A Few Words from your Friendly Photographer at Boston Paul Pix

Waiting for your Photographer to edit your photos?  Read on!


This was just going to be a quick note about photo priority (who gets photos and when) that I put up on my site at Facebook (BostonPaulPix)  but the more I wrote the more I felt like I needed to write more to explain the process many photographers go through and some of the BS they encounter as well.

So here’s a blog post … be enlightened and enjoy my attempt at articulating.


This is to no one in particular per-se.  But overtime I have worked with hundreds of people and have encountered quite a few people who push a bit for a photo or photos (I took of them or their event, or their concert etc.) to be sent  to them immediately after the event.  They are mostly polite and it’s all good, but I just feel the need to clarify a few things so there is no confusion – and so I stop sounding like a broken record!

(How many times have I said, “I’ll get to them as soon as I can!”)?

So for the record, I have made a list (and a bit of protocol) of who gets priority when it comes to getting photos.  And knowing and talking with other photographers that do this for a living or have at least made photography a big part of their life – I’m pretty sure I speak for the majority of them, too.

Editing Priorities

1. Commissioned – Contract
2. Commissioned – No Contract
3. Deals Made with Organizers/Clients/Friends
4. Creative Work with Others
5. My Own Creative Work
6. Everything Else

Look carefully at this priority list. If you want your photos faster, then you know what to do, make yourself Priority 1, 2 or 3 – otherwise please be patient. I am very busy – and so are the other photographers I know.

So here’s a bit of explanation:

Editing Priorities 1 -3 are usually completed anywhere from two days to two weeks depending on what is stipulated in the contract or agreement. This is commissioned work of course and pays for new equipment, rentals, food etc.

Photographers spend hours a day shooting, then organizing the photos, then editing.

There are 24 hours in a day. I try to sleep six of those hours. I have a family and friends, other work, house-keeping, writing, exercise and more and on average I have a few shoots a week where I usually take hundreds of photos that need to be sorted and filed.

Even before the editing process, photographers have spent hours just going through photos looking for the best shots.


Giving you The Original Copies or RAW Files

For the record – no, most of us WILL NOT give you the RAW/original files unless of course we work out something that benefits both of us.  I know of no other photographer, unless it is specifically stated in a contract, that will hand over their original/RAW work. So please don’t ask.

Other Forms of ‘Payment’

I think I speak for most photographers here too: Giving us ‘payment’ by ‘promoting’ our work on your social media is not enough, unless you have millions of followers and a posting will make our photo trend or go viral, don’t bother using this as leverage or for bargaining.  (This also goes for other Artists and Musicians!)

Personally, I stipulate you must give photo-credit and use the BostonPaulPix link if you use any of my photos anyway. You are using the photo because I captured the moment and make you look good (or better – some of you look good already!).  I spent time editing the photo to bring out your best look AND you like the photo – or you wouldn’t be using it on your social media, right?

If your boss asks you to work for free. Would you be happy about that?

Probably not.


Bassist Craig S

That being said…

Working Together

Here’s another thing about doing photo-shoots.

Photographers spend a lot of time and money honing their craft (which takes years) and buying equipment (which is EXPENSIVE).  Upgrades cost money, editing takes lots of time and though we do it because we love it, it is still WORK.  So please keep that in mind when asking us to do something (ESPECIALLY if it is for free).

If we are to go on a shoot (see Editing Priorities 3, 4 and 6) then please prepare to pay for (all or half depending on the shoot):

1. Venue Expenses such as
    A. Motel rooms
    B. Venues requiring a ticket or fee (the zoo, a music/art event etc)

2. Travel fees
    A. Gas/Petrol
    B. Highway Tolls
    C. Parking Fees

3. Snacks, Meals and Drinks

4. Anything special YOU need for your shoot.
(NOTE with Priority Clients 1, 2 and 3 this is usually worked into the fee).

If you and the photographer are going on a shoot… at the VERY LEAST you can give what’s called an Honorarium. 

An honorarium is a payment given for professional services that are rendered nominally without charge.  On average it is 50 to 100 US or 1000 to 3000 Taiwan dollars. This also bumps you up to Number 3 on the priority list.

Photographers are not just snapping a shot on their cell-phones for friends to see on social media.  They are thinking about the composition, how they will edit in post, thinking about lighting, the background of the shot, how to make you look good…  and much more.  Then we spend hours editing trying to make the end product as good and/or artistic as possible.

Shooting Nudes/Boudoir

While I have your attention – most professional models know this – but when a photographer shoots nudes, the fee is HIGHER NOT LOWER. There is much more editing to do when we shoot nudes … MUCH more!

There is a lot more skin thus a lot more we have to edit out. Red marks, pimples, scars, stretch marks, etc. etc. (unless of course the model wants to leave them all in …but still)

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Personally, I don’t mind taking photos for fun when the opportunity presents itself, but I don’t like to be pushed especially when I am doing it for ‘free’ and remember, you are one among many – so please be patient…. and remember this is nothing personal, I love you all, but you know… all of the above.

That about wraps it up. I might add to this later and tweak it out a bit… but I think I have covered just about everything.

If you have read this far, thank you for caring and I hope to work with some of you soon.

Feel free to add your thoughts, ideas and suggestions in the comments or send me a personal message.

Oh… one last thing:

For those of you I have told to give me reminders from time to time just to keep you on the back burner… rest assured you will get them soon! Keep in touch!


