crab Oyster Halibut Canned tuna in water Shrimp

Content of omega-3 fatty acids (mg) 1,429 1,141 361 291 258 233 222

4 Use low-oil cooking methods such as boiling, steaming, or grilling 5 Canola oil, olive oil, and peanut oil are all great sources of unsaturated fatty acids but remember to limit yourself to 4–6 teaspoons of cooking oil per day.

general guiDelineS The following are general tips for optimizing exercise performance and maintaining a healthy diet: 1 Read nutrition labels on food packaging and note the amount of unsaturated and trans-fatty acids 2 Choose unsaturated fatty acids rather than saturated and trans-fatty acids 3 Go for low fat or skim milk, and lean meat and cold cuts

Michelle Cheung ChiKwun is currently a fulltime mom to two but was previously working as a Clinical Dietitian in Hong Kong. She is a State Registered Dietitian of the Health Professions Council (UK).

Just a few of the things that are going on around Taipei this month... national ational chiang kai-shek memorial emorial hall

national museum of history

The red room

Until April 14th Quest for Tr T easures: Looking for f Lost Treasures: Empires Gallery: Basement 21 Zhongshan South Road

Until May 12th A Special Exhibition – The Divine Michelangelo One of the three masters of the Italian Renaissance 1F Rooms 101, 102 & 103 aspx 2 Siangyang Road

Sunday, March 24, 2:30pm & 7:30pm Red Room Radio Redux: Treasure Island A re-telling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of piracy, loyalty and adventure

Taipei fine arts museum Until May 19th True Illusion, Illusory Truth: Art Beyond Ordinary Experience Galleries: 1A and 1B 181 Zhongshan North Road, Section 3 national Palace museum Until July 16th Painting Animation: "Paintings of the Twelve Months" Seasonal themes and customs in each of the lunar months Gallery: 102 221 Zhishan Road, Section 2 Taipei Zoo Until September 30th Exhibit of Aquatic Insects 30 Xinguang Road, Section 2


huashan 1914 creative Park Until April 14th Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs 1 Bade Road, Section 1 national Taiwan museum Until April 21st The Return of the Yellow Flag: Conserving the Yellow Tiger Flag of the Formosa Republic Gallery: G101 2 Siangyang Road

On the 3rd Saturday of every month from 6:30 – 10:30pm Stage Time & Wine Everything is welcome to this culture of listening… 2F, 117 Da-an Road, Section 1 museum of contemporary art (moca) Until April 14th Gregory Chatonsky: Solo Exhibition 39 Changan West Road SPoT Taipei – film house Daily: Noon to Midnight, six showings Avant Garde Cross Cutural Films Have a cup of coffee, see a good film, absorb a little culture In the former residence of the US ambassador 18 Zhongshan North Road, Section 2

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The Taiwanese Public Education Experience TexT & images: kaTrina brown

Expat families’ experiences with the Taiwanese public education system vary significantly depending on the families’ specific situations. As such, I want to share three perspectives: A British family bringing their third grader over from the UK; a family with strong Chinese heritage and one Mandarin-speaking parent; and my own family, with a mom from New Zealand, a Taiwanese dad, and two bilingual children.

