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Author: ReneeRoams

Taipei’s Cafe Culture: Six Observations

Taipei’s Cafe Culture: Six Observations

Cafe culture is strong in Taiwan. Especially in Taipei, where there’s a university around every corner, instagrammable cafes nestle everywhere. Everywhere you go, cafe culture is a little bit different. This fascinates me, since I spend a lot of time in cafes working, reading, and studying. Here are some quick observations about how Taipei’s cafe culture is different from the US’s. 1. Prime cafe hours are after lunch My senior year of college I’d head to a cafe directly after I’d…

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Two Weeks Before The Mast: what it’s like, what to pack

Two Weeks Before The Mast: what it’s like, what to pack

My first post about training on Lady Washington is on the first page of Google results for “two weeks before the mast experience”. What?! That’s awesome, but at the same time, I now feel the need to expand upon my reflections post with some useful information for would-be two-weekers. What’s the deal with all this, then? If you’re here to learn more about TWBTM, then great! Keep reading! If you’re a bit lost, maybe check out my previous post. Two Weeks…

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Six Awesome Asia Blogs

Six Awesome Asia Blogs

You know what I like? Awesome blogs! You know what else I like? Asia! I’m sure you can see where this is going. Here are some of my favorite blogs about living, traveling, and studying in Asia. Give them some love and bookmark them for when you plan your next trip! Nomada How Far I ended up here for something inane like Thai visa requirements and ended up following for their awesome stories presented in a clean layout. They have…

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Women’s Review of Uniqlo’s Easy Care Long Sleeve Dress Shirt

Women’s Review of Uniqlo’s Easy Care Long Sleeve Dress Shirt

I love Uniqlo. I discovered them when I studied abroad in Taiwan, and as soon as I got back to the states I began introducing friends and family to the store. “It’s like Old Navy, but the clothes are all wearable and fit better!” was my usual pitch. Eytan at Snarky Nomad has written about how some of his favorite travel clothes are from Uniqlo. Every time I go to Uniqlo, though, I get the impression that the men’s section…

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How To Study Chinese Abroad for Free

How To Study Chinese Abroad for Free

“How to travel the world for free!” posts are abundant on the travelblogosphere. Most of them involve suggestions like rewards cards, work exchange, and teaching English. Very few of them tell readers that dozens of organizations are ready to throw money at you if you want to learn Mandarin. Don’t be scared off if you’ve never studied Mandarin before or if you’re not interested in a master’s degree! There’s plenty of funding available whether you’re monolingual and 54 or fresh…

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Adventure Boots: Options for Women

Adventure Boots: Options for Women

Is there a reason hiking boots are so ugly? (The Guardian says, “Maybe“.) This isn’t usually a problem for me. If I’m hiking it’s definitely not an issue, and if I’m walking around a major city I prioritize my comfort over looks. But you just can’t dress up hiking boots. They’re also frequently heavy or bulky, taking up unecessary room and weighing you down. No one’s requiring you to wear boots, of course, but if you like boots, might as…

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Boots on the Ground Part II: Libraries and Landladies

Boots on the Ground Part II: Libraries and Landladies

(also banks, but that wasn’t alliterative) I. Libraries Getting a library card in Taipei is way easier than I’d anticipated. To get one in the US you need to provide proof of residency such as rental paperwork or recent mail. In Taipei, you don’t even need to be a resident get a library card. The minimum requirements are permanent and temporary addresses, your passport, and a phone number where they can contact you. It’s not a problem if you don’t…

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Scattered Post-CELTA Thoughts

Scattered Post-CELTA Thoughts

Did you think one week of midterms was too easy? Do you like being sleep deprived for days, nay, weeks on end? How would you rather spend your weekends: researching present continuous for six hours, or doing literally anything else? If you are excited about any or all of these prospects, then an intensive CELTA course might be for you! _______ I’m not selling this very well, and I’m not being entirely fair. Here’s the deal. If you want to…

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Huayu Enrichment Scholarship: Boots on the Ground

Huayu Enrichment Scholarship: Boots on the Ground

So I live in Taipei now. I know, I know, it’s wild. It’s weird to me that I just…decided to move to Taiwan. And then did it. Anyway. I arrived last Saturday, late at night. I’d asked my school (Chinese Culture University’s Mandarin Learning Center) to arrange a driver to meet me, since I had too much luggage to manage on public transit. (I really should invest in some rolling suitcases.) The car took me to EasyMind Guest House, where I’d…

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My New Favorite Women’s Travel Pants Are Normal Men’s Pants

My New Favorite Women’s Travel Pants Are Normal Men’s Pants

For three days in Chiang Mai I wore a $30 pair of men’s athletic chinos from Target. They weren’t exorbitantly expensive, they weren’t marketed for traveling, they weren’t made for women, and yet, for some reason, they are worlds better than any women’s pants I’ve worn while traveling. Let’s start by recapping women’s pants. Standard women’s pants are some combination of the following: tight around the waist and/or hips low-cut enough to be inappropriate or at least problematic in some…

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