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



70 comments:

  1. You either leave out or I missed it about what type of "Asian American" you are. That covers a lot of ground and so just wondering if you are a %100 Taiwanese or Chinese American which might make you indistingushable to the locals as a foreigner or are you of Japanese, Filipina, Thai or even and area of Chinese that had little immigration to Taiwan?
    I guess irregardless it sounds like you are miserable and sounds like you need to go somewhere where you can enjoy live, life love

    ReplyDelete
  2. What does it matter how Asian I am? I am Taiwanese ethnically. Why? In Taiwan, I see lots of Taiwanese guys with girls everywhere. Most of the time, the guy isn't even that good looking. I just don't fit in. I'm not narrow, insular, conformist, belong to a clique, nor do I act like a Taiwanese. That's a turn off to them. The Western minded Taiwanese girls are seeking white guys. So I have no place in Taiwan. No wonder why Asian Americans don't like living in Taiwan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry but it sounds to me that you aren't getting much love from the ladies. Don't complain so much about stuff and you might have better luck.

      Delete
    2. As a Taiwanese, I am soooo sorry for you, I never seen any miserable Taiwanese people like you in my entire life.

      Obviously you lacked of correct philosophy and the manner for life, this is the reason makes you fits no where.

      Taiwan life is you made of it.

      Take my advise ,you need go to see specialist

      Delete
    3. John;and Winston
      we , museum visiting, concert,love hiking---too much beautiful places and thing to enjoy, Taiwan is heaven for us, we don't need go to bar for fun at all

      To give you some tips, Taiwanese people generally like people who are humble and respectful.

      Delete
    4. Oops !
      correction:
      advice, places and things

      Delete
    5. I hate to say this Winston, but you are wrong about Taiwanese girls going after white guys. You might have that impression based on what other white people claim but it's so not true. Maybe some guys get a lot of attention here but they most likely would back home too. I am a 25 year old white American in Taipei, I am of good shape and decent looks and I have to say that I receive no extra attention here than I would in the United states. I can get a girl over here but with more effort than I would have to spend to get a girl back in America. What I am trying to say is girls here really are stand-offish and it's not just you or because you are Asian. I'm not sure if it is different outside of Taipei but here I'm no chic magnet.

      Delete
  3. As a Taiwanese Canadian I have to say I agree with most of your points. Taiwan is definitely a conformist society where everyone does things in groups, and individualism is being repressed.

    However, I have to disagree with your observation regarding young girls and young adults in general in TW. Taiwan is probably one of the easiest places to pick up girls in bars, workplace, etc. Most of my ABC friends hold the same view, so i believe you're overstating the inward-looking characteristics of female there.

    Contrary to your observation, I find old people in Taiwan close-minded and extremely arrogant towards "outsiders" while young adults are more open to ideas and foreigners. Don't know where you've been hanging out, but my friends in Taiwanese universities hang out and constantly have foreigners in their cliques. (Here I have to agree with your observation with cliques. If you aren't a part of the clique, you are considered an outsider. This is very true in TW/ East Asian culture) And no, young people aren't actually narrowly minded here. At least not as narrow-minded as what I've experienced in North America.They probably give you this impression because of exclusion from the clique. (Bad conformist way of living, again)

    In terms of free thought, many freethinking Taiwanese tend to keep their opinion unheard, afraid of being labeled as "weird" in the conformist society. I believe this is the reason why you fail to find any "freethinkers" in the country. In fact, if you search online, you can find a bunch of brilliant websites and blogs where those brilliant dudes sharing ideas,insulating from a massively dumbed-down society.

    I totally understand your rant about Taiwan as people here are really not that friendly and food doesn't taste all that great. (Taiwanese like to say Taiwan has the best food) But, hey. I'm in Toronto now and all the Japanese food here tastes like garbage. Asking for Mexican/Italian food has probably gone too far.

    Since you're not a TW citizen, all I can say is to try leaving the island asap.Why do you have to stick to the island if you hate it so much?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good on you for making this post. Don't listen to other people telling you to get out. You have the right to your opinion.

    You make a lot of good points I've already been saying for years, and everyone thinks I'm a bitch for saying them.

