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Monday, August 25, 2008

Four incompatibilities with Taiwanese/Chinese people: Why I'm different from my own kind

Four incompatibilities with Taiwanese/Chinese people: Why I'm different from my own kind

Hi my name is Winston Wu. I am a very unique blend in that I am a Taiwanese American with a European/Latin mentality and soul. However, those who stereotype automatically assume that as a Taiwanese American, I will have Taiwanese traits. So to them and others who are interested, I present this summary of key differences between my traits and those of typical Taiwanese and Chinese people.

Although Taiwanese/Chinese people are usually very kind, possess a rigid sense of morality and conscience, and have rock solid family values, I have many incompatibilities with them in the areas of mind, soul, values, beliefs and lifestyle. Here are some of the key ones.

1. Taiwanese/Chinese people are natural followers and conformists in both mind and lifestyle. They see obeying society and authority as the only possible path in life without alternatives. Thus, they are only comfortable by "following the pack". Rather than thinking for themselves or thinking outside the box, they think as they are "supposed" to think. They do not "dare to be different".

Therefore, if you are too different from them, they don't know what to do with you and often just ignore you. You see, Taiwanese/Chinese people lack any interest in trying to comprehend those who are different from them. Probably, this is because they are not curious intellectuals, but are workaholics and followers driven by duty who live to conform. Thus, they do not relish being unique or different, nor are they interested in understanding those who are. Instead, they have a tunnel vision mentality in which life is all about "following" rather than thinking for yourself or creating something. In addition, they are very strict and serious about their ways.

On the other hand, as a freethinker and freespirit, I like to think for myself, even if it goes against conventional lines. And I relish being unique and different. I am not afraid to go against the majority or crowd if I feel I am right. To me, truth and free expression are the most important ideals, not conformity. Rather than being limited to a one-dimensional practical mindset, I have a multi-faceted perspective that incorporates both practicality and imagination/creativity. Being naturally inquisitive, I seek to understand different people and what they are about. And as a writer, I am constantly thinking, musing and asking questions.

2. Taiwanese/Chinese are workaholics with few other interests in life. Almost every Taiwanese person has a strong desire to be a workaholic. In fact, this desire is so deeply ingrained into the Taiwanese culture and soul that if you don't have it, they think there is something wrong with you or that you are some kind of freak.

Like the American/Anglo-Saxons mindset, they "live to work" and usually work 6 or 7 days a week, having few or no other interests. Even when they are rich enough to retire and not work anymore, many of them still want to continue working because they get bored to death and feel empty if they don't. They wouldn't know what else to do, sadly. Like corporate America, they have an Anglo-Protestant work ethic and value that states that a person has no worth without a job or career. They enjoy working hard just for the sake of working hard, which is a grand virtue to them. You can see this not only in their workaholic lifestyle, but also in the fact that they are not able to converse on a variety of subjects, or engage in deep conversations. Instead, their conversations are usually limited to topics about surface-level necessities and practicalities.

As for me, I have more of a European or Latin mentality and soul toward life. For instance, I do not measure my life in terms of career progress, but by the variety of rich experiences I've had. I am an eclectic and Renaissance type of man who lives for intellectual and artistic pursuits. And I am deeply philosophical, inquisitive, and existentialist in nature. Also, I am wild, passionate and romantic, yet cultured, artistic and intellectual at the same time (a rare combination of traits for a Taiwanese or American, but not for a European or Latin). Thus, I am more like an Italian, Frenchman or Spaniard than a Taiwanese or American.

So, to the typical Taiwanese person who gives me a puzzled look when they find out that I don't have a desire to be a workaholic, I say this, "Sorry buddy, I respect you and all, but we are different creatures driven by different things."

3. Taiwanese/Chinese people, like most Americans, tend not to talk to strangers unless it's business related or on an "as needed" basis. They only meet new people through mutual friends and socialize only within their own clique. This is especially the case with young women. As a result, the average Taiwanese/Chinese person's dating choices and social circle is severely limited to the few in their clique, closed off from the rest of the world's population. Outside one's clique, other people are like an "off limits zone" to them, similar to how it is in the US. In my book, that sucks (but fortunately it doesn't have to be that way, and in most countries of the world, it's not). And as in American social culture, there exists an "ice barrier" between strangers, but without the paranoia that pervades the typical modern American populace.

