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Is it Possible to Live in Taipei with Shrimp Allergies?

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Re: Is it Possible to Live in Taipei with Shrimp Allergies?

Postby Enigma » 26 Jun 2012, 02:08

Be wary; No required posting here. Nut products are the bigger problem but I think you will know if you order or are served tenticle stuff.
On a more personl note, I have a a severe death threating allergy to some chemical that is regulary served with fried oysters here. I just avoid the dust sauce. However, showd up at a pub and ordered pizza. I immediatle recognized an oncoming cardiac problem. Went home by taxi but should have gone to the hospital
They just dont tell you here so be wary.
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Re: Is it Possible to Live in Taipei with Shrimp Allergies?

Postby baberenglish » 26 Jun 2012, 08:36

All the posters here forgot to mention the sauce/spices. Sure you won't have any fish/seafood in your fried rice but what about the gazillion types of fish sauce they use to sautee/marinate stuff in here? This isn't a western country where they will use a separate set of cooking utensils/grill just for allergies. Don't trust the cook here, they will not give you any seafood but the sauce/spices are in everything. The only way to survive a serious allergy here is to cook at home ALL THE TIME. You will have to carry your EPI pen with you virtually 24/7.
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Re: Is it Possible to Live in Taipei with Shrimp Allergies?

Postby Taiwan_Student » 26 Jun 2012, 15:45

baberenglish wrote:All the posters here forgot to mention the sauce/spices. Sure you won't have any fish/seafood in your fried rice but what about the gazillion types of fish sauce they use to sautee/marinate stuff in here? This isn't a western country where they will use a separate set of cooking utensils/grill just for allergies. Don't trust the cook here, they will not give you any seafood but the sauce/spices are in everything. The only way to survive a serious allergy here is to cook at home ALL THE TIME. You will have to carry your EPI pen with you virtually 24/7.


It's bad. very very bad but not that bad.....
vegetarian restaurants, McDonald's vegetarian restaurants, and 7-11 hot dogs are usually and I mean usually/not always are safe bets. You have to always be vigilant. For instance.. the hot dogs may be fine, but you have to pick them up and put them on your bun with tongs.

Next to the hot dogs is some kind of Japanese food that is very popular. It is a collection of every thing from tofu to corn all sitting and soaking all day is some kind of fish broth. Impatient customers will just grab the hot dog tongs and pick out their choices and put the tongs back not waiting for the person before them to finish and replace the proper tongs. .

When I'm traveling and am staying more than twenty minutes from some kind of clinic I only eat stuff I take from home. By the way.. there is something in Taiwan white bread that makes me sick ... I actually make a simple white bread with a bread machine and use that bread for traveling with peanut butter and jelly.

baberenglish, where can I get the Epi Pen. I've been having more serious episodes that took multiple visits to the hospital to get cleaned up. I'm not taking any chances since that last time... (posted in open forum) but you never know. I think I should get one of those things.

The doctors told me that you can't get them in Taiwan, yet I've seem some promotional material saying that they are available. My doc was willing to give me the raw drugs and syringe... No way...
BTW... did you ever use the epi pen? I never have. It just expired quietly ... thank goodness. And there are a ton of doctors where I live. But I ask myself.. what am I doing here...
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Re: Is it Possible to Live in Taipei with Shrimp Allergies?

Postby baberenglish » 26 Jun 2012, 15:53

I don't have to use one but the person I knew with one bought a box of them from the states. They always get them from whoever is going home for a trip. He has had the same GP forever so he explained his situation and got an 'open' perscription which means he can fill it whenever he wants.
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Re: Is it Possible to Live in Taipei with Shrimp Allergies?

Postby Isha » 26 Jun 2012, 16:26

You are going to have tough time here. First of all, most of the cooks have no idea about the ingredients they add; second, I find people are not interested in sharing what they add and out of politeness, they agree with whatever you want to hear.

A good option, turn vegetarian.
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Re: Is it Possible to Live in Taipei with Shrimp Allergies?

Postby Taiwan_Student » 29 Jun 2012, 09:39

Apparently our original poster disappeared. He sent me a PM for obvious reasons. Though I did not have the most dangerous experience with food allergies, I sure had the most occurrences due to my weakness of trusting what people say.

