Episode 4: Jaclynn Joyce, Teacher, International Model, Living in Taipei

Jaclynn Joyce

BIO of JACLYNN JOYCE

A self-proclaimed Jackie of all traits, Jaclynn Joyce wears many hats. She is a bonafide social studies teacher and she teaches a Canadian English program. Jaclynn is an international model, actress, and animal rights activist. It sounds a mouthful but she definitely represents.

Jaclynn Joyce was born and raised in Hawaii where volcanoes and black sand beaches are famous. Jaclynn wasn’t a stranger for travel and adventures as she moved to Colorado and California during her college years. She also spent a considerable amount of time in Turkey and Egypt before finally moving and making a career in Taipei.

SOME OF THE TOPICS COVERED

  • Growing up in Hawaii
  • Being an English program teacher at a Canadian school in Taipei
  • Why the term “lazy expat” came around and what does it mean
  • Challenges of living as an Expat in Taipei
  • Why doesn’t everyone know that Hawaii is a part of the US.
  • Favorite orders at Taco Bell

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CONTACT

Jaclynn Joyce can be reached by Instagram

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TRANSCRIPT

You can read the transcript below or download here.

Zach Ireland: 

Hello, everyone and welcome to the Expat Chit Chat Show! I am your host, Zach Ireland, filling in today for Beyoncé Knowles Carter. Miss Knowles Carter could not make into the studio as she is at the Illuminati World Headquarters, deciding where on the body it’s best to place the RDIF chip. Our thoughts and prayers are with Miss Beyoncé Knowles Carter during these trying times. Hey, it’s teacher, international model and animal rights advocate, JaclyNn Joyce.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Hi, everybody, this is my first podcast so bear with me, it could get terrible at any moment.

Zach Ireland:

Oh, they’re going to love you and fitting as well, you’re also the first woman to be on the podcast.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Oh, well, how many people have been on the podcast before?

Zach Ireland:
To be fair, three people.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Am I the third?

Zach Ireland:

You are the third.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Oh, okay, third time is the charm so great. Bringing some feminine energy into this.

Zach Ireland:

Yeah and in women’s month. March is international women’s month, isn’t it?

Jaclynn Joyce:

Yeah for me, every month and day, is women’s day and month?

Zach Ireland:
as it should be.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Yeah, I don’t really like to narrow it down to the month because then I’ll be screwing myself the other eleven but yeah.

Zach Ireland: 

Yeah, exactly.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Yeah, cool, glad to represent.

Zach Ireland: 

Well, thank you for joining me in the studio today.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

My pleasure.

Zach Ireland: 

Can you give us a description of the studio that we’re in?

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Okay, the studio that we’re in is, wait, seriously?

Zach Ireland: 

No, honestly.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Oh great. This is the basement sublevel of my apartment, my flat in Taipei. There’s a couple of conference rooms next to the gym and there’s some massage chairs and a lot of reading material on the walls and its quite comfortable and posh actually and there’s no one else here because which is convenient because we’re nude.

Zach Ireland: 

Yeah. Completely. Completely and totally.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Well, I have a hat on.

Zach Ireland: 

Oh I have socks.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

But I mean, just basically completely nude. It’s not a weird thing. It’s an American thing.

Zach Ireland:

That’s fine. It’s fine. Alright, so for the very first question of the episode, I’m going to ask you something very, very simple.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Sure. No math.

Zach Ireland: 

No math. No math at all. Why is it that we as Americans park in a driveway but drive in a parkway?

Jaclynn Joyce: 

You just blew my mind.

Zach Ireland: 

I’m absolutely kidding you

Jaclynn Joyce: 

My brain just exploded in my head. It’s so deep and philosophical. I have not owned or really driven a car in over a decade, which is one of the great things about being an expat so I can’t, I don’t even remember how to parallel park so I feel like it’s not my skill set.

Zach Ireland: 

Honestly, now that you say that I don’t think I’ve owned a car in about a decade either like the last car I owned was just after leaving college.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Yeah, I’m the same. I sold it in 2008.

Zach Ireland: 

Yeah, me too.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

It’s a Volkswagen Beetle, by the way.

Zach Ireland: 

Oh no, no, not 2008. 2012. I’m dating myself but…

Jaclynn Joyce: 

You are. You’re not as old as I am. What kind of car did you have?

Zach Ireland:

I had a 1993 Ford Tempo as my first car but what I sold was a 1989 Lincoln town wagon.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Oh damn. Like a big one like one of those big, giant, you could fit 8 friends in that.

Zach Ireland: 

Oh absolutely. 4 in the front, 4 in the back.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Oh, and the trunk, don’t forget, you can put some folks in it. Yeah, the Volkswagen beetle is like 1 and a half people could fit in it. It’s a little spaceship. 

