Sunday, May 07, 2006

Saturday, May 6, Swenson's Breakfast Club

Saturday we caught the 6:20 train at Fengyuan to zoom to Taipei for the breakfast meetup. Everyone enjoys traveling by train -- it reminds us of our experiences in India, Sri Lanka, and elsewhere.

Jerome Keating makes a point to David Yule of jujuflop, as anthropologist Jeff Martin delivers up his plate.

The Breakfast club meeting for Saturday, May 6, was a blast, overflowing with intelligent, opinionated, talkative people.

Syd Goldsmith stocks up for the talk.

Former US foreign service officer in Taiwan Syd Goldsmith gave a presentation on politics and life in the bad old days in Taiwan. Syd has recently published Jade Phoenix: a novel about Taiwan in the 70s. I'll have a separate entry on Syd's presentation up later this week.

The crowd overflowed the meeting room and occupied tables outside.

I was especially pleased to see David from jujuflop, whom I have long wanted to meet. He was exactly as I expected -- intelligent, sensible, low-key, and very funny. Those of you who know how well he writes on Taiwan's political affairs may be amused to know that David said he started the blog so he could find out about them, since he didn't know anything about them when he arrived. David is what you might call a quick study.

Felicia, sorry my only pic of you is so bad!

A number of new faces showed up. Felicia Lin of Writer's Block brought her great sense of humor and insight to town all the way from Kaohsiung.

David on Formosa meets the camera.

David Reed, newly arrived and working on the Beautiful Isle, also stopped by to say hello.

Your trusty writer with Darren of Darren Melrose photos. He's got some great stuff up on his photo site.

Jen snapped this pick of me, looking like I got up at 5 for a two-hour train ride.

Jen and Jerome Keating pose.

Jen from London Calling came. Taiwan born and bred, brainy, ambitious, flawless English, and world-class cute, Jen is currently the local marketing rep for the University of Nimbas management programs.

Jen watches Syd give his presentation.

Syd presented for over an hour in a session filled with many questions.

University of Texas anthropologist Avron Boretz listens in.

Here's hoping that Avron Boretz, an athropologist whose specialty is temples in Taiwan and their function as the locus of organized crime and other community activities, will be giving a talk next week.

If you didn't come, you missed a great time! Hope to see you there next time.


David said...

Michael, it was great to finally meet you and a number of other famous Taiwan bloggers and writers. I look forward to the next meeting!!!!

Jason said...

Aaaargh... my feifdom for a compressed video file of these breakfasts! (Esp. for next month's subject)

It's good to be able to put faces to names, though.

Jen said...

Hi Michael,

I was very happy to have met you in person on the meeting last Saturday. Thanks for your kind words - I'm flattered. Looking forward to the next speech on religion.

David said...

Yeah - It was great to meet you too Michael (and the rest of the people there).

Jason: there were a couple of people who I think were trying to record the audio - but whether they got anything over the background lift music and general sounds of guzzling I don't know :)

Michael Turton said...

I got a clear file, so I'll be able to reproduce it on Wednesday morning, I hope.


Ed en Vadrouille said...


I can only look with a definite interest a meeting of smart people who have been living for a while in Taiwan (i'm still fresh off the plane, will probably marry here, and am eager for understanding).

On this breakfast may i ask: What, where, when, who... :D

Also, if you have the occasion i would love to see you explicit a bit futher what you are saying about temples "as the locus of organized crime".