Ask Matt: Studying Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan

Dear Matt,

I am trying to find a Mandarin course in Taipei, Taiwan which starts in October (anytime) for myself and my husband.  We have never been to Taiwan and do not speak any Mandarin. We have found a course which starts in December, but we just can’t wait that long to go!

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Riding the Crocodile V2.0

Note: This is a heavily reworked version of an article that originally appeared in Highway 11 Magazine. Don’t miss the photo gallery from the farm at the bottom of this page!

I tipped back my cowboy hat, which I had brought to wave in the air while riding the crocodile, and sized up the dinosaur-like behemoth. His head looked like that of a crocodile, but his body looked more like it belonged to giant mutant toad.  His belly spread out on the pavement beneath him like a green leather sack of water.

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Help Me Pick My Best Travel Photos

For the last few days I’ve been working on my application for the Glimpse Correspondent Program. I’ve gone through all of my old photos, picked out my favorites, and touched them up. I now have a total of thirty-three pictures.  The problem is, I need to narrow my submission down to twenty.  If you have a minute, it would be a great help if you could look through the photos and leave a comment telling me which photos you think I should keep, and which I should trash, and why.

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Snorkeling, Rum, and Island Hopping: Five Days in Coron, Busuanga Island, Philippines


To escape the suffocating traffic and staccato of firecrackers that besiege Taiwan every Chinese New Year, several friends and I booked tickets on a budget carrier, Spirit of Manila, to the city of Coron on Busuanga Island in the Philippines for five days of snorkeling, island hopping, and rum drinking.  The tickets were very cheap, about USD$200 round-trip.  In the end the trip only cost me about $USD650, including a shopping trip in Manila on the way home. For further travel information and great accommodation deals visit Manila hotels.

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