Zach Ireland: 

And I also, my air-conditioning went out so I had a fan, like a handheld fan because I stayed abroad in China and want everyone to know that so I like drive around and fan myself around like an old lady.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Well, that’s what we expats do when we go home. We have to showcase how amazing we are and that we’ve lived abroad.

Zach Ireland: 

It’s just so strange using a fork and knife anymore. I can barely get the steak into my mouth.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

I just use my hands honestly. 

Zach Ireland: 

Oh yeah, it’s chopsticks for me.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

I just shove food into my face.

Zach Ireland: 

I see that. That’s one of the benefits of being an expat as well. So where have you lived from the beginning to now? 

Jaclynn Joyce: 

From the beginning, the beginning of time. Primordial swamp is where I have originated from as we all did. [laughs]

Zach Ireland: 

Jackie’s origin story.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

My origin story is kind of cool actually just because there aren’t many people from Hawaii in the world and I’m a fifth generation born and raised in Hawaii. My family came on boats back when it was the kingdom of Hawaii to work in plantations. So, I grew up on the big island so shout out to the 808. My island is famous for black sand beaches and volcanoes and that’s about it. If you’ve been there, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I spent some college years in Colorado and then as a young aspiring model, I moved to LA and I lived in California for a little while and aside from that, both of those experiences were a couple of years. I haven’t really lived in many other countries aside from living here in Taipei, where I’ve lived in the past decade. I spent extended periods of time in turkey and in Egypt but I probably wouldn’t consider that living there so, yeah, different parts of the US on the west coast and here in Taipei.

Zach Ireland: 

How would you describe yourself? What is your job title?

Jaclynn Joyce: 

My job title? Leader of the free world probably doesn’t fit. My job title, at the moment, is I have come back to my original roots for what I studied in school and I’m a high school teacher or secondary education is what I do right now.

Zach Ireland: 

And what do you teach?

Jaclynn Joyce: 

My licensing area is social studies but right now, I’m actually teaching for a Canadian program. I’m not Canadian so that’s weird but it works. You just have to say “Ey,” and apologize a lot and add a ‘u’ into color and favorite which I frankly refuse to do because it’s ridiculous.

Zach Ireland: 

Oh and grey.

Jaclynn Joyce:  

No. I won’t change my language to fit Canada. Outrageous.

Zach Ireland:

I think that’s a very good quality to have as an expat. Not general inflexibility, I think flexibility is very important as an expat, but just not kowtowing to Canada.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Right, be flexible for anything else in life except any u’s to words that don’t require it unnecessarily. So, I am currently teaching a Canadian English program in a high school in Taipei and I am not a Canadian so really, what am I doing with my life? It’s a mess. I kid, I kid but there’s so many things happening about it so it sounds odd.

Zach Ireland: 

No, that’s fun and it sounds like you wear many hats. In the past, you’ve been a model and I know you’ve also done some TVC gigs here and there.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Yeah, I’m basically a jack of all trades but I’m a Jackie of all trades but yeah, I started out as I actually came here under contract, modeling contract and I still have jobs from time to time. It’s definitely not something that I’m as interested in pursuing but I do that. I volunteer with animal rights organizations. I’m pursuing a PhD soon so yeah, there’s a lot on my plate, one might say too much even.

Zach Ireland: 

So, what’s something about your job that not everyone would know?

Jaclynn Joyce: 

I think that a lot of people have the idea that expats, especially about teachers, are a bit lazy and that may be true in other parts of the world but certainly does not apply in Taipei or I think in many parts of Asia. We definitely work longer hours. We don’t finish until 4:30 or 5. That’s just normal. Students tend to be in school until 9 P.M. or 10 P.M. Not with us. Those are after school classes but we definitely work much longer hours. You have to be much more committed if you’re a professional educator and I think the idea of the lazy expat definitely does not apply when you’re teaching in Taipei.

Zach Ireland: 

So, for example, when I was living in Beijing, there was a distinction between teachers who were teaching in public schools or private schools versus teaching in an English training center or something.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Like a [00:08:53] or a cram school?
Zach Ireland:

Yeah.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Okay. Well there is, I work in a private program, a Canadian program and then in Taipei, you would have private schools, you would have public schools and then you have after school programs like cram schools or [00:09:09] the difference would be you have to be an actual licensed educator to work at a private or public high school. You can’t be unlicensed. You actually have to be credentialed and so, again, you work more hours but there’s a huge pay gap between unlicensed cram school teachers and licensed educators as there should be. If you have the credentials, you should get paid more but you’re busting your butt. It’s not easy.

Zach Ireland: 

What is this word, you said [00:09:37]

Jaclynn Joyce: 

[00:09:38] cram school.

Zach Ireland: 

Oh [00:09:41]

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Am I saying it in a funny way?

Zach Ireland: 

No, I’ve never heard that word before.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Why would you? You’re not involved in that lifestyle, in that career choice. If you’re in the know and you’re a teacher, yeah. It’s the local word for cram school.

Zach Ireland: 

Okay, yeah, no.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

That’s not what they refer to it in Beijing?