Jenny and Conrad green


ver a year ago, Jenny and her husband brought their son Conrad to Taiwan. One of their goals was to have Conrad learn Mandarin, giving him an important skill to use later in life. After visiting different schools, including international schools, they determined that the best way for Conrad to learn Mandarin was to attend a local public school. To prepare for this experience, Jenny found online Mandarin lessons for Conrad. They also used textbooks to familiarize Conrad with Chinese characters. Jenny says that this was not as useful as she'd hoped, as Conrad got quite stressed about everything. In retrospect, culture shock was actually the bigger hurdle and not something that could easily be dealt with before the move. Jenny and Conrad had mixed first experiences at school. Jenny hoped to start Conrad in Grade 2 – a grade lower than the one he was assigned based on his birth date – but the school insisted on putting him in Grade 3. This proved challenging, as subjects such as social studies, science, and multimedia studies are added to the curriculum in Grade 3, and the pace is faster than the first two grades. The school provided basic language assistance, but this support was not sufficient, and Conrad spent a lot of time in the school library reading English books. Jenny stayed involved with his transition and actively searched for ways to remedy the situation. She has great things to say about other parents, many of whom spoke English and, according to Jenny, “bent over backwards to try to help us make it through a very difficult experience.” Jenny's persistence paid off, and the turning point came when Conrad was able to move down a grade. Sharing her wisdom after this experience, Jenny says that being supportive but firm in explaining to her son that they were not returning to the UK was the best approach. Ultimately, living in a different culture has had a positive impact on Conrad. Over a year later, Jenny is sure she would do this again given the choice but would trust her instincts more and be more insistent when dealing with teachers and school administrators.

Carol Yao


eing a Taiwanese/ethnically Chinese family living in Taiwan and with Mandarin being an important skill for the future, architect and owner of Topia Design Carol Yao just assumed that her children would go to a local school. As they spoke mostly English at home, Carol's eldest child went to kindergarten with limited Mandarin skills. Carol did send her son to a weekly music class before kindergarten, but this was not enough Mandarin exposure, and kindergarten was “rather traumatic,” with her son going through much of kindergarten not understanding very much. Having only attended American schools with small class sizes as a child, Carol was surprised by the “almost military-style” organization of her children’s Taipei City elementary school classrooms but concedes that it seems necessary with class sizes of around 35 children. Another difference that stood out was that, in Carol’s experience, students didn't concern themselves with others' performances as much as they do in Taiwan; in Taipei, academics and social behavior are of the utmost importance. According to Carol, it is apparent that the schools are trying to make students more well-rounded, but in making it measurable, they are “distorting the purpose, which is to be well-rounded.” With her eldest son now in junior high, Carol also advises parents not to worry too much about elementary school, because “junior high is when the real evaluation and selection begins in the Taiwanese school system, and that is serious business.” Making sure children have fundamental study skills, such as being organized and focused, will set them up for success in middle school and beyond. MARCH 2013

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2013/2/27 3:07:48 PM

My Own Story


s an English speaker learning Chinese and living with my Mandarin-speaking in-laws, I was determined to raise bilingual children but nervous about the public education system. I wanted to be involved in my children's school life but was sure it would be difficult. In 2010, we moved our children to a small school in the Keelung area. With an enrollment of just 40 students and a proactive, forward-thinking principal, their elementary school is like a large family in many ways. The school has a large organic garden and a focus on natural sciences and environmental awareness, as well as a strong music program. Unlike in cramped city schools, students are able to spend a great deal of time outdoors. Even with such a natural, open environment and small class sizes, my children found adjusting to first grade difficult. The rooms are usually quite utilitarian. The emphasis is academic learning, and the first two months are spent on the Taiwan pronunciation system, ㄅㄆㄇ. There is a lot of writing and rote learning – and little social interaction – involved. Fortunately, with class sizes of around six students, my children received a lot of individual attention. In the third month, health, physical education, life skills, music, English as a foreign language, mother-tongue instruction (Taiwanese/Aboriginal language/Vietnamese, as the school can offer), and Chinese character writing are given more attention. Knowing this, parents can be prepared to help their children through the first two months and support them during the initial struggle. The earlier school start time in Taiwan (usually 7:50am) compared to New Zealand has been hard for our family, but the noon dismissal has its advantages; we can sometimes spend an afternoon at the beach or visit a museum before dinner and homework. The school day does get longer in the upper grades. In all schools I am aware of, twice a week teachers spend an hour in meetings, and you may be asked to come in to supervise the children, read a story, or share a skill you have. Staying involved in my children's school life by teaching English on these mornings has helped me get assistance with language or cultural difficulties. Homework varies from teacher to teacher. Some of the homework may seem excessive or of little interest to children, but it does help children become organized and responsible for completing tasks. Workload is a concern to many thinking of entering the local school system. We have been lucky to have manageable homework loads, but it can be a drag as there never seems to be a day off during the five-month term. My third grader has one hour of homework every day. Contrary to popular belief, not every child goes to afterschool programs to do further study. Many of our local friends focus on giving their children stress-free childhoods and giving them a wide range of experiences outside of school. In Keelung, English starts in third grade. How your school handles your child during the English classes depends on the principal, academic director, and English teacher. Parents need to be quite proactive and insistent at times to have their children’s language needs met. This might include providing additional or alternative materials, or teaching them yourself during the scheduled English class time. To ensure my children's love of English continues, I coordinate a weekly Writer's Workshop at a local center for expat families. So, there are three different families' perspectives on the Taiwanese public elementary school experience. This is only an indication of what your family's experience might be like, and I'd love to hear others' stories.

