Monday, December 3, 2012

The Dark Side of Taiwan: A Taiwanese American Freethinker Tells the Truth



WARNING: This is the most TABOO article about Taiwan ever written. Guaranteed. It totally violates the social rule that everything said or written about Taiwan has to be positive, lighthearted and politically correct. It breaks this taboo completely in the name of truth, exposing dark and negative truths about Taiwan that no one would dare to say. In that sense, it stands out from the rest, and will probably be ostracized for that reason. But the truth is the truth, so this will be posted online anyway for all seeking the truth about Taiwan to find. Be warned though, this is NOT for the mainstream politically correct crowd, which is likely to find this article very offensive, no matter how true it is. So if that bothers you, then this article is not for you.

First, while you might think that a foreigner in Taiwan experiences a culture shock, there is an even bigger one experienced by Asian Americans (like myself) in Taiwan which is not publicly talked about and runs deep into one's very own identity.

You see, as an Asian American, I have basically no place in Taiwan. I don't fit into the local category or foreigner category. I'm definitely not a normal local because I'm Westernized and think/act like a Westerner, which is not how a Taiwanese is expected to be. In America, I am used to being treated like a Westerner, so it is awkward to be treated like a local Taiwanese in Taiwan by everyone constantly. It's like everyone has this FALSE assumption about you everywhere you go, so that you always feel PRESSURE to be something you're not. Really weird.

A Taiwanese is expected to be a lot of things I am not - repressed, humble, shy, meek, conformist, narrow, small-minded, insular, obedient, group-oriented, passive, indirect and non-assertive. In contrast, I am direct, assertive, outspoken, blunt, intense, passionate, romantic, flirtatious, relaxed, open-minded, broad-minded, intellectual, philosophical, freethinking, curious, adventurous, melodramatic, self-centered and individualistic. On the other hand, I don't fit into the foreigner category either, because I'm not white. So I don't get the foreigner hospitality treatment in Taiwan, or the attention from girls either. Thus, I really have no natural place in Taiwan and am constantly treated and viewed with false assumptions.

So you see, being in Taiwan is a very awkward experience which messes with your identity. And it explains why Asian Americans do not usually like to live in Taiwan like other foreigners do. After all, who would like his/her identity messed with everyday? It gets annoying after a while when everyone carries a false assumption about you, expecting you to act, talk and think like a local Taiwanese. Eventually, it makes you feel invalidated. And that's not a good or positive thing at all.

So in that sense, an Asian American (or Taiwanese American) experiences an "identity shock" in Taiwan, not just a culture shock.

And if that wasn't bad enough, it gets worse. That was just the tip of the iceberg. It gets much deeper and more taboo, which I will go over in the next section.

WARNING: The following section may sound a little kooky and is totally taboo as well. So if deep or taboo content offends you, you might want to avoid this next part.

Honestly, Taiwan may have good Chinese food, safe streets and polite people (when they aren't driving that is). But it is also a very boring, miserable, repressed place where you can be yourself or tell the truth, and I will explain why, in ways no one else has before or dares to.

This might be personal and subjective, but Taiwan seems to have some kind of negative energy vortex. I don't know why, but I sense a vibe of misery and repression everywhere I go in Taiwan, which is draining and undermines my self-confidence and self-esteem. I do not like it at all. It's feels horrible and draining, like some kind of toxic radiation. It's like there are hungry ghosts sucking your soul or something (in addition to the sterile environment). I feel like something is trying to choke me in Taiwan. Perhaps it's because I don't fit in or share the narrow repressiveness of the Taiwan vibe, so it has this effect on me? I guess if you are narrow and repressed yourself, then you won't notice anything it, but if you aren't, you will?

Now I can't prove any of this scientifically. And I don't know if it's my imagination or if I'm projecting my own misery onto Taiwan. But I definitely feel a vibe of extreme repression and misery everywhere in Taiwan 24/7. I don't know why others don't complain about it. Maybe I'm just more empathic or sensitive to energies than other people? Or maybe it's because my soul energy is incompatible with Taiwan? But the thing is, I may be right, because Taiwan does have a high suicide rate (like Japan), and most Taiwanese people do not look truly happy. They look extremely repressed, stiff and their smiles appear phony. So perhaps people do sense it subconsciously but falsely assume that the misery is coming from within themselves? I wonder, could this miserable vibe be generated by the people or the location? If people can have vibes, then why can't places as well?

Now I know that might sound a little kooky and New Ageish, but consider this: We cannot see air, gravity, radio waves, television waves, and wifi signals either, yet they are real. Who's to say what else is out there that we cannot see? Our vision only allows us to see a narrow spectrum of visible light. There could easily be other energies, or even hungry ghosts or parasitic energy vampires, around us that we can't see. I'm not trying to spout crazy theories, but such things are possibilities that can't be ruled out.

Ask yourself this: How else can you explain why some cultures like Taiwan and Japan are so repressed, uptight and miserable, with high suicide rates, while other countries like Mexico, Latin America, Spain, Greece, Italy, etc. have a 1000 percent different vibe, one that is very lively, festive, natural, open and relaxed? I don't think culture alone explains the difference, or even different genes. Just as each person has a different aura or energy field, so too does each place have its own energy field. That only makes sense right?

What's worse, you aren't allowed to complain about such negative energies or experiences in Taiwan, because the social culture is very strict about its political correctness. There is an unspoken rule in Taiwan that everything you say about Taiwan must be positive, nice and superficial. No negativity is allowed. The only criticisms allowed are those pertaining to politics or the weather, but those are so cliched.

If you break this rule, most if not all social groups will ostracize and avoid you, leaving you lonely and deprived of human companionship. For example, even though it's obvious that Taiwanese are generally closed, repressed and narrow, you are not allowed to SAY that they are. It's like the Emperor's New Clothes syndrome. In that sense, you are not allowed to tell the truth in Taiwan. And if you are feeling miserable or unhappy, no one wants to hear it. What this means is that you can't be yourself and you aren't allowed to tell the truth either - a double whammy which is horrible and even more invalidating!

However, I do not agree with this social rule mandating political correctness in Taiwan. You see, I don't believe that just because something is negative, that it should be denied simply because it is politically incorrect. You must understand that political correctness is about control, NOT truth. And control = loss of freedom to say and think what you want. As a "freedom junkie" I do not believe in such control and censorship, especially when it conflicts with reality. But sadly, most people are the opposite. They prefer political correctness, control and censorship over the truth.

In this regard, Taiwan reminds me a lot of Seattle and Washington state in general. Seattle also has a miserable socially sterile vibe, and is reputed to be one of the most socially isolating, hard to make friends, places in the USA. Google "Seattle Freeze" and you will get tons of hits about it. Yet in Seattle, you are NOT allowed to talk about this. You are only allowed to say nice positive things about it. Any criticism will get you ostracized (even if you have no social life there anyway) and vilified. This is why no matter how many miserable depressed people there are in Seattle, everyone you ask there will only say nice things about it. Unless you are their close friend, few people will tell you how they really feel. Yet there is a high suicide rate in Washington state, similar to Taiwan, so perhaps it too has some kind of bad energy vortex.

However, despite its social sterility, Seattle is at least better than Taiwan in that the air is far more fresh and clear, streets are cleaner, drivers are far more polite, cuisine has more variety (great Mexican food that you can never find in Taiwan) and the infrastructure is more modernized as well. You also don't have insects biting you everytime you go out like you do in Taiwan, and food spoils at a normal rate rather than an accelerated rate like in Taiwan due to its tropic humidity.

Anyhow, this topic about the miserable energy in Taiwan is not only taboo in Taiwan because it's negative, but also because it's deep and deals with the metaphysical/spiritual realm. You see, Taiwanese young people don't like deep conversations for some reason. Not only is it beyond their capability, but it's awkward to them as well. Deep conversation and spirituality is abnormal in Taiwan unless you are in a Buddhist monastery. Taiwanese social groups do not persecute you if you are different, they simply ostracize you and avoid you. Also, if you say anything intellectual or too intelligent, you immediately get awkward vibes which will count against you. Thus Taiwan is one of the worst places for an independent free thinker or alternative type who thinks outside the box.

Taiwan is an extremely conformist society and culture where groups are everything and individuals are nothing. The rule in Taiwan is that simple and narrow is the norm, and social converation must always be polite, positive, innocent, non-controversial and politically correct. Otherwise, you become a social outcast. But if you are not simple, narrow, and small minded, then it will be difficult to vibe with them because you won't be on their wavelength. The problem is, if I am not simple, narrow and small minded, then there is no way I can be on their wavelength. So it's a no win situation for me. This doesn't just apply to Taiwanese social cliques, but to multi-cultural ones as well.

