The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Category General stuff

Taiwanese Cultural Quirks

I’ve been living in Taiwan for close to ten years now and despite feeling at home here there are still some aspects of Taiwanese culture that baffle me. That’s not to say I think the way people here do things is wrong, or that we in Europe are better, it’s just that from my perspective these cultural practices and behaviors are kind of quirky. Mind you, some of these might be common to other countries in Asia, it’s just that I never lived there long enough to notice. So without further ado, here are some things about Taiwanese culture that … Read the rest

The Failure of Netflix

One evening a short while back I felt like relaxing with something that doesn’t require too much thinking. I figured some mindless action movie should do the trick so I logged in to Netflix and searched for Transformers 5 but couldn’t find it. “No problem,” I thought, and switched over to Amazon Prime but couldn’t find it there either. So, I went for the third option, HBO Go, but to no avail, they didn’t have it. I’m not subscribed to any other streaming services so I witched to another movie, Fast and the Furious 9 if I remember correctly, but … Read the rest

The Most Unintentionally Hilarious Scene Ever

A couple of days ago I found myself on a twelve hour flight, unable to sleep. With time to kill but no motivation for anything "serious" I decided to watch some braindead action flick. Swiping through the menu I found Fate of the Furious (or Fast and the Furious 8 if you prefer) which seemed to be the perfect pick. It turned out to be a far more interesting movie than I had ever expected.

The Fast and the Furious franchise has always been known for over the top car action so I knew what I was getting in to, but this topped all of the previous ones... read the rest

Showing off photos

I feel my photography skills have improved a fair bit recently, mostly when it comes to adjusting the settings to difficult light but other aspects as well. During my stay in Germany I’ve taken a few pictures that I’m actually quite proud of but they don’t really fit in any of my other posts. However, I would still like to show them off so here we go:

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Baby’s Second Adventure

Before becoming a parent I thought having a small child would mean being stuck at home most of the time. Recently I’ve found more and more that while there are some limitations, it is possible to go out and do fun things. Granted you have to make some adjustments to what you are doing and where you are going but still, you can go on little mini adventures. For instance me and my wife used to really enjoy taking the motorbike up into the mountains then go hiking to some semi-remote waterfall. We can’t go by motorbike anymore, but if … Read the rest

Baby’s First Adventure

A couple of weeks ago I was out with the motorcycle in the mountains and rediscovered a trail that we tried to hike many years ago but never finished because part of it had collapsed, then forgot about. From what I could see it seemed to be in good shape, so last weekend we decided to give it another go…this time with the baby.

It’s actually not much of a trail, only a few hundred meters long, but it leads to a waterfall which in my opinion makes it a worthwhile hike. The place isn’t particularly popular and it’s a … Read the rest

Making a DIY Knife

When I was in Japan a a year or two back I bought a kit for making your own folding knife from the big DIY department store Tokyu Hands. Since then I’ve been too busy with other stuff but now I finally had time to assemble it and I thought it might be fun to show how I made it.

The kit consists of two handle parts, a blade, two sets of screws, four washers, a stop pin, two pieces of sand paper, a small tool and the instructions manual. They come in different versions but I got the one … Read the rest

The Soda Can Stove

A little over a year ago I was unemployed meaning I had a lot of free time. I wanted to do something more meaningful with my time than just watching YouTube so I found a couple of craft project that I could do. One that seemed interesting was making a little stove, or rather a kind of alcohol burner, out of soda cans. To make it a bit more interesting I set myself a challenge. I wanted to see if I could build one of these soda can stoves using nothing but materials from the corner 7-11 and a Swiss Army Knife...continue reading

The Opium Eater’s Library

I’m reading Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and I found a fantastic description of the library in his countryside cottage that I think is worth sharing. I leave it here without further comment:

“Surely every body is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a winter fire-side: candles at four o’clock, warm hearth-rugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies on the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without

Paint me, then, a room seventeen feet by twelve, and not more than seven and a half feet high. […] it Read the rest

The Secret Beach in Yilan

October 10 is Taiwan’s national day and since it was a Thursday this year, most of the country got a four day weekend. My wife is pregnant and some pregnancy related medical conditions have kept her cooped up at home most of the time. As luck would have it, she was feeling well enough to go out that very weekend, so we decided to take a trip to Yilan in north east Taiwan.

The first day we drove from Hsinchu over to Yilan then spent the afternoon on the beach in Dongao Bay. It’s a beautiful beach with verdant … Read the rest

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