to read more about Jenny and Conrad’s journey, visit Jenny’s blog at for more about katrina’s experiences with local schools and more, visit her blog at to learn more about katrina’s writer’s workshops at parents place, visit the facebook page at https://www.facebook. com/#!/WritersWorkshopAtParentsPlace


In Tai wa n sin c e 19 95, Ne w Z e a l a n d e r K a t r i n a Brown lives with her Taiwanese husband in the mountains of Jilong. With two ele me nt ar y - school aged childre n , K atrin a i s d e t e r m i n e d t o m ake Ta i wa n m o re accessible for all families. Visit her blog for information about family-friendly spaces and events.

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Expat pErspEctivE

Celebrating Holidays from Home TexT & Images: KaTya IlIeva-sTone


left my home country of Bulgaria ten years ago to begin a new life with my husband. Since then, I have moved at least a dozen times and lived in five countries. I have had to adjust to new ways of life and new cultures that are worlds apart from my own. Despite the differences, though, no matter where I am, I never miss the chance to celebrate the holidays from home and to introduce them to my new friends and colleagues all over the world. It is true that I haven’t always been able to find the ingredients I needed to prepare a Bulgarian dish or to color my Easter eggs. And I was disappointed to learn that nobody outside of the Slavic world celebrates “Name Days,” when the saint whose name you carry is commemorated according to the Eastern Orthodox Church calendar. I was often sad to discover that I was the only person who would be celebrating certain holidays; it made me feel lonely and long to go back home. But I soon found out that my new friends were just as eager to learn about my culture as I was about theirs. So in Nepal we celebrated both Diwali and Easter; in Afghanistan, both Eid and Christmas. And everyone got presents and congratulations on their name days. And while many traditions w e r e d i f f e r e n t, o n m o r e t h a n one occasion I was surprised to discover how much Bulgaria had in common with Nepal, Afghanistan, and even Taiwan. I found similar words, foods, traditions, and folk art. Since my homeland lies in the crossroads of Europe and Asia, it has had many pass through and leave their footprints. This is why, for example, the word used in Bulgaria for “tea” – chai – is the same in Hindu and Persian languages. And the embroidery I bought in Kabul

is so similar to what my mother used to make following traditional Bulgarian patterns. However, there is one holiday that I haven’t found to be close to any other anywhere in the world. This beloved holiday, celebrated in my home country every year in March, is like no other. On March 1st every Bulgarian, not only in Bulgaria but all over the world, adorns himself with something called a martenitza. Not only that, but he will give one to each of his family members, friends, and colleagues, saying, "Many happy returns of Grandma Martha" (or “C he stit a Baba M ar t a,” as it is said in Bulgarian). So, what is this mysterious martenitza? It is formed from twisted red and white wool threads. The red color signifies a long life, the white health and strength. Sometimes a coin is added for protection against illness. This centuries-old Bulgarian tradition symbolizes the end of winter and the coming of spring. I have very fond memories of the March 1st holiday from my childhood. Tradition says that one has to wake up very early that day; those who sleep late will make Grandmother Martha very angry (and who wants to anger a sweet old grandma after all?) As a child I would put on as many martenitzi as possible – and so would all my classmates – in the hopes that I would be the one wearing the most at school and be named that year’s winner. All the martenitzi I wore had to be given to me by someone, not simply purchased by me. The Bulgarian Post Office is busiest the weeks leading to March 1st, as every Bulgarian rushes to send martenitzi to their relatives and friends. You might skip sending a Christmas or a birthday card, but not sending a martenitza means that you do not