(However, since I don't have a great social life or dating life in Taiwan, I have nothing to lose by writing this article of course. Being miserable in Taiwan, all I have left is the truth, which I deliver honestly and articulately. After all, since I'm treated like dirt in Taiwan and not validated, why should I cover the truth by saying only fake positive things about it? Would you say nice positive things about someone who treated you like dirt? You gotta understand that political correctness is not truth, contrary to what liberals tell you.)

Even worse, in a sense I am a "double misfit" in Taiwan. Let me explain. The average Westerner is more open/broad minded than the average Taiwanese (at least in my experience). Now, since I am part of the alternative counter-culture group in America, and also an independent free thinker, that means that I am much more open/broad minded than the average Westerner, who is already more open/broad minded than the average Taiwanese. So when you add it up that way, I am "doubly" more open minded than the typical Taiwanese, all of which ostracizes me even more as a "double misfit" in a highly conformist society like Taiwan where groups are everything and individuals are nothing.

Taiwan is not an intellectual culture. All that matters there is making money and eating food. Those are the two biggies on the Taiwanese treadmill of everyday life. Nothing else really matters, not even love. People generally don't care about philosophy or intellectual matters. So it is very hard to find people who can relate to me. Not to brag, but as far as I know, I seem to be the only Taiwanese freethinker. I honestly don't know any others. I guess that makes me really unique, but uniqueness comes with loneliness too.

Worst of all, as a passionate and romantic person, I find Taiwan to be VERY depriving. To me, there's no passion, no romance, no flirtation, no sensuality, no love, no heart and soul, no special moments, no special memories, and no camaraderie with others. Time just passes by and is wasted with no meaning (just like in Seattle). It's like Taiwan only wants you to eat and be bored, but offers nothing else. That sucks. My two priorities in life are romance and adventure, but Taiwan offers me neither, so Taiwan sucks in my book.

Unfortunately, Taiwan has become a lot like America - socially isolating, stuck up and lonely. No one seems to care about you. It wasn't as bad 20 years ago in Taiwan, but sadly, it is now.

Taiwanese personalities commonly come in two weird extremes: 1) grumpy, constipated, stern, strict facial expression (common among older generation), and 2) fake innocent cheesy corny "hello kitty" facial expression (common among young adults and teens). Ewww! Both of these suck and are abnormal and unnatural. How do you vibe with such unnatural personalities? I have no idea. Why can't Taiwanese just be normal and natural? I often feel like I'm the only one that's "normal" in Taiwan. It's like a Twilight Zone environment where normal is abnormal, and abnormal is normal. Really weird.

What's worse, most young Taiwanese are duds with no personality and can't even hold a normal conversation. There is nothing really there to connect with. They are the least engaging youngsters I've ever met - usually quiet with nothing to say and no expression (except for very superficial ones). When you talk to them, after a few minutes or few sentences, the conversation runs dry, like you've run into a brick wall with nothing more to say. Asking them open ended questions about themselves, like interviewers do, will not change any of this. (if it did, I wouldn't have a problem engaging them) They are like empty shells.

To be honest, Taiwan is the most UNINTERESTING country I've ever been to. And its people are the WEIRDEST and most inhuman I've ever met - unnaturally closed, cold and repressed, with no personality, soul or passion, which makes them almost inhuman. I don't understand why they are like that. How the hell am I supposed to "act" around such people? I'm confused and I don't get it. I'm nothing like them, thank goodness. This might sound bad, but in Taiwan, I feel like I'm the only one that's "normal". I know that sounds terrible, but I don't know how else to put it. I guess theoretically, if you are like them, you may not notice anything strange, but if you are not like them, then you definitely will.

The females in Taiwan are among the most cliquish, closed, and uptight I've ever seen. They project this "cold wall" and "negative energy barrier" around them that makes it unnatural and uncomfortable to try to meet them or chat them up. They are nothing like the girls in Europe who in contrast are far more open, relaxed, friendly, sociable and easier to chat up. To give you a simple example, if I say "Excuse me miss" (in Chinese or English) to girls walking by in Taiwan (who are totally cold and closed) none of them will stop. But in most other countries, when I do that, very often the girls will stop and talk to me. That's a very big difference that says a lot, no matter how you try to spin it.

To make things doubly worse, Taiwanese girls are extremely picky, shallow, judgmental, difficult, vain, and spook easily like deer do in the wild. They are overly cautious and unnaturally shy to the extreme, and don't like talking to strangers without an introduction through mutual friends. These extreme traits that are common in Taiwanese females make them almost inhuman and definitely unnatural. Now there is nothing wrong with being a little shy or cautious. That can be cute. But Taiwanese girls take it to the extreme and are too excessive in their closed-ness and shyness. Ironically, their own ancient Chinese wisdom says that nothing in extremes is any good, and that everything must be in moderation.

Also, Taiwanese girls have hang ups about dating. To them, dating is a stepping stone to marriage, so they won't just go out with you for fun, at least not the good girls. You have to jump through a ton of hoops. So you can't just simply ask them out like you can in most countries, otherwise you will be met with polite rejections and excuses. To make matters worse, the normal courting process of flirtation is considered a taboo in Taiwan, seen as creepy bad behavior. It does not create any energy or excitement, like it does in other countries. It does not help you meet girls either. It is simply of zero value in Taiwan.

So if you are a Romeo or Casanova who likes to flirt, this will be a big let down for you, because you are not allowed to use your main arsenal of seduction. Furthermore, it's very hard to vibe with Taiwanese girls if you are not on their small minded, shallow, narrow, insular wavelength.

So it's like everything is against you in Taiwan if you want to try to fulfill your romantic or sexual needs, which sucks and is terrible beyond words. Taiwan does have a high concentration of hot girls, but what's the point if they are all look and no touch? That just makes it more depressing and frustrating. Personally, I find Taiwan to have the most unnatural and ego-deflating dating scene I've ever seen. The miserable vortex in Taiwan compounds it and makes it all worse.

Even when I manage to make polite small talk with a girl in Taiwan, so what? Most of the time it won't go anywhere. She will act friendly for a while, then maybe give me her Facebook or email, and maybe add me, but that's it. She will not agree to meet up or go out. If I ask her out, all I will get back are excuses, excuses, excuses, which totally sucks. At best, she will exchange polite but short and boring pleasantries over Facebook or email only. God that's soooooooooo boring!!! I hate that. It's happened to me soooooooooo many fricking times already. Fuck! Sheesh. What a miserable boring culture. Totally sucks!


What's worse, most Taiwanese girls have no personality and no social skills. They are duds who can't hold a normal conversation and are not engaging at all. When they do talk, the things they say will be very superficial and meaningless. Thus, there is nothing really there to connect with. Asking them open ended questions about themselves, like interviewers do, will not change any of this. (if it did, I wouldn't have a problem engaging them) When they talk amongst their friends, they squeak to each other like little mice, acting very fragile and insecure. Very weird.

In contrast, girls in most other countries (Europe, Russia, Philippines, Mainland China, etc.) are far easier to engage in a natural normal conversation. So you gotta wonder, what's the problem with Taiwan?


(Note: Not surprisingly, Taiwan is now reported to have the third highest divorce rate in the world, according to its own news media. That's an indicator of how fucked up things are there, as the negative qualities of Western culture start to take over.)

Publicly, everyone says that Taiwanese are very friendly, even if they don't mean it. But the term "friendly" is a broad word that is used too loosely. What I've noticed though is that whenever a person, magazine, book, website or blog says that "People are friendly in Taiwan", they NEVER EVER differentiate or specify what they mean. In reality, the only people who smile and make eye contact with strangers are elderly people and customer service people paid to be polite. Not young adults and especially not young women. Hell no! No way! Young adults and teens in Taiwan are excessively shy, not engaging, have no social skills and can't hold a normal conversation, while older folks are much more talkative to strangers. This is a big consistent and obvious difference between young and old in Taiwan, yet I seem to be the ONLY ONE who differentiates this. WTF?! How can something be so obvious yet I'm the only one in the world willing to mention it?! So weird. Am I the only one that's awake and normal?!

