The author began this lazy Saturday with an afternoon coffee with a Taiwan-based political risk consultant, serving American companies hoping to get established in the local market on the island. As much as he tried his best to portray some advantages of Taiwan, especially in the technological and cost side of doing business, the key takeaway, ultimately, was how difficult it is to attract clientele for the local office here. This was especially so when compared to other offices based in China and Southeast Asia, where clients piled in to inquire about services offered.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Saturday, March 1, 2014
at 10:15 PM
Deep in the forested hills of Taiwan's central mountain ranges, there is a little aboriginal village of a mere thousand people named Fuhsing. A winding paved road pass through its main tourist strip where urbanites with cars stop over before heading further into the mountains to see lakes and waterfalls. There on the strip is a small hole-in-the-wall serving up hearty portions of stirred-fried wild boar meat. Its relatively dark interior and rather run-down facade compared to neighboring restaurants made it rather unpopular with the tourist crowd used to Taipei's bright lights.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
at 7:16 PM
A sleek black Mercedes pulled itself next to the street-side bar where the author and his two friends began their night with a couple of Gin and Tonic's to wash down an anxious sense of uncertainty on what is going to happen next. The bar owner, the gracious host for the night, motioned his three new friends into the black-leather backseats of the spacious vehicle. Putting himself on the front passenger seat, he prompted a casual small talk with the elderly driver, who appeared professional but relaxed in his tuxedo uniform.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
at 8:16 PM
One of the biggest, most luxurious, and most famous departure stores in Taipei is beyond just a building with expensive brand-name shops. It is actually a complex of FOUR buildings, each of which 7-8 storied and all of them connected via pedestrian-only bridges on the ground level, and sky bridges on the 4th floor. From restaurants to food courts, cosmetics to clothing lines, activity halls to nearby movie theaters, the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi seem to contain everything a shopper would ever want in order to while away a lazy weekend.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
at 10:50 PM
When talking about Taiwanese politics, China is the elephant in the room. These words from Western media should not and indeed really do not face disagreement even here in Taiwan. Certainly, for an island where 40% of exports head to China and 10% of citizens live in China, to speak of political issues in a Sino-centric fashion would not be at all excessive or exaggerating. And looking at events of the past across the Strait and potential repercussions for the future, the fixation of local politicians and common people with China is very well justified.