care about your family and friends. My family always sends me a few, no matter where I am living. So all my friends from the Ukraine all the way to Taiwan have received one of the red and white martenitzi; one friend even took hers to her next assignment and wore it the next year in March. I placed one on the Dragon mascot I got last year at the Chinese New Year market on Dihua Street. Since the little ornament carries wishes for good health and prosperity, who would not like to have one, no matter where you’re from? This year in March I again will wear the martenitza my family sent to me from Bulgaria and will give ones to friends in Taiwan. It is said that you should wear your martenitza until you see a stork or hear a cuckoo. Then you are to tie it on a blooming fruit tree or put it under a rock to be healthy as the tree and strong as the stone. Chestita Baba Marta! Katya Ilieva- Stone has been in Taipei sin c e July 2 010 , working for the American Institute in Taiwan. She is a fo r m e r j o u r n a l i s t who was born in Bulgaria, and has also lived in Nepal, the Ukraine and Afghanistan. MARCH 2013

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2013/2/27 3:09:22 PM

Casual Dining

Eddy’s Cantina:

The Healthy, Authentic Mexican Way in Taipei TexT: Tex TexT T:: Sco T ScoTT TT B. Frei FreiBerger Berger

imageS: eddy gonzález


eel like having some fun in Taipei for a change? There are several must-dos for anyone visiting Taipei, the captivating capital of Taiwan. A visit to the National Palace Museum, which boasts over 600,000 astounding Chinese artifacts in its permanent collection, is sure to impress. Taipei 101, a towering Asia landmark and currently the world’s tallest green building, boasts the world’s largest wind damper and one of the world’s fastest elevators. With its avant-garde architecture, Taipei 101 is truly an inspiring international draw. Taiwan night markets, which run the gamut from incredible local edibles to precious pets and cutting-edge clothing, also attract teeming throngs of perky pedestrians in search of sensational sales or simply a fun night out. However, in spite of its curious cultural crafts exquisite ecumenical eateries, and ex mouthwatering Mexican food, mouth particularly in Taipei, is harder partic find than a reliable secondto fin hand moped. Thankfully, both gregarious globe trekkers and greg exotic epicureans alike can exo now add Eddy’s Cantina (艾 no 迪墨西哥餐廳), a p o p u l a r 迪 Mexican restaurant, to the M growing list of terrific Taipei City eateries. Located only ten minutes by cab (approximately NT$150) from the National Palace Museum in Shilin, Eddy’s Cantina will tantalize your taste buds with a mouth-watering array of handmade burritos that include sted carne pollo (grilled chicken), carnitas (braised or roasted pork), and either vegetarian or classic quesadillas, with ith fillings ranging from cheese to carne asada (thinly sliced ed roasted beef). Also on the menu are terrific tamales, s, chicken tacos, fantastic fajitas, and choice chimichangas (fried burritos filled with beans, rice, cheese, ground beef, and/or shredded meat). Patrons are pleased to find a hearty menu that boasts the aforementioned and other delectable dishes for very reasonable prices. A meal for one, even adding NT$95 for a drink and an additional side dish such as potatoes or a small salad, typically costs around NT$300 plus a service charge. arge. Eddy’s Cantina also offers a wide selection of beers, ales, and specialty drinks, such as classic margaritas (NT$190), tequila shots (NT$140), Tequila Sunrises (NT$170), and Sombreros (NT$150: that’s Kahlúa® and milk, not the brilliant-hued Eddy’s Cantina (艾迪墨西哥餐廳) 1, Alley 3, Lane 450, Zhongshan North Road Section 6 (台北市中山北路六段450巷3弄1號) (02) 2873-7612 26