In reality, young Taiwanese are very exclusive, never look at strangers, and treat them like they don't exist. Unless you are introduced, they will not socialize with you at all, especially women and girls. The only time a Taiwanese girl will look at a stranger is if she is wondering, "What is that creep staring at?!" Their attitude is the one that's negative (not mine) and unapproachable. This is yet another reason why I find Taiwan to be one of the loneliest places in the world. It's like a jinx where everything goes against you.

On a simpler note, the weather and climate in Taiwan are also terrible. It is hot and humid most of the year, which is unhealthy and causes your body to sweat more and work harder to cool off, making it hard to breathe or exercise unless you are really fit. (Personally I feel much better and healthier in colder dryer climates, like in Europe.) It also makes it hard to think too. No wonder why the greatest writers, artists and intellectuals throughout history have mostly come from colder dryer climates, like those in Europe, not hot tropical climates like Taiwan. The tropical humidity also causes food to spoil faster, and allows more bacteria and mold to grow, and insects to become more abundant. What this means is that it is easier to get infected by bacteria, and when you step outside, there are more insects to bite you and leave red bumps on your skin, all of which is annoying and irritating and detracts from the outdoors experience!

Taiwan is drab and dull in terms of architecture and natural scenery. The infrastructure and buildings consist of ghetto slabs of concrete with no aesthetic quality - which is crappy compared to the magnificence of European architecture. And the natural scenery is dull and bland, nothing spectacular. It cannot compare to the spectacular breathtaking national parks in America (such as the ones in Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Yosemite). Thus Taiwan is not really a "beautiful country" in terms of infrastructure or landscapes.

Here are some image examples. Here is a typical street in Taiwan (you've seen one, you've seen them all):



In contrast, look at the beautiful cultured architecture I photographed in Europe and Russia:

http://www.happierabroad.com/ebook/Page3.htm

This is a typical outdoors scene in Taiwan:



Typical mountain backdrop in Taiwan:

File:Taiwan 2009 East Coast Mountain Range FRD 6296 Pano Extracted.jpg

As you can see, it's very bland and nothing special. Nothing to rave about. Nothing you can't see anywhere else. In contrast, look how spectacular the scenery is from my photos of the American Southwest in Arizona, Utah and Colorado:

http://www.happierabroad.com/Southwest_Photos.htm

As you can see, the images speak for themselves.

Taiwanese drivers are rude and reckless, not as polite as in Western countries. There are so many drivers who are either rude a-holes, or incompetent drivers who have bad sensory motor skills. In cities, even small ones, it is inconvenient to try to park a car. The cities are designed for scooters to park. But scooters are dangerous because one accident and you could be killed or hospitalized. There is no safety margin on a scooter. So you are either inconvenienced with no parking spaces, or you have to take a dangerous risk with your life on a scooter. That's what I call between a rock and a hard place.

Now I know what you must be thinking. You're probably thinking, "Well it's no wonder people don't like you in Taiwan and why you don't have many friends there. Your shitty attitude about Taiwan turns people away obviously." But wait a minute. That's a typical victim-blaming copout of mainstream politically correct people. Let's suppose tomorrow I woke up and started raving about how wonderful and awesome Taiwan is, like Janet Hsieh does on Fun Taiwan. What would the result of that be? Would I then start having a great social life, feel a sense of belonging and suddenly start dating great women? Come on. Get real. It doesn't work that way. The net result would be the same. People just don't give a shit about me in Taiwan, and their actions show it. Being socially appropriate and being liked by super picky closed people are totally different things. So in reality, my attitude wouldn't make any difference, and you know it. You are just looking for a cheap way to try to pin the blame on me, which is typical of the mainstream.

Besides, what have I said in this article that is not true? My attitude did not create the extreme repression inherent in Taiwan, so pointing it out does not make me "negative". I am merely pointing out the obvious that everyone already knows but is afraid to mention due to its taboo nature. Merely being more aware than others does not make me negative or have a shitty attitude. I am an empath who reflects back what I get. I'm not going to lie and be fake and try to reflect a positive reaction from a negative experience. Come on now. That would be dishonest and inauthentic.

Actually, I can be very positive, if my experiences are positive that is. Why should I be positive if my experiences are not positive and instead I am treated like shit? Be realistic please. Why should I lie just to appease political correctness? Sheesh. I tell it like I experience it. If I experience something negative, I will be negative about it, and if positive, I will be positive about it. What could be more honest and simple than that?! Geez. Would you rather I lie? I may be critical, yes, but I am fair and accurate.

So look, I am only relating my experiences and observations as honestly as I can. If you don't like it, that's fine. But it's not right to condemn me for honesty. Most people are not good in observation, and are in denial of what's around them. Just because I am far more insightful, aware, conscious and honest doesn't mean there's something wrong with me. I am simply a sane person in an insane world. And in fact, some of the greatest minds and writers in the world have said the same thing about themselves - such as Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Eric Fromm, Friederich Nietzsche, Ayn Rand, Marcus Aurelius, Gandhi, etc.

Now before you call me crazy or delusional for writing such a taboo article, let me tell you that I'm no fool. My IQ is well above average (as you can see from my writing style and organization skills) and I can beat 99 percent of people in chess (figuratively speaking) and even 99 percent of Taiwanese people in Chinese chess, using pure logic and strategic thinking alone. I have also occasionally beaten the computer at Scrabble on the advanced level. So I'm no idiot. In addition, I have a credible reputation which can be verified by third party neutral sources. See a list of them here: http://www.happierabroad.com/References.htm . And I have received many praises from others for my intellectual insights. You can see links to them on my About Me page here: http://www.happierabroad.com/AboutMe.htm


Conclusion

To summarize, in a nutshell, Taiwan does offer good Chinese food, safe streets and polite people (when they're not driving that is). But that's all. It has a long list of negatives, none of which you are allowed to talk about in its superficial politically correct social culture. Without regard for such taboos, here are the major negatives of Taiwan:

The vibe and atmosphere are perpetually boring, miserable, repressed, lonely and soul draining, as if there were some dark negative vortex, hungry ghosts, or energy vampires depleting you of life force. Taiwan is also severely lacking in passion, romance, love, sensuality, special moments, special memories, intellectualism, heart and soul, and camaraderie.

The people are unnaturally closed, cold, repressed, insular, narrow and small minded, which makes them seem almost inhuman. And the girls and women have a "cold wall" around them that makes it uncomfortable, awkward and unnatural to meet them (without being introduced by a mutual friend). Taiwanese personalities commonly come in two weird extremes: 1) grumpy, constipated look with stern, strict facial expression, and 2) fake innocent look with cheesy gay "hello kitty" facial expression (common among young adults and teens). Both of these are abnormal, unnatural and inhuman. I dislike both and don't vibe with either of them. Thus I often feel like I'm the only one that's "normal" in Taiwan.

Taiwan's architecture is ugly and drab, and its natural scenery is bland and nothing special. It is not really a "beautiful country" in terms of infrastructure or landscapes. While the Chinese food there may be great, it is lacking in international cuisine, outside of the big cities that is. You will not find the diversity or quality of food there that you have in America. (And if you love Italian or Mexican food, like me, you will be sorely disappointed and deprived.)

The social culture is very superficial and politically correct, and only allows you to talk about light, superficial, positive topics. It is socially taboo to talk about anything deep or negative, even though there are many negative things in Taiwan. You are not allowed to be yourself if you are deep, intellectual or passionate - such traits make you a misfit in Taiwan, because the culture itself is cold and practical, and the people, being highly conformist, conform to that.

In short, Taiwan is a very safe but very boring, repressed, lonely and miserable place where I can't be myself or tell the truth.

Also, as mentioned in the beginning, as an Asian American I have no real place in Taiwan and am treated with false assumptions by everyone constantly, and expected to be something I'm not. Furthermore, none of my core personality traits fit into Taiwan or harmonize with its vibe or culture either. For all these reasons and more, Taiwan has been a highly awkward and negative experience for me, and one that is totally invalidating and ego-deflating as well. What more can I say, except the truth?

Yet I seem to be the only one who tells such truths about Taiwan. No one else does, at least not publicly. I guess most people are programmed to never say anything taboo or politically correct. They desperately want to fit in and be accepted by others, which is more important to them than telling the truth or being honest and aware. But as an intellectual and introvert, I am more apt to remain true to my "inner self/inner life" and tell the truth honestly and accurately, rather than be fake to follow the norm, which I see as inauthentic.