    Unfortunately, the whiteys that have posted here have fallen victim to TW's curse and are losers at home whose lack of social skills match exactly with people here, hence the reason they have fallen in love with this island and its naive people.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Winston,

    You're a cunt. You sound too bitter. Ever heard of Tropical scenery? Heck i duno, Watch the movie predator 1 if you don't know what a tropical rain-forest looks like. Stop comparing Taiwan to Russia for F*cks sake. Russians are backwards as F*Ck. That country is also pretty poor, no decency to pay its people properly. The girls in Eastern Europe and Russia are approachable but they get into bed with virtually every ugly bastard lol. Don't mean to generalize but it's true for 2/3rd of them. You are an ABC - F*cking hell. I hate Chinese people taking advantage of American Jus Soli - birthright citizenship. We should be like Australia - only grant citizenship to people born on our soil upon reaching their 10th or 12th birthday - if they lived in the country "of birth" continuously for that long. This applies to people whose parents/ guardians could not get naturalized before their turning 10 or 12 years old :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. For the record - I prefer living in states over Taiwan but this post is exaggerating a lot. It Compared Taiwan to RUSSIA of all the shitholes - Jesus Christ. Russians pay their surgeons $400 a month you shit-head. Doing This kind of injustice maintains them as the 2nd strongest military power in the world, after the USA. And don't get me started on Socialism - say anything against the government in that country during Soviet times and they'll kidnap your ass, sending you off to work in the plutonium mines, leaving you to die from radiation poisoning later. But right now things have improved. You'll just simply get murdered by "an evil, cold-blooded combination of John Ghotti and Stalin" Vladimir Putin ;) The girls everywhere have their flaws but in Taiwan, me being a white guy, I made $12,000 a month with bonus, so I won't tolerate this kind of skeptical talk. And I'VE NEVER TAUGHT F*CKING ENGLISH TO ANYONE IN MY LIFE. I worked too hard in College and University to teach in English in Taiwan. Instead I received a position in Taiwan's industrial research. Nuff said. BTW, I am of 1/3rd Russian ancestry but 3rd generation American now - The majority of women from that country "Russia + Ukraine" are CUNTS who seem to have a thing for ugly men that don't stand much chance with the good looking girls in Europe or USA. SEE NO WHERE IS PERFECT. Ukranian women have C.U.N.T. stamped in their DNA. All that they need from a young age is dick and more dick. Doesn't matter much who it's from. Thats why they also make pretty bad choice of boyfriends as well. See is generalizing NICE? sounding more and more like winston for ya'll here. Winston's got "some" good points but he's presenting them as a skeptic who's just out to totally shatter the image of a decent place like Taiwan. Don't get me Started on English "from UK" Women...next time.

    ReplyDelete
  7. To the Taiwanese Canadian above - What Winston is describing is true about Canadian Women to an even much GREATER EXTENT, than it is for Taiwanese women. You're not kidding anyone. Canadian women are trash and it's one big in denial, hypersensitive country.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your post is bad and you should feel bad.

    I don't even know where to start dissecting this.

    Lemme just say, having been to Europe, it's a much bigger shithole than Taiwan (except maybe Germany/Switzerland).

    Also, freethinker? You just sound like an angsty teenager. Problem?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I don't have to read the entire article to know what you are talking about. I AM TOTALLY AGREED WITH YOU. Gosh, I feel the same way, and I still in Taiwan.

    I experienced the same thing you experienced. I don't really have friends here, but I am happy that way. Because they prick into your life and everyone else's life whether you are a friend or not. They even judge me negatively because I treated my dog too well. By "too well", I let my dog stay in hospital because he was diagnosed with diabetes.

    And also, it is so easy to offend Taiwanese. Anything I said (in Chinese) can hurt somebody's feelings. End up, I just shut up.. Best solution ever in Taiwan.

    Oh well, I can't leave yet. I have to finish my work here... and yes, it's miserable to stay here.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Winston,
    It is good to see that someone who outwardly looks Taiwanese can have similar sentiments as myself. I have tried my hardest to fit in in this society. It sucks to have others assume I can't speak the local dialect (even though I can speak Mandarin and Taiwanese) and treat me according to one "foreigner" they met who has no Earthly connection to me. I'm one of the most optimistic people you could meet (honest to God). At this point, I'm just saving to make my exit out of this place. Good riddance.....