Zach Ireland: 

[00:10:07] school.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Oh okay. Yeah, there’s definitely a difference between cram schools and regular school.

Zach Ireland: 

Oh okay cram schools just mean [00:10:16].

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Yeah and usually they’re not salaried, they’re paid hourly and the pay is quite good especially if you’re in your 20’s and you don’t have a license, I think you can have pretty good money but it’s much, much, much less than what a licensed teacher would make.

Zach Ireland: 

Okay. So, what is something about your job that sparks joy?

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Sparks joy? I really love teenagers. I hate children. I hate babies, they’re disgusting. Anyone who knows me knows I do not like small children. I don’t get it. I don’t think they’re cute at all like get away from you with that mess like not interested. But I feel like kids in Taipei, teenagers, they’re so innocent and they’re still kind of afraid of you which is great because I want everyone to be a little bit afraid of me. I would value that if I had that power.

Zach Ireland: 

Is that why you wear the heels? Gives you height?

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Height is power, thought. Well, actually, they were invented for French men to show off their calf muscles really but height is an advantage. That’s not—I wear them to stomp on teenagers, really but I love them, yeah, they’re witty and they’re clever and their personalities are developing and they’re really discovering who they are but they’re still intimidated by you and they still are quite respectful.

Zach Ireland: 

When you say that they fear you or they’re intimidated by you is that as a teacher, you as a foreigner, you as a woman?

Jaclynn Joyce: 

All of those things which is great that they get to be exposed to strong, independent, foreign women or anybody, really, the exposure to people from different countries is amazing for them but I think it’s great that they are exposed to women who are completely independent, who did move away from home when they were 18, who don’t want to get married or have children because that’s a big culture clash is not what they’re used to and I like being able to expose them to a successful woman who does not want those stereotypically feminine things.

Zach Ireland: 

Later in this episode, I want to talk to you specifically about being an expat and being a woman, but very briefly from the topic, I know that you ran a workshop over winter, I want to say, and you brought in several other expats, can you talk a bit about that?

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Yeah, we had to design our own interesting and engaging inquiry-based winter session activities for our students and we had just finished a term sort of focusing on the arts and they really, they don’t have the time nor really the interest to sort of discover the arts. They knew that I had modeled in the past. I’ve shown them some appropriate photos. The inappropriate ones, I’ve hopefully burned all of the copy at this point. The internet doesn’t exit, does it?

Zach Ireland: 

No, Al Gore shut it down.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Oh good. So, I brought in 4 female guests from different countries. A fashion designer, a published author, a theater actress and a woman painter and had them engage with the students and discuss their jobs and their life and it was great. I think it was great for me, it was great for kids. I think that the women who came into class really enjoyed it, they’ve learned a lot, all of us.

Zach Ireland: 

Very cool.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

I think so. I think I should get a raise.

Zach Ireland: 

Yeah, no, that’s great.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

A huge raise!

Zach Ireland: 

Well, the listeners, you all can write in to Jaclynn’s school.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Just write to Canada. Write…

Zach Ireland: 

Dear Canada.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Dear Canada and on the envelope just say Canada

Zach Ireland: 

Yeah, we’ll see I think that’s fun. [Jaclynn laughs] So we talked about what sparks joy in your job. What are some things that annoy you?

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Oh, okay. Culture clashes with the Taiwanese and of the education system. Education system in Taipei that you will find is extremely rigid and people do not value creative thinking. They don’t value comprehension. They value more testing rather than understanding which is very different from the western model. They’re very strict, they’re very authoritarian and you often clash with the Taiwanese branch of the school in the way that you want to teach. We do not see eye to eye ever. They think we’re lazy and we think that they’re too rigid and it’s a constant battle.

Zach Ireland: 

Can you give an example of something that you may have conflicted with in the school?

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Sure. We usually start work at 8, let’s say. We finish by 4:30 or 5 and the Taiwanese side of the school complained that that wasn’t enough, that we were lazy that we should, if it was possible, that we could stay until 8 or 9 pm to help students.

Zach Ireland: 

Like a 12-hour day.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Yes, which sounds crazy but that’s what I think a lot of regular Taiwanese teachers do and we are paid significantly more than they are so I can see from their point of view how they would be upset. Not realizing that coming here, we, westerners or foreigners, are working a lot more hours than we would back home so there is that conflict.

Zach Ireland: 

Yeah and I think a lot of times people forget that, one of the reasons that foreign teachers tend to get paid more especially the qualified foreign teachers is because they’re few and far between here and there’s also a relocation thing.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Yeah, I, we definitely take a huge pay cut teaching abroad. Well, not a huge pay cut but we take a pay cut but I think it evens out in the fact that I don’t need to have a car. Public transportation here is amazing. I save so much money on so many different aspects of my lifestyle so actually I think I saved more money living and working abroad than I ever would in the US.

