Thank You and Goodbye

Xpat Magazine March, 2008

thk_u_goodbyeI’m sitting here at my desk gazing out the window, trying to put to paper some kind of goodbye letter for my last issue behind the wheel of Xpat. But as I reflect on my time working on Xpat, and in Taiwan, I’m filled with a single emotion: gratitude. So, instead of saying goodbye, I’d like to thank all of the people who helped me make Xpat what it is today.

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Xpat Magazine September, 2007

changeI pen this letter from a remote stretch of shore on Kootenay Lake, an enormous, unmolested body of water hundreds of kilometers long, slung in a deep valley in British Columbia’s Rocky Mountains. As a child I spent countless summers running barefoot through these cedar forests. Today is the first time I’ve reclined on this quiet shore in more than 1,000 days; 1,000 days since I’ve lain on this rocky beach, smelled the clean mountain air perfumed with cedar and gazed at a night sky flooded with more stars than darkness. It’s sunny, but not hot. The waves lap at the pebble shore where I sit against driftwood in the shade of a poplar tree. I should feel at ease but I don’t. I’m lonely and I’m frightened.

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The Top Twenty Bizarre English Names in Taiwan

Xpat Magazine June, 2007

Top_20_NamesAt least once in their career, most English teachers in Taiwan stand in the unique position of naming children, or encountering a Taiwanese person, young or old, with a desire to assume an inappropriate English name. Sometimes kindie teachers, spurred by lack of sleep and unmetabolized alcohol, give kids wacky names for their own amusement, but more often Taiwanese people choose these names themselves and are unwilling to give them up despite the protest of their conscientious foreign educators and friends. Either way, Taiwan is a cornucopia of strange, incongruous, and hilarious names. I scoured various Internet bulletin boards in search of the most ingenious, insulting and comical English names that local xpats have come across. Here are the best that I found.

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From the Desk 07.03

Xpat Magazine March, 2007

from_desk_4The definition of ‘Lookism’: discrimination against or prejudice towards others based on their appearance

The average hourly earnings of men with “below-average looks” and “above-average looks” compared to the national average in North America respectively: -8.9% and +5.4%

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