lids bedecking the walls). Happy ppy hour specials run Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 pm, m, and menus are available in both h English and Chinese. Payment is in cash only. Eddy and partner-for-life Jo Tseng have certainly come a long way since establishing a sizable following at their Danshui Old Street burrito s t a n d. S i n c e o p e n i n g t h e i r Ti a n m u en more exciting, as restaurant, life has become even d the h addition ddi i d h the couple has recently welcomed off daughter Aaliyah Isela González to the family. Co-founder and head chef Eddy notes that becoming a parent and running a successful restaurant business both take tremendous dedication. “We really appreciate the positive feedback we have received,” he said. “With the birth of our daughter, we look forward to growing with the community for many years to come.” Several patrons dining at the Tianmu locale seemed pleased with their meals and the inviting atmosphere. Balthazar Zuniga and his charming family from Monterrey, Mexico rave that the food served at Eddy’s Cantina is so authentic that they typically visit more often than the author changes second-hand mopeds – a minimum of five times a week! Nearby, Andy Chen, a frequent business traveler to Taipei remarked, “Eddy’s Cantina seems to offer not only the most authentic Mexican cuisine in Taipei, but also possibly the best in all of Asia. I’m quite pleased with the dishes I have tried here. T here.” Ann Tsai, a customer dining with two of her cousins added, “When we visit T Taipei we try to come to Eddy’s C Cantina. We enjoy the fabulous fo food and fun atmosphere. It’s a gre great place to relax and unwind.” So sstop by to discover why Eddy’s Cant Cantina is helping gourmands the world over appreciate the healthy, authentic Mexican way in T Taipei.

Scott Freiberger has penned articles for regional tour guides and a leading Taiwan Engli sh d aily. Hi s l atest venture is the best-selling Taiwan travel book Taipei In A Day Includes: Taiwan From A To Z (http://www.

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ask bIN



here are a thousand different kinds of materials that are used to create objects for interior decoration but just a few that combine a hard surface with a soft-feeling inside. By this I don’t mean actual softness but the smoothness that comes from the human touch, from the palm of the artisan, and from the warmth and enthusiasm with which he sculpted the piece. Ceramic is such a material. There is no better place to look for ceramics than in Yingge, a small town in New Taipei City about 40 kilometers and around 45 minutes f r o m Ta i p e i C i t y. Yi n g g e i s a historical pottery town. The kilns here are more than a hundred years old. The famous Da-tong brand comes from here as do Taiwanese oldstyle sanitary appliances. Of course, you will not buy a basin to take home with you, but it’s worth going to the Porcelain Museum to take a look at the history of these objects. Even today, the whole business of the town revolves around ceramics. Virtually all of the shops along the main street of Gian-Shan-Pu Road sell some kind of ceramics, and you can spend the better part of the day just exploring the amazing variety of ceramic ware that is offered there. As you will discover, the quality of the products on sale varies. Since the place is a popular tourist destination, you can find all kinds of factory-produced low-priced items there, most of them imported from mainland China. Even among the more pricey items, you will find many mass-produced items that are finished with industrial glazes, have little individual character, and are most likely not produced in Yingge. Now that’s probably not what you came here for! But, if you look for them, you can still find quite a number of shops that sell beautiful handmade pottery, produced by local artists.

