Renegade Writings

The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

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General stuff

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

Dongmen Market, Day and Night

Near the center of Hsinchu City there is an old indoor market called Dongmen Market. It used to be a so called wet market where people would go to buy groceries, clothes and other everyday items. The place has been on the decline for a number of years with more and more of the little vendor stalls and shops closing down. Lately however, a lot of young people have been opening little restaurants, cafes and bars in the old vendor spaces. Most of these businesses are only open in the afternoons and evenings, so during the day the place is … Read the rest

Cold Stone Creamery ice cream review

Cold Stone has a lot of fantastic looking ice cream but I always found it hard to choose which one to have. The problem is that I only rarely went there, so I kept forgetting which ones I tried before and more than likely ended up trying the same ones over and over.

A while ago I decided to rectify this by simply trying all of them and writing it down. It turned into a series of mini reviews in the notes app of my phone. I finally tried the last one on the list, and for some reason I … Read the rest

DIY in the new apartment

Me and my wife recently bought a new apartment. To get the style we want rather than what a designer recommends, and also to save some money, we have been doing a lot of DIY for the interior decoration. I think it turned out really well, especially for two inexperienced people, and I just want to show off a bit.

Above is what the apartment looked like when we got the keys. The boxes are for the kitchen appliances that the construction company would install later. My brother inlaw was kind enough the install the floor tiles in the kitchen … Read the rest

The Passive AC Version 2

Back in May I wrote this article about building a passive AC. That time I attached it to the front of our living room fan and I found that while the principle worked the air flow was too low to give effective cooling. I also mentioned that I would like to try to fit one in a window to cool down the incoming air. Now, I’ve finally had a chance to test this concept.

The working principle is the same, as the air passes through the funnel it gets compressed which lowers the temperature. Last time I used standard 500 … Read the rest

A Boy Named Sue Montoya

A thought struck me the other day and I felt like it’s interesting enough, or perhaps funny enough, to be worth writing down. It is entirely possible that someone else has already thought of this but I’ve never heard of it, so here we go:

The characters of Sue from the Johnny Cash song  A Boy Named Sue, and Inigo Montoya from the film The Princess Bride are incredibly similar. First, they have both been wronged in some way and in both cases the wrongdoing is strongly linked to their respective fathers. The boy named Sue gets teased for … Read the rest

Taiwanese view on “foreigners”

We all have prejudices and we all tend to use stereotypes when we think about “other people”, at least to some degree. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with that, but I do think it’s good to be mindful, both of the prejudices you have about others, and the prejudices others might have about you. With that in mind I am writing this post to inform my readers how Taiwanese people tend to view “foreigners”. First a quick disclaimer, I cannot claim to be presenting scientific facts here, this is merely based on my own experience of living here … Read the rest

Tracing the river

A couple of weeks ago I was in a camping gear store looking for something when a man came up to me and asked something. I couldn’t really give him a proper answer but we started chatting and soon enough he had invited me to go river tracing. I’ve been interested in going for a while, but I’ve just never taken the time to arrange a tour, so when the opportunity came up like that, I happily agreed to join.

At first my wife was planning to join as well but she had some work to do so in the … Read the rest

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