Zach Ireland: 

Is there something that people always assume about you being a teacher that if, for example, you had the platform right now to tell everybody who isn’t a teacher, this is something about us. Something that would surprise people, maybe.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

I don’t think I could. I don’t think there is anything, I mean, I could say, “Oh, we work so hard and the job doesn’t get enough respect,” but I think people know that especially coming from the US. I feel like people know that and living in Asia, teachers do get paid pretty well and we are respected with the education, the educated people that we are so I’m not really sure if there is anything that I could say. Perhaps, specifically to educators in Asia, do not judge all teachers by the same douchey guy named Steve who teaches at a cram school, who has no educational background. He happens to have a bachelor’s degree and a backpack and a can of beer in his hand.

Zach Ireland: 

I know this guy. 

Jaclynn Joyce:

We all know this guy.

Zach Ireland:

I know a Steve. 

Jaclynn Joyce:

We all know a Steve.

Zach Ireland:

Not to be confused with another Steve that I know.

Jaclynn Joyce:

I know that other Steve too, he’s great. Not that Steve.

Zach Ireland:

No, that Steve is a good guy

Jaclynn Joyce:

The other Steve. Yeah, yeah.

Zach Ireland:

The other Steve. Garbage.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Totally.

Zach Ireland:

Garbage.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

I think when I tell people that I’m a teacher in Taipei though they’re like, “Oh,” and I’m like “No, no, no, wait, I’m a licensed teacher” and they’re like, “Okay,” and I hate having to say that, having to justify like, “No, I’m not Steve the douchebag with the backpack and a beer in his hand.” I have nothing against backpacks or beer but that’s the stereotype. We are actually, this is our actual career.

Zach Ireland: 

You are not Steve with a ph or Stephen with a PhD.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

You got me. That’s good.

Zach Ireland: 

Thank you.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Cheesy general.

Zach Ireland: 

Yeah, I’m proud of that.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

[laughs] So I feel like that conversation happens a lot. I’ve even seen profiles on social media with, “Not a teacher,” like people are so embarrassed to be associated with Steves of the world that they start conversations with “Oh, yeah, I live in Taipei but I’m not a teacher.” Excuse me, I graduated 2ndin my master’s degree program with [00:18:51] GPA and I’ve been teaching for over a decade getting my PhD, I’m sorry what are you embarrassed about so it is an annoying conversation to have and I blame Steve.

Zach Ireland: 

Yeah, that is, being an expat, especially being an expat in Asia, and I think also, being an actor and being in entertainment, that’s something that, I don’t want to say I pride myself in or I want to say that I make that distinction, but I honestly do as an expat because people assume immediately that “Oh, you’re an English teacher or you’re a student.”

Jaclynn Joyce: 

I know what you mean and when I first came here, I was on a modeling contract and I was like, “Ugh! I’m not a teacher.” So, I get that.

Zach Ireland: 

But it’s exactly what you said if all of the teachers here had master’s degrees or even just qualified to be actual teachers, not Steve on a gap year who wants to…

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Well, Steve’s gap year is lasting 15 years. Steve is not leaving.

Zach Ireland: 

No, exactly because Steve gets to go to Cambodia and drink [00:20:01] and eat banana pancakes, not that there’s anything wrong with [00:20:05] or banana pancakes.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Banana pancakes are amazing.

Zach Ireland: 

But it’s just not what I do. I’m here to build a career just as you are here to build a career and it’s such a shame that so many English teachers get a bad rap but it’s something in my head as well because for so many people who live in this area of the world, like so many people who are citizens of this area of the world. For example, I was working on a show that, sorry, I need to finish that thought, for so many people who are citizens of this area of the world, they immediately see a Westerner and they think “Oh, you’re an English teacher,” because the money’s good, it’s a comfortable living situation and it’s a convenient job but for example, I was working on the show where I was the lead character. I was filming there every single day for four months and I was filming in between 5 to 12 hours a day. I was the main character and my co-star asked me if I was an English teacher.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

No, you’re joking.

Zach Ireland: 

No, I’m 100 percent.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Wait, after four months?

Zach Ireland: 

Like about 2 and a half months into it

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Like wait, “Hey, I just noticed you?” Like you’ve been working together for two months.

Zach Ireland:

She thought that I had taken the time off work.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Oh and became a really good actor and suddenly.

Zach Ireland:

And that’s kind of like what.

Jaclynn Joyce:

How did that happen?

Zach Ireland:

Because they ask, like sometimes people will ask you, they’ll say like “Oh, so are you a student?” And I’m like “No, I’m an actor, can you not tell I’m an actor?” 

Jaclynn Joyce:

Like we are literally in a commercial right now.

Zach Ireland:

Or like I did a scene with her where my sister dies and I have to cry and it was emotionally intense and she was like “Oh, you’re an English teacher?” and it’s the ego a bit of “I’ve been acting for thirteen years, can you not hear my subtext?”