I guess that makes me different from others. But then again, if being honest and authentic makes me different from the crowd, and if telling the truth makes me a misfit, then that speaks volumes about what a dysfunctional society and social culture this is. And I am not afraid to say that. Where I come from, being brave, confident and courageous enough to follow your heart and tell the truth is encouraged and valued, and if that makes me a misfit in a repressed insular culture like Taiwan, then so be it.

Many of the greatest writers, intellectuals and freethinkers throughout world history agree with me on this. To understand what I mean, see their quotes here: http://www.happierabroad.com/Quotes_Insanity.htm

Thanks for reading these taboo but deep and truthful observations.

Sincerely,
Winston Wu

See Also:
The Four Biggest Problems With Taiwan
10 Reasons Why Taiwan is not good for social life, fun, happiness or romance
The Pros and Cons of Taiwan
Taboo Observations and Truths About Taiwan



Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Pros and Cons of Taiwan: A Taboo List

by Winston Wu

As you know, travel websites, magazines and TV programs always emphasize the positives about other cultures and people, and often overhype them as well. But they never tell you the negative downsides of a particular country. Instead, they stick to political correctness and lighthearted non-controversial topics. Even sites that aren't funded by the tourism industry adhere to this too.

Thus, it's rare to see an honest balanced appraisal of the pros and cons of a particular culture. So I will give one regarding my native country of Taiwan, which the media and travel websites constantly spread overly positive hyped and superficial misinformation about. I guarantee that you won't find such an honest balanced appraisal of Taiwan anywhere else. Most people are not this candid or insightful in their observations.

So let's begin.

Warning: The cons section below is taboo in that it violates the social rule in Taiwan that everything said about it must be superficial, nice and politically correct. But I do not care for taboos as I am one of the few that prefer truth over political correctness. Read at your own risk.


Pros of Taiwan

- People are very nice, kind, good-natured and considerate deep down, beneath their repressed exterior. The friends you make are very generous and will bend over backwards to help you, once they get to know you. (But not if you are a stranger) They also have good morals and a strong conscience. In a way, Taiwanese are inverted compared to Westerners, in that they are closed and repressed on the exterior but are kind, good-natured, polite, and considerate deep down inside, whereas Westerners are more open, communicative, expressive and articulate on the exterior but essentially "selfish a-holes" deep down inside. (pardon the language)

- The food is very good in taste, quality and variety, and is available all hours of the day and night. You can always get hot food anytime, even in the middle of the night. Taiwanese have a passion for food and live for eating. In fact, it's their other primary interest besides making money. Some restaurants are a rip off, but it is very easy to find high quality delicious food at cheap prices from canteens and street vendors. Good quality cheap food is abundant everywhere. Taiwan is also a vegetarian's paradise, as vegetarian eating joints are everywhere - you can usually find one every few blocks where food is sold.

- Cost of living is relatively low compared to Western countries. One can rent a room for $100 a month or an apartment for $200 a month, in most places (but in not the big cities).

- The salary for English teachers is pretty good and in the upper tier range, higher than in most countries, especially in Asia. The main benefit is not just the salary, but the disposable income due to the low cost of living in Taiwan. For example, if you taught English in Japan, you'd have less disposable income due to the higher cost of living there.

- Infrastructure is relatively good and streets are fairly clean, better than most of Asia. Modern technology and conveniences are everywhere. Transportation system between major areas is very comfortable, convenient, and affordable.

- Buildings and streets have high safety standards. Stoplights have timers on them, and subway platforms have glass walls to prevent anyone from falling off them.

- Streets are very safe. Taiwan is one of the safest countries in the world, next to Japan and Singapore. You can walk outside at any time of the night and feel totally safe.

- 80 percent of girls are either cute or hot, major eye candy. Taiwanese females take care of their appearance and health well.

Cons of Taiwan

(Warning: The cons section below is taboo in that it violates the social rule in Taiwan that everything said about it must be superficial, nice and politically correct. Read at your own risk.)

- Hard to find good Western food outside the big cities, especially Mexican or Italian food. Since Mexican food is a favorite of most Americans, it's depriving not to have it in Taiwan. The pizza and pasta in most places in Taiwan is bland and tasteless. Even the staff at Pizza Hut in Taiwan have never heard of "pizza sauce" amazingly. The closest thing they have to pizza sauce is putting ketchup and tomatoes on the pizza. They don't know how to make decent pizza. (On a side note: While the Italian food sucks in Taiwan, conversely, in Italy, the Chinese food sucks.)

- The architecture is ugly and drab, consisting of slab concrete buildings, which is standard in Asia, and the natural scenery is bland and nothing special or spectacular. Concrete cement slab streets in Taiwan with flashing neon signs and lights are all the same - you've seen one, you've seen them all. Of course, you might not notice as much unless you're coming from say... Europe. Sensitive people in particular may feel drained easily in such environments, for when you are constantly surrounded by cement structures, traffic, cars, scooters, noise, advertisements, and pollution all day, it can drain you physically and spiritually. Better to live in a quieter place closer to nature. 

- There is a thick language barrier. Most people can't speak English and even if they know some, don't have the guts or confidence to try to use it. While there are ways to get by without knowing Chinese - you can still buy things, pay for things, or use transportation - it's difficult to deal with problems that involve discussions when they come up.

- The weather is hot and humid most of the year, except for Winter, since Taiwan is located in the Asian tropical region. The humidity makes the heat much worse, since it causes excess perspiration and makes your body work harder to cool down, which is not healthy. So if you don't like hot weather, you won't like Taiwan's weather. This especially affects creative intellectual types, such as writers, artists, musicians and philosophers. Such types, which are accustomed to thinking in a deeper zone or wavelength than others, have more difficulty concentrating and getting into their "zone" when it's hot and humid. This is why, not surprisingly, the greatest writers, artists, and composers throughout history have generally came from colder dryer climates (e.g. Europe) rather than from hot tropical humid climates. The tropical humidity also causes food to spoil faster, and allows more bacteria and mold to grow, and insects to become more abundant. What this means is that it is easier to get infected by bacteria, and when you step outside, there are more insects to bite you and leave red bumps on your skin, all of which is annoying and irritating and detracts from the outdoors experience!

- Driving in Taiwan is inconvenient and often puts you between a rock and a hard place. Taiwanese cities are not designed for cars, making them a pain in the ass to drive or park in. They are designed for scooters, which is why most Taiwanese ride scooters rather than cars (in addition to the higher cost of a car of course). Scooters can park a lot easier in Taiwanese cities, whereas cars have a much harder time finding parking, even in small cities, as there is little space to park. However, if you ride a scooter then you are taking a big chance with your life, because even one accident or collision on a scooter could mean death or critical injury, which goes without saying. Therefore, driving in Taiwan puts you between a rock and a hard place - you are either inconvenienced with no place to park, or you drive high risk on a scooter with no bodily protection.

Driving in Taiwanese cities is messy and requires extreme caution, because most people are on scooters, which swarm everywhere like ants. This makes it difficult and risky to make turns, for each time you turn, you have to check your shoulder for scooters coming up beside you. And if you forget to look even once... well something terrible could happen! Therefore, an accident is just a hairline away. But if you drive too carefully, then you will have people behind you honking angrily and rudely. So again, you are between a rock and a hard place.

Moreover, if you are driving in the right lane, the lane often ends due to parked cars in the right lane, forcing you to veer into the left lane. But if you drive in the left lane, then some car ahead of you always stops trying to make a left turn through oncoming traffic, often causing you to miss a green light at an intersection. But you can't always just pass him on the right either, because on your right there will be vehicles rushing by you as well. Geez! So again, you are between a rock and a hard place in that both the right and left lane contain troublesome obstacles.

- If you are a person who gets bitten by insects a lot, you will have a hard time outdoors in Taiwan when you're not in the city. For some reason, Taiwan's outdoors is filled with tiny insects everywhere, so that if you go outside for some fresh air, within whatever skin you have exposed will be filled with red bumps from insect bites. (I know this from personal experience) This makes it hard to enjoy nature and fresh air, or even to go outside for a walk outside. That just sucks. I guess the hot humid tropic climate allows more nasty things to flourish.

- Taiwanese are unnaturally cold, closed, repressed and narrow, which makes them seem almost inhuman. I don't know why. But I don't vibe with it and do not know how to act around it, since I'm not like that. I guess if you are that way yourself, you may not notice anything unusual, but if you are not (like me) then you will definitely notice. What's worse, if you are an Asian American like me, they will falsely assume that you are one of them, and that you are cold, closed, narrow and repressed too. So if you act like a Westerner and have a more open relaxed communication style, it will not fit the flow and will weird them out. What this means is that you can't be yourself and are expected to be something you're not, which sucks.

