What Readers and Reviewers say about Half Baked in Taiwan:
"Entertaining, also very educational." Troy Henley, Columbus, Ohio.
"Half Baked in Taiwan is worth reading. Fowler writes wellshe hits the nail on the head." Mat Matich, Topics, (American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan magazine.)
"Well-paced, funny and all-around excellent." Francesca Kelly, Editor-in-Chief, Tales from a Small Planet
"One of the few elite authors who covers Taiwan with insight and intelligence." Jeremy Teigen, University of Texas political science grad student, & former Taiwan resident
"I read it in one sit...laughed myself achy." Karen Schmitt, editor New Views Southern Taiwan
"Professional and highly readable." Jack Barker, editor www.travelmag.co.uk
"Fowler, a world traveler and accomplished observer of human nature, has written a book that is more than just a travelogue." Joan Viener, Amazon reviewer
"A humorous blend of travelogue, culture clash and fish-out-of-water tales." Chris Mautner, reviewer Harrisburg Patriot News, USA
"Fowlers description is a wry take on Taiwan." John Bugbee, journalist, York Sunday News, USA
"Fowler writes about her two-and-a-half years in Taiwan in a witty new book she calls Half Baked in Taiwan." Ann Diviney, Evening Sun Style Editor, USA
In Half Baked in TaiwanBeth Fowler invites readers to saddle up, mount a beast called culture shock and hang on for a jolting ride. Filled with anecdotes of an Americans experience of life in Taiwan, the episodes are about everything from the seemingly mundane task of mailing a letter in a foreign land to the fated moment when Fowler concludes that the so-called Westernization of Asia is a terribly misleading exaggeration.
"The overall experience of being a Westerner living in Taiwan can cause one to feel a vast range of emotions. From the very start Half Baked in Taiwan is exceedingly humorous, insightful, and easy to relate to. I found myself laughing so much that my co-workers took notice," says Steven Aukstakalnis, expatriate and editor based in Taiwan.
Hear that noise? Thats the crunch of two cultures clashing. Taiwans culture is quintessentially Chinese. Saving face, Chinese Lunar New Year, Chinese cuisine and the exacting social art of gift-giving are just a few of the Asian customs to which visiting Westerners must adapt themselves, for if they dont, they risk constantly being at odds with their hosts, hosts like Jane Lan, a Taiwan native with strong opinions. Jane provides an Oriental counterpoint to Fowlers Yankee perspective. Mr. and Mrs. Tsai, who are so Asian theyve shunned adopting Western first names, introduce Fowler and her husband to the Taiwan that tourists usually skim over.
Taiwan, a republic whose leaders proclaim it is Asias leading democracy while fearing military attack from Mainland China, is home to unique cultural quirks unparalleled in any other Asian country. Millions of stray dogs patrol the streets and the betel nut industry wreaks environmental, human and social damage. On the aesthetic front, Taiwanese puppet theater endures as a cultural heritage handed down from generation to generation.
With Fowler as a guide, readers will meet aboriginal children, attend a wedding, meet a sexy woman with prescient knowledge, and zip around the Republic on an "iron horse." Even supposedly simple tasks like buying a bunch of broccoli at the local "wet market" become, for the half-baked foreigner, a mind-shifting experience worth writing home about.
Learning to be a foreigner entails making mistakes. Constantly. Some people emerge out the other end of the cross-cultural gauntlet with a broader, more tolerant view of the world and its inhabitants. Other people come off the expatriate experience with jingoistic bitterness. And yet others "go native." People wanting