TaiwanYes Houston

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"You are admired for your adventurous ways." If you've been following my blog, you know I traveled to Texas over spring break. When I heard there was a Taiwanese festival happening when I would be around, I went and checked it out. Hosted by the Taiwanese Association of America, Houston Chapter, the cultural event is called TaiwanYes Houston. It's inspired by the vibrant Taiwanese night market. Except it's held during the day. Yeah, that confused me for a bit, too. However, like a traditional … [Read more...]

#BookReview: Superbeetle

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"Your respect for others will be your ticket to success." Superbeetle by S. Michele Chen 4 stars Pros: Taiwan setting Chinese words Cons: Some flat characters Modern family dynamics* (see note below)   I was super excited to get ahold of this. Because of its vibrant cover, I actually thought this would be a picture book. (Warning: If your kids don’t like bugs, the cover might put them off.) However, it’s actually a lovely chapter book with images scattered … [Read more...]

2-2-8 70 years

228 70th brochures

On this 70th anniversary, we remember the atrocities that happened in Taiwan. How peaceful demonstrations turned into unrest and eradication across the land. We remember the dark period in Taiwan, the years called White Terror. In LA, we took time to recall, to mourn, and to promise to resist against the horrific ever occurring again. The 228 Memorial Event in El Monte featured music when words could not express the bountiful grief.   Political leaders stood together in support … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Sesame Sticks

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Sesame sticks: rectangular sesame treats If you haven't already heard, Monday marked the beginning of Chinese New Year. It's the Year of the Monkey in 2016 (the fire monkey, to be exact). Overseas, people get seven days off to celebrate the holidays. When we were visiting Taiwan, people looked at us funny because kids don't get winter break there--their time off is consolidated around the lunar new year. Besides meeting up with family, New Year is a great time to eat tried-and-true … [Read more...]

Family Stories

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"You are always welcome in a gathering." What I love about returning to Taiwan is seeing older relatives and hearing all their stories. Every time I go back, I feel like more family members come out of the woodwork. One day, we even had 23 people crammed in a house talking together. In honor of my first published book, THE 228 LEGACY, a lot of folks shared memories about The 228 Massacre (1947) and its aftermath. Here are a few interesting tidbits: An auntie remembered savoring the … [Read more...]

Back from Taiwan!

Taipei 101 is so grand even in the rain!

"You will travel far and wide, both [for] pleasure and business." Hi, guys! I'm back from my trip to Taiwan. Although I didn't get to see the election process this time around, I had a great vacation visiting relatives and seeing sights. Here are a few highlights: 1. Climbing the mountains and seeing ancestral burial grounds 2. Talking to relatives, hearing family stories, and eating yummy food together 3. Exploring one of the most popular bookstores in Taiwan, … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Stinky Tofu

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Stinky tofu: smelly but tasty fermented tofu Stinky tofu is definitely a good that grows on you because you need to get over the atrocious smell to eat it. There's a nicer euphemistic name people call it: fragrant tofu. The odor comes from a fermentation process that can last from several days to a week. The recipe used for making a proper brine is sometimes fiercely guarded by the cooks. If you're interested in learning more about how stinky tofu is made, check out this video from the … [Read more...]

Puzzle Pieces & the Formosan Salmon

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"Ants can move even a mighty mountain." -Chinese proverb I'm not a big fan of puzzles. I have a hard time visualizing connections, and a scattered image overwhelms me. In high school, I had to help put together a puzzle of our mascot (and there was no computer wizardry back then) for our yearbook cover image. I think I managed to contribute a few pieces over the course of three days. As an adult, I realize I can complete puzzles, but it takes concentrated effort. I need to work bit by bit, much … [Read more...]

Discover Taiwan, The Beautiful Island

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"Beware the person with a Buddha's mouth and a snake's heart." -Chinese proverb It was with stealth that the 228 Massacre struck Taiwan, ushering in decades of sorrow. The three numbers together, 2-2-8, now hold horrific memories for many Taiwanese. The importance of this date and the ensuing dark time period can be found in my article, "228 In Today's World." What is so significant about the massacre and the White Terror era is its destruction of the minds of a beautiful country. There's a … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Sea Salt Drinks

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Sea salt drinks: beverages topped with sea salt, typically using tea or coffee That's right. Salty coffee and tea is all the rage in Taiwan. Introduced by the chefs at 85C Bakery Cafe (85°C  is supposed to be the ideal temperature at which to brew coffee), the salty foam on top of the beverage encourages sequential tasting. In fact, it's supposed to appeal to multiple taste buds, providing a fuller drinking experience. The flavors your tongue longs for are: sweet, sour, bitter, salt, … [Read more...]

Copyright © 2017 Jennifer J. Chow