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Published in: on October 19, 2019 at 9:11 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Protest for Hong Kong against China Extradition in Taipei, Taiwan

(Photos Below Article)

(Taipei, Taiwan)  I was asked to go to Taipei to cover a very important event. Students from Hong Kong and their Taiwanese supporters staged a protest against the Beijing backed Hong Kong leaders who introduced a bill called the “Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019”.

Basically this bill would allow the Beijing backed Hong Kong government to send those accused of crimes (whether guilty or not and ANYONE accused no matter where they are from) to the Kangaroo Courts of China to face prosecution.  This seemingly mundane bill would widen and strengthen the powers of Beijing in Hong Kong which is supposed to be operating under a separate legal system.

Two Million Hong Kongers took to the streets to protest.  That is One out of Seven Hong Kong-ese.

In Taiwan, there were over 10,000 protesters raising their fists in the air against the Beijing government and to show support for their Brothers and Sisters in Hong Kong.

Beijing must understand that The People aren’t going to take it.

The protest was Peaceful and often teary-eyed as some of the students may not be able to return to their families and friends in Hong Kong upon graduation for fear of backlash and severe punishment.

There were also tears for the movement’s first Martyr. A thirty five year old man surname Leung who called for the city leader Carrie Lam to step down and denounced this legislation.  Wearing a yellow raincoat he jumped off a tall building and fell to his death. You will see some of the Protesters wearing yellow raincoats in some of the photos below.

The protest in Taipei was peaceful but quite emotionally charged.  The general mood was hope though there were bouts of angry shouts, sadness and tears.

I got to know a few of the organizers. People just like you and me with Hopes and Dreams about the future.  Now Uncertainty looms.

The Taiwanese should also be very concerned about this bill and pay attention to what is happening in Hong Kong as Beijing claims it has sovereignty over Taiwan (it doesn’t) and says that the One Country Two Systems model they use in Hong Kong will be used in Taiwan if they ever decide they want to try to take Taiwan by force.

As We The People can see, the system cannot work as the Chinese legal system would be laughable if it wasn’t so corrupt.

We are not sure how this Movement will pan out… but these photos are my small part to make sure the Movement doesn’t die out.

香港 加油!  Stay Strong Hong Kong!
台灣:注意!Pay attention Taiwan!



注意:在標示照片來源的情況下可按讚,留言,分享或標記任何人. 未經許可,請勿任意使用我的照片,所有照片均有版權. 若要作為商業用途,請與我聯絡及買下版權. 謝謝您! 再次重申,所以照片均有版權.
***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** PLEASE NOTE: Feel free to Like, Comment, Share and Tag as long as you give PHOTO-CREDIT. If you use my photos for anything else, you must ASK PERMISSION. All Photos are copyrighted. If used for commercial purposes, contact me for information on how to purchase photo(s). Thank you! © Paul Davis. All Rights Reserved


注意:在標示照片來源的情況下可按讚,留言,分享或標記任何人. 未經許可,請勿任意使用我的照片,所有照片均有版權. 若要作為商業用途,請與我聯絡及買下版權. 謝謝您! 再次重申,所以照片均有版權.
***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** PLEASE NOTE: Feel free to Like, Comment, Share and Tag as long as you give PHOTO-CREDIT. If you use my photos for anything else, you must ASK PERMISSION. All Photos are copyrighted. If used for commercial purposes, contact me for information on how to purchase photo(s). Thank you! © Paul Davies. All Rights Reserved

Taiwanniversary! 23 years of Happy!

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Twenty Three years ago, I stepped off the plane into Taiwan for the third time – and this time it wasn’t a short visit just to learn Chinese.

January 1995. It was the first week of the New Year and for me a whole new life. 

I didn’t know what I would be doing. Teach English?  Not me. At least not initially.
My first job was at a bar or a ‘disco pub’ as they called them.

  That Disco Pub was where I – not only – really learned Chinese (and a lot of Taiwanese!) but also where I really learned about the guts and innard bits of Taiwanese culture…. And the culture does go Deeeeeeeeep!

From there I forged a life here in Taiwan meeting lots of great people from around Taiwan and the world along the way….  making friendships and building relationships I still have to this day.

I missed my family and friends then of course and still miss them now, but I don’t regret living half my life on this Island.

That being said, Luvya Taiwan!

Thanks for the awesomeness!



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Published in: on January 7, 2018 at 2:11 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Modern Times and The Telephone or (Don’t) Answer Your F#%^&ing Phone!

(Don’t) Answer Your F#%^&ing Phone!

In the early 1900s the use of telephones became popular with post offices, railway stations, important governmental centers, a few nationally distributed newspapers, large international corporations, and of course the wealthy – and used mostly for business.

Once telephones were set up and quasi-affordable, they became all the Rage.

Instead of hopping into your Ford, Studebaker, Packard, or perhaps your horse & buggy or probably more frequently – a nice long walk – to call on a friend, you could just pick up your telephone receiver and get connected to the person you wanted to reach.

Telephones back in the old days generally were used for just a few reasons, setting up appointments (business or lunch date for example) or getting in touch with someone who lived far away (back then a few miles – if you had to walk – WAS far away!)

I remember as a young’un, our telephone had its special area on a small table with the white pages (for residence) and the yellow pages (for businesses) just under it. There was a cup with a few pencils, pens and paper for writing notes. It was a shrine of sorts.