- Taiwanese tend to be closed and cold to strangers and do not smile or make no eye contact. While they may be very kind and helpful to their friends, if you are a stranger, you basically don't exist to them (unless they are trying to sell you something of course). Thus if you go out alone in Taiwan, you will feel very alone, alienated, isolated and invalidated. Going out alone in Taiwan is a very lonely experience. (For some reason, no one has the guts to admit this, except me. It's a taboo truth.) That's why people in Taiwan go out in groups, never alone. Individuals have no confidence when they are alone and feel insecure. The only people in Taiwan that freely talk to strangers are the elderly and middle age folks, but young adults are like a different species there, much more cold and closed. (Even though this is very obvious and apparent, no other website has the guts to mention this for some reason.)

- Taiwan's atmosphere has an extremely repressed vibe and feel to it. You can see it on the cold repressed faces of the masses of Taiwanese people everywhere. What this means is that if you are not repressed yourself, you may feel awkward in Taiwan. If you are open, direct and relaxed (like me), you may feel out of place in Taiwan, like you can't be yourself, as if who you are doesn't fit the narrow repressed flow. It's hard to explain what I mean, but that's the best way I can put it. Also, when you see cold repressed faces all around you, you can't help but feel repressed yourself. It sort of rubs off on you, especially the longer you are there. Needless to say, it is very awkward to feel like the vibe/energy in Taiwan's is trying to repress you, if you are not already repressed. It's as if Taiwan is trying to make you into something you're not.

- This might be personal and subjective, but Taiwan seems to have some kind of negative energy vortex. I don't know why, but I sense a vibe of misery and repression everywhere I go in Taiwan, which is draining and undermines my self-confidence and self-esteem. I do not like it at all. It's feels horrible and draining, like some kind of toxic radiation. It's like there are hungry ghosts sucking your soul or something (in addition to the sterile environment). I feel like something is trying to choke me in Taiwan. Perhaps it's because I don't fit in or share the narrow repressiveness of the Taiwan vibe, so it has this effect on me? I guess if you are narrow and repressed yourself, then you won't notice anything it, but if you aren't, you will?

- The social environment and atmosphere in Taiwan is very stagnant and sterile, similar to Seattle, Washington (aka "The Seattle Freeze"). There's simply no real "social energy". It doesn't "flow" naturally or openly. Instead, it is very cliquish, lacking energy, fun, excitement, stimulation, etc. The whole atmosphere in Taiwan feels way too conservative and prudish. Most young foreigners I've met in Taiwan have concurred, remarking how much more fun, wild and full of action Thailand is in comparison. Taiwan is basically a highly conservative, inhibited and repressed culture, which is reflected in everything in it, and explains why people have to act super innocent in order to fit in. In fact many white guys in Taiwan act a lot more Taiwanese and than. The foreigners who like Taiwan the most tend to be reserved quiet feminine types.

The only people that talk to strangers freely in a direct, straightforward manner are the elderly/middle age folks (similar to the US). In fact, old people and young people in Taiwan are like a different species. What this means is that if you are seeking fun, excitement, wild times, adventure, thrills, energy, action, passionate people, etc. you will likely find Taiwan to be boring, sterile, too inhibited and devoid of "energy". As a result, you will feel like you aren't "truly alive" in an environment where you can't "come out of your shell and be your real self". (Note: If you've never lived outside of Taiwan, you might not know what kind of "energy" I'm talking about. You'd have to spend time in Russia, Latin America, Eastern/Southern Europe, or Pattaya/Bangkok in Thailand to know what I'm referring to.)

- Taiwanese personalities commonly come in two weird extremes: 1) grumpy, constipated, stern, strict facial expression (common among older generation), and 2) fake innocent cheesy corny "hello kitty" facial expression (common among young adults and teens). Ewww! Both of these suck and are abnormal and unnatural. How do you vibe with such unnatural personalities? I have no idea. Why can't Taiwanese just be normal and natural? I often feel like I'm the only one that's "normal" in Taiwan. It's like a Twilight Zone environment where normal is abnormal, and abnormal is normal. Really weird.

- Since people are indirect, polite and nonexpressive, it's hard to read people. You can't know what they are thinking or feeling, as they are very indirect and do not like to show their feelings. So if they dislike you or have a problem with you, you may not even know about it. They will just avoid you.

- The females in Taiwan are among the most cliquish, closed, and uptight I've ever seen. They have this "cold wall" and "negative energy barrier" around them that makes it unnatural and uncomfortable to try to meet them or chat them up. They are nothing like the girls in Europe who in contrast are far more open, relaxed, friendly, sociable and easier to chat up. To give you a simple example, if I say "Excuse me miss" (in Chinese or English) to girls walking by in Taiwan (who are totally cold and closed) none of them will stop. But in most other countries, when I do that, very often the girls will stop and talk to me. That's a very big difference that says a lot, no matter how you try to spin it.

- Taiwanese girls are extremely picky, shallow, judgmental, difficult, vain, and spook easily like deer and cats. They are overly cautious and unnaturally shy to the extreme, and don't like talking to strangers without an introduction through mutual friends. These extreme traits that are common in Taiwanese females make them almost inhuman and definitely unnatural. Now there is nothing wrong with being a little shy or cautious. That can be cute. But Taiwanese girls take it to the extreme and are too excessive in their closed-ness and shyness. Ironically, their own ancient Chinese wisdom says that nothing in extremes is any good, and that everything must be in moderation.

- Taiwanese girls have hang ups about dating. To them, dating is a stepping stone to marriage, so they won't just go out with you for fun, at least not the good girls. You have to jump through a ton of hoops. So you can't just simply ask them out like you can in most countries, otherwise you will be met with polite rejections and excuses. To make matters worse, the normal courting process of flirting is considered a taboo in Taiwan, and seen as creepy bad behavior. So if you are a Romeo or Casanova who likes to flirt, that will be a big let down for you, because you are not allowed to use your main arsenal of seduction. Furthermore, it's very hard to vibe with Taiwanese girls if you are not on their small minded, shallow, narrow, insular wavelength.

- So it's like everything is against you in Taiwan if you want to try to fulfill your romantic or sexual needs, which sucks and is terrible beyond words. Taiwan does have a high concentration of hot girls, but what's the point if they are all look and no touch? That just makes it more depressing and frustrating. Personally, I find Taiwan to have the most unnatural and ego-deflating dating scene I've ever seen. It's like Taiwan only wants you to eat and be bored, but offers nothing else. That sucks. My two priorities in life are romance and adventure, but Taiwan offers me neither, so Taiwan sucks in my book.

- In Taiwan, there is an inverse relationship between a woman's beauty and friendliness, as well as her age and friendliness. Simply put, the better looking a girl is, the less friendly and open she will be, and vice versa, which sucks for guys who like hot girls. But this isn't something you are supposed to complain about, for it's taboo for some reason. Likewise, the older a woman is, the more friendly and easy to talk to she is, and vice versa. This just plain sucks, because what it means is that the women you desire most will be the most unavailable and unapproachable. Thus, for men who love beautiful women, this is a big drawback.

- To make matters worse, in social groups and nightclubs in Taiwan, the guys usually outnumber the girls. This creates scarcity and makes meeting them doubly difficult, in addition to the cold ice wall around them. The guys the girls are with are usually either their boyfriends, guys who are pursuing them, or guy friends who  will shield them from other guys outside the group. So like I said, when it comes to love, romance and dating, everything is against you in Taiwan.

- Taiwan is a workaholic culture (like America) where only food and making money count. It revolves around practicality, not romance or passion or intellectualism. So if you are lonely or need companionship, no one will care, because all they care about is work work work. Most people live to work and have no other purpose in life. They have no ability to create a higher purpose. Taiwanese commonly work 6 or 7 days a week. What this means is that if you are not a workaholic and you live for other things besides work (e.g. freedom, adventure, new experiences) you will not be on the same wavelength as everyone else, and will thus feel somewhat alienated in that while everyone is always busy being a busybee, you are not.

Moreover, it is hard to find people with free time to hang out with. It's mostly foreigners and young Taiwanese that go out for fun, however, the young Taiwanese are very cliquish and don't like to interact with foreigners much. For some odd reason, the ones I know don't have much free time, but the ones I see out having fun on weekends are never the ones I know... whatever... maybe it's another case of Murphy's Law.

