Saturday, June 26, 2010

Taiwan - No social, cultural or intellectual stimulation

In Taiwan, I am basically bored to death, suffocated and depressed. The culture and environment there makes me feel repressed, as if it wants to suppress who I am. Basically, I don't get any social, cultural or intellectual stimulation there. Let me explain simply.

No social stimulation

I don't get any social stimulation in Taiwan because people there do not talk to strangers, and are cold, repressed, inhibited, stuck up and closed. Their body movements are stiff, and they ignore strangers unless it's for business. It's like they are almost inhuman.

This is especially true with young people, who in family gatherings (like my own) sit there like statues with no expression, not talking or having any opinion on anything, while their parents chat away with each other about trivial things.

Whenever I go out, I don't meet anyone, even in a crowded city. People are standoffish, closed, introverted, shy, and prefer to ignore you completely if they don't know you. Taiwan is like a Twilight Zone in that I often feel like I'm the only normal human there, while everyone else has been artificially altered to become zombies, like in a bad sci fi movie.

Basically, if they don't know you, you don't exist to them.

Worst of all, when you see a beautiful girl, you can't say hi to her or "excuse me" or anything that will get her to stop and talk to you (like you can in most of the rest of the world). She will usually ignore you and walk through you like you don't exist. Terrible.

It's one of the worst places to be if you're an extrovert, like me. How can I not suffocate in Taiwan? I'm outgoing and like fun, excitement and meeting people. But Taiwan is one of the worst cultures for that. Everyone only works and talks to people in their cliques. Nothing else. There is no social energy at all. None. I am VERY sensitive to vibes and energy, so I know what I'm talking about. Plus I am known to possess deep insight about people.

Sometimes in Taiwan, I go so crazy of boredom and lack of social stimulation that I want to yell out into a crowd, "Taiwan is so antisocial!" just to get attention and feel like I exist. That's how terrible it gets. Taiwan simply brings out the worst in me. It tries to put me into a mechanical box that is lifeless, for it falsely assumes that I am shy, introverted, antisocial, and workaholic, like its own people are, since I am ethnically Taiwanese (though not in mind and soul).

If anyone claims that I am wrong, let them prove it and demonstrate that what I say above does not apply to the vast majority of Taiwanese (one or two exceptions does NOT count, if 99 percent of the population fit what I describe above!). If they can, I'll give them $500. Otherwise, they are all talk and BS. The fact that no one can prove me wrong, even for $500, says a lot about the truth of these observations.

No cultural stimulation

As for culture, I do not find much culture in Taiwan, other than the variety of Chinese food there.

Basically, the culture is one of a staunch workaholic attitude. Most people's only interest is in food and making money. There is no love of knowledge, wisdom, spirituality, adventure, or intellectualism.

The buildings have no culture in them at all. They are basically concrete slabs stacked together with commercial signs in Chinese at the bottom. There is no beauty in them at all. Every street pretty much looks the same. I would not call that culture.

Sure there are a few temples and shrines here and there, but that's it. There is nothing in Taiwan that you can't find anywhere else, either natural or artificial.

The only thing that Taiwan has a big variety of is food. There are so many variations of food in Taiwan that even locals have not tried everything there is to try there. New variations of cuisine and snacks pop up all the time. But this is because Taiwanese view food as their primary interest in life, besides making money that is.

And of course, if you want to count Chinese language as "culture" be my guest. But my standards are far higher than yours.

No intellectual stimulation

You will not get much intellectual stimulation in Taiwan, not from their TV programs and not from most people, who are not well read or learned in a variety of topics.

Most Taiwanese people are simple and understand only simple practical things. They do not think about abstract topics or converse about intellingent deep meaningful things. As I mentioned, there is no love of knowledge, wisdom, spirituality, adventure, or intellectualism.

If you could listen in on their conversations in Chinese or Taiwanese, and understand them, you'd see that they are basically talking about boring trivial shit. The conversations are about practical things and shallow in nature. Not deep, sophisticated, or intelligent.

Occasionally, the elderly and middle aged in Taiwan may give you intelligent meaningful conversation. But not the young crowd. No way. They are as unopinionated and expressionless as you can get. I don't mean to be mean, but that's what I always see in them.