Would I have come here if I had been told that I would have had so much trouble. I probably would not have believed what you guys would have been saying to me. I'd think that I could just be more careful.

Diomedes, I know you are checking these forums. Please come back to us. I for one really care about what you what decisions you made.

I'm tied here by family. And now that I've been out of the country so long, I would need some massive job retraining to get back into the swing of things in the States. Taiwan is doable. There are people here who must follow very strict dietary rules just for the sake of their religion. They are living here just fine. I do feel angry that I can't particiapte in the culture here fully Taiwan is very much a food culture...
Let us know what you are thinking.
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Re: Is it Possible to Live in Taipei with Shrimp Allergies?

Postby Belgian Pie » 29 Jun 2012, 10:42

Taiwan is doable. There are people here who must follow very strict dietary rules just for the sake of their religion.


Right, but it doesn't end you up in an ER ... if some one 'misunderstood' what you wanted ...
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Re: Is it Possible to Live in Taipei with Shrimp Allergies?

Postby Taiwan_Student » 29 Jun 2012, 15:25

Belgian Pie wrote:
Taiwan is doable. There are people here who must follow very strict dietary rules just for the sake of their religion.


Right, but it doesn't end you up in an ER ... if some one 'misunderstood' what you wanted ...


Correct. But I was referring to Orthodox or really devout Conservative Jews who live here. They solve the problem by not eating out at all or taking bag lunches every where.

If they can do it and survive and even enjoy themselves then it is doable.
But right... having this affliction is really hard. People do misunderstand and errors come in the stupidest way... Even if you think what you are getting is vegetarian or at least fish free, you will eventually get burned.

I used to love Subway! Turkey sandwich, Mayo, Oil and Vinigar. I would eat Subway each chance I'd get when I'd come into the city. Till.. one day...

The #$#^@^$# put gave me Cessar Sauce instead of Mayo. I had a feeling something was wrong. She insisted it was Mayo. Stupid me trusted and ... an other hospital visit. Now, I assoiciate that Subway smell, you know ... the mix of airconditioning and meat as you walk by with Death and Sickness. I can't even walk into a subway

Then... by the way.. it becomes your fault too. Come if you must. If your siginifacnt other's family understands and will cook for you or if you know how to cook. Otherwise.. don't..
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Re: Is it Possible to Live in Taipei with Shrimp Allergies?

Postby Diomedes » 25 Jul 2012, 08:56

I haven't disappeared or died (yet). My flight touches down in TPE on 8/1.

My ability to live in Taipei hinges on my lady's acceptance of my allergy as a reality. I don't think she really understands the severity yet, despite the fact that my allergy has already forced us to leave a plane while on the tarmac in Beijing and it's cut short a whole slew of evenings because we were out and I ordered tofu not knowing it was fried, or I ordered a tuna fish sandwich at a high-end bar ("Wow these seasonings are really something! Wait a minute...).

Due to the hurried aspect of my trip, I was unable to get a prescription for epi pens, and I've heard that I would need all kinds of doctor's notes translated into Mandarin in order to import them to Taiwan anyway, is that true? I would be willing to go in on a group-buy for them if someone is going abroad any time soon. Are they available in a pharmacy anywhere?

It looks like I'm going to have to only cook food I've prepared, which will be an interesting change of pace considering my girl and I have an excessive nightlife habit and a huge thirst for travel.

My next question - is Benadryl available over-the-counter there? I was surprised to see that 7-11 doesn't stock it. Here in the states I can walk into any deli and get Benadryl (or Claratin, or any other generic allergy medicine) very easily. Where can I go to buy these products in Taipei?

Also, I know I can't eat potato chips, anything fried, or anything soaked in the same water as shrimp (if you look at 7-11, the pans they use in their buffets are lined in holes and the water is shared between all the foods). Are there any other common foods which are seasoned with shrimp flakes? What seasonings specifically should I look out for?
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Re: Is it Possible to Live in Taipei with Shrimp Allergies?

Postby Diomedes » 25 Jul 2012, 08:59

And a follow-up, why would "Cessar Sauce" land you in the hospital? I've googled it and I think it was a mis-spelling of "Caesar Sauce" which is like the dressing for a Caesar Salad, am I wrong? Does "Cessar Sauce" have shrimp in it?
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