- Taiwan is not an intellectual culture at all. So if you are an intellectual, you will feel alienated and out of place in Taiwan. At best, you may find open-minded people willing to listen in on deep meaningful conversations, but you won't find them contributing to such dialogues. The most intellectual people I've met in Taiwan were Buddhist monks. Young people in Taiwan are on a very superficial wavelength - they are not into history, philosophy, existential matters, or making insightful observations about people and things around them. Thus, if you are an intellectual, you may feel out of place in Taiwan, and would probably fit in better in Europe, where intellectualism and open-mindedness are far more common. Not to brag, but as far as I know, I seem to be the only Taiwanese freethinker. I honestly don't know any others. I guess that makes me really unique, but uniqueness comes with loneliness too.

- Taiwan's social culture is very politically correct. There is an unspoken but obvious social rule that around others, you are always expected to act positive and cheerful, and only talk about superficial things. Anything to the contrary will weird people out, especially young adults, and may ostracize you from social groups. So you can't be negative (no matter how justified) or talk about deep things in Taiwan without looking like a misfit.

What this means is that if you are unhappy or don't like something in Taiwan (and there is a lot to dislike in Taiwan, that's for sure) then no one wants to hear about it, unless you have a close and understanding friend. For example, even though it's obvious that Taiwanese are generally closed, repressed and narrow, you are not allowed to SAY that they are. It's like the Emperor's New Clothes syndrome. In that sense, you are not allowed to tell the truth in Taiwan.

This means that you often can't be yourself in Taiwan. You see, in truth, no one can be positive all the time, human nature doesn't work that way since everything is made up of a union of opposites, as the Chinese Ying Yang symbol signifies. What this means is that at least half the time, you will not be able to be yourself in Taiwan around other people - who expect you to only say positive and superficial things. What this also means is that if you are an honest truthful intellectual in Taiwan, you may find a few friends, but you will not fit into social groups or cliques, because they are strict about these social rules and political correctness.

- Most white guys who are drawn to live or work in Taiwan tend to be the passive soft-spoken feminine type, which is unusual for western white guys, but common of foreigners in Taiwan. Such are the types that seem to fit in Taiwan best (as well as Japan and East Asia in general). As they say, like attracts like. What this means is that if you are not passive, soft-spoken or feminine, you will not be a natural fit in Taiwan. Typical Taiwan character is very modest and soft-spoken, which by western standards is very feminine and not masculine at all. So if that's not you, you may feel a little awkward because your personality won't fit in.

- If you are an Asian American, Taiwan is an awkward experience in that you are constantly expected by locals to be something you are not - one of them. They will constantly mistake you for being a repressed narrow Taiwanese, like them, so you constantly have to disappoint them. If you act like an American, like you do in America, it will weird them out. In Taiwan, you don't really have a place. You don't belong in the local category since you're not one, and you don't belong to the foreigner category either since you are seen and treated like a local. So you simply have no defined place. It's really weird and awkward.

(Sorry for all these negative observations and points about Taiwan, but aren't we taught that honest is the best policy? Why would it be better to lie?)

See Also:
The Four Biggest Problems With Taiwan
10 Reasons Why Taiwan is not good for social life, fun, happiness or romance
The Dark Side of Taiwan
Taboo Observations and Truths About Taiwan


Friday, November 9, 2012

Attention Truthers and Patriots: The NWO does NOT control your freedom - Other things do!

Attention Truthers and Patriots: The NWO does NOT control your freedom - Other things do!

I'm sending this letter to as many conspiracy researchers and leaders as I can: 

To all conspiracy researchers and leaders out there, such as David Icke, Alex Jones, Alan Watt, Michael Tsarion, Jordan Maxwell, Mark Passio, Jay Weidner, etc: 

I have a simple logical question for you: Why do you preach that resistance and noncompliance with the NWO government will bring about freedom for mankind? That is inaccurate, and I'll explain why.

Government and the Illuminati are not what enslave us the most. What does it matter what kind of government we have? Governments are no different from the mafia. As long as you don't break any laws and don't get in its way, the government will leave you alone to do whatever you want. It's like that in any country, including the US. So how is the US government different? How does the US stand for freedom or democracy while others don't? In fact, the US has MORE laws and regulations than other countries do, not less, so how is it more free? This myth never made any sense, not just now, but in the past as well. This "freedom and democracy" belief about America seems a lot more like a religion that people chant, than actual fact, as there is no logic or evidence which supports it. 

Most people's enslavement comes from a more simple source. What truly enslaves us the most are our jobs, marriage and especially children. These are what ENSLAVE us and tie us down into servitude much MORE than any government ever could! That's where the REAL loss of freedom is. If you are tied down and enslaved by your jobmarriage and children, then you have ZERO freedom. Thus the type of government you live under isn't even a factor, even if you are living under a dictatorship. So why this focus on government or even the Illuminati? It doesn't make sense. 

It seems that everything in society tries to tie you down and make you commit to an obligation. That's the nature of societal systems - to CONTROL and tie down people. But some people are freespirits who don't like to "settle down" into boring routines. Routines and daily obligations/commitments are the TOTAL ANTITHESIS to freedom, romance, adventure, new experiences, fun, excitement, passion, possibilities, travel, etc. Some people live for new experiences, not stable boring routines. Society doesn't acknowledge this, but instead falsely assumes that everyone wants a stable boring routine, or tries to condition them to want that. 

Simply put, you can't go out and do whatever you want when you are tied down by these three. The ruling elite are not even a factor in this. Come on now. So isn't your philosophy misplaced, when you preach that resistance of the Illuminati, and their mind control, will bring about freedom for mankind? 

Even if there were no government, ruling elite, NWO, or Illuminati, you are still enslaved and have no freedom if you have a job that controls your life, spouse to tie you down into loyalty, and children that you have to give up your life in order to serve and raise. All these things force you to SACRIFICE your freedom, time, life, resources, energy, labor, etc. and tie you down into SERVITUDE in a constant daily grind and obligate you to it. These daily obligations are the real reason why most people have no freedom. So aren't you people totally missing the mark here? 

Aren't you carrying the same false assumptions that society does, in that you assume that everyone WANTS to be tied down into routine, servitude and sacrifice, and that the only obstacles to freedom are the ruling elite? 

Why don't you conspiracy researchers try to find a solution to our real enslavement, such as teaching people how to become self-employed, how to become less dependent on money, how to have less attachments, etc? 

Of the three - jobmarriage, and children - children enslave the most. While you can quit your job and marriage, you can't quit your children, unless you abandon them or give them up for adoption. So when you have children, you are forced to give up the rest of your life in servitude to them and forget everything else in your life in a neverending routine of sacrifice with no true reward (except a psychological/emotional one, which does not apply to everyone). So children are the biggest enslavement of all, not government or Illuminati. I know that sounds bad, but it's true. 

Given these two choices: 
- Be happy and free but incur the disapproval of everyone 
- Be unhappy and miserable with the approval of everyone 

I'd much rather choose the former. Wouldn't you? 

There is no greater freedom than waking up everyday and being able to do whatever you want and go wherever you want. Waking up and seeing a world of possibilities ahead of you, now that is PRICELESS. The government, Illuminati, NWO, media, etc. are not even a factor in this. So why are they your enemy number one? Think about that. Meditate on it. Your war seems highly misplaced and misses the mark, doesn't it? 

Thanks for reading my letter. 

Sincerely, 
Winston Wu 
Founder of HappierAbroad.com and DebunkingSkeptics.com


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

8 Alternatives to Working a Regular Job You Don't Like

By Winston Wu



In America and Asia, we are conditioned to "live to work". But unless you have a job that you love and are proud of, having to go to a job everyday can feel like a prison. It becomes a mind numbing routine where your life is controlled and in submission, while your mind is indoctrinated to "live for the company" you work for rather than for your heart.

The result of this is that your life and mind are stripped of freedom and you live an inauthentic life, like a robot or automaton. You are supposed to love to work and love your job of course, but not everyone is fortunate enough to do something they love. Many have to work solely to pay their bills, and their heart is not in it.

This workaholic culture (which is at its most extreme in America and Asia) is especially bad in Asia, where employers are allowed to make their employees work long hours, sometimes even requiring them to work 6 or 7 days a week, on a fixed monthly salary. (Ironically, Chinese bosses and workers forget that ancient Chinese wisdom says that extremes are never good, and that everything must be in moderation. But of course, money is more important than wisdom in the insanity of modern society.)

