Teaching English in China Part Two – The SARS Epidemic

Ask any ESL teacher that has taught abroad and they’ll tell you that their first few months, heck the first year, is rife with challenges. What happens, though, when the country that you’ve moved to suddenly experiences a health epidemic, like SARS or Avian flu, Here’s what happened to me during the 2003 SARS epidemic in Mainland China. Continue Reading →

Teaching English in China Part One – The Journey Begins

It’s a scary thing to pick up and move your life to the other side of the world. I got my first taste of that when I was 27 and on my way to Changchun, China on the 23rd of March, 2003. I was going to spend a year abroad teaching English in China.
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The Secret Lives of Taipei Housekeepers

This guest blog is by Ava Apollo. When she’s not writing for MSW, she’s blogging about adventure travel at bemytravelmuse.com.  In the Xin Yi district of Taipei, home to the famous 101 skyscaper, immaculate residential mid-rises owned by the powerful and rich Taipei elite sit quietly amidst the buzz of one of the busiest intersections in the city. At any given time, one can catch a glimpse of young adult females in the windows of these flats and penthouses, cleaning Continue Reading →

Who are the Betel Nut Beauties?

This guest blog is by Ava Apollo. When she’s not writing for MSW, she’s blogging about adventure travel at bemytravelmuse.com.  Have you ever found yourself taking a drive down a roadside in Taiwan, when out of the corner of your eye you catch a scantily-clad la mei (“hot” girl) working behind glass walls? Whether you have or not, I bet now you’re intrigued. I was on a bus heading out of Taipei a few years ago, staring out the window as I Continue Reading →

Self Realizations from Living Abroad: Meeting Fellow Expats

This guest blog is by Ava Apollo. When she’s not writing for MSW, she’s blogging about adventure travel at bemytravelmuse.com.  Click here for the previous post in this series. After the typhoon blew through Taipei, life returned to normal. Classes resumed, and I had spent a considerable amount of time working on my assignment: giving my classmates details of my hometown in Mandarin.  This was going to be an easy one for me.  I loved talking about LA.  Everyone knew where it Continue Reading →