Tue, Apr 10, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Tealit.com inspires Chinese-language site for New York

TWO-WAY STREET:After spending time in Taiwan and benefiting from Tealit, two friends have created a similar site for Taiwanese visiting or living in NYC

Staff writer, with CNA

Inspired by a Web site aimed at helping foreigners living in Taiwan, two friends from the US decided to create a site to provide information in Chinese targeted at Taiwanese who want to travel to New York City.

Taiwanese-American Jake Chen and his friend Kevin Wolkober established Meet Me in New York (www.meetmeinnewyork.com) after benefiting from the services offered by Tealit.com, a Web site that provides foreigners in Taiwan with information on topics ranging from job hunting, social events and language exchanges, to classified ads.

In 2006, Chen quit his job in the US and moved to Taiwan to care for his sick mother. However, he did not speak or understand Chinese well, and it was at that time he began using Tealit.

He said Tealit helped to make his life richer, easier and more convenient, adding that it was during that time he truly fell in love with Taiwan.

Chen told Wolkober, who was living in the US, about how he had become enchanted by Taiwan’s beautiful scenery, distinct culture and mouthwatering delicacies. Chen’s glowing descriptions eventually inspired Wolkober to move to Taiwan to study Chinese about two years ago.

Wolkober said he, too, fell in love with Taiwan during a four-month stay and that his experience had been elevated by the ability to access useful information on Tealit.

Wolkober and Chen both moved to New York, and after settling down, the idea of building a Chinese-language Web site hit them as they started gathering information to help their Taiwanese friends who were planning trips to the Big Apple.

“You can find information on our Web site about New York life, such as where to find great local food and entertainment,” the 39-year-old Chen said. “And we also introduce the lives of ethnic Chinese in the city.”

Visitors can also look for language exchange partners, housing information and job vacancies, he added.

Wolkober, who is in charge of the site’s management, said his Chinese is not good enough to write articles for their Web site, but he provides on-site reports about events and issues for readers.

For example, he said he recently attended a press conference by the New York Mets during which the Major League Baseball team announced that world No. 1 golfer Yani Tseng (曾雅妮) of Taiwan had been invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch yesterday as part of Taiwan Night.

Both Chen and Wolkober said they were proud to provide Chinese-speaking tourists with the opportunity to learn about New York through their Web site, which has been up and running for about three months.

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