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pathetic, typical, formulaic. What is it with you straight little mommy and daddy tell me what to do kids? "The Dark Side of Taiwan?" Hilarious. You're damn right there is, but it isn't this crap. "The food?" You couldn't be more fresh off the boat if you tried, Mr.' I'm so different from them,' Asian America. Taiwan isn't boring, you are. Taipei is delicious hot electric and no one talks about the food. I'm gay, the girls, the guys, gay and straight, we all pile into bed together, after the gay bar, and make our 8am class too. You marginalize and blame women becuase they don't want to sleep with you, arrogant prick. You're game is as old as Paul in the bible. he didn't like homos, or women either. "(Nationality) Women are (something negative)," is the losers calling card, dude.

    All the cool kids, gay and straight are at the gay bars in Taipei, While you're bored at the noodle house, doing food reviews, we're having a crazy good time, National Taipei University is a hotbed of open thought, science, philosophy, in the middle of the worlds hottest politics between the soul of China which is the Taiwanese people rejecting the communists, (oh Chinese Taipei, or are you too afraid to call it Taiwan?)and Communist China, which is what? Nothing, other than infringing on the sovereignty, of the hottest party boys, in the one of the wildest towns in the free world. Just becuase your straight, and Asian American, we won't hold that against you, anybody can come party with us, and we all make our 8am class. This is how we do it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You aren't even Asian you white-male-privilege touting phaggot. Get the fuck out of East Asia, or else get ready to get beheaded when East Asian males have had enough of your arrogance and douchebaggery.

      Delete
    2. To John
      Taiwanese hate arrogant and crazy misbehavior foreigners like you, and they like humble decent,respectful people, take my tips, or one day they might kick you out

      Delete
  12. I'm a Taiwanese American that comes to Taipei on a regular basis; just about every summer. I go to college in the states and I have to say that I do not agree with many of your points. Taiwan has so much to offer the "freethinking" mind. I think that you're not hitting the right spots. I love coming to Taipei. The people may have a conformist tendency but the new generation is swiftly breaking that stereotype, even the older generation is taking notice. I mean, where are you hanging out at all the time? Are you just walking around people watching or something? The chicks are not that bad dude, they might be a little more shy than American girls, but every girl is a freak. This is true like 95% of the time, you just have to know how to bring it out in them. Keep your head up guy, keep trying with the girls. For some reason reading everything up to the point of you bashing every single thing in Taiwan pisses me off. You're allowed to have an opinion but god damn grow a pair of balls. This is where you are from, and I would advise you to try and take the best of both worlds. Taiwan is my second home and I don't take too kindly to people bashing on my home, just like I don't take kindly to people bashing on America. For being such a "freethinker" I think that you're putting the entire Taiwanese culture into a very narrow category. Get your ass out there and experience some more. Honestly go to the Luxy for one night and if you don't get laid well holy shit you are worthless. If you have any kind of American accent with your Chinese the girls (who are mostly easy to get drunk) pretty much instantly wet their panties. Grow a fucking pair you geed.

    ReplyDelete

  13. As an ABC female, I agree with much of what you say! And you say it quite well too. I know because I took it upon myself to travel around the western portion of Taiwan (Tainan, Kaoshan, Taipei) alone during the New Year's in 2012 for over a month thinking I could find work as an English teacher. Now if you read this part, you will laugh! My own parents warned me against going! What can you find there? they mocked me.

    So I did feel hurt and confusion at the rejections I received regarding employment (they prefer youthful Westerners). I also was confused about the difference in number of ethnic tribes, like the number of Filipinos and Japanese. If you are at hostels, they are also discriminatory against lone single female ABCs.

    But give me a chance to explain what I have come up with for several reasons more about the so-called Freeze:

    One, is that they feel hard up against ABCs as we are viewed as "luckier" than them. They like to look up to us, but are ashamed to. It's a chip on the shoulder, the exchange rate, working all their lives to save up the money to visit USA.

    Two, yes, they are also conservative. They expect people to be at a certain predictable stage in life, befitting the age and gender. A lone traveling ABC female is something of an eyesore. We are supposed to be invisible when we get older, and yet here I am in people's faces, with my dowdy Lands End clothes. They don't get it, especially if they have never traveled to the US--but you are giving them a primer, if you think about it.

