About

You might notice that the address of this blog includes "jonintaiwan" and wonder, is this guy in Taiwan? No.* I moved to the States from Taiwan in 2011, after living there for the better part of two decades (starting in 1992, with a three-year break from 1999-2002 when my wife and I went to graduate school in the US). But out of nostalgia (or laziness), I haven't changed the URL.

I did change the title, however. For most of its life, the blog was known as "Notes of a former native speaker," sort of a play on the subtitle of Eric Liu's book, The Accidental Asian (which I admit I still haven't read!). Once we moved here, though, I wanted to change the title, and settled on the bilingual pun "外 not" (pronounced, roughly, as "why not").

As you'll see, when I lived in Taiwan, the blog was more geared to talking about life in Taiwan. So you'll see some posts about typhoons, temples, spiders (!), donuts (?!), and, ummm, stool (😝). This reflects not only my life in another country, but the fact that in those pre-Facebook days, blogs were more of a place for interacting with friends, virtual and otherwise. Nowadays most of my "day in the life of" posts are on Facebook. So the content now is mostly related to either my teaching or my research. I know, it's a lot duller than reading a post about how I spent my lunar new year with my in-laws.

One thing that I've continued to do is to list selected books that have entered my collection. ("Selected" in the sense, perhaps, that I'm trying to impress people?) I've probably actually read less than half of those books, but I keep buying. I also post notes on some of the books that I've read, like
I also write almost obsessively about George H. Kerr, author of Formosa Betrayed.

About the ads: I'm experimenting with Google Ads, waiting to see when (and if) they start displaying ads that are relevant to my content.


*I do, however, spend a frightening amount of mental energy mapping my current surroundings on my recollected map of Taichung: "This road is like Taichung Harbor Road!" "This restaurant reminds me of the corner tea house!" There's got to be some name for this mental condition. See also translingual aphasia.

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