Some are able to tolerate this, but those who are freespirits, nonconformists, Bohemians, artists and creative types tend to be unable to endure this for long. They become restless and feel trapped, like they are not living true to themselves. They begin getting up late everyday and subconsciously sabotaging their work in order to get themselves fired, because deep down, they want out. It is for these types that this article is written for.

If you can't find a good job that you love, or do not like the enslaving routine of a 9 to 5 regular job, here are some alternative options and choices to consider:

1. Self-employment doing what you love, such as making money online with a website or blog. Consider working for yourself doing something you love by starting some type of business. This is not an easy route and not everyone can make it, but some people can, and so it's an option to consider. The best and most mobile scenario is to have an online business, where little to no investment capital is required, and hence not much risk involved. (This is what I do)

A mentor of mine named Walt Goodridge wrote a great book on how to make a living in self-employment doing what you love, called "Turn Your Passion into Profit". I highly recommend it as it is very empowering, awakening and informative. You can get it at his website: http://www.passionprofit.com

He and I recommend a portable type of business, such as an online business you can work from home or while traveling, rather than a traditional "brick and mortar" business which requires investment capital and risk, along with a high failure rate which could result in you losing money. I've also written a basic overview guide on making money online at: http://blog.happierabroad.com/2012/01/how-to-make-money-online-myth-vs.html

If you don't have any web design skills, you can consider using SBI to build, launch, promote and manage your web business. They handle all the complicated technical aspects for you. All you need to do is work hard in promoting your passion. Check out their Passion page or their easy-to-understand Video Tour that explains how they can help you and what they can do for you.

Steve Pavlina has some good advice about making money from your website or blog and building traffic for it at the links below:
http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/01/how-to-build-a-high-traffic-web-site-or-blog/
http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/05/how-to-make-money-from-your-blog/
http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/11/stevepavlinacom-podcast-006-how-to-make-money-without-a-job/

2. Adopt a more minimalist lifestyle focused more on spirituality, interpersonal relationships, frugality and richness of experiences, rather than on materialism and status. What this means is that you stop buying useless junk and trying to acquire luxury items that you don't need. Stop judging your life and others by materialistic standards. Adopt a more spiritual perspective rather than a materialistic one. Be satisfied with having what you need, without having to attain a nice car and house, which requires work and debt to pay off. This will allow you to be more debt free and so you can focus on higher aspirations.

Here are some tips:

- Stop wasteful spending and buying useless junk you don't need to show off or fill your emptiness. Try to fill your emptiness with more wholesome things that enrich your soul and spirit, rather than leave you flat. Material things cannot fill your void. The rich are not happier than everyone else. Experienced travelers will tell you that the happiest people in the world are not those who have too little or too much, but just enough.

- Evaluate your life based on the richness of your experiences, rather than material acquisition and career status. In this way, life becomes more conscious, meaningful and authentic. The happiest people learn how to do this.

- Live more frugally and economically. There are many ways to live frugally so that you spend a lot less to meet your needs. There are many books and websites with tips and tricks on living more frugally. (Google "frugal living" to see a list) You'd be surprised of all the ways you can cut costs and live more economically. It's easier than you think. This way, you reduce your expenses and hence your dependence on money so that you can live more freely and seeking higher purposes of your true calling.

- Minimize your attachments. Try to sever unnecessary attachments to people and things you don't really need or don't serve your life purpose, that are causing a drain on you. Remember that the more attachments you have, the more expenses and burden you will bear, which will impede your freedom and make you more dependent on money. Keep only the attachments that are necessary or special that you deem are of worthy value and quality. (What this means of course, is that it's better not to have children, if your goal is to be less dependent on money, since raising children requires big long term expenses. But of course, that's a personal decision that only you (and your partner) can make.)

- Eject people who are a bad influence on your life. People who try to bring you down, cause stress and conflict, and drain you like energy vampires, will only impede you. You are better off without them. Instead, cultivate quality interpersonal relationships with those you have real synergy with.

- Consider relocating to areas with a lower cost of living which will allow you to live on less. For example, Oregon, Nevada and New Mexico have lower costs of living compared to states such as California or New York. In such areas, one can live on less, amidst more beautiful and naturesque surroundings which are more conducive to relaxation and stress-free living. (Relocating overseas is another option with great benefits, which I will cover later below.)

- Consider selling your home and live in a trailer in the desert, forest or mountains. There are plenty of trailer parks available that are very cheap to live in. Or you can travel around the country in an RV, with all the necessities of living inside, which allows you mobility as well as the ability to camp in a trailer park or RV park whenever you like. (Contrary to the stereotype, not all people who live in trailer parks are "trailer trash". Some are very friendly, down to earth and talkative, and not as snobby as people in suburban neighborhoods. But it depends on the area of course.)

If you do all this well, you can greatly reduce your dependence on money and survive by working less, even part time, or on small self-employment income doing something you love, as suggested in option #1. Making these changes may make you look poorer, but being poor and free and living stress free and having more free time is better than looking well off but having no freedom, lots of stress and no free time. You just have to learn to not care what others think, if you truly want to be free.

Remember this important lesson: Making less money while having more peace of mind, more free time, and less stress is BETTER than making more money but with more stress, less free time and less peace of mind. There's simply no comparison. Don't let the materialistic values of your culture fool you. Remember that old saying, "No one on their death bed wishes they had spent more time at the office."

3. Find a rich partner to date or marry. Well I guess that's an option that some people may pursue, but I'm not here to give advice on it. :P There are dating sites for finding sugar daddies and sugar babies though, such as: http://www.seekingarrangement.com

4. Live with your parents. This is another option of course, but it carries a negative loser stigma in Western society. In Asia, it is the norm though, as one usually lives with their parents, even in adulthood, until they are married or have an occupation that requires relocation. Regardless though, there are many adults in America who live with their parents, more than you might think, but they don't draw public attention to it.

In any case, living with your parents definitely saves you money, and as long as you have a good relationship with your folks and are doing something productive with your life, it shouldn't matter what other people think. You do not have to conform to other people's standards. They don't own you and you don't owe them anything. As long as you are not hurting anyone, it's none of other people's business.

5. Live and work in in an eco-village. There are eco-minded communities, aka "intentional communities", which live and work on organic farms and settlements that promote environmentally conscious living. Joining one costs little or nothing and requires commitment to working on the farm or other community projects. Although this is work, it is "happy work" which gives you a sense of belonging and fellowship with others that humans had in ancient times, which was lost by the regimentation and isolationism of modern society. If you this might be your thing, here is more information.

Global EcoVillage Network
http://gen.ecovillage.org

Directory of EcoVillages
http://directory.ic.org/records/ecovillages.php

Wikipedia Resources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecovillage
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intentional_communities

6. Travel by hitchhiking and using free accommodation websites. You might think it's impossible to travel with little or no money, but some have done exactly that. I knew a woman once who traveled the world with her partner for 5 years, starting with only 600 dollars, by using hitchhiking and free accommodation clubs like Servas (http://www.servas.org). She went by the name "Kinga Freespirit" and was well known in hitchhiking circles, though sadly she passed away in Africa of cerebral malaria. Her website still stands though, as a tribute to her inspiring journeys around the world: http://www.hitchhiketheworld.com

I also know a guy named Charles DiBella, a cycling enthusiast, who has traveled around Asia in areas such as Thailand and Cambodia on little or no money, by simplying cycling around. He says it is one of life's greatest experiences. In doing so, he has made friends with local villagers and monks in Buddhist monasteries, who give him free accommodation in exchange for English lessons and his volunteer work in helping poor kids in the community acquire skills and education. His website is at: http://www.bikepaths.org

There are also popular free accommodation websites with many members from every country, such as http://www.hospitalityclub.org and http://www.couchsurfing.org . You can join them and find warm hosts who will accommodate you when you travel, which saves you from big hotel expenses. However, this is not just a free hotel, but more of like a "culture exchange" between open minded people. So you have to be a real people person in order to participate, as staying in stranger's homes requires a very open mind. It is very safe though, as these sites have feedback and references for each member from other members.

If you don't like staying in stranger's homes, you can stay in backpacking hostels. There are plenty of hostels in every country and region, which start as low as $20 a night. But these are dorm rooms which require sharing with other backpackers. Private rooms are available, but they cost more. You can find a directory listing of hostels at: http://www.hostels.com

Fortunately, food expenses are controllable in that there are always cheap and expensive options for eating everywhere you go. You may not always be able to eat well if you are on a tight budget, but you can always eat cheap at least.