Most of us had memorized all the numbers (it was possible for one to know a hundred numbers!) for family, friends, small businesses we frequented and of course the emergency numbers.

We had a rotary dial and I remember hating to dial numbers that had too many nines in it.

When the phone rang, we stopped what we were doing and rushed over to it. Mom would pick up the phone with a cordial ‘hello?’ sometimes adding ‘Davies Residence’.  My brother, sister and I would jump up and down and ask, ‘who is it?  Gramma? Granpa?’  Then mother would sit down in her telephone chair and chat and my siblings and I were left to our own devices.

Soon we – as we got older – were getting calls ourselves from classmates, cousins and such. Who remembers the dreaded busy signal? Back then, you would know that the line was ‘busy’ by that irritating Buzz in 4/4 time.  Since there was no ‘call waiting’ back then, we had to wait patiently for them to end their call. Of course the only way we knew this was to keep trying until we finally got through. Oh, and there was no REDIAL.  You had to put your finger into the circle slot on your phone and actually DIAL the number (and hate all the more those numbers with a lot of NINES in number!).

Times have changed of course. We don’t have to memorize anyone’s number anymore (I think presently, I know three numbers including my own) …and ‘dialing?’ It is funny how we still use the words dialing and hang-up the phone – though now we do neither.

We can turn our device on (which is technically not even a telephone anymore, but better described as a tele-communication device) and just say the name of the person we want to reach. There is no more busy signal, we can leave a voice message. We can choose not to call but to text, and we don’t even have to write that text! Technology certainly has brought us a long way… and I must admit, it is awesome and convenient. BUT…..

One thing that hasn’t really changed since the days of the early telephone, but has become much more commonplace – and much more irritating –  is the constant (and some might feel ‘pleasant’) interruptions the tele-communication device bestows upon us.

If you and I were sitting on a comfortable bench in a beautiful quiet park and having a very nice conversation, or perhaps a private business meeting, and then someone – out of the blue – yelled out your name and ran over to us and immediately commandeered our one-on-one time, most civilized people would consider that interruption quite rude – unless of course it was an emergency. 

The modern tele-communication device has no moral obligation, no ethics and indeed, no shame. Most don’t think twice about stopping someone in mid F@#$%^&* sentence to answer a call…

…and from what I have observed it is usually a frivolous call. 

These interruptions disrupt the meter, the thought process and continuity of our conversation that we just got – I dare say – shanghaied from.

How can one go back to the original good feeling after a proverbial slap in the face?

I will grant that some phone calls are chalked up as ‘saved by the bell’ – indeed, I’ve been saved quite a few times by that ominous bell.

But in an age where one-on-one contact, conversation and intimate interactions (where one can experience chemistry with another real live person, pick up nuances from a gesture, feel the warmth of a smile, a touch on the arm) are getting less and less frequent with every generation compounded with the advancement of technology, I say, don’t let this modern tele-communication device hamper our meetinginteractions with real people.

… and indeed! Don’t let it hamper our alone time when –in the words of a buddy recently posting on a social media site wrote – “I just wanna read my memes in peace without you interrupting and stressing me out with your demands for instant attention”

That sentence right there prompted me to write this Blog Post.

Thanks JLR!


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Published in: on September 8, 2017 at 1:35 PM  Leave a Comment  
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LUVstock: Why You Need to go! The History. The Mission.



Part One: The LUVhistory

Part Two: The Mission

Why you need to go to LUVstock!

*No Commercial Sponsorship.
*Grassroots Beginnings which we continue
*Support your local Musicians & Artists
*Be in Nature
*Get and give a weekend of Music, Peace & Love


Part One: The LUVhistory

History of LUV

    LUVstock has been around for a while.  It started out as a musician’s birthday party (we’ll call him “P”) in an empty residential neighborhood way back in 2000. As the years roared on, the party got bigger and the impromptu, improvisational jams turned into actual shows with bands asking or being asked if they wanted to play at the party.
    Two bands turned to five, then five bands to nine.  The initial birthday party had thirty or so guests that turned into a gathering with fifty or sixty guests that eventually became a mini fest with over 100 guests attending… and it kept growing!

P’s Birthday Party turned into P-Stock (as a bit of a joke when the party was written about in a local magazine) and once it became a thing (in 2006) it became a two day mini-fest and was renamed LUVstock. 

Vendors replaced potluck. A LUVcrew and voLUVteers were needed to take care of logistics and bits. 

LUVstock subsequently had to move out of the neighborhood into a bigger venue (2009) and grew from 10 bands to about fifty bands (with a few DJs) on three stages over two days.

LUVstock was held in an old unused amusement park. It was special. Old rides from yesteryear with peeling paint, old machinery, overgrown shrubbery, screams of delight from children still echoing in the wind – all added to the charm of the venue.

At the LUVmeetings it was often brought up if there should be a cover charge.  P always said no.  He paid out of pocket. Donations were then suggested and P thought that might be a good idea as costs – for what was becoming a big festival – were increasing. Rent for the venue, three stages, sound & sound crew, vending tents, T-shirts, crew, staff, bar stock…. and everything else.

Guest Attendance for LUVstock doubled at this new venue and by the time 2012 rolled around LUVstock saw roughly a couple thousand people over two days.  It had grown into a huge production and was done with no budget and supported only through donations.

