The Great Far East Mission of 2009

I’m winging my way—squeezed into a seat the size of shoebox—to the Far East. Taiwan, specifically; Formosa as was.

My mission there is highly classified and secret. I’ll be on EVA airlines, arriving at the Taoyuan International Airport on 2 January at 7:05 am, traveling by taxi to Taipei central city where the Rich Powerful People Big Hotel is. Don’t tell anybody.

Taiwan is famous for its cuisine; truly one of the world’s best: pork balls, fish balls, beef balls, and if you like the feel of small sticky balls in your mouth, there’s bubble tea galore. The street food alone is cheap, plentiful, and amazing: stinky tofu, green onion pancakes, fresh-dead chicken steak, beef noodle soup, oyster omelets, louro fan (pig meat and fat over rice), and sticks with small tomatoes and plums on them coated with sugar—they are astonishingly good. I expect to come back 5.2% fatter.

To take up the time while I’m away, I scheduled a five-part series on a psychic test I designed and proctored for three Korean children trained in the art of Dahn Yoga and something called brain respiration. The test took place at MIT in 2004. It is a story of what happens when people want to believe and what happens when things go wrong.

I’ll have other posts from time to time, and I might be a little slow in responding, but please do leave your comments. I will get to them all eventually.

See you when I get back!

(This message was scheduled to post automatically; if it didn’t show up, you can’t read it.)


  1. Ari

    Food carts are the worst kept culinary secret in the world. Nothing made me happier in Japan and Korea than to buy some food cart food on a cold day.

    Enjoy! Happy New Year! Or, uh, 恭喜发财!

  2. JH


    Good weather and excellent food. Have a ball (or a few of them)!

  3. JA

    Something told me you were going to write about psychic powers. Somehow, I just knew! Wierd.

  4. I am not available at the moment but this comment was scheduled to be programatically transmitted in response to the first automatic posting of this blog. If no such posting occurred you will not be able to read this reply.

  5. Rick Sharp

    I feel your jet lag. I’ve made 28 trips to Beijing from L.A. I think Taiwan is about 3 hours further. Going was never a problem but East to West was a killer for me. Have fun, I love China….. obviously.

  6. Joy

    James? I’ve been expecting you. (the dress still fits.)

    OK, I’ll bite, not the balls though,
    Small Stinky balls, sound rough. Each to their own; you know what they say, you are what you eat.
    I have to disagree about the food. Never been to Taiwan or China, but this description epitomises why I would probably starve to death. I’d live on Jacobs crackers and Bananas, and I’d only go for a week! When the frog’s leg rested on my tongue, I felt it’s sad scaly shredded chickenness and spat it straight out into my serviette, now I am full grown, I know that I do not have to eat something to know that I don’t like it.
    Hey, everyone, Teach is away! Lets run amok!

    This was an automatic message to instantly generate disagreement with anything you said!
    Happy New Year everyone.

  7. meimie

    my fav Chinese food by far is dumplings( 餃子). i adore Chinese food in Taiwan. i went to Taiwan in the summer of 2006.

  8. D Johnson

    I also have fond memories of my business trips to Taipei back in the late 80’s. I had a favorite bar, Waltzing Matilda. I’m curious to know if it’s still operating. I agree that the food is great, unless you are addicted to cheeses.

  9. Colin

    Joy, in your case, I guess, you are what you say.

  10. Joy

    Sorry, did you find that offensive? It was not meant to be. It was a joke, all of it.

  11. Colin


    Why would I find your comments offensive? “It was a joke, all of it.” Good try.

    Well, you know what they say, you are what you say.

  12. Joy

    Clearly you have a different issue with what I said. Perhaps you might like to start by saying exactly what your issue is instead of repeating the line “you are what you say” and expecting me to guess” That’s female thinking!
    I’m all out of guesses and have important shopping to do. There’s a very sexy black bond girl dress that I need for the next film, in which I will be the bond girl “Joy-Joy”. For this role I will need to eat nothing but cream crackers and bananas for the next six months. (Helps the complexion.)
    Am I what I say?

  13. Joy, sorry for the delayed response. Was involved in familial stuff. Would hope we would disagree. Else how would there be any fun?

    Enjoy a clotted cream and scone for dw whilst out and about, won’t you? We’re counting the day till our next UK holiday.

  14. Joy

    Will do. Dw? Where in UK? Have a lovely time.

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