Below are four of my favorite shops. 炎記商行 yan ji Shang hang – unglaZeD wooD kiln fireD PoTTery Ya n Te a S h o p s p e c i a l i z e s i n unglazed pottery that is fired in traditional wood charcoal kilns. While nowadays many potters use gas or electric kilns, traditional potters would use wood charcoal kilns for firing their products. The temperature is not easy to control in these traditional kilns, and this is why the look, color, and pattern of the finished ceramic varies from piece to piece. Artists who work with such traditional kilns are looking for precisely those kinds of unanticipated results in their work, and this is also what attracts many people to these pieces. Yan Tea Shop also sells good quality green tea, such as “San-xia Bi-ruo-chun,” a type of local green tea that is well-known in Taiwan. 易陶居 yi-Tao-ju – arTiSanal glaZeS For beautiful handmade glazes, don’t miss the Yi-tao-ju shop. The owner exclusively sells pottery that is crafted by local master artists who use natural glazes and traditional firing methods. In contrast to the industrially produced glazes, which are fired at stable high temperatures that produces very uniform looking results, the color and texture of these natural glazes are influenced by the different temperatures of the kilns and are just stunning – natural and, at the same time, refined. The pieces that are sold in this shop are all signed by the individual artist who made them, and when you look and touch these objects, you can really feel that they are made by hand. And the best part? These beautiful creations are no more expensive than the factory-produced items next door!

半山陶坊 ban-Shan-Tao-fang – hanDPainTeD ceramicS Another way to decorate ceramics is by hand painting. The Ban-shantao-fang shop specializes in this style. If you are looking for an individual vase to brighten up your home, this would be the place to go. Here too, all the pieces are signed by the artist who made them. While some of the items are quite costly, you can also find beautiful yet affordable pieces.

炎記商行 Yan Tea Shop 新北市鶯歌區育英街61號 Open daily: 9:00-21:00 易陶居 Yi-tao-ju 新北市鶯歌區 尖山埔路22號 Open daily: 11:00-20:00 半山陶坊 Ban-shan-tao-fang 新北市鶯歌區重慶街57號 Open daily: 11:00-20:00 滿月圓陶藝坊 Man-yuei-yuan pottery shop 新北市鶯歌區重慶街57號 Open daily: 11:00-20:00 陶瓷博物館 Porcelain Museum 新北市鶯歌區文化路200號 Mon-Fri: 9:30-17:00 Sat & Sun: 9:30-18:00 MARCH 2013

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2013/2/26 12:34:44 PM

滿月圓陶藝坊 man-yuei-yuan – waTer jarS In the old days, Chinese people would use big earthenware jars to store water. With modernization, t h e s e j a r s d r o p p e d o u t o f u s e. However, nowadays people are rediscovering their beauty and thinking of new ways to use them: as planters, fish tanks, or simply as decorative pieces on their own. The shape of the jars also has good Feng shui: the mouth of the

jar is narrower than the body, so we say that it will not be easy to lose money when it comes your way; when a person’s mind is like it, it is easy for them to forgive others’ shortcomings; and, most importantly, it will keep your luck inside. The Man-yuei-yuan shop has a large selection of these jars at extremely reasonable prices. They are newly manufactured, yet handmade, and designed according to the old Taiwanese patterns.

Bin is an interior designer with almost thirty years of experience in Taiwan. In addition to running his own interior design studio (www.inkstone. ws), he recently started a small home maintenance service company (http://, in order to share his local knowledge about the ins and outs of home decoration with the expat community of Taipei. Whatever your household question may be, he’d love to hear from you.