LUVstock became a social experiment.  Could The People all pull together and pay for a big festival?  It came close, but was always short.

In 2013 it was projected to grow even more. A couple days prior however, it was reported that a Huge Typhoon was going to hit the Island.  Taichung, where LUVstock was held, almost never got hit hard, so LUV wasn’t called off.

The winds and rain started the Friday night before and people began arriving.

Most of the vendors pulled out, stage/sound crew had to pull out, a few out-of-town bands pulled out. Was the LUV called off? Perhaps it should have been, but they decided to go for it! The Festival was moved inside The Refuge (which could hold about 300 people) and while the Music was ROCKING inside, the Typhoon was ROCKING outside!  LUVstockers braved The Winds and Rain from Mother Nature who happened to not be in a nurturing mood that weekend.

LUV2013 was a magical one… it also happened to be the last one at that old amusement park as the land was sold a couple of months later.

The organizers then looked for a new location. Everyone searched high and low, far and wide. The organizers even thought to bring LUV to another city. Venues were either too expensive, too far away, too many neighbors (thus sound complaints) or not compatible with the LUV vibe.

Summer 2014 saw no suitable venue.  So LUVstock – after five years of being held on a vast piece of land – was brought back to its original location in the now not-so-empty residential neighborhood.  It was called MiniLUV and had a few bands, a vendor, and some very awesome attendees.  Another MiniLUV was held in 2015.  The LUV was kept alive. The organizers refusing to let that flame blow out.

Then in March of 2016, P was asked to help organize another unrelated event – a going away party for a friend. The venue they found happened to be a farm in the jungle of a mountain. A venue that P had been to a few times before – many years ago – for a few trance parties.

The party happened. It was awesome. P and the landlords (a couple of farmers) drank tea together and bonded. They asked if P wanted to do another event there one day (they didn’t want any trance parties, but they loved the Live Music!). The LUVseed began to grow.

The LUVstock Music Festival now has a new venue, a new time of year (changing from a summer event to an autumn one) and reasonably priced tickets.

November, 2016 had hundreds of people come from all over the island to get a little bit of LUV.

To all the LUVstockers past and present who have waited patiently for us to put on our magical Festival again….  THANK YOU!

….LUVstock is back!

(If you want to be involved with LUVstock please drop us an Email: LUVstock @ live . com (no spaces)  and share your ideas!  If you are a Band, DJ, Vendor, Sponsor, want to voLUVteer or have any questions… drop us a line!)


Part Two: The Mission

LUVstock means so many things to so many people over the last decade.  In this day and age, the world needs a little bit more love… if people are shown love they will spread love. It’s contagious.  For years LUVstock was a donations only event.  In 2016, the organizers decided to sell tickets to pay for everything needed.  The LUVorganizers kept the tickets as cheap as possible for a trial One Day Event.  The Event went off without a hitch, got all the bills paid and invoked good feelings all around.

The LUVstock mission will to be to continue that Groovy LUV Vibe. Eventually getting more international bands to come play (we had Van Coke Kartel from South Afrika in 2011!

Van Coke Kartel at LUVstock 2011DSC00010 (16)DSC00004


The Organizers and Patrons of LUVstock hope to perpetuate Peace, Love, Tolerance, and Understanding through Art, Music and Camaraderie.

Join us!





2018 Facebook EVENT PAGE:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1948647502039332/

FB LUVstock Page: https://www.facebook.com/LUVstockFamily/



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My meeting with a Snake at 2AM

Taiwan Banded Krait

My meeting with a Snake at 2AM

I was editing pictures from a recent photo-shoot I did, and I saw our cat Ninja getting weird. So I looked to see what he was getting weird about and I saw a smallish (not that small) sized snake slither under our stage. I grabbed a microphone stand and went after it.  I was thinking maybe not poisonous.

But still, in Taiwan, always be careful of Snakes…. cause you know. .. they can bite and kill you.

I went back to editing pictures (I was editing pictures for a recent Music Fest I took pictures of… I was feeling all artsy and everything).

An hour-ish goes by and I get up to pour myself another glass of wine. Ninja Cat was still hanging around. I whispered to our cat, small snake Ninja, relax.

Another twenty minutes goes by and I hear a noise, I get up thinking it was Ninja messing with the snake. I go to where the sound is, and it’s not Ninja. Ninja is in back of me. I see this huge ass snake with stripes, I go after it with my microphone stand. I just want to give it a knock to disorientate it and get it out of my house. I have been catching snakes in our house for years. Big ones, small ones, short ones, long ones… I’ve got pictures of quite a few. I very rarely kill them…  and if I do, it is usually an accident or I get the feeling that if I don’t kill it, it might kill me or someone in my family.


It slithers away. I think I might have given it a knock or two, but it is somewhere behind some of my speakers and other music stuff.


I go outside to get my long tree branch clipper (it isn’t very sharp) and I have just turned off my fan so I can hear every little noise.

I’ve kept my boots and pants on (at 2AM, I’m usually writing or editing in my undies/naked and barefoot. Not now I ain’t!).

I’m paying very close attention to the cat now.

The snake had white stripes, so I am pretty sure it is a Taiwan Banded Krait/環蛇 or what the Taiwanese call an Umbrella Snake.

So I look up Taiwan Banded Krait to make sure … and yes that’s what it is. I’ve caught this kind of snake before. They generally don’t mess with humans… but if you get bit by one, you will wish you hadn’t.

