Politcally and culturally speaking, Taiwan has only really started to make sense to me over the past few years. In retrospect, I wonder how I had managed to study the language for so long, all while keeping ignorant of the country’s history. Oh yeah, binge watching Taiwanese and Mandarin-subbed Korean dramas, that probably did it… but well, it did achieve the result of taking an intensive 聽力 and 閱讀 course, so yeah to that, right?
What kind of book is 「我的青春、我的FORMOSA」? Well, it’s the book I wish I’d stumbled upon early on, when I was enthused to learn about Taiwan but couldn’t find the right material to spark my curiosity. It’s the book I wish my Chinese teacher (in Taiwan) would have chosen for my 閱讀 study material. It’s the book, I wish someone would have handed to me before my first trip to Taiwan.
It’s a book which manages to present a slice of the history of Taiwan in a fun and approachable way, and hopefully inspires readers to dig further on their own.
I don’t remember how I came across The Cultural Revolution Cookbook, but the idea of pairing food with a little bit of uncensored Chinese communist history fascinated me. The main inspiration and author of the book, Sasha Gong, lived through Cultural Revolution period herself, and instead of commiserating on her fate, she made the most out of it. Through this cookbook, in partnership with Scott Seligman, we get a glimpse of what life at the dinner table was like during the cultural revolution, a part of history somewhat very blurry for me. Continue reading Book Review: The Cultural Revolution Cookbook→
A while back, on an evening stroll which lead to Eslite bookstore 成品書店, I noticed A Taste of Taiwan (amazon)on the shelf. I flipped through a few pages, it looked interesting, so I jotted it down on my list of books to check out later on. At last, I recently got my hands on a copy of it to review in more details.
Just like the magazine, the book features articles in Chinese and its corresponding English translation. The books is split in three main sections, Culinary Culture, Local Flavors and Gourmet Gifts, providing a pretty broad presentation of the Taiwanese food landscape. Continue reading Book Review: A Taste of Taiwan 台灣滋味→
Have you ever heard of the language learning immersion syndrome? Most likely not since I just made it up, but you maybe have experienced it. Just like confused laowai and zhongruige, I came to Taiwan all excited to improve my Chinese in an immersive environment. Months passed by, and unconsciously, the motivation to push myself with the language slowly faded. It did hit me at some point, I had this uncomfortable feeling of stagnating despite an environment providing everything I had wished for. Continue reading Getting It Together (上): Chinese Learning Mojo→