Mycal L Ford

Mycal L Ford was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, from 2011 to 2013. He now lives in Chengdu, Sichuan, where he writes a blog

Posts by Mycal L Ford

Breaking Stereotypes

Being black in Taiwan – by Mycal L Ford


In front of me, a sea of bodies stretches for what seems like miles – though it couldn't be more than a hundred yards. I am on stage at the elementary school I'm about to start teaching at in Kaohsiung, southwest Taiwan. All eyes are on me. The sun beats down on my skin, cooking it almost well-done. Something liquid races down the side of my rib-cage to my hips. If I raise my arms, sweat will pour from my armpits and swallow the hundreds of students waiting to greet me. I keep my hands down to save myself the embarrassment.

A deep, almost god-like voice echoes from the speakers. That’s my cue. I puff out my chest, stand up straight, shake out my new dress shoes, adjust my khakis and straighten the collar of my wrinkled polo. That’s when the orator, the principal of the  school, introduces me as President Obama.