So I identify the snake. That’s what it is. 

SOOOooooo, that means while I was hunting it, it was probably hunting the smaller snake I saw earlier. 


UPDATE: Saturday August 19. My band is coming over to the studio for rehearsal. I’m getting everything set up. I’m running cables and wires, setting up microphones. I fix a plastic yellow crate that full of wires that I had kicked and broken when I was trying to get the big snake out from behind it so I could catch it and get it out of my house.
The band comes over, we are soundchecking, I go into the patsic yellow crate to get a wire and there is a FRIKKEN SNAKE in there!

I jump back and yell snake. My band thought I was messing with them.  I grabbed a big orange garbage bin from outside and slid as much of the yellow crate into it as I could. Then I carried the whole thing outside. Set it on the grass, slid the bin off, grabbed a long branch cutter, dumped the crate full of wires on the ground, then lifted the wire with the branch cutter. Johnty the Bassist, grabbed his camera and took a quick vid of it sliding into the bushes in my yard.
The snake must have been the first snake I saw which the Taiwan Krait – or the Umbrella Snake – was hunting to eat.


If you’re interested in learning more about the Taiwan Banded Krait here you go (thanks Wiki!)

Features:  A snake with the most deadly neurotoxin among terrestrial venomous snakes. It is relatively placid and rarely attacks human unless wounded or threatened. The head is an oval shape while the back has a very distinctive black and white banded pattern. 

Behavior: Oviparous, often lives near water. Emerges at dusk and is nocturnal by preference. Feeds on other snake species, lizards, swamp eels and loaches. 

Distribution: Found at low altitudes in Taiwan, Kinmen and Matzu near water, rivers and ponds.

Bite Symptoms: The needle-like bite marks are hard to see. When bitten, it feels as if there are ants crawling over the wound. Victim becomes sensitive to wind, experiences blurriness of vision, numbness at the root of the tongue and difficulty breathing.

For further reading about snakes in Taiwan:


Happy Friday!

Just for Gits & Shiggles

Here are some of the photos from the festival I’ve edited… you know, to get your mind off the snake…



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Why Taiwanese Make Certain English Mistakes

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Greetings!  In this essay, I am going to tackle:

Why Taiwanese English students make some of the mistakes they do when speaking English.

I have lived in Taiwan for a long time… almost half my life. I’ve been teaching here (among many other things) for most of that time. In the years I’ve been teaching English (and speaking Chinese) in Taiwan, I’ve figured a few things out…

One: How F#$%^&N’ CRAZY English is! 
And how it often makes no sense if you’re not a native speaker (a lot of it doesn’t make sense to me sometimes and I AM a native speaker!).

Two: Why Taiwanese make some of the mistakes they do when speaking English.  This is what I will focus on here.

This information might also be helpful for English teachers here in Taiwan – as you will now know – if you didn’t already – why your English students make certain pronunciation mistakes.

For the Taiwanese English students reading this, you can now be more aware of your pronunciation and will also understand why- when speaking English– you may make certain mistakes. If you understand why you are making mistakes when speaking, you will be that much more vigilant. Then practice saying those words until you get it right.

Best to practice with a native speaker as most Taiwanese English teachers are the ones perpetuating these pronunciation mistakes.

For the record, back in the days when I was studying Chinese I realized there are certain sounds in Chinese we do not have in English. For example, 出去Chūqù (go out) for a lot of western speakers is a real pain in the butt! I would say Choo Choo or ChooChee!  Grrrr).

I understand your frustration when trying to learn new sounds.

So anyway here it is! Taiwanese English mistakes (a few of them anyway) explained!

While there are 44 sounds in English – (19 vowel sounds including 5 long vowels, 5 short vowels, 3 diphthongs, 2 ‘oo’ sounds, 4 ‘r’ controlled vowel sounds and 25 consonant sounds – I will write an essay about this in the future) –  there are 37 sounds in Chinese AND all Chinese words have only 3 kinds of endings.

Yes, that’s right.


I realized this whilst learning pinyin 拼音 (pinyin is Romanized Chinese) and changing Chinese characters into pinyin when I was studying Chinese back in the early 1990s. I also noticed this when speaking with locals who wanted to practice their English.

My local Taiwanese friends would call me PaulO.  I would say… no just Paul, thank you.  But they HAD to add that vowel sound.  I always wondered why.
I would listen to Taiwanese children sing the alphabet. When they got to HIJK…the following LMNOP turned into…  LOLOP!

What happened to M and N??

Anyway, Taiwanese make mistakes speaking English just like westerners make mistakes speaking Chinese.
(I mean 水餃[Shuǐjiǎo] dumplings and 睡覺 [shuìjiào] sleep Come on! REALLY! GAH!)

The three Chinese endings are:


1. an N sound as in 飯 fan (rice) 玩 wán (play), 笨 bèn (stupid).


2. an NG sound as in 王 Wang (king), 放fàng (put) and等děng (wait)


3. a vowel sound (a couple of these sounds we do not have in English. For example 熱 rè which means hot)

I will write a Chinese sentence about a person who sees a girl, thinks she is beautiful and wants to have tea with her. I want you to pay attention to the 拼音Hànyǔ Pīnyīn and the endings (in red).

小姐,你很漂亮 Xiǎo j, nǐn piào liang (Miss, you are beautiful).