    Third, so you are luckier as a male, at least, you can consider talking with the women. The older crowd will consider you for a potential son-in-law. But there is definitely a cultural divide, and maybe you have to not be so picky. Certainly from the number of mixed couples I saw, dating Western men is not impossible at all. Whereas the converse is not true as an ABC female.

    Fourth, like any foreign country or a little more so, they really take great pride in compliments. And also they will point out how little you know about their little country, such as have you ever visited the eastern side of the island?

    Fifth, so that brings back the point of this so-called Freeze. I dare say you would get even more of a Freeze in Hong Kong, and come to think of it London, beneath the surface, since islanders only have so much space.

    Sixth, your discussion somehow ignores (to support the thesis which does help illuminate a very confusing issue for ABCs), the number of really holy people that are floating around. Such a great number of temples, and religious people, and religiosity among the older people. The people in the suburbs are also very friendly, but of course it is hard to talk their dialect.

    One Westerner tells me that it just takes time, and that if you have an open attitude, you can get used to it. Certainly, if you take away the lens of financial gain or looking for work or all of that, it would be a lot less stressful, and quite a nice vacation. Others, however, insinuated that they deserved the guest treatment.

    Seventh, they really do associate a lot in groups from the time they start going to school. So they are not used to associating with strangers (the preppies aren't) and that has good sides and bad to them. Its getting to be alot like that here in the US, not a very healthy model, but what can one do when all the economy is so stagnant that we have become bottom feeders?

    Thanks for the blog post, because you have articulated a very confusing issue for other ABCs who may be better prepared when they try to do what I did. Maybe more Taiwanese will appreciate the benefit that ABCs are hardworking, and a more practical resource than they appear to be.

    ReplyDelete
  14. For the white living in Taiwan, you won't understand Winston feeling because you look like a foreigner and he doesn't. Taiwanese treat "Western/White" foreigners differently than they do with Asian foreigners. They don't judge you half the way they judge Asian foreigners. If you could, my advice is leave this country and find a better place.. while you still can =) not about the girls but personality mismatch perhaps

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello, your words indeed very offensivefor which I disagree, we normal Taiwanese, we treat everybody much of the same, we only like humble and honest, respectful people only.

      If a white who behavior as bastard, in our eyes he is bastard..you know what I mean ???? SKIN COLOUR IS NO COUNTS !!!!

      Delete
  15. What anonymous said about Russians and Russian girls?
    Seems, that anonymous really have some problems, don't he? Next time try to say it to Russian man directly and write about the result. If you can.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I hate Taiwan and all the fake women acting cute, and all men with their small cocks .... I wish China would bomb the this place...

    And I'm white

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. if you crazy for sex, Taiwan certainly is not your place, just go to China for aggressive women, big cocks men, they might satisfied your crocked sexual desires . Bye!
      And I am white too

      Delete
  17. Winston--- read your article... you are right on most counts... I'm a "white" American with a 16 year son who is half Taiwanese. Its harder on him than it is on you, trust me. Still, I agree with one other person who said that the girls are easy to pick up here. They are if you ply them with booze and lie to them. Don't be so hard on yourself. You are lucky, you are an American first, and then whatever else you care to be..try having have some fun with these miserable women and loosen up...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello arrogant American
      lucky to be American ? the Heaven knows

      Delete
  18. Winston - I hope you do find some good and understanding friends in Taiwan, even a few is good enough. They could help you live happier - but eventually I believe, if you still want to continue living in Taiwan, you may need to find ways to fit in; though it does not mean pretending to be someone else at all.

    Taiwanese culture doesn't change overnight. And there are people hoping it to change in a good way, but it will take time. Glad you're giving Taiwan a chance.

    In a work environment, for example, maybe try voice your concerns (or solution to a problem) to your manager in a way they can accept (generally more polite with few and concise words). If they don't take it time after time, maybe it's an indication you look for a different company (maybe a foreign company with more open culture). Similarly for city you live in - try northern / southern / central part of Taiwan; I am impressed people in these different areas have different values and attitudes.

