The latest newsletter from taiwanreporter Klaus Bardenhagen
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Here we go again

Cars, scooters, electric vehicles, public transport... a really good discussion about Taiwan's traffic situation is happening on my Facebook page right now. What needs to change? Should car owners be made to pay more? Check it out, weigh in!

In connection to that, I came across this video I really liked, that might be an inspiration for Taiwan: How the Dutch got their cycle paths.

Further below you'll find part II of my "How I ended up in Taiwan" story.

In case you missed my first newsletter last week, you can read it on the archive page right here.

Let's stay in touch!


Taiwan Resources in English

Everything is on YouTube, right? One problem when it comes to Taiwan, though, is that not everyone is able to search for, or understand, videos in Chinese.

So here are a few YouTube channels that you should bookmark or subscribe to if you want to catch regular English news from Taiwan - the kind of stuff most vloggers will not care to touch.
If you want to support my work in Taiwan, here is what you can do.

My Taiwan Story (Chapter 2)

In 2007, I noticed a fax that had been sent to the office at the Hamburg TV station where I worked. This is what it said: “Scholarship for a language trip to Taiwan for journalists.”

Apparently, the Taiwanese government was looking for foreign reporters interested in spending three months (or six or even twelve) in Taipei. There would be a monthly stipend of 600 Euro, while accommodation would only cost about 200 Euro. Free plane tickets. Please get in touch if you’re interested.

This is what went through my head as I was reading this:
  • “Taiwan? I really don’t know anything about it.” (Just what I happened to catch in the news, and that’s not much. Island, Asian tiger, trouble with China.)
  • “In fact, I have never even been to Asia.”
  • “And I definitely never spent any thought on learning Chinese.”
But, on the other hand:
  • “A free trip? Nice.”
  • “I could use a break from my work here, I’ve been caught up in the same routines for a few years now.”
  • “If it sucks, it will only be for three months anyway.”
Being a freelancer, taking three months off work was easy. So I decided to contact the Taiwanese office in Hamburg.

To be continued...

Photo of the Week

I took this photo in January 2013 at a big demonstration in Taipei under the motto "Fury" (火大!). Opposition parties and NGOs were protesting against policies of the Ma Ying-jeou government, one year after it had been re-elected. This was still more than one year before the Sunflower Movement, but many people already had all kinds of gripes. You could feel the public mood changing. For me, this photo symbolizes the notoriously rebellious spirit of Taiwan's civil society being passed down to the next generation.
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