Nancy Lang, the owner of Three Leafs Tea with a local tea farmer during her exploration of the island. Each and every sip of tea carries its own unique story that starts with the individual farmers. “What makes us stand out is our focus on People! We want to promote the people behind each cup of tea to our customers.” — Nancy Lang

A Sip of Tea — A Chance Encounter

I first met Nancy Lang, the owner of Three Leafs Tea during a transitional period in my life. It was the beginning of 2020, and Covid-19 had yet to make its full onslaught attack felt across the globe. I was entering the final days of my previous position at a company where I had worked and thrived for the past 8 years, The Hutong. Coming from a work culture full of life and energy, overflowing with the spirit of sharing, these values continue to stay with me to this very day. After leaving my job which required me to travel…

Love at first sight.

Dear Mikkeller Cinnamon Roll,

I have to admit, when I entered Mikkeller, I wasn’t looking for you. I was just hoping to try the beer. But then love has a mysterious way of sneaking up on us, doesn’t it? It hits us like a beaver tail in the face as we swim in the pond of life. I remember our first meeting. I can still taste you on my lips now.

I was first attracted to the exterior of the building where we met, as the architecture of Mikkeller, Taipei dates back to the days when the Dadaocheng 大稻埕 area…

This is the first piece in a two part subset within “Birth in the Time of Covid” that details the memories of pre-labor and the birth of our daughter, Luna, on January 21st, 2021. Although there are no words to describe the phenomenon of giving birth, there are images and feelings that can be described in words. Any event is a collection of moments, and moments from time can connect to any event if we let them.

“A good swing always starts with the hips. By perching up like a crane and then nearly falling forward, [Ichiro Suzuki] supplies additional momentum that goes into smacking the ball.” — Nicolas Stellini, How to Swing Like Ichiro

I remember the specific moment in 5th grade when my little league baseball career abruptly and thankfully ended. I was standing in the outfield on the grass at Brewbaker Field Sports Complex in my hometown of Lexington, Virginia, feeling nervous about being there. Baseball was not a sport I particularly enjoyed, and I’m not sure why I even joined the Rockbridge Area Recreation Organization (RARO) little league baseball team. Perhaps it was the peer pressure or the opportunity for camaraderie with others my age. Maybe it was part of the requirement of growing up in small town America. Regardless of…

This is the fifth instalment in a series focusing on Greek Mythology. This segment follows Awakening Under the Olive Tree. We enter into the mind of a beast in the Underworld as he finishes up his latest meal. A never-ending hunger inside, the watchdog of the Underworld is always ready for its next meal.

Cerberus Middle gnawed on the femur from the leg of a common livestock that had been brought down from the surface world a week before. There was still a bit of meat hanging from the thicker part of the bone. Cerberus Left slept while Cerberus Right licked his paw, contentedly.

Why was Middle always so hungry? Left and Right seemed to be able to get their fill, but Middle never seemed to be able to satisfy his appetite. …

The logo of the postpartum care center that we ended up choosing in Taipei, “Fruitful,” 小青田 (Xiao Qing Tian)

“Sitting the month — or “zuo yuezi”坐月子 in Chinese — is a traditional form of postpartum confinement meant to help women recover and stay healthy after giving birth. Historically, it was believed new mothers should be kept warm for the crucial first 30 days post-birth, during which time they were instructed to wear long clothes, avoid any kind of cold air, not bathe, stay away from raw or cold foods, and just generally lie still at home.”-Dai Wangyun, Researcher from East China Normal University as quoted in Sixth Tone.

The Right Place, The Right Time

Originally, my wife wanted to give birth in her home country…

Now in its 3rd year of existence, Formosa Improv Group 福爾摩沙即興組合(FIG) continues to provide exciting improv workshops for the community, as well as monthly performances. Besides the performers and the audience, one of the essential elements to the success of any performance group is the cooperating venue. FIG is honoured to have an enduring partnership with Two Three Comedy, as well as revitalising its collaboration with The Red Room in Taipei. This piece focuses on on the evolution of the relationship with these two venues and how each individual performance space offers a unique experience for audiences.

“Two Three comedy was born out of a collaboration between English language and Chinese language comedians and 23 Brewing Company, who owned 23 Public, our original venue. In December 2019 Two Three Comedy Club opened. We have been lucky to work with multiple performance groups, like FIG, and turn Two Three Comedy Club into a home base for English and Chinese language live performance.” Two Three Co-Founder and English Program Director, Sam Yarbs.

The Face of FIG: The Venue Director

One of FIG’s most important roles within the group is that of the Venue Director. This role is an elected position who sits on FIG’s board of directors for a year and whose job it is to liaison with the group’s collaborating venues. As FIG is still a relatively young improvised group, completing its 3rd full year of existence in August of 2021, there have only been two members who have held this position up until this time.

