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The most unusual Ikea in the world

Is it a store? a showroom? A café? In Taipei, you can find this mini Ikea that’s unlike anywhere else.

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This is Ikea House in Taipei. It is actually a complete old house, renovated and remade from top to bottom, and turned into a mini-Ikea of sorts.

Before I take you inside, let’s take a step back (mehr …)

Why do the United Nations not recognize the Taiwan passport?

It was a big media story in Taiwan: When trying to visit the U.N. office in Geneva, a Taiwanese woman was denied entry. The reason, she was reportedly told: Since the United Nations do not recognize Taiwan, her Taiwanese (ROC) passport cannot be accepted either. I wanted to know: What’s going on there? Listen to this interview with a U.N. spokesperson.

To get first-hand information, I asked a colleague of mine who lives in Geneva for help: Marc Engelhardt, a specialist for reporting on the United Nations. He managed to ask the U.N. spokesman in Geneva, Rhéal LeBlanc, some questions about Taiwan and the passport refusal.

First, listen to his anwers in this video:

(It has Chinese subtitles. Click on the symbols below the video if you don’t see them.)

So what have we learned? (mehr …)

Why urban renewal should never be allowed to destroy Taipei’s traditions

Taipei, like so much of Taiwan, is constantly changing. Urban renewal and beautifiction, construction and „development“ make a lot of places more pleasant, but they also threaten to destroy a lot of what was good about the old. A young designer was flown in from Europe, experienced Taipei’s oldest quarter and made some great observations.

Having stayed in Taipei for just two weeks, Pablo Calderon Salazar has really made the best of his time. The Columbian designer, a resident of Brussels, was invited by the Taipei City government for a two-week stay as part of an exchange program. (Taipei will be the World Design Capital 2016 and is looking for international exposure.)

Calderon’s mission was to get to know Wanhua district, learn about the urban renewal processes going on there, and with his fresh outsider perspective hopefully come up with some ideas to inspire the locals.

A walking tour with a foreign guide

Designer Tour Wanhua Taipei

Last Friday, he took 50 people on an extended walking tour around „his“ Wanhua, sharing his experiences and observations. (mehr …)

Intimate TV report about a single woman in Taipei

More and more Taiwanese are marrying late, or not at all. Well-educated singles in their 30s are quite common. Some have even given up on looking for their significant other. A declining birthrate is one result of this trend.

Der Tempel des "Alten Mannes unter dem Mond" in Taipeh

A place of hope for many singles: The shrine of the matchmaker god in Taipei

Why is that so? Most media reports focus on Taiwanese women. These are some of the reasons usually cited: (mehr …)

Do you have experience in the vehicle industry?

An Austrian company contacted me. They are hiring in Tainan, because they are moving their production from Thailand to Taiwan.

Belassi Taiwan

The company is called (mehr …)

12 questions, 12 answers, 1 video

Taiwan’s president Ma Ying-jeou has not been talking to the foreign press in English since he felt being misquoted by AP a few years ago. In order to give non-Chinese-speakers an impression of what a press conference with Ma is like, I recorded today’s event with the English simultaneous interpretation. Just watch the video below.

Ma Ying-jeou press conference

When I received the invitation, it read: (mehr …)

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