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They Ate My Codpiece

By Derek On May 3, 2012

From: Derek Hillen
Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2012 12:02 PM

“I still have twelve ships.”  - Admiral Yi Sun Shin, 1597

I am just back from a very interesting trip to the capital of Asia’s most successful country; Korea. I spent four days there with a client and came back mightily impressed. Having made my first trip to Seoul for the Olympics in 1988, I am no wide-eyed neophyte. During the Olympics, I took the opportunity to travel the length and breadth of the peninsula hitch hiking. (Note: NOBODY in Korea hitch hikes so if you have no money like I did then it is a great way to go…). Many years and many trips later, Seoul has really cleaned itself up. The city is spotless, the people are well dressed and polite and the buildings are tall, numerous and gleaming. There is a law

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Early Daze: Part VI

By Derek On April 20, 2012

Jacob and I were having drinks with Willy after work at TGIFriday’s on a Friday. Yes, it was pathetic but that was the only new place in town and for some reason Willy wasn’t a fan of warm Taiwan Beer in a dirty glass. Carlsberg was on offer and like bees to honey we found ourselves hovering around that bar frequently.

“I don’t know how you chaps do it but Taiwan is definitely a difficult nut to crack. It’s hardly a maiden’s prayer.” said Willy.

I wasn’t sure what that meant.

“Yeah, I think it helps if you’re single,” I ventured.

“I’m not single. I love it,” opined young Jacob.

“Jacob, you’re marrying a local so you are all set up. Willy comes here with his wife, neither of them speak Mandarin and it isn’t easy settling in. How long has it been now, Willy three months?”



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Early Daze: Part V

By Derek On April 18, 2012

We returned to Taiwan from our trip to Hong Kong with more client contacts and renewed confidence in our business prospects. There was a lot of interest in theTaiwan market among the client base but not a lot of knowledge. I saw that if I could up my game we would be operating in a target rich environment.

While we were gone, Carey had disappeared. Nobody had seen him for a full week. He was supposed to be in Taipei and at work but Carey found Taiwan even less livable than Willy. At least Willy had his wife here whereas Carey left his entire family behind in Scotland. The separation and the everyday language barrier – hardly anyone spoke English in Taipei those days – fed his morose nature and Carey began slipping into a deeper and deeper funk.

Economist Beats Up Taxi Driver

He re-appeared a

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