As for me, the only intellectual stimulation I get in Taiwan is from my work and interactions on the internet, or from foreign expats there. But from the locals (especially young locals) forget it.

Now I would like to add "no sexual stimulation" to this list, but I shouldn't because it would make me look like a horny bastard or pervert. So I'll leave that out of this for now.

Conclusion:

Other than a variety of good Chinese food, hot looking Chinese barbie dolls that are "look (briefly) but don't touch", and jobs for English teachers, Taiwan really has nothing to offer, and nothing you can't get anywhere else.

What's odd about all this is that no one else on the internet admits to it. They all claim Taiwan is wonderful, friendly and interesting. Some say the girls are loose and easy too! On the big Forumosa Forum, comprised of expats in Taiwan, some do admit to Taiwanese girls being antisocial to strangers, but only occasionally. The rest deny it or are afraid to talk about it and get defensive if you do. Very bizarre. How can something as obvious as the blue sky or 2+2=4 be denied?

Now, I did go to an expat party in Taiwan once, full of English teachers. Most of them described Taiwan as "weird and stuck up" and wished they were somewhere else. So I have heard negative comments about Taiwan in real life from foreigners. Yet for some reason you won't find them online much. I'm surprised about that and can't fully explain it.

Put yourself in my shoes though. If you saw that the sky was blue, yet no one wanted to admit it or they denied it, what would you do? Speak the truth, or lie to avoid looking like a freak to others?

See also: Observations about Taiwan that are taboo



8 comments:

  1. I feel your pain too dude! What you say is largely true...they are socially conservative, painfully shy and just not aware of the wider world out there. There are other ways and means around the problem. You must tune into the nuances of the culture, but at the end of the day they will never be as wonderfully open and easy going as the Filipinas.

    You must approach things indirectly. Pretend it's about something else, language difficulty, asking for directions, help with things...open and direct simply does not work here. It will change slowly over the next 50 years....but in the mean time try some wonderful Filippina girls - there are hundreds and thousands of them here.

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, I am a Taiwanese, who grew up in Indonesia, and did my graduate degree in the US. Recently, I talked to an American, who had taught English both in Taiwan and Hong Kong for a few years. I get the impression that he hadn't been paying attention to the country he lived in for several years at all. He doesn't even get it why young Taiwanese people don't like to refer to themselves as Chinese anymore. If you are at least ethnically Taiwanese, instead of complanining how the makeup of a country doesn't suit your liking, why don't you take the time to understand the countrty on a deeper level? Sorry if I sounded a little pissed off, because I am, as I got here through links from a site that says your article is one that tells it like it is, and that's Taiwan is actually just full of super repressed people. I would think the polite thing to do when you arrive at a country, is take some time to understand more about its people, its culture, etc, before complaining that everyone around you is not as open-minded, or intellectually stimulated as you are.

    ReplyDelete
  3. you're an idiot. not a surprise for someone who chose to advertise the opposite with his url.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Master, the first thing you should stop doing is copy and paste the Google Chinese translation,你未經查證就貼這種鳥翻譯上來,間接證明你是怎麼樣的一種人,什麼事情都不經過仔細的定鑑就自己認定是正確的;就像你以為台灣是怎麼樣的一樣. Sorry, not trying to be mean, but I have horrible English.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What you say about Taiwan is so true. The guy who says you're an idiot is an idiot!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Since this is your blog, I respect your subjective opinions. Not sure if you are from the US, but for many Asians, Americans sometimes are just way too talktive to the extent that people wanna tell them to shut up. Can't they just be quiet and sit still for a moment? If you are an American, don't know if you notice a lot of time Americans also talke about "shit" as you call it, not intellectual at all. Your comments make yourself sound cynical and altra high brow. If your are that sophisticated, why do you say Taiwanese food is just a variety of Chinese food? You can't even observe the differences?? People who subjectively criticize and talk too much usually are not that intellectual. Well, since this is your personal blog, maybe you should be exempted from other scrutiny,except for yours.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If Taiwan is such a fun wonderland, as Janet Hsieh of the Travel Channel makes it out to be with her fake acting, then how come people everywhere there look miserable, repressed, scared, etc.? Look up the high suicide rates in Taiwan.

