where is the West?

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When we were getting ready to go to our book salon venue in Taitung, I noticed a sign next to a door – “eating stinky tofu inside is prohibited”:

no stinky tofu

Both China and Taiwan have this thing called stinky tofu. Think of it as an equivalent to a Roquefort or some other smelly blue cheese. It really does smell pretty bad.

When we got to the venue, it was still pretty early:

arriving at the venue in Taitung

So I sat around outside looking at this place called Taitung:


Taiwan had a weird way with place names.
Taitung meant “East of Tai[wan]”, Taipei meant “North of Tai[wan]”, and then there were Taichung in the “Center” and Tainan, which was in the South.

It just left me wondering: where was the West in all of this? Was there a Taihsi? Taixi?

When it come to Taiwan, the question of where the “West” was, seemed to be an important one.

Anyway, the book salon thingie was quite fun:

Taitung book salon

I was going to leave Taiwan the next day. And I wasn’t quite prepared to do so, yet.

  • Lucy Ting

    Hi, my family came from Tai-Hsi, where it used to be called Hai-Kao (海口). Many of the locals are descendants of a Muslim tribe in Fijian, and through history, they now have their own uniqueness in Taiwan. You are right about one thing, that it is often forgotten by the public, may it be Taiwanese or international visitors, despite its own charm. Hopefully you can visit the town some time in the future!!


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