你要不要 Nǐ yào bù yào (Do you want)

跟我一起喝茶 gēn wǒ yī qǐ hē chá (drink tea with me?)

See how it is precisely what I described above?

Endings are all N/NG/Vowel sounds.

Take ANY sentence in Chinese and change it to pinyin and you will be able to see (and hear!) only the N/NG/VOWEL SOUND.

This is why of the 26 letters in the alphabet, many Taiwanese often mispronounce the following:

F (ef) as efoo.

H (aich) as aichu

L (el) as ello (My name is Paul, but in Taiwan many call me Paulo or Pau)

S (es) as esih (yes sounds like yessih)

X (ex) as eckasih

Taiwanese also often mispronounce G, J, N, R, V, W, Z.

(G is my pet peeve… they use a sound we do not have in English.. the French u which sounds a bit like the ew in pew. The crazy thing is that Chinese does have a G sound 雞 jī (chicken)!

Words ending in M are mispronounced and N or NG are substituted. So handsome would be pronounced hansun. Some would be pronounced sun.

Which makes phrases like some flowers (many Taiwanese say sun flowers) confusing.

I will come back and edit this at a future date and add other bits.

For now, I hope you enjoyed this little read and I hope it helps!

Happy Learning!


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Dog Poo Made Me Rich.

Stepped in Dog Poo

Everyone has a poop story.

Specifically an animal poop story.

I’m no exception.

Growing up in a country town, we had no shortage of dog, bird, horse and mouse poop.  There were birds everywhere and I got pooped on quite a bit over the years.  The bird poop didn’t bother me so much. But stepping in dog poop was a total bummer… especially when I had brand new running shoes on.

I was about eight years old when I got a nice pair of new running shoes for my birthday.  We weren’t a rich family, so my mother – raising three kids by herself – used what little money she had to buy me the shoes I wanted. What a treat!

My grandmother often stayed with us during long holidays or for a few weeks here and there during summer vacation.

My grandmother always had a garden in our yard and we would eat the vegetables she grew.  She was a smart woman and was always armed with one or two lines of Wisdom or Sage Advice.

She would say things like:

Eat garlic, it keeps the bugs out!
Make sure you get plenty of roughage!

Or when we were going to go on a road trip to the beach and the kids were told to go to the bathroom first.

 ‘I don’t have to go, grandma’ one of us would say.

She’d always reply, ‘you can always pee -there’s always something in there, even if it’s a little bit.’  And would march us up to have our pee (she was right).

Inevitably –  as we kids were playing in the yard – one of us would always step in dog poop then get laughed at and ostracized by the other little tykes (brothers, sisters, cousins) even when it was washed off by one of our uncles or aunts we were still the Poop King or Queen for the day (or the hour until someone else stepped in poop and took the baton).

One particular day on a sunny, summer afternoon, we were all playing in the yard and SQUIBSH, the all too familiar sound of sneaker squishing dog poop was heard – followed by the immediate gagging stench of canine feces.

The all too familiar series of events then followed:

Initial Horror.
Children rush away leaving me alone in the stench.
Laughter and finger pointing ensue (from a safe distance of course).
I’m dubbed Poopy Boy.

I limp to the house (why do we limp when we step in poo?) bummed out – not only because now I’ve been the recipient of unwanted attention, but because the shoes I was wearing were brand new, white running shoes that made me cooler, dapper, and most importantly I could – in my head – run ten times faster than anyone else.

My grandmother heard the commotion and peeked out the kitchen window. She saw me limping to the house  and met me at the back door.

‘My new shoes!’ I cried.

‘It’s OK. We’ll wash that right up for you with the hose.’ 

That didn’t make me feel any better. But she did tell the other kids to shut up. 

As she was washing the poop off my shoe (it was my right shoe if anyone is curious) she said, ‘well, now you’ll have good luck the rest of the day.’
I asked.

‘Yes. If a bird poops on you or you step in doggy doo, you will get lucky… maybe even find some money!’

‘Wow!’ I exclaimed.

I felt much better now.

I put my shoe back on and went to join the other kids when I saw a glint. I stopped and looked down. It was a quarter! (twenty-five cents for an eight year old back in those days was a fortune!)

The other children gathered round.  I told them what I knew about poop & good luck…. then showed them my coin.

‘Oooo’, they said in unison.

The Thought Wheels in my eight year old head started turning.  I put the coin in my pocket and went around to the other part of the yard where I saw a drier day-old poop.

Not so fresh, so not so stinky.  I looked down at my shoes.

Oh well, I remember thinking.

SQUIBSH. I stepped on the poop. 

This time I didn’t run crying to the back door looking for grandma.

This time, I ran around front to where my mother parked her station wagon.

I opened the car door. Not sure what I was doing, but knowing that Luck was on my side, I looked in between the seats. I found a few pennies and a nickel! 

‘I found more money!

Ooooo!’  the cousins exclaimed.

I took a stick and scraped off some of the poo then sauntered down the street of our neighborhood.  I walked to this very old, very big house that was – once upon a time – a rich person’s mansion, but had since been converted into a nursing home.  I saw a bit of poo on the beatifically manicured lawn and promptly ran over to it.


‘What are you doing there, boy?’

I turned and looked and saw an elderly gentleman – whom I often saw sitting and reading on nice days – sitting in the shade of a massive willow tree.  Cane, book, hat, tie and a big smile.