This is the fourth instalment in a series focusing on Greek Mythology. This segment follows A Shadow in the Field. Our journey takes us to the God of the Sky, protector and father to all the Gods, Zeus. He enjoys a rare moment of peaceful bliss underneath a secluded olive tree as he looks up at the sky with one of his many lovers. As these moments are rare indeed for Zeus, we know that trouble is not far on the horizon.

Ganymede’s hands were softer and whiter than any woman’s Zeus had ever felt. Zeus had his choice of gods and goddesses, but it was the temptation of mortals like Ganymede…something about their childlike innocence, that made them so enticing to the father of the gods.

He looked up at the puffs of white clouds racing through the sky and ran his hands past the back of Ganymede’s hand. He turned his head and peeked at the young Trojan prince’s face…almost certainly passed out from exhaustion. …

The following is an introduction and literary supplement to Island Futurism’s debut album: AIslanders 未來島民。I sat down recently with one of the band members, Hsu Lijon,
許立忠, to talk with him about the band, the album, his musical journey, as well as digging a bit deeper into some of the background behind the songs in this funky intro to their unique “Afro-Formosan” sound.

Album cover for Island Futurism島國未來主義: AIslanders 未來島民. Full of symbolism and representation of Taiwanese aboriginal culture, the album’s songs dig much deeper than they appear upon first listening. In the 2nd song, “Prince of Thunder: 雷公子“ the title illustrates the connection between South Eastern Asian Island nations and Taiwan. There is a myth about the Ketagelan 凱達格蘭 ethnic people that refers to the God of Thunder and the totem that he wears.

An Improvised Breakthrough

I remember the first time I met Hsu I have to admit that I was a tiny bit skeptical. It’s not that I didn’t like or trust him — not that at all, in fact. Hsu is a very likeable person, a cool cat, someone I can imagine a friendship growing from a chance encounter — perhaps, accidentally spilling a beer on him at a musical festival sparking a friendship — that kind of guy. Not one to fall into the current trappings of being energised through division, he is is respectful of other viewpoints even if he totally disagrees…




“你的生日跟毛主席一樣!” 江西確實是比較重視紅色革命歷史。

就這樣毛主席就在我剛到中國的時候立刻入侵我在中國的生活中,當時我還沒有一個適合的中文名字。在宜春的第一個星期,另一個來自南非的同事介紹我一個中文老師,也就是他的學生。那個中文老師叫Jane,她是來自湖南長沙的一位非常嚴格又負責任的老師。在第一堂課時,她認為我應該要有一個適合的中文名字。介紹我們認識的南非同事叫Jody,他的中文姓是“喬“。Jane 以為我是一個很愛學習的人,所以她想一想,就給我起個中文名字叫喬好學。從那天起,“喬好學” 就哇哇落地了。沒想到時間過得那麼快,一直到現在喬好學已經過了青春期變化到了17歲了。







從2020年6月份我開始擔任學習長(Chief Learning Officer-CLO)這個職位。在我新公司,北祥科技服務 (Pershing Technology Systems Incorporated PTSC) 當學習長以後,我還沒有機會認識其他臺灣公司的學習長。我剛加入公司的時候,很多同仁都覺得我是特意為了這個職位而給我自己“喬好學”這個中文名字,沒想到這個名字已經陪伴了我18年。因為今年是公司重塑品牌的第一年,所以很幸運的我剛好是PTSC培養的第一位學習長。在西方文化,學習長這個職位是比較普遍的。我知道我應該不是臺灣公司的第一個學習長,不過在臺北可以算是一種稀有動物吧。

PTSC 在重塑品牌所以這個時間很適合CLO也加入

CLO 的先鋒是誰?

在1990年代,GE 的執行長,傑克·韋爾奇(Jack Welch)將史蒂夫·克爾(Steve Kerr)任命為第一任學習長。之後,Steve還擔任了高盛 (Goldman Sachs) 的首席學習長及總經理。

Ever since its inception, Formosa Improv Group 佛爾摩莎即興組合 (FIG) has devoted itself to using improv as a means to build community, emboldening the improv spirit in the “Yes, And” positive energy city of Taipei. This piece gives an introduction of what first-time participants can expect at our weekly improv workshops. I sat down recently with FIG’s current workshop director, Liam Fanning to talk in depth about what FIG’s workshops have in store for 2021 and beyond as the group steps into its 3rd year of existence.

Members of FIG after a recent show. FIG is very fortunate to continue to be able to support community workshops and monthly shows in collaboration with 23 Comedy.

“We at FIG believe that improv is a common good, something that anyone can find benefit from. We strive to share lessons and build community by offering a bilingual, guided improv experience for people of various backgrounds and experience levels.” — Liam Fanning

Jeffrey Schwab

American residing in Asia since 2004. Currently in Taipei where I work with PTSC as their Chief Learning Officer and perform bilingual improv in my spare time.

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