Jaclynn Joyce: 

That is a mental disconnect. That’s not on you, I don’t want to be too mean to this woman, I’ll call her Stefanie [Zach laughs] but clearly, I don’t think, I think she’s probably not just, she may not be a sharpest crayon in the box. Is that a thing? The sharpest tool in the shed, I think. Yeah, brightest crayon in the box.

Zach Ireland:

You can sharpen crayons.

Jaclynn Joyce:

You could. I knew that was a valid one. Yeah, that’s bizarre.

Zach Ireland:

So, Todd was telling me a story on, he was on the first episode of the Expat Chitchat Show, he’s a mutual friend of ours, he was telling me how he was leaving his apartment building in an elevator and someone had said “Oh, I didn’t know there was an English school in this apartment complex,”

Jaclynn Joyce:

Oh, that’s nice

Zach Ireland:

Yeah and he said, “Oh, there is? I didn’t know either.”

Jaclynn Joyce:

I think that might also be just lack of exposure to foreigners because I think that Taipei to have sort of doesn’t make it easy for working professionals in other fields to come here. It’s very difficult to start a company unless you are married maybe to a local. It’s not easy unless you happen to be a teacher. They’re not particularly welcoming yet although I’ve read that they’re trying to opening it up to foreigners in different fields. I think the market is just really saturated with teachers or people who stumbled upon the profession as a way to travel and its just what people have been exposed to, unfortunately, but yeah, it sucks getting lumped in with…

Zach Ireland:

Steve.

Jaclynn Joyce:

That Steve.

Zach Ireland:

That Steve.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Damn you Steve.

Zach Ireland:

Damn you Steve.

Zach Ireland:

And Stefanie. Oh, she’s the worst.

Jaclynn Joyce:

And Stefanie. With an F obviously.

Zach Ireland: 

Alright, Jackie, so how can the people find you on social media? If you want people finding you.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Instagram would be great and I always love meeting new people and being followed by a lot of new people and learning about where you’re from and what you’re doing and I have a trip coming up to Jordan this weekend. I’m always travelling which is great if you’re an expat so yeah, if you want to give me a follow, that would be cool.

Zach Ireland:

Cool and we will go ahead and have your username in the description. 

Jaclynn Joyce:

Sounds great.

Zach Ireland:

Yeah and by the time that this podcast comes out when you, listeners are at home, it would be Saturday so you will be in Jordan at that time.

Jaclynn Joyce:

I will be fully immersed in Jordanian culture and food, mostly in food.

Zach Ireland:

Inshallah, Inshallah, you’ll be there. Okay, so we talked about this a bit before but let’s talk a bit about your background. This is a question I like because it’s a very big question and I would hate it if I got it myself.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Oh great.

Zach Ireland:

How do you self-identify?

Jaclynn Joyce:

Oh god. I’ve been an expat so long, I don’t know who I am anymore. Being from Hawaii, especially rural Hawaii, I’m from very backwater rural Hawaii. I think a lot of people from Hawaii, especially if they’re like me and they’re several generations in, definitely make a distinction between American and I am from Hawaii. Now, let me explain really quick if you didn’t know, you can’t refer to people from Hawaii as Hawaiian. You can only refer to native Hawaiians as Hawaiian so that’s a thing that comes up quite a bit in Taiwan. “Oh, you’re Hawaiian?” “No, I’m not Hawaiian. Just from Hawaii.” So anyway, I always introduce myself, “Hi, I’m from Hawaii,” rather than American just because when my family moved there, it was not a part of the United States. My dad was 12 when Hawaii became a state so it was just a different mentality, it’s a different culture. A lot of big differences so I feel for the first half of my life, I thought of my life as a girl who grew up in Hawaii and now I’ve lived away for so long, going back to Hawaii feels different. It doesn’t really feel like home just because it’s been 11 years. So, at this point I think my identity is totally messed up and a mishmash of–I would say my identity is international expat or maybe just expat. If that makes sense.

Zach Ireland:

No, it does. It absolutely does and truthfully, it doesn’t have to make sense because it’s your identity.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Yeah, screw you guys.

Zach Ireland:

Yeah, how dare you?

Jaclynn Joyce:

Yeah, don’t expect answers about myself from me, gosh. Yeah, expat. I feel like my identity is definitely expat and if you push me, I’d say I’m from Hawaii and I’m an expat.

Zach Ireland:

You mentioned that there are a lot of differences between being from Hawaii and being from the United States and I personally would’ve assume that right away because it’s an island, it’s so far away but then I also know a little bit about the history of Hawaii and the kingdom of Hawaii and how it was annexed. Can you expand on that a little bit more about some differences that you notice between the people of Hawaii and the mainland, I guess, is that what you will call it?

Jaclynn Joyce:

Yeah, we refer to it as the mainland. I don’t want to speak, again, if people from Hawaii are listening, I do not claim to be the representative of all people from Hawaii.

