Tag Archives: Culture

Taipei Night Markets 101, Part 2: Things to Know Before you Go

Last week we covered the very basics of Taipei night markets in Part 1. Now that the stage has been set, we’re going to talk about getting you prepared. So without further ado, on with the show! 1. Bring: An open mind Forget all your homeland standards of sanitation, culinary taste and tradition, and human(…)


Taipei Night Markets 101, Part 1: A Brief Introduction

Depending on your perspective, Taipei’s night markets are either popular tourist destinations or mundane features of everyday life. The stereotypical Taipei night market (yèshì 夜市) is a combination of North American farmer’s market, flea market, and low-budget amusement arcade, while sharing similarities with a souk (Arabian Peninsula), bazaar (Middle East), mercado (Spain), tianguis (Mexico), and/or palengke(…)


12 Untranslatable Words You Can Use on the Daily

Have you ever just wanted to punch someone in the face? Like something about them just brings out all of your repressed anger? It’s probably because of their backpfeifengesicht, a German word for “a face asking to be punched”. The term is a combination of backpfeife (punch/slap) and gesicht (face) and is absolutely untranslatable. I(…)


Defeating the Offence: Language, Sports & Racism

Sport. Whether you’re an armchair commentator or a chess boxing champion, for the partakers of sport and its fans, sport means something. Be it a chance to keep healthy, or the rush that comes with seeing your rival team defeated, sport – especially team sport – unites people (hopefully) far more than it divides. Which(…)


Fandom Language and Their TV Origins

To the casual viewer, phrases from some of our favourite TV shows may get used in passing, or as a joke. To those in fandoms (the fans of a particular person, team, fictional series, etc., regarded collectively as a community or subculture), those same words become codes, identifiers of fellow fandom members when out there(…)


6 Things to Know About Drinking Culture in Spain

Food and drink plays a huge role in cultures all around the world and Spain, the land of bullfights, sangria, and paella, is no exception. If you ever have the chance to visit Spain, you’ll no doubt enjoy your fair share of alcohol. However, like with anything, there are certain rules and commandments to drinking(…)


Why Cursing In Another Language Feels So D*** Good

A stubbed toe. That moment when you press send on a message that you really, really shouldn’t be sending. Waking up the morning after a night where go for a beer turned into doing shots. You know the word. We teach children that it’s rude to swear, cringe when they blurt out profanities learned on(…)


Top 8 Thai Dishes You Won’t Want to Try

Having lived in Thailand for a decade and a half, I’ve gotten used to some of the odder aspects of the culture, so it takes fresh eyes to remind me that there are feral dogs roaming around everywhere on three legs or that people routinely drive into oncoming traffic. Food can be included in the(…)


The Dalai Lama Says ‘Let Them Drink Horse Milk’

If any of you are familiar with American NPR, at some point, you may have been witness to a few headlines celebrating the Dalai Lama’s many messages. More recently, a headline read ‘Dalai Lama says he cured Mongolia of alcoholism by promoting drinking horse milk.’ Now, it’s not unusual to find peculiar story lines attached(…)


Carnival Celebrations Around the World

Leading up to lent, in many Christian-influenced cultures there is a festival called Carnival. The word Carnival comes from carnevelare or “farewell to meat”, which explains the custom of abstaining from meat and poultry for 40 days during Lent and before Lent celebrations filled with debauchery. Whether it takes place in Rio or Venice it is(…)