    Taiwanese people have a guilt complex passed from generation to generation that encourages them to feel miserable and in a state of suffering. It is disturbing I know, but that is ingrained in the Taiwanese psyche.

    Taiwan doesn't have much culture. Taiwan is all about WORK, WORK, WORK and EAT, EAT, EAT. A Swiss author wrote an infamous article about Taiwan that said the same thing, that the only thing that counts in Taiwan is food and making money.

    Therefore I laugh when some of you say that I should look "deeper" at Taiwan. What is there to look deeper at? Taiwan is a society of pure conformity with no freethought, where people are raised to live in fear, weakness and constant worry over little things. (Why do you think Taiwanese girls spook so easily, whereas girls in other countries do not??? Think about it.) I am Taiwanese and I know how people are raised in Taiwanese families, and that is the truth behind the fake polite facade that Taiwanese show to white foreigners. I have 53 cousins for instance, both in Taiwan and the US, and none of them have any freethought. All they know is whatever society tells them, which is to obey and follow and live to work. Essentially TW people are raised and conditioned to be robots who live in fear of becoming bums if they don't continue being workaholic robots on the treadmill. That is the sad reality of their condition. In short, they are total slaves in misery, and we deny it all cause the system has programmed us not to see the reality of such things. That's how sick society is.

    More later.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Continuing...

    Now as to those of you who claim that I am "the problem", that is a typical victim blaming copout. How can I be the problem? If I'm the problem, then how come I don't have the same problem in most foreign countries? Answer that one!

    The truth is, outside the USA in most foreign countries, women are pretty open, relaxed, down to earth and fairly easy to start a conversation with. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan are exceptions, unfortunately. But that's not my fault, so why attack the messenger?

    I didn't make Taiwan that way. It's not my fault that Taiwanese women have a closed shell and exterior around them that makes starting conversations with them or approaching them VERY AWKWARD. Chatting them up simply DOES NOT flow or feel natural or smooth. And you know it! Don't deny it. Anyone can see that.

    As to those of you who say that Taiwan has a reputation for being "friendly and hospitable", let's clarify things here. The friendliness you are talking about are from OLDER FOLKS and people who run businesses, NOT FROM YOUNG WOMEN. There is a world of difference between the older generation, who will casually talk with anyone, and the younger generation which are stuck up, uptight, stoic and sit silently at family reunions with no expression on their face.

    Anyone who's been to a Taiwanese family reunion knows what I'm talking about. The older folks are yacking away in chatter, while the younger folks sit there with no expression. Even my parents acknowledge that. It's too obvious. There is a WORLD of difference between old people and young in Taiwan. And this is ironic because the older generation is supposed to be more old fashioned while the younger generation is supposed to be more progressive and forward thinking, which means being stuck up and antisocial oddly enough.

    So let's get that clear. The friendliness that TW is known for is from the older generation folks and their hospitality, not from young women being open and easy to chat up like in most foreign countries. I've been to 12 countries and I can tell you that most countries are not as closed as Taiwan with no eye contact. Even the Taiwanese themselves admit that they are not as open as the Western cultures are, and that people in TW do not usually talk to strangers unless properly introduced by a third party. That's simply part of the culture. But for some reason the politically correct Western media doesn't want to bring attention to this basic fact.

    Face reality folks. What I've said may be taboo and politically incorrect, but it's the TRUTH. And isn't that the most important thing?

    Furthermore, Taiwanese are on a different wavelength than the rest of the world. To talk to them, you have to tune yourself to a different frequency, and theirs is like a narrow simpler channel. I am not talking about language here, but about mindset and frequency. Theirs is different. Their eyes and souls are different too. Frankly I do not feel comfortable tuning into their wavelength. When I speak Chinese or Taiwanese for instance, it makes me feel like a different person, which is awkward. It puts me into a much tighter and narrower band and wavelength.

    TW people and I constantly have friction. They constantly try to CONTRACT my mind while I constantly try to EXPAND theirs. It's awkward.

    I am a New Age type attuned to a different state of consciousness, and very sensitive to energy, so stuff like this affects me more than it would the typical left brained conformist person.

    Please factor all this in.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete

Please do not leave spam or advertising junk on this blog!