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You just sound like a giant bitter pussy that couldn't get laid.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have not been back to Taiwan for over a decade, however, I recently heard some horrifying stories from one of my good friends, an American Caucasian , who went to Taiwan for a visit and was mistreated everywhere he went.

    He was mistreated from rude attitudes of customer service at the store to rejection of service at some local convenient stores and more. I don't know what Taiwan has become, I remembered when I grew up there, we were taught to be friendly and nice to foreign visitors in despite of where they are from. Isn't there a Chinese proverb saying, it is a joy to have friends coming from afar.

    I heard that the political party there is promoting Taiwanese nationalism, which is not a bad thing but when it is also promoting of discrimination, there are many problems in it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am not sure which part of Taiwan you live or stay whatsoever. My parents live in Taipei city close to American school and Yang Ming Mountain, and they are very open minded so are my siblings and their daughters and sons.

    No matter where you are, you shall stop whining but enjoy where you are and melt in. Lots of time, your biased perception is caused by misunderstanding of the language ( dialects and colloquial expression ) and the small gesture or behavior the island people have. If you feel offended, ask them what they really meant and ask them why they are being rude. No matter where you go, if it is outside of your birth place, you will sure have lots of cultural shocks.

    In addition, don't go out of Taipei or Taichung....the rest of Island except Taipei city and Taichung city are assumed very township like ( I've got discriminated because I speak lousy Taiwanese since I was a kid, even though I am Taiwanese ), and that is why you will see ordinary views.

    And since you are Asian, always put a smile on your face...coz lots of Asians look like they are angry when they don't smile.

    You compare Taiwan in general to other nice tourist spots overseas ( most of the scenes you showed me are like in the Southern part of Taiwan...duh...it is just like central southern part of the U.S., where have you been? )

    *Side note to Taiwanese:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    when you don't understand a foreigner talking to you, do not burst into a big laughter in front any foreigners because they will think you are crazy and laughing at them for no reason and it is rude. Just ask them what they really meant or use gestures and show them you can not speak their language by pointing your mouth and wave no on the other hand or just say "no English no English" like my mother would say to my friends from the states.

    Please please please do not think if they come to Taiwan, how come they can not speak Taiwanese and Chinese, because it is difficult to learn Chinese and lots of them admire the culture but give up learning language since there is very limited resources overseas to learn any Asian languages ( Taiwan is not promoting studying Chinese language enough overseas, unlike AIT, British consult or Australian consult promoting business and English language there ) ......ok, kisses and hugs now, it is all misunderstanding.

    (P.S. I am a native speaker of Chinese and Taiwanese, but everyone including my students and friends all laughed at my foreign accent when I was teaching English in Taiwan, I speak Mandarin, Taiwanese dialect, English, French and Japanese )

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is a really great article. I lived in Seattle(all that was said was on the mark). My gf is Chinese(hokkien) from Malaysia, and I had to coach her to her own independence...as the chinese in her country are represses much the same way as Taiwan. Her country is ruled by pathetic muslims they hold the chinese minority (30%) to account for the bulk of the countries income.
    Mr. Wu has a great eye for his surroundings and I truly enjoyed his fresh and honest assessment. When you chase the gloom from someone in never comes back. Liberation is very toxic, and I know my gf would never slide back into being a robot to her elders and and male family members. Fkn excellent writing bro. Keep it up.
    (Maybe you can write next on how absurd white people are when in asia)

    ReplyDelete
  23. You obviously have no clue as to where to go or what to do in Taiwan, and it's not that difficult. "Above-average IQ" my ass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. my 13 years old niece she arranged very well for her 2 month summer visit in Taiwan by her own, and she enjoyed during her stay,
      she is average IQ only.

      We hate comparison ,but after twenty years in here West Europe-Belgium, Holland, France, Taiwan is became such fascinating place, and our family realized Taiwan is the most ideal place to live,(we proud being Taiwanese nationality and refused the local offer ) therefore we planed to move back for good, couldn't wait....

