Korea and Taiwan

white lotus

The characters in my Chinese name Hua Se Kai roughly translate to “open thinking flower”. Hua is pronounced “Hwaaa” similar to how Taiwanese pronounce my family name Ward.  Se Kai ran together sounds like Skye.  I made this discovery on my first visit to Taipei in 2004. I have found that each return visit offers new discoveries and insights. My rapidly approaching East Asia trip promises to be just as extraordinary.

In March, I will make my fourth and fifth annual trips to Taiwan and Korea respectively. I will travel on business but have cleared my agenda for a few days of checking out the local and underground scenes.  How does a “soul sistah” keep it real in Seoul, Korea?    And, just how does an English speaking dreadlocked Afriles navigate East Asian culture and business protocols?

Iban and Tongzhi

What is it like to be living out loud in the Iban and Tongzhi communities in Korea and Taiwan? Did you know Taiwan’s first public gay “marriage” took place in 1996; the couple received a letter of congratulations from the mayor of Taipei.  Would you feel comfortable patronizing a Taiwanese lesbian bar called “The Jailhouse”? The bar entrance accessible via stairs in an alley in central Taipei.  Another bar, Esha is described as a tomboy club for women only.  Uh, does that mean one might find femme tops on the premises too?  Look for my upcoming dispatches from these countries in late March.

Now, let’s see how culturally savvy you are. Click here for a photo quiz. Answers forthcoming in Skyeview.

Chant peace.

Korea / Taiwan Links


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