How many Americans do you know who have played top-level soccer in Taiwan? Chris Gaffney is one, and in issue two of XI he writes about his experiences as an American Abroad in the late-1990s. Getting a chance to ply his trade in a far-flung league, Gaffney succeeded on the field, but found the experiences off the field, from the language barrier, to the geopolitics, as well as the geological elements, to be a significant challenge.
With the perspective of 15 years, Gaffney reflects on his time in Taiwan and finds that many of his experiences were quite funny to recount.
Chris Gaffney is a Visiting Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at the Universidade Federal Fluminense in Brazil. His book, Temples of the Earthbound Gods, examined the history and culture of soccer stadiums in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. His current research (found at Hunting White Elephants) examines the urban and social changes underway in Rio and Brazil as they prepare to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.