Zach Ireland:

Shoutout to my high school speech coach, [00:27:23] might be listening right now.

Jaclynn Joyce:

She sounds pretty amazing actually from what you’ve told me.

Zach Ireland:

She is.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

If you look at the history of Hawaii, it’s basically like any small, colonized by western powers experience and that happened really recently. That was in 1900, 1898 where they overthrow, the illegal overthrow of the Queen Liliuokalani and the annexation and my family had been living there for a generation at least already. So, I think with any native community dealing with a colonizing power, there’s a lot of resentment. I think there’s certainly resentment in rural Hawaii. That’s a tongue twister, say that five times fast. Rural Hawaii. I can barely say it once and I’m edu-ma-cated, I can barely say it. I think there’s a lot of resentment towards the US government. There’re certainly pro-sovereignty groups that exist within Hawaii. I think there’s a lot of poverty, especially in my island, and most of that poverty exist within native communities which you wouldn’t see necessarily if you were a tourist. If you’re from there, you would definitely be aware. I was doing a study when I was doing a study when I got my teaching license, we had to look at one district on the island and that district had a 75% poverty rate. 

Zach Ireland: 

Wow.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Yeah, just overall and then the very poorest of the poor were native Hawaiians so I mean, you have that aspect of Hawaiian history but then you also have the fact that my state recognizes two official languages: English and Hawaiian. There are immersion schools, I have a friend sending her daughter to Hawaiian immersion school where that’s all they speak. So, I mean linguistically, and culturally, they’re very defined differences especially again if you live in the countryside. People are more engaged in native Hawaiian language, in food, in culture, in all respects.

Zach Ireland: 

If you want to talk about this, so you are from Hawaii but you are not Hawaiian. I get this. I think this is clear.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

I’m glad you get it because it seems to be a very confusing point for a lot of people abroad.

Zach Ireland: 

To me, if I’m understanding this right, being Hawaiian is identified as tied into your roots and your family history, and even though your family history of having lived in Hawaii for 5 generations, you’re not ethnically Hawaiian or what we think as Hawaiian as, the native people. How do the Hawaiian people treat you as being a person from Hawaii but not being Hawaiian?

Jaclynn Joyce: 

That’s a very interesting question. I find that the nicest people you’ll ever meet are native Hawaiians. I’m ethnically Arab and Mediterranean. My family originally came from the Azores and Madeira to Hawaii, that side of the family. So, I’m kind of like a, you could be, we don’t know what you are. That tends to be the interaction I get usually so people tend to treat me pretty well. When people find out I’m Portuguese, oh, I’m in. I’ve gotten out of speeding tickets because the police officer is like “Oh, your family name? Oh, you’re Portuguese?”, “Yup”, “Oh, okay, bye.”

Zach Ireland:

Why is that?

Jaclynn Joyce:

Because that means you’re local. That’s the word we would use, not Hawaiian, local. You’re local, “Oh, you’re Portuguese, okay you’re local,” so you’re one of us. Whereas if I were blond or blue eyed or even just somebody from another country, you would not be treated with the same sort of friendship or…

Zach Ireland:

Okay, I understand. Is there a large Portuguese population in Hawaii?

Jaclynn Joyce:

Huge. Yeah.

Zach Ireland:

Why is that? How did that happen? Far away from each other, Portugal and Hawaii.

They are but really their climates are quite similar like visually, they actually, not Portugal, the Azores and Madeira. The Azores, the island, and Madeira, they’re in the Atlantic. Yeah, that’s where my family came from, not mainland Portugal. All of the Portuguese immigrants in Hawaii actually came from the Azores and Madeira because there was a famine happening and they could sign up as basically endangered. Endangered, that’s not the word. Indentured. There we go. I’m a teacher! Indentured laborers with contracts that lasted 7 years or 10 years and they could bring their family on a boat trip that lasted many months. I had an ancestor give birth two days before landing. So, I guess she got on the boat slightly pregnant, gave birth 2 or 3 days before they landed on Maui and yeah.

Zach Ireland:

I can imagine the whole trip. “Oh, I think I have morning sickness.”, “No, it’s sea sickness.” Its morning sickness and then the child comes out and, “See, I told you.”

Jaclynn Joyce:

They had seven kids, its overkill. Not on the boat, that would be insane. Overall, in total. So, there was a big famine and they brought over Portuguese laborers because there’s a thing in Hawaii called paniolos. They’re Hawaiian cowboys. Spanish and Portuguese were brought over to be the cowboy version in Hawaii. They were the rodeo, cattle folks and also worked in plantations so the groups in Hawaii that are considered local would be Chinese because they came first in the 1820’s. Japanese and Portuguese came together around the same time in the 1880’s and then you also have Puerto Rican and Filipino ethnic groups so those are the local groups that have integrated with Hawaiian culture, linguistically, through cuisine, if you go to Hawaii, you’ll find malasadas which are Portuguese dish. You’ll find local dishes mixed in Japanese and Chinese, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, Filipino, all mixed together.

