Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Dining In The Compound

Dennis McNelis has submitted information for this blog before and today he adds more info on the FASD Mess Hall and also the hot dog vendor who used to be in front of the Navy Exchange. Check out the pouring rain in the photo! Look familiar?

With regard to George Dean's posting "Dining In The Compound" Jan 12 2008 on the TDC Blog:

I remember the Foreign Affairs Service Division (FASD) Mess Hall in the East Compound very well. It was open during 1973 and as late as Nov 1974 when I was stationed at TDC. I ate there many times and drank a lot of ice tea as well. As George mentioned in his post the food wasn't bad and the convenience was great - walk out the back gate of TDC by the baseball field and you where there.

I knew two of the waitresses that worked there during 1973 and 1974. One was Casey and the other Cindy (Kim Kaw Yur). I dated Cindy throughout 1974. Casey married an Army guy who was stationed at HAS and the last time I saw her in 1978 they had one baby (I returned to Taipei as a civilian in 1978 working as a merchant mariner). I lost Cindy to an Air Force Guy from TAS whom she married in 1975 - my fault not hers (anyone have any info on Casey or Cindy please feel free to contact me at

If I recall correctly the food at the FASD Mess Hall was served on the military style silver trays. I do not remember much else about the food. I guess I was going just to flirt with the waitresses.

Here is a pic of the Hot Dog vendor and his cart in front of the Exchange in the East Compound. The hot dog cart was good for a quick lunch if you were shopping during your lunch hour. I remember that this Chinese gentleman also served chili dogs. The cart was operated by the Navy Exchange and the Chinese man was an employee. I remember him as being very nice and friendly.


George said...


Well, I was stationed in the HSA Admin Office in the West Compound and lived in the Barracks next to the FASD Mess Hall Jan 65 - Jan 67 (before the barracks were later converted to offices). So I don't think those ladies were waitressing back then, but I did return as a civilian and had a couple of meals in both 1970 and 1972 and 1976. The mixed fried rice was great. All I can say is you missed your chance to hook up with some nice working class Taiwan ladies. You could have been married and divorced with many kids by now. Who knows what could happen over a 30+ year time period! I know.


John Hurst said...

Don (& George),

I never ate at the FASD, but I sure ate many hot dogs in front of the Navy Exchange! If I remember, that guy was usually setup on the covered walkway in front on the exchange. He had all the condiments, and good chili too.

I had a 2 year old at the time, and she loved hotdogs, without the bun. Once in a rush to get to his cart, I was walking her down that covered sidewalk, only to have her trip on a uneven surface. As I was holding her hand, I wound up pulling her up so she didn't fall. We thought everything was okay, but later that day, she was crying and it seemed her shoulder was tender. We took her to the Navy Hospital, and they diagnosed her with a shoulder sprain. I got a real hard grilling from the doctor, but I told him exactly what happened and told him to ask the 'hotdog' man if he didn't believe me. Outside of ear infections and pink eye, our daughter never had to see the doctor, so I guess they finally decided it was an accident and not abuse.

Dennis said...

George: You are correct I did miss the chance to hook up with a nice working class Taiwan lady. Like you say who knows what would have happened over the 30+ year time period. Sounds like you did have some experinece with it. I Can't complain though, I did eventually marry an Asian Lady in 1988 and have been pretty happy since with 1 kid.

George, the Barracks you stayed in is where a friend of mine, Donald Machowski, stayed. If I remember correctly the Barracks where very comfortable. Two men rooms with a shower and toilet shared by two rooms. I know that they where clean and it appeared that they had recently been refurburished in 1973.

Don, George and John: Could we not also purchase beer at the hot dog stand in addtion to the dogs and soda? I seem to recall drinking a cold one there once in a while.


Don said...

John, I almost cringed when you described the incident at the hospital. Back in the States when my youngest son was just at that "take off and run in any direction" phase, he managed to run straight into a doorknob, resulting in a major black eye with lots of swelling. We took him to the base hospital just to be sure everything was okay, and it was quite some time before they believed (sort of) that I didn't clock the kid!

Dennis, I don't remember buying beer from the hot dog guy, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. Anybody else know?

George said...


Your friend Donald must have stayed at the FASD Hostel, because the barracks where I stayed was right next door to the FASD Mess Hall near the Ball Park. I think the Hostel had two men shared rooms, but the barracks where I stayed were one open cubicle (without door) per man. As an E4 I did get a locked room at the far end, but I really should have moved to Grass Mountain Hostel, but stayed in those barracks as my office was so close by. Yes, I did have a 25 year marriage to a lady from Taiwan who worked as a civilian in our office back in 1965, but it got pretty messy and I moved out. But Chinese woman are still the best (I hope that is politically correct).

Don said...

George, just a quick comment about the hostel that was located near the main gate of the East compound:

There were two buildings there, one behind the other. While there were two-man rooms, there were also some single rooms with private bath, which is what I had in the second building.

All things considered, it was cheaper and more convenient for me to live there as a tech sergeant E-6 in 1973-1974. Power and water were included in the rent and during the summer months I kept the room pretty chilly -- somewhere in the meat locker range.