US man’s suicide in Taiwan court should prompt re-think of drug sentencing

The Wild East / Editorial “I don’t want to live anymore,” Tyrel shouted, moments before he grabbed scissorblades from the magazine he’d smuggled into the courtroom and killed himself, jamming the blades into his neck. He didn’t make it to the hospital. Tyrel Martin Marhanka had just received a four-year

Read more

Break Into Travel Writing, with expert Steven Crook

The Wild East / Travel & Leisure When it comes to travel writing, veteran travel writer  and guidebook author Steven Crook wrote the book — literally. Next month, Sunday, June 26 Steven is leading a workshop in Taichung, central Taiwan, showing the ropes to a small group of select, aspiring freelancers. And

Read more

Taiwan citizenship: Give it away now!

The Wild East / Editorial The Taiwan media is notorious for being lame and vacuous, heavily relying on lightweight ‘coverage’ of food stories and the like, since restaurant ‘tributes’ are an important cash cow for them.  Chinese New Year ‘reporting’ is especially pathetic. One TV station (must have been TVBS!) replayed the same exact

Read more

‘Ridin’ with the wind’: A jazz singer is born in Taiwan

  The Wild East recently caught up with American comedy writer, artist and now singer/musician Trista di Genova, who is following her bliss in Taiwan  after performing her debut  ‘Riding with the Wind’ at Chez Maurice in Tamsui on Christmas Eve.  She calls on other would-be artists to ‘carry a guitar

Read more

Why Xmas sucks, and what I’m doing about it

The Wild East / Comedy I’ve always enjoyed being in Asia for Christmas because they really don’t give a rat’s ass about it. For this very reason, we are able to have such niceties as Chinese restaurants to eat Christmas dinner in the West, for those who are too lazy

Read more

Balladeer Scott Cook back in Taiwan – briefly

Hey there friends,   It’s about time you had a word from me.  I’m writing you from a hotel room in Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second-largest city, where I’ll be playing later this evening, mid-way through a two-week round-the-island tour.  I’ve just come down from three days spent alone motorbiking through the

Read more

The collapse of the buxiban industry in Taiwan

Editorial / The Wild East Foreigners teaching in Taiwan’s ‘buxibans’, or cram schools are finding an increasingly tough job market, with sharply reductions in hourly and monthly wages, fewer teacher openings, and competition with an influx of new graduates entering the stagnant, saturated world of English teaching in Taiwan. In

Read more

Why I’m suing my Taiwanese landlady

The Wild East / Culture Shock Why am I suing my landlady? Out of principle, basically. She broke the law, and therefore needs to be taught a lesson so she doesn’t do it again. I reported my Taiwanese landlady, ‘Helen’ Lin, to the Tamsui police station a few months ago,

Read more

FEPOW 70th anniversary event to be held at Taipei SPOT

T The Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society is holding a FEPOW Day (Far East Prisoners of War) event this coming Saturday evening August 15th at 5:30 pm. at the Spot Theatre – 18, Zhongshan North Road Sec. 2 in downtown Taipei. At this time there is still plenty of space

Read more

Taiwan’s English language education: A living dinosaur

By Trista di Genova, The Wild East / Editorial The Taiwanese fare abysmally in international English scores. Why? Part of the reason could be attributed to the difficulty  of learning such a vastly different language. According to the US State Department, Mandarin is one of the world’s most difficult languages for

Read more