I spent my mid-20s in Taiwan during the 1970s. Though I likely knew in my heart that I wasn’t much, I sure didn’t let myself think so, propping up my ego with whatever was at hand. I once had name cards printed giving my address and phone number. I taught as an adjunct lecturer at a few government run colleges and was on the staff of at least two church-affiliated centers, but I didn’t include those, because I couldn’t write their names in Chinese.
At different times between 1982 and 2018 I carried name cards to exchange with people who gave me theirs. In the final 10 years of work, though, I didn’t even get through a batch of 200 that had been printed for me by Tainan Theological College, where I worked. Probably 150 of those got dumped when I left.
A Taiwan name card carries more than name and contact information. It serves as a mini-resume. Once I saw one that identified the bearer as a graduate of a particular department of a particular university, even though his course of studies was totally unrelated to what he was doing when he passed it out.
In 2019 when Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen visited New York City I wrangled myself an invitation to the banquet where she spoke. Knowing that I’d be among Taiwanese people, I considered having cards made at a stationery store, but I dawdled and didn’t get the order placed in time. That turned out to save me some money. Had I bought 200, I’d have distributed no more than 6.
But of late I’ve been considering getting the software and paper to run some off on the printer by my computer. Of course, I’d need to put my name, address, phone numbers and email address, and maybe the address of this blog. But, what title should I use? It should express something about my life, but “retired guy who sits in a chair” doesn’t sound very impressive. Earlier this week, on the way to the post office to send some letters, I landed on it.
David Alexander. Postal Patron.
What do you think?
David Alexander now resides in Holland, MI after 39 years in Taiwan.