Nothing,’ I replied. Walking over to him.

‘Can you do me a little favor, young man?’  he asked.

‘Uhm… OK’, I replied.

‘Go up to the house there, see those bushes to the right of the door?’

‘Yes,’ I said looking at the bushes.

‘Well behind those bushes there’s a hose. I want you to stretch the hose over here to me. Don’t turn the water on til I tell you.’

I hesitated.

‘Well go on boy!’ He said winking and smiling.  ‘I’m thirsty and I get into trouble with the nurses when I drink from the hose.  He crinkled his nose.   ‘… and it smells like you stepped in doo doo… so perhaps we should wash that off your shoe, too.’

I ran up behind the bushes to the hose and stretched it out to the willow tree then ran back up to the faucet to turn it on when he was ready.

‘OK!’ he said.  I turned it on.  He took a sip out of the hose. I ran down and took a sip, too. 

Now wash that shoe!’ he said.

I moved away from where he was sitting and took off my shoe and with a small stick and water… got most of the poo off.

‘Stanley!’ came a voice from the home.  ‘Are you drinking water from the hose again?’ 
‘No, I was just helping the boy wash doo doo off his shoe,’ he replied looking at me winking. 

The nurse turned off the water and started rolling up the hose. 

I put my shoe on and sat next to Stanley on the bench.  Thank you for that, sonny,’ he said.

He reached into his pocket, pulled out a dollar and stuffed it into my hand.

Why?’ I asked.

‘Well, you’re a good little man helping out an old fart like me.’  Then smiling wryly he added, ‘and dontchya know it’s good luck when you step in doo doo?’

‘That’s what my grandmother said,’ I exclaimed.

‘She sounds like a smart woman.  Now you run a long and come say hi when you see me outside here reading.’

I thanked him and ran back home.  The kids were in the backyard playing whiffle ball. 

Hey Poopy!’ they hollered. I held out the dollar. 

‘I have one dollar and thirty-three cents!’

‘How?’ they asked

‘Cause when you get pooped on by a bird or step in dog poop you have good luck and can make money…. And I did!’

About a half hour later seven children with poop saturated sneakers were at the backdoor, looking down at their shoes as Grandma shook her head.

‘Goodlawd, what did you all do?’

 They pointed at me.

‘Paul said we’d get rich if we stepped in poo.’

‘That’s what you said Gramma!’ I stammered.

‘I just wanted to make you feel better,’  Gramma replied.

I showed her the dollar and all the change I had as a result of my poo hunt.

She feigned anger and disbelief, but I caught a quick smile as she turned to report to my mother, aunts and uncles what had happened. 

We all heard laughter erupt from inside the house.

My uncle came out and told us to take off our shoes.  He helped us clean the poop off in the garden (and told us poop was good for vegetables… it took me months before I could eat a tomato again).

‘You all play barefoot for the rest of the day’, he ordered.

We all laughed as we called each other Poop Queen, Poop King or poopy head.

Looking back on it now, my grandmother was right. Stepping in poop did seem to bring good luck.

 And even when there was no good luck… I still have these good memories.

Thank you Jessica Martin for asking:

“Does anyone out there in Facebook Land have a story of being pooped on by a bird and it actually bringing them good luck (Yes, a bird did just poop on my head)?

…and bringing this memory out of the cobwebs of my mind.

You are my TAM (Tuesday Afternoon Muse).


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My U.S. Journal: Going ‘Home’ – Last Time I visited The USA…

…Bush Jr. was president. I had a Nokia Cell phone (smart phones weren’t invented yet), Facebook wasn’t a ‘thing’ and my eleven year old son was eleven months old.

It was August 2006 when I went back to the States to go to my brother’s wedding and show off our brand new son to the family. It was great to be back.  Though I didn’t get to see as many people as I had hoped, it was still awesome to see family including all my new cousins born from my old cousins, new nephews & nieces and a slew of family members I had not met yet. It was very cool seeing old friends again and re-connecting.

When we were preparing to go back to Taiwan, we promised friends and family that we’d be back as soon as possible though I had a gut feeling that I would not see them for a while. I did not realize it would be over a decade, however.

As things go, going back to the States for another visit, though alluring, proved a lot more difficult than I imagined.  When I had the money, I didn’t have the time… when I finally got some time, finances was a factor.. there was also the political climate, the new regulations at airports where they all but cavity search you – which doesn’t necessarily prevent terrorism, but does give some perverted agent a Power Over You hard on.

So we lived our exciting lives here on our Island Paradise.  Our son was growing up and doing his thing (art, music and inventing stuff), I immersed myself in the Taiwan music and art culture scene, we took care of our animals, ran a bar and live music venue. I played in bands, went to music festivals, helped build and strengthen a community of artists and musicians. It was a whirlwind of hard work and good times.

Two years went by, then five and the next thing I know 2017 slapped me in the face and woke me up.

I saw pictures of the family children now attending university. The new cousins born from old cousins were now getting old –  grown up, getting married and having kids of their own. Family members and family friends began to die, including a couple of loved uncles, my aunt, a beloved cousin and alas the Family Matriarch my Mother’s mother Grandma Ellie.  When would it end?  I realized it wouldn’t.

My son would see a picture of someone in my family, my mother, father, an aunt or cousin, and ask, who is that?  I knew that I had to get back for a visit.