Zach Ireland:

Sounds beautiful.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Yeah and delicious.

Zach Ireland:

Yeah? Very cool.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

And the ethnic mix of all of those people are beautiful as well.

Zach Ireland:

And you brought up language as well so then, I’m assuming you speak some Hawaiian?

Jaclynn Joyce:

A little bit. It’s been a long time since I lived there but yeah, if you grow up in Hawaiian and you ask for directions, people will say like mauka or makai, if they’re telling you what side of the street a house is on so that’s ocean side or mountain side so it’s in the vernacular it’s just the way that people speak.

Zach Ireland:

I like that. I find that beautiful as well. I know that this is an expat show.

Jaclynn Joyce:

A lot of people don’t realize that Hawaii is a part of US.

Zach Ireland:

What? People don’t realize that Hawaii is a part of the United States?

Jaclynn Joyce:

Are you joking? I have this conversation all the time and when I travel, all the time.

Zach Ireland:

Really? 

Jaclynn Joyce:

I’ve had Americans in parts of the US ask me if I needed my passport to travel from Hawaii to whatever state I’m in.

Zach Ireland:

I mean, I believe you, you’re my friend and I trust you but that shocks me but then, because if you told me that Americans didn’t know that Hawaii was colonized or that Hawaii was a former kingdom, okay, I’d buy that.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

That would make sense, yeah, but not knowing that it’s a state. No, legit. When I went to school in Colorado in the early 2000’s, people would ask me constantly.

Zach Ireland:
Are they confusing you with Guam? 

Jaclynn Joyce:

No.

Zach Ireland:
Or are you an American Samoan?

Jaclynn Joyce:

No, no, there was a Hawaiian club because there’s so many kids from Hawaii went to that particular school because we got a scholarship, a western undergraduate exchange scholarship and they would ask, “Did you need your passport to come here? Do you guys speak English there?” And I’m like, “Think about the question that you asked me in English?” Like Bro. Bro. Come on. No, no. yeah, all the time. And when I travel, you meet people who is not a linguistic problem but they either have never heard of Hawaii which I find baffling but maybe I live in a bubble, I just thought everyone knew just where Hawaii was.

Zach Ireland:

No absolutely. It’s the number one tourist destination in my head.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

I have met so many people around the world who are like I have no idea what you are talking about and I have to bring up a map on my phone and they’re like, “I don’t know,” and they still don’t know what it is.

Zach Ireland:

That’s insane to me.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Maybe I’m spoiled to assume that everyone should know where it is but it’s kind of odd.

Zach Ireland:

Lilo and Stitch, ma’am.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Right, I mean, it’s in the culture and Moana now. 

Zach Ireland:

Elvis Presley.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Who? [laughs] Who’s that? Yeah, but he’s the guy that made pineapples popularized with the Hawaiian image and I hate pineapples and let me tell you a little food history here, they’re from South America, they are not Hawaiian.

Zach Ireland:

And Hawaiian pizza is?

Jaclynn Joyce:

Canadian.

Zach Ireland: 

Again, the Canadians. 

Jaclynn Joyce:

Yep, they’re ruining my life, gosh.

Zach Ireland: 

Yeah, I mean, they give you money or whatever, yeah.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Yeah, the money’s good but the pizza’s bad.

Zach Ireland:

I personally really like Hawaiian pizza, actually, but that’s neither here nor there.

Jaclynn Joyce:

No one’s perfect. You know what I mean, we all have flaws.

Zach Ireland:

Well, this episode isn’t about me. It’s about you.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Or pineapple pizza.

Zach Ireland: 

Or pineapple pizza, exactly. Alright, so now it’s time for the question that every single expat hate.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

I’m not pregnant. Gosh. I just had a big lunch.

Zach Ireland:

Its Chipotle. 

Jaclynn Joyce:

So rude. I wish there was a chipotle here.

Zach Ireland:

No, I wish there was a Taco Bell here.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Oh, my! I would kill. I would literally murder people for a taco bell here.

Zach Ireland:

Every single expat in Asia knows where the Taco Bell is.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

It does not exist.

Zach Ireland:

Korea.

Jaclynn Joyce:

I’m not going to fly to Korea for Taco Bell.

Zach Ireland:

I’ve flown to Korea for Taco Bell.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

I believe you.

Zach Ireland:

I went for a gig. I went for a visa run but now there’s one in shanghai as well. There was one in Singapore and it closed down in 2008.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

The first thing I do when I land in Hawaii when I go back to visit once a year is I go straight to taco bell.

Zach Ireland: 

Oh, I love it. Fire sauce.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Yeah, me too. And the funny little commentary on the fire sauce.

Zach Ireland:

What’s your favorite taco bell order?