Well I don't like countries like that. I like meeting quality people and beautiful women. So I am happier in countries where general people are open and sociable (not just kids and old people like in Taiwan), where it is normal to talk to people in public settings and where they are comfortable doing so. I don't like being restricted to cliques or requiring introductions, which severely hamper the opportunities and are low probabilities. Countries that limit socialization to within cliques are a "catch 22" - you have to have a lot of friends to meet a lot of people, but you can't get a lot of friends unless you meet them through a lot of friends first. Hence a "closed loop".

Thus, only those that get in early have opportunities to meet others or get acquainted with nice available women. Or those that have the "right" connections, which only a few will have of course. But even if you do have good connections, the number of people you can meet will still be miniscule compared to those you can meet in countries with open free-flowing inclusive social cultures.

4. Taiwanese/Chinese people and society tend to be extremely "square", prudish, inhibited, conservative, tight, strict, proper, serious, submissive, and hung up about sex. (Thus, they would be suitable candidates for conversion to Protestant Christian religious sects, which idealize and emphasize such traits.)

As a result, they tend not to be very fun to hang around, as they never really "let loose", but are constantly obsessed with work and duty 24/7. After all, people who are too "square" are not much fun. Also, Taiwanese parents tend to be control freaks and worry-worts who try to create co-dependency in their children.

In Taiwan, sex is a taboo subject. They are so ashamed and embarassed by it that they suppress any notion of it publicly. To even utter the word "sex", "horny" or "pick up girls" in Taiwan would be like cussing in a church. Even compared to the solemn serious Japanese, they are more hung up about sex in comparison, as they don't even have a porn industry, whereas Japan has a huge porn industry. In fact, even Taiwanese actors in movies and TV shows are not wild or uninhibited in them, but are serious and solemn!

It's no wonder then, that on internet forums for those seeking sex, such the one on, many have said that Taiwan is not the place for whoremongers or those looking to get laid or seeking wild action. They say the sex scene there is virtually dead. Taiwanese girls are so prudish in fact, that they don't even like to shake hands. After all, how can I talk or even think about sex around someone who is so stiff that she can't even shake hands?!

In my experience, Taiwanese women who are wild, uninhibited and horny are like UFO's and Bigfoot. Sure, I HEAR stories ABOUT them, but I never SEE or EXPERIENCE them! And everyone who claims to know some that I've asked to show them to me has FAILED to do so or come up with some excuse. Whatever. Thus, I conclude that if they exist they must be extremely rare, and certainly not easily available to the average guy. Most Taiwanese people I've known tend to marry their first or second partner, so not many have had many partners. The society is way too square for "sexual exploration".

In contrast though, in the neighboring Asian countries of Philippines or Thailand, I can easily find and experience wild uninhibited women ANY time I want, every day and every minute if I wanted to. No problem at all in babe paradise. And I can easily demonstrate this to others who don't believe it, without any excuses.

As a freespirit/freethinker, I feel suffocated by all this. I love action, adventure, fantasy, imagination, fun, desires, sex and fast women, none of which are encouraged in a pragmatic Taiwanese society nor flows naturally in it. Instead, everything feels repressed and subdued. In Taiwan, I get the impression that one is supposed to be humble, non-expressive, weak and submissive, doing only one's duty as a workaholic and conformist. (Well sorry bud, that's just not me.) Therefore, being a freethinker, intellectual, melodramatic, wild or passionate, feels out of sync and out of tune with the Taiwanese environment.

In short, I would have to say that like America, Taiwan has a bland culture that is good for making money and being a workaholic, but not for living life to the fullest, having different experiences, enjoying one's existence or having fun.


Thank you for reading. I believe and hope that this presentation sufficiently explains to those who expect me to have Taiwanese traits, why they are mistaken. As explained above, these incompatibilities and key differences between me and my fellow Taiwanese people make me feel like an alien among them, of a different species. They don't understand me and I don't understand them. The only kindred spirit I feel with them is in language and race, for there exists a comfort zone and level of trust between Taiwanese people that non-Taiwanese cannot feel, which is hard to put in words. But in terms of my mind and soul, no way. We couldn't be more different.

Now, it is true that most Taiwanese people do seem to share the traits described above, at least in my experience and that of those who I've talked to. But I guess every general pattern and rule has exceptions, so I happen to be one in this case.

So to the typical Taiwanese person who approaches me assuming me to be like them, I say this:

"Buddy, I respect you and all, but we are just different creatures driven by different things. Now, if you wish to try to understand me, I will help you to do so. But odds are, you won't be interested or you will feign interest out of politeness only. If that's the case, then so be it. To each his own."

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