geNeratIoN Y

finish the race running



hough I am not an athlete, there is one piece of advice that has rung true for me: Finish the race running. For many high school seniors, March heralds the end of a long race – the agonizing slog through the murky mires of 500-word essays and the leap over the barbed trenches of short answers, which encompass the college application experience. At the end of March and in early April, we eagerly await those college emails and letters which will supposedly define the next four years of our lives. But before those messages even reach us, we should never forget the broader and more important truth: Wherever we may be going to college, the race does not stop there. A new race, a longer and more challenging – but even more enjoyable – one, is about to begin. We can't afford to stop running just yet – or ever. Many people are probably familiar with the term senioritis. Senioritis has diverse meanings, which depend entirely on whom you talk to. For some, it means watching the season premier of Game of Thrones instead of studying for that chem quiz, because, really, f orbitals are less interesting than Arya Stark. For others, it means forgetting to practice for the big concert because trolling on 9GAG is too much fun. As I loosely define it, senioritis is that uncanny lack of motivation we feel the second semester of senior year after we get into college; it’s the apathy that causes us to ask, "Why does my life in high school matter anymore? I just got into college." Although senioritis is enticing, I reject its premise, because it actually harbors darker undertones. What does

it say about us if we think that the "be all and end all" is that we are going to college and that once we get in, we can just stop working? By succumbing to senioritis, we do ourselves a disservice since we refuse to do our best, running the college race solely for the sake of crossing a finish line instead of doing it to live our lives. We miss all that we can learn from it, and we end up out of breath and unfulfilled. Life goes on, wherever we go, and when our responsibilities change from studying for a math quiz to supporting a family, the fundamental skills and truths we've been spending the last eighteen years honing cannot become blunt. We have to keep on running, because our success and survival depends on it. College is a checkpoint, not a final destination. S o, w h a t d o w e d o a b o u t s e n i o r i t i s, t h e n? I s a y acknowledge it, but don't let it take over. We need to balance work and play. If we spend every second on school work without travelling, hobbies, or time with friends, the desire for the total apathetic nothingness that is senioritis can consume anyone with disturbing ease. If we accept leisure in moderation, however, we become less tempted to engulf ourselves in a deluge of idleness. Whether it involves graduating from high school or taking on a new challenge, we should always finish the race running, but in order to do that, we have to pace ourselves. Without pacing, we will not be able to run without falling... or to prepare for the times when we have to pick ourselves back up from the dust to sprint again.

Nick Ackert is a senior at the Taipei American School. Always eager to discuss current events, politics, and community, he has written for both of the school newspapers. He also regularly pens creative writing pieces about whatever pops into his head. He hopes to study Latin, Ancient Greek, and International Relations in college.

WorshIp dIreCtorY aNd CoMMUNItY groUps listings are now available online at and life-in-taiwan/community-groups.


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2013/2/26 12:34:45 PM

pickled sour mustard plants 酸菜 [suancai ]

text: Ivy Chen

Images: tIng tIng huang and Ivy Chen

mustard plant is quite common in Hakka cuisine. tHe culinary usage of meigan cai Meigan Cai can be cooked with braised pork (梅干扣肉, meigan kourou), steamed with ground pork in soy sauce (梅菜蒸 肉餅, meicai zheng roubing), or stuffed in steamed buns with ground pork (梅干菜 肉包, meigan cai roubao).

Homeland of pickled sour mustard plants I have visited Dapi Village a couple of times recently. I cannot help salivating when I pass by the area where mustard plants are grown. With 1,500 hectares of mustard plant fields, Dapi Village, Yunlin County (雲林縣大埤鄉, yunlinxian dapi xiang) produces 85% of the pickled sour mustard plants in Taiwan. It’s not fancy food but rather a comfort food. Mustard plant is very popular in Taiwan, either fresh or pickled. It is a food that symbolizes longevity during Chinese Lunar New Year. How pickled sour mustard is made

Mustard plants are cut off at the bottom of the stems and left in the fields to wither for one or two days. The stems of mustard plants should be soft before pickling or they will break during the pickling process. The withered mustard plants are moved from the field to large cement or stainless steel tanks and arranged in a layer at the bottom of the tank. Then, sea salt is sprinkled over the mustard plants. The process is repeated, with layers of mustard plants and salt being