Jaclynn Joyce:

I’m a vegetarian but they have a lot of veggie burrito. Oh, the cheesy bean and rice burrito, covered in fire sauce. I get like three. I could be downplaying that for your audience. I get like 20, they’re like a dollar.

Zach Ireland:

Oh my god, that’s nothing. It’s absolutely nothing. Mine is beefy 5-layer burrito, cheesy fiesta potatoes.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Oh, the cheesy fiesta potatoes, I could eat those.

Zach Ireland:

Oh, so good.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

And what else?

Zach Ireland:

An extra-large cherry Pepsi.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Cherry Pepsi?

Zach Ireland:

Oh yeah.

Jaclynn Joyce:

They don’t have Dr. Pepper anymore?

Zach Ireland:

I mean they do but Dr. Pepper from the fountain always taste different. Alright, so the actual question that every single expat hate.

Jaclynn Joyce: 

Oh, right, I forgot there was a real question there.

Zach Ireland:

The question that used to take us a half an hour to answer and now takes us about 30 seconds. You go to a bar, people ask you how did you get from where you were to here? What brought you abroad? Why are you here in Taipei?

Jaclynn Joyce:

Okay, yeah. My journey was a bit convoluted but it’s clear now. I was modelling, I was living in Los Angeles and if anybody has ever tried working in LA in entertainment, it is a madhouse. There are 10,000 of you in existence and even though I worked regularly and I was on TV shows and I got a lot of magazine and catalog work, living in LA was just too expensive. Outrageously expensive and I just couldn’t make ends meet realistically and I had wanted to go to grad school and education in the US is just unattainable if you don’t want to live in debt and I do not. So, I had the opportunity to go to Taipei to work and I thought that’d be great, I’ll go there, I’ll work for a year, I’ll save up money and then I can start applying for grad schools. What happened was I ended up staying for three years because I was saving so much money and I was able to travel and then, I applied and got into graduate school and that’s 5 years. 5 years in Taipei. I have been here another five.

Zach Ireland:

It’s a long time.

Jaclynn Joyce:

It’s a long time. It sucks you in.

Zach Ireland:

What did you study in grad school?

Jaclynn Joyce:

In graduate school, I studied international relations with an emphasis on feminist theory. Very useful on the real word.

Zach Ireland:

What’s the theory on feminism, good, bad?

Jaclynn Joyce:

It fucking rocks.

Zach Ireland:

I’m down with it.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Yeah, we should.

Zach Ireland:

Equality, man.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Actually, it’s about the paychecking because equality implies the goal is to be like men. I think we can do better.

Zach Ireland:

[laughs] I love that!

Jaclynn Joyce:

[laughs] I think men can be better. I think if you just [00:40:34] men will be better. I think it holds men back and I think it completely fucks women but I think it holds men as well but that’s a radical feminist analysis but yeah it’s [00:40:48] all over but yeah, get rid of it. That’s more of a goal. Having equal pay would be nice. I mean, I feel like have that here in Taipei so it’s just something that I’ve always been passionate about and I focused on middle eastern feminism in my thesis and hopefully, PhD coming soon or starting. I say that now like, “yay!” And then I’m like paying in my first semester and “I’m crying, I have no money, I haven’t slept in a year, I have no money, PhDs are great!”

Zach Ireland:

I love what you said.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Sure, I mean, all of us as humans.

Zach Ireland:

That’s fantastic.

Jaclynn Joyce:

But anyway, yeah, so, those five years and then after I got my degree, I took a year off to just travel and then, got back into working, teaching, university and high school and just saving money for the next adventure.

Zach Ireland:

Cool. Alright, here we are toward the end of the episode. Now, what did we learn? So today, I learned that there is a difference between being Hawaiian and being from Hawaii. I also learned that there was a massive Portuguese population in Hawaii and I learned, what’s the island range again?

Jaclynn Joyce:

The Azores.

Zach Ireland:

The Azores. I learned that the Azores are a thing.

Jaclynn Joyce:

They’re a thing.

Zach Ireland:

I had no idea.

Jaclynn Joyce:

They’re legit a thing.

Zach Ireland:

I guess I learned a lot about my own country in this episode which is great. I’m down for it.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Your country is Nebraska?

Zach Ireland:

Yeah, my country of Nebraska. I also, once again learned that if you want to learn more about your friends, start a podcast. Alright, Jackie, do you have any last-minute advice or any words you want to leave the audience with?
Jaclynn Joyce:

just that my first podcast experience was amazing and thank you very much for having me on and thinking that I was even slightly interesting so that’s lovely and to all the ladies out there who want to travel but whatever is holding you back, whatever fears holding you back, you got sisters out there in the travelling community who are travelling solo and travelling together as women. Don’t let any kind of fear or social stigma hold you back from getting out there and seeing the world and having adventures. It’s definitely worth it.

Zach Ireland:

Alright ,thanks again for coming to the show, Jackie.

Jaclynn Joyce:

Oh, mahalo. Thank you.

Zach Ireland:

Thank you.

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