Category Archives: Uncategorized

Radioactive Blast from the Past: The Magic of Taiwan: ICRTeee!

It starts with the calm, measured tones of US President Jimmy Carter making an announcement on December 15, 1978. Good evening,                           I would like to read a joint communique which is being simultaneously issued in Peking at this very … Continue reading

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Walking Ghost

The 4th and final installment in my series of posts about the writing of my book Taiwanese Feet: My walk around Taiwan. During my first few years in Taiwan, I used to love walking around the old neighborhoods of Taipei. … Continue reading

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THE MAD ADVENTURES OF THE OTHER BIG JOHN and how they led to a brotherhood of beer and books

Part 3 In the story behind my book “Taiwanese Feet: My walk around Taiwan” September 21st, 1999. In Dounan Township, Yunlin County, Taiwan, John Grant Ross (a huge, bookish, beer-guzzling Kiwi ) was starting to realize that his plan to … Continue reading

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Taiwan: My New Frontier

Part 2 of the story behind the story of “Taiwanese Feet: My walk around Taiwan.” The captain announced that we’d be touching down soon, and we soared over the land from the flat blue ocean, overflying hectares of farm ponds … Continue reading

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TRAVEL JUNKIE

Part 1 of The story behind “Taiwanese Feet: My walk around Taiwan” Finally! After 83 days of walking spread out over eight years, I finished my walk around the entire coastline of Taiwan. Day after day, I marched along beaches, … Continue reading

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Dancing Dragons, Running Bulls

Last year (2018) I attended some fascinating traditional festivals in Taiwan and Spain, worlds apart in physical and cultural space, but both wild and compelling. Mixed in among the noise, smoke, laughter, animals –real or magical – and general craziness, … Continue reading

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Taipei Baboons RFC: Living it

Rugby, it has been said, is a hooligans’ game played by gentlemen. However, in Taiwan, it is a hooligans’ game played by baboons – the Taipei Baboons Rugby Football Club, to be exact, Taiwan’s oldest expat Rugby Union team. They … Continue reading

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Big Hearts, Big Plans: Haxstrong Charity

Sometimes life slaps us in the face. It’s annoying as hell, we curse and moan, then get over it. But sometimes life knocks us to the ground and kicks us in the head: a serious traffic accident, a child in … Continue reading

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Expats With a Heart: The Community Services Center in Tianmu Turns 30

When people think of the Community Services Center, they often think of what British author and classical musician Richard Saunders calls “that whole Tianmu tai-tai scene”. Indeed, the Center is often associated with survival Chinese classes, cross-cultural orientations for newcomers, … Continue reading

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The Devil is in the Details

Here’s a short bulletin from The Culture Shack! I remember two years ago when I was active with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan’s Small Business Committee, I gave a short talk – one among many other speakers – … Continue reading

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