      Delete
  24. You say people will avoid you if you speak badly about Taiwan. I'd avoid you in America if you just sat around talking about how much America sucks. It's a global thing. Nobody wants to hear complaining.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Dude, seek perfessional help ASAP. I'm worried about your mental health.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I 'd like say the same, serious, Winston, it's none of my business, but apparently you got something very wrong with your attitude, you absolutely need helps!!
      apart from you doing something unfire thing to hurt your mother land and people......Allow me straight to you, for example arrogance people often see other's fault only , and picky around, which makes them looks cold and unfriendly....voila! you got it ? Chain reaction!!

      Eventually soul is dying, and become blind for beauty of life, senseless for happiness, then life turns a hell........ that's very dangerous,
      after all there is no paradise in this world, you wont be happy in anywhere.

      You are young, and broad minded( as you described your self) so what the hell you unable to see THOUSANDS of great sides of Taiwan? while millions people could and enjoying there everyday....
      ,just switch your thought you might find how bad post you have written

      May you CALM DOWN TO THINK MY ADVICE,before too late

      Delete
    2. sorry, unfair thing

      Delete
  26. You may have been suffered from Dysthymia. Please ask your doctor to prescribe some Prozac or Zenex for you. You should take some vitamin B complex and mineral supplement. If you don't like pills, try eat multi-grain or whole-grain instead.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Dude, I live in Taiwan. I think you would do better in a poorer country where money talks, not looks. You see what you are lookin for. I looked at your pics from the Northwest. All one color, bland and boring. But yet you say Taiwan's natural scenery is boring. Subjective. We all like different stuff. As for getting chix anywhere--going to the gym and getting in shape never hurt anyone. Girls are like guys, they are attracted to hotness. I am guessing if you went to Thailand or Cambodia you would love the girls. You know, because they will respond to you for your $$. Does that make them more charming, or intelligent? Are they more educated or open minded as a result? Or are they desperate?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Be glad you don't live in China. All the problems you talked about in Taiwan? Multiply that by a billion and you get just Beijing alone, let alone the rest of the country.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am an American and I totally disagree with your opinions. First of all, Taiwan is the most interestung country I have ever been to, Im asian but still i got a lot of friends strangers being nice to me. Most of them will come toward me by themselves. I dont know where you live but you should definitely step out and look around.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Great post! I highly appreciate your content! Please check my site: Toko Buku Islam

    ReplyDelete
  31. Eeew. You try to chat up random women in the street. That's one of the reasons white/Middle Eastern/black guys are kinda gross. Don't bring your disgusting methods back to Taiwan. It's good the way it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah, Taiwanese GIRLS hates strangers who fishing around,(regarded as very rude and cheap) don't bring Western romantic fantasy to Taiwan please, we Taiwanese girls just no interest to see a glance at those who think they are great lovers,

      what's wrong for being shy and reserved Asian lady huun ?

      Delete
  32. Winston,

    First and foremost, I do agree with some of what you have to say about Taiwanese culture. People not obeying traffic laws and being selfish on the road, all together this can be a real headache at first. But this is something that you need to grow accustomed to and accept. If you can learn to forgive and let go, you will find that you have learned the skill of patience. Yes, Taiwan is mostly a conformist state, but aren't they all? Every country has their own culture that people come to expect as the norm.

    Taiwanese people respect people who just be themselves. If you try to come across as something you are not, they will pick this up and resent you for this. This pretty goes the same for people in most countries. Peoples thinking are pretty constant across the world. I say this with experience. The image you portray on to others is directly related to how other will in return treat you.

    I don't doubt that you are intellectual, philosophical, and a unique individual. With that said, you need to remember that other people are as well. If you force your opinion on others and reject others for not having the same opinion as yours, this will make it difficult for you to get along with anyone in general. The Taiwanese people have come a long way in a very short amount of time, and they didn't get here by being repressive and conformists.

    Being a Taiwanese American, there are some expectations from local Taiwanese. They do expect that you can speak your native language on a conversational level. After all, you pride your heritage being from Taiwan, yeah? The first step to seeing an improvement is that you have to make the effort to pick up the native language. Take Chinese classes are your local university (classes are cheap) and you can get the chance to meet other students learning the language.