7. Consider living overseas in a country where cost of living is lower. Now this might be a more taboo and unconventional option, but it makes sense and many expats are happy doing it. The truth is, in most countries outside the USA, cost of living is much less, so your money is worth more, which gives you more freedom and free time in addition to buying power. Great hot spots for lower cost of living include Eastern Europe, Central Europe, Ukraine, Russia, Southeast Asia, China, Latin America and many small lesser known islands such as Saipan.

There are 200 countries in the world, and you do not have to limit yourself to one. US citizens (and those of first world countries) are allowed to immigrate to most foreign countries, as long as they meet the visa requirements and laws of that country. This is one of the biggest secrets not considered by the mainstream, simply because it runs against our belief that America is the best place in the world with the greatest lifestyle and opportunity.

But the truth is, many facts make this a viable option to the high cost of living in America. These facts are an advantage to the expat that transcend any notion of patriotism or pride. Here is a list of some of the major advantages and benefits of living overseas:

a) Lower cost of living in most foreign countries. In most foreign countries, living expenses are lower than in America. Healthcare is also much more affordable and reasonable, not outrageous like in the US. But this doesn't mean that you have to live in a third world shithole in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. You can always find a middle ground. For example, Poland and Hungary are clean and modernized, yet the cost of living there costs less than in the US, and healthcare is much more affordable too. There are many options between the most expensive countries (USA, UK, Western Europe, Japan, etc.) and the poorest countries.

The important thing is that the majority of foreign countries do have a lower cost of living than in America. That is a real fact to consider. What this means is that you can work less, live on less money, or live on self-employment more easily, than you can in the US. English teaching jobs are also always available in most countries.

b) Healthy living. Food is more natural with less chemicals and artificial ingredients. In Europe for example, one does not need to go to an organic health food store to eat healthy. Mainstream food there, even in restaurants, is mostly natural and organic already. You also don't need a car in Europe, where public transportation is much more available and convenient. And walking gives you more exercise than driving everyday, which is one reason why people in other countries are much more slim and less obese than in America.

c) Dating and relationships. This is especially good news for males, and even for females too. American males who live overseas usually report that foreign females usually treat them better and are more feminine. They also are not as hateful or defensive toward men. Instead, they seem to have an innocence and naturalness that is long gone in the US. American females also report that men overseas seem different in that they don't have the inferiority complexes, dysfunctional personalities, and need for bragging that males in the US tend to have. All of this is more conducive to natural wholesome relationships, for both genders (based on my experiences and those of many that I know).

Of course, foreign countries have their downsides as well, depending on the country. Every culture has its pros and cons, so you have to find a combination of pros and cons that work best for you. The point is, as a US citizen (or first world citizen), you have OPTIONS and are not limited to only living in 1 out of 200 countries. You don't have to ignore or neglect the advantages other countries offer. Don't let patriotic pride get in the way of your happiness.

There are many expat websites with info and advice on relocating overseas. I have compiled a list of them here: http://www.happierabroad.com/travelexpat.htm

If you can't or don't want to live overseas, you can consider relocating to other US states where cost of living is lower, sell your home and live in a trailer park out in nature, or buy an RV to travel around in, as explained earlier in option #2.

8. Extra work in films and promotional gigs through talent agencies

If you are near a major city, you can be an extra in films, TV shows, commercials and corporate videos. This kind of work is easy to get. No experience is necessary. You just have to show up, follow directions and bring several sets of clothes. The pay is minimum wage, but it's fun and easy. I know from personal experience since I used to work for a talent agency in Reno, NV.

Most of the time as an extra is spent waiting in the lounge with the other extras. They feed you meals, provide snacks in the waiting lounge, and call you when they are ready to shoot the scene. The people who show up as extras are usually very social and friendly with each other. They tend to be wannabe actors who don't like working regular jobs. For some reason, those types are very social with strangers. You can make a lot of friends talking to other extras in the waiting area. Even the girls there are friendly and will talk to you, though that doesn't mean they will go out with you.

Local talent agencies cast for extra work. It is easy to get. Just call all the talent agencies in your local yellow pages, or find them online via Google. Then call them or email them for submission procedures. When I did this in the 1990's, I called all the ones in the phone book. Nowadays you can just contact them online or apply online probably. There are even online agencies nowadays. Just Google "Talent agencies in *your city*" or "Extra work in films in *your city*". There is probably a national website that handles it all nowadays.

If you are reliable, they will tend to give you more extra work, or ask you to call an extras hotline for directions to the next gig. They also seem to like casting minorities for some reason, especially Asians, probably to give the video a multicultural look. There are not many Asians in acting or trying to get extra work, so any Asian that comes along will be perceived as extra valuable. (I know this from personal experience since I'm Asian) Some people even work as regular extras everyday in TV series.

If you are lucky, sometimes the director will bump up an extra to a speaking role, which means big bucks and makes you eligible to join SAG (Screen Actors Guild) if you work three days in a speaking role. This happens rarely, but it did happen to a hot Asian chick on Nash Bridges one time, with Don Johnson.

The easiest extra work to get is for blockbuster movies, small budget local commercials, and corporate videos, aka industrial videos. For example, in Seattle or Redmond WA, Microsoft casts for corporate videos regularly through talent agencies and casting agencies. It's easy work. You just sit in the background and do what they say, and they give you a hundred dollar bill in an envelope afterward.

Talent agencies also assign promotional work as well. Companies are always trying to promote new products. So they contract with marketing agencies, who in turn contract with talent agencies to find actors and models to do temporary promotional work. In these gigs, they have you stand in public streets or malls and pass out flyers or give out samples of a company's new product. It's easy work with no pressure. You don't have to sell anything. You just have to approach people and put flyers in their hands or get them to sample the product you're promoting.

You don't have to look like a model though. They can't always get models to do this kind of work, so they will often just settle for an average looking person. They gave me tons of this kind of work after all. I was really good at it because I enjoyed approaching women every minute, and this gave me a legitimate excuse to do so. :)

These promotional gigs pay about $10 an hour and are very easy. I did it for years. As long as you're reliable and do your job cheerfully, they will always have promotional gigs for you because companies are always trying to promote new products. So the work can be very regular, if you want to work regularly that is. Summer, when people are outdoors, is the peak season for this kind of work. It's also fun in that you promote a different product every week and get to stand outside and enjoy the sun.

This is all independent contractor work with no commitment. You can quit anytime. But if you are reliable they will give you regular work. I did lots of extra work and promotion gigs through talent agencies. Call all the ones you in your area and ask how to apply. Or email them if they have a website. It's easy and fun.

I did this kind of work a lot in San Francisco and Seattle, so if any of you are in that area, I can tell you who to contact. I also worked for a talent agency in Reno, NV, so I can tell you who to call for that area too.

Warning: Beware of talent agencies who quickly try to sell you expensive acting classes. Many of them do this. When you come in, they tell you that you have a lot of potential and all you need is some training, so they try to sweet talk you into paying $900 for their acting classes or modeling classes. Or they will require you to get new headshots from only their photographer.

These are considered scams by the industry, but many lower end agencies profit mainly from this kind of thing, so they don't have much choice. Some of these lower end agencies who try to sell you classes do give you real work. But you should try to see if they will give you work without paying for their classes or paying for new headshots from their photographer. Be firm about it and see if they will give in. You should also ask around to see which agencies are more legit, or try to Google their reputation.

To learn more about becoming an extra in films, see the links below:
http://www.wikihow.com/Become-an-Extra-in-a-Movie
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-10557/How-movie-extra.html
http://www.entertainmentcareers.net/resources/becoming-an-extra/
http://beinamovie.com/extra/index.php

To see a list of national casting calls for extras, check here:
https://www.backstage.com/casting/open-casting-calls/extras-casting/

Conclusion

Thanks for reading. Hope these above options will give you alternatives to consider. Of course, you can do a combination of the above options too. Always remember, "where there's a will, there's a way." And most importantly, remember to always live TRUE to yourself and live authentically. So I recommend this book by Walt Goodridge: http://www.livingtruetoyourself.com

Thanks for reading.

Sincerely,
Winston Wu

See also:
How to Make Money Online So You Can Live and Travel Freely
How to be Free and Conscious in a Society of Enslavement and Fear