Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An indispensable guide to understanding Taiwan life

Whatever your reason and purpose for going abroad, be it a short vacation or a long-term work engagement, you will most likely welcome some of the differences to your own country and dread others, depending on the situations you find yourself in. The more adventurous and daring types might jump right into the vast ocean of differences, dealing with any culture shock and confusing ,embarrassing, frightening, and/or hilarious moments as they come. The more cautious, however, will want to go fully prepared.

If you plan to visit Taiwan and want to know beforehand how things are done here and how to deal with the locals in the most appropriate and conflict-free way, Dos & Don'ts in Taiwan might be the helping hand you are looking for. Written by Steven Crook, a long-time resident of Taiwan with intimate knowledge of the goings-on within the local population, this guidebook can serve as your reliable navigator through the sea of possible misunderstandings, embarrassments, and frustrations in this often exotic and unfamiliar land.

Written with Westerners in mind, the book deals with all situations that might be thrown at you during your time in Taiwan, from the first hand-shakes at the airport to dining with new friends or business partners, from exploring the beauty of the island to taking part in the affairs of local families, and from the working world to, perhaps, even marriage. It might be debatable whether such a detailed guide is necessary for a country that is so well-developed and “Westernized” in so many ways. But despite it's modern face Taiwan can still feel different and puzzling for Western visitors, who ask "Why are they burning paper on the side of the street?” or “Why were they smiling even though they knew I would be unhappy about something?” or “How can I make myself understood in this strange, strange place?”

Find all the answers and much more in Dos & Don'ts in Taiwan!

Paperback, 200 pages. published 2010 by iGroup Press; ISBN 9789746521901

This review of my second book appears in the November/December 2010 issue of Travel In Taiwan magazine.

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