Though my home is here in Taiwan, and I’ll most likely live out the rest of my days here, I still owed it to my son to meet and know the other half of his family.  I also owe it to my family – and myself – to go back and be with them.  I could not bear to be away from my son for a few days never mind a decade. It took me being a father to understand how my absence must have made my parents feel… especially my mother. My family – through all the ups and downs (and for some – all the religious and political differences) – are still part of who I am.

I remember the cookouts, the holiday dinners, the late night games, the laughs. As we got older and began our own life, I remember visiting at holidays for the reminiscing, the confessing of the naughty things we did as teenagers – to my mother, aunts and uncles’ amused chagrin.

I remember the jams in my friend’s basement as a teenager, the drinking sessions near a lake in Hanover, getting stoned in a quiet area of Norwell High School, the drives on roller coaster road in Hingham.

I relive the times after I got out of the army, got a job in law enforcement and enrolled in University. The Cheese & Wine Gatherings in Dorchester for example with my Uni friends meeting my Colleagues in Law Enforcement, my biker friends meeting some of my friends from church (that I had long not been a part of) at my place on Friday nights… boy those were some interesting conversations.

Now, as I sit here writing in my studio in Taiwan, pondering this Journey across the World I’m giddy as a child at a birthday party. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and acquaintances from high school, meet my nephews and cousins, meet my friends’ families and see my Mum who still has no idea we’re coming back.

I’m looking forward to capturing at least a little part of my Life Before Taiwan when we go back again this time… bring this History to the forefront.

 One final note:

We are leaving in February and I’m trying to explain to my son how #$%^&* cold it is in Massachusetts.

I know my Bostonian Buddies, My Masshole Mates, My Brothers from other Mothers and Sisters from other Misters are going to hate me for this one BUT while we’re there….

….I hope it snows!


This is Part One of Boston Paul’s Going Home Blogumentary.


Paul at 17 years old Hanover Mass

Seventeen Years Old Going on 40

Thank you for reading!


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You might also enjoy this essay about FRIENDS:




Published in: on January 27, 2017 at 1:43 PM  Comments (2)  
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Hippy New Year – Thoughts PinBalling Inside My Skull

Hippy New Year – Thoughts Pin-Balling Inside My Skull


As 2016 comes to a grinding halt and we set our eyes on 2017, there are many thoughts pin-balling inside my skull.

Thought I’d try to make sense of those thoughts here.
I’m getting older.  I still feel like I’m in my 30s, act like I’m in my 20s but am starting to think like I’m in my 80s.  It’s that latter thought that reminds me I’m getting older.

What will I regret or be proud of when I’m in my 80s sitting in a rocking chair (or a tatami mat or bean bag chair) and pondering (lamenting) on all the things that filled my life?

Things I didn’t do but wanted to; things I’ve done and didn’t want to do; and of course the things I’ve pursued and accomplished.

How will I feel about the life I’ve lived from day to day?  From the Exciting to the Mundane, the Happiness to the Insane, the love filled days – to days of bitter sadness that seemed impossible to shake (fortunately those have been few and far between)?

That Day to Day life that has not only shaped who I am today but will – I presume –  have made me the person I will be in my 80s (and 90s! And if all goes well when I’m a Centurion… er… Centenarian!) sitting on a tatami mat (or beanbag chair!) sipping green tea, or a fine red wine or the juice of some fruit I’ve just blended.

When I’m in my 80s or 90s, I’m sure that I will appreciate how the Past me took care of the Future me.

And if you think about it, both the Past me and the Future me are living in the Now.

But we don’t walk our Journey Paths alone. So…


On this last day of the year, I think about the friends and family who have passed into the great Unknown.

I think about all the musicians who died this past year. Musicians whose music helped raise me in areas of my life where my mother and father couldn’t.

I watch my son, getting older, trying new things, loving animals (as he takes care of two roosters, two hens, two turtles, a fish, a cat, a dog, and cockroach from Madagascar), pursuing art, practicing judo and taking on life armed with curiosity and gusto.

I think fondly of my wife who has been there through it all. My ups and downs. Our ups and downs. The topsy-turvy curve balls life has thrown at us. I can’t believe we have been together almost two decades.


I regularly meet with special friends a few times a week to make music, drink wine, laugh, talk about love and life, stare at a fire.  I don’t know where I would be – or who I would be – without them.

All these special people I’ve mentioned above are my Family.

I miss my friends and family back in the ‘old’ country – a place I left in my 20s to see the world.

I think about them often and always wonder – in an alternate universe – What If?

What if I never left my country of birth? What would I be doing now? What would they be doing now?

Pebbles. Lakes. Ripples.

With about half my life under my belt and – The Universe willing – another half to go, I seek to continue to try to make myself a better person, to help make the world a better place – anyway I can – by being nice to people, giving what I can, sharing my art and ideas, helping others with their art and helping them make their ideas a reality.

Pebbles. Lakes. Ripples.

As I think about the past year and look forward to this next one and as the pinball stops ricocheting in my brain, this clichéd mantra comes to mind – and for some reason it is really hitting home right now as I sit and write:

We’re all in this together.

In other words, we only have us, so let’s treat each other well.

May 2017 bring you Happiness, Peace, Love & Adventure!




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You might also enjoy this essay about FRIENDS:



Published in: on December 31, 2016 at 2:55 PM  Comments (5)  
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