    You mention a negative energy in Taiwan. Yes, I agree, you do find a lot of folks who overwork themselves trying to support their family. With Mainland China taking over as the worlds cheap supply of labor, Taiwan is finding it hard to be economically competitive in the global market. Wages/salaries have remained stagnant for the past decade. Taiwan has seen better days. Taiwan people as a whole are workaholics (similar to Japan) and are often times stressed out. I do agree with you. Some folks you see on the street have an expression void of any personality, as if they've just had enough with life. Well, big surprise Winston, but life, wherever you look on this planet is filled with misery. Pain and suffering come in many forms, and this is constant wherever you go.

    I hope you don't take what I have to say as negative feedback. I am just trying to guide your mindset in the right direction so that you can benefit. Anyways Winston. If you want to be happy, you need to be cool, be open-minded, humble, and be yourself! I can see where you are coming from because I lived in the US for over 10 years and recently moved back to Taiwan. People in Taiwan are much more friendly and sincere than your average folk in the states. I can't give you an exact manual on how to fit in, but I have to say that you need to make an effort to put yourself out there. Place yourself in the position to meet people, and meet more people from the ones you do meet.

    Taiwan has a lot of positive things to offer. A none repressive government, a truly free country where you can openly break traffic rules, drink on the street, have ridiculously cheap medical coverage (much cheaper if you are a native, but also very cheap as a foreigner), create a life for yourself without relying on a credit system, and conduct business just about anywhere you want without any sort of government barriers.

    Being real and true to yourself will go a long way in Taiwan, good luck man.





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for posting this.

      Delete
    2. Listen to this guy. Also keep in mind that for the social groups you do meet, if they have an impression of you that you want to meet lots of women and to get in bed with them, they are not going to continue to introduce you to more and more of their friends, especially if they think you're going to try to hook up with the lady friends they introduce you to.

      About the rudeness of people, you are going to experience that in any big city--the bigger the city, generally the ruder people are, because there are so many people around, it's impossible to be overly friendly to everyone. You might enjoy a couple days of vacation down in Jialeshui with the surfer crowd, just to see what it's like down there and to get a fresh kind of crowd that has a different mindset.

      Delete
  33. It must be the weather..I would feel repressed too if I had to live thru the heat and humidity of summer there

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. an Overseas TaiwaneseNovember 22, 2013 at 10:33 PM

      The humidity is better than dry and cold,at least it's better for the skin, this is the secret that Taiwanese ladies skin are finer than Westerners

      Poor American, complaining all the time wherever they go, this is well known typical impression of people here (Europe).

      Just switch your mind, Summer in Taiwan is not that unbearable hot,(Compared to Southern Asia, or Texas ,Arizon etc )
      and has so much subtropical charm, however much better than Cold r sonless European Summer

      Besides, the soft water is the best gift as compensation--- for beauty again !!
      This is the reason we have to move back to Taiwan, to save our "faces".

      Delete
    2. an overseas TaiwaneseNovember 22, 2013 at 10:36 PM

      sorry, should be sunless European Summer

      Delete
  34. Hi Winston,
    I'm sorry to hear your frustrations. As an Taiwanese, Japanese, American (one parent Taiwanese, other Japanese, born and raised in the States till 10th grade of HS when we moved to Tokyo) I have spent pretty much every summer in Taipei and winter holidays there. Home in Taipei and Tokyo and where all my family are. I have no friends my age there nor social interactions beyond going shopping and bartering with store keepers but have the fondest memories of following my grandmother around at marketplaces and the local tea place where these aunties and uncles have seen my grow up year after year... Every place is problematic and specifically with the economic ) : in recent times... I have lived in NYC, Paris, etc etc

    ReplyDelete
  35. I will just let numbers talk:
    153 days in Taipei; 43 girls fucked out of 37 were Taiwanese. I'm european.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's pretty amazing. 37 girls. 43 of them Taiwanese. That's like 116% of them.

      Delete
  36. I've lived in Taiwan for as long I've lived in U.S. (became an young adult in the State). For the first time in over a decade 15+ years I've visited Taiwan again. I now remember why I didn't want to come back here even when half of my family is still here.

    There is a major difference between North and South of Taiwan. I want to say 90% of this article is true.







    ReplyDelete
  37. It could be worse: at least you're not Black!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Like you I'm a Taiwanese who has lived in New Zealand for all my life. I have both the New Zealand and Taiwan passport. Im now 23 returning to Taiwan and I can speak and listen to conversational Chinese but cannot read or write.