added to the tank until it is full. The mustard plants are then covered with plastic cloth and pressed with heavy stones. After about 40–45 days, the sour mustard plants are ready to be packed. They are removed from the tank, and the outer leaves are trimmed off. Some pickled sour mustard plants will be delivered to traditional markets in plastic barrels, while some will be vacuum packed and delivered to shops or supermarkets. tHe culinary usages of pickled sour mustard plants Pickled sour mustard plants are sour, salty, and crunchy. They need to be soaked in water to remove excess saltiness before cooking. Pickled sour mustard plants are also called 鹹菜 (xiancai) in Taiwanese. They can be steamed with fish (酸菜蒸魚, suancai zheng yu), or cooked in soup with duck (酸菜鴨肉湯, suancai yarou tang), oysters (酸菜蚵仔湯, suancai kezai tang), or pork stomach (酸菜豬肚湯, sua ncai zhudu tang). Stir-fried pickled sour mustard plants (炒酸菜, chao suancai) is often garnish for braised beef noodle soup (紅 燒牛肉麵, hongshao niurou mian), and it is an essential filling with braised pork in ‘cut buns’ (刈包, guabao). meigan cai (梅干菜 If pickled sour mustard plants are dehydrated and sun-dried completely, they are called ‘mildewed dried mustard plants’ (霉干菜, h o m o p h o n e 梅干菜, meigan cai). The name resembles mildew (霉, mei), which grows during the process of preservation. This type of preserved

pickled sour mustard plant and duck soup 酸菜鴨肉湯 (suancai yarou tang) IngredIents: 3 servIngs

2 Tbsp oil 3 slices ginger 2–3 stems of pickled sour mustard plant 3 cups water 1 duck breast, sliced ½ tsp rice wine dIrectIons: 1 Heat 2 Tbsp oil and fry ginger over medium heat until lightly browned. 2 Add pickled sour mustard plant and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes. 3 Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Cook for 6 minutes until pickled sour mustard plant releases its flavor. 4 Add duck breast and bring to a boil. 5 Add rice wine and turn heat off. Put lid on for 5 minutes and then serve. steamed meigan cai and ground pork patty 梅菜蒸肉餅 (meicai zheng roubing) IngredIents: 4 servIngs 2 Tbsp oil 2 stalks spring onion, finely chopped 300 grams ground pork 2–3 stalks meigan cai MArcH 2013

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2 Tbsp sugar ¼ cup soy sauce

Note: Meigan cai can be replaced with pickled sour mustard plants.

directionS: 1 Soak meigan cai in water until they are soft. Chop finely. 2 Heat 2 Tbsp oil, add spring onion, and stir-fry until fragrance is released. 3 Mix ground pork, spring onion, meigan cai, sugar, and soy sauce well. Stir until pork is sticky. 4 Arrange pork mixture in a pan, then steam it over high heat for 30 minutes. Cover pan with a plate and turn over. Garnish with chopped spring onion.

Meigan Cai and Ground Pork Pancake 梅菜絞肉煎餅 (meicai jiaorou jianbing) ingredientS: 6 ServingS Pancake: 300 grams all-purpose flour ¾ cup boiling water 2-3 Tbsp cold water 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus 1 Tbsp for frying fillingS: 120 grams steamed meigan cai and ground pork patty (see recipe above) directionS: 1 Place flour in a big bowl, pour in boiling water, and whisk with chopsticks or fork until evenly blended. 2 Add cold water into flour and stir. Add oil and knead dough until it is smooth and soft. 3 Cover dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for at least 20 minutes

before rolling. 4 Divide dough into six pieces. Knead each piece into a ball. Roll the balls into 8-centimeter discs. 5 Put 1 Tbsp of steamed meigan cai and ground pork patty in the middle of each dough disc. Fold up and seal like a bun. 6 Flatten and roll the bun into 10-centimeter discs. 7 Heat 1 Tbsp oil and fry pancakes over low heat until browned. Turn over and fry until the other side is browned. Note: Meigan cai can be replaced with pickled sour mustard plants.

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march 2013

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Centered on Taipei March 2013  
Centered on Taipei March 2013  

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