    Your greatest problem is similar to that of domestic and wild animals. The hard truth is that you're unable to integrate into the environment in Taiwan. There's no one to blame here except yourself because if you can't adapt then that's your problem.

    Although I keep feeling that I'm different and minorly superior, when I think about it, I feel like a total spoiled ass and that makes me feel even more modest. It's only fair we play the same game as the rest and not because you are an ABC you should have certain special rights.

    I'm about to serve my military service and I didn't successfully get the alternate conscription because my health report came out as physically and mentally fit. Therefore I have to serve normal conscription. There's really no reason to be afraid. There are tons of people who are aboriginal's and can't read or write, not to mention that some even can't speak mandarin as well.

    I think if you really feel like you're Taiwanese in some way, man up and stop complaining and play the game. Otherwise get the fk out of Taiwan and go back to the states and stop bitchin.

    You need to take a long hard look at your life and plan where you're suited to go.

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  39. I'm an ethnically Taiwanese Asian-American, just like the author, and I have to say that a lot of his observations are pretty accurate, based on my recent visits to the island. Twenty years ago the atmosphere in Taiwan was much warmer and more optimistic, but nowadays it's obvious that the people there aren't as happy anymore. If you ask me, a lot of this started with the ascent of the Green Party and the divisiveness and anger that they brought out into the open

    Now I'm sure there are pockets of fun, open-minded people in Taiwan that Winston Wu would enjoy hanging out with, but it would certainly be tougher to find those pockets than it would be in say, Mainland China for example. But with that said, Winston makes some good points in this article, and those criticizing him are either non-Asians who don't see the side he sees, or brainwashed Taiwanese-Americans, or local Taiwanese who are isolated and who lack a clear perspective of life in the outside world.

    One thing I don't agree with is Winston's assertion that Asian-Americans won't enjoy Taiwan. Taipei is still more fun than most cities in America, and the food alone is worth a visit. There are a lot of nice people there as well. Sure, westernization and all the propaganda and misinformation that comes with it is starting to make these people a little nuts, but they are nice...

    One last thing, I'm currently working in Mainland China, and the people here seem a lot happier, even though they are poorer. And one thing I definitely have noticed is that the most miserable middle class and upper-middle class people I meet are also the most "westernized" (i.e. "mind-fucked").

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  40. I agree with some of the things you said.

    Some others, I simply can't.

    Specially the dating thingie, but then again. I'm not an Asian American. I am a Mexican that looks European, but has been living in USA for almost 10 years. I guess that changes things a lot.

    I dated a Taiwanese girl for 2 years. Met all her family and friends. They knew I was truthful and blunt, and I even made things "uncomfortable" a few times. But in the end they ended up accepting me, hahaha. Truth be told, maybe I would not have that luxury if I was Asian as you?

    I am sorry to hear you had such a bad experience in Taiwan. As for me? I totally recommend it. Be aware tho, that if you are looking for chicks, Thailand and Philippines are better for that, more relaxed and chill.

    Thanks for posting this, by the way. You made me go back in time.

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  41. Winston,

    I think your just a negative person.Everything you wrote is in one word laughable. BTW how is your Chinese? Can you even speak it? Some of biggest assholes I've met are ABCs. I don't know where you were living, but to say boring and repressed is also laughable. When did you coming here during the martial law period? I just feel your a negative person about everything.

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  42. Winston just needs to meet his Julia.

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  43. 1) You're mad because no girl is giving you attention 2) Sadly high suicide rate, thanks God isn't a high massacres rate as in your country 3) If you want to stop feeling those vibes, stop generating them 4) You must be partially blind or really stupid to think there's no special landscape in Taiwan, I mean Formosa doesn't mean "common" in Portuguese 5) You sound so arrogant while describing yourself and criticizing Taiwanese girls, remember if one girl doesn't like you, she's the problem. If no girl likes you, then you're the problem. 6) If you only can see a miserable society, a boring landscape and nothing else, then I'm afraid the problem is you, while people is pointing at the moon, you're starting at the finger. Taiwan is far away of being perfect, but infinitely farther from deserving an opinion like yours.

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