Can't speak for MM, but I surely do. As to English, no one speaks it when they address me. Not my neighbours, not my MiL, BiL, wife, son (aaarrrrgggghhhhh!!!!! I really wish he would, though!), 7-11 staff (who know me so well they know what I want and start preparing when they see me enter the shop), the Garbos, random strangers and least of all the people I work with (except one, but her English is much more awesome than my Chinese will ever be).
When I go to the Household Registration Office I get preferential treatment that Jay Chou and Xiao S could only dream of. They love the fact that I('m applying for citizenship. Take pictures with me for posterity or whatnot (I'm their first white guy), and they're always extremely helpful and accommodating, bless them.
I used to hate going to the local NIA office, but once I started using Chinese with them I've noticed they're a lot more helpful and friendly than they were in previous encounters.
Sure, sometimes folks refer to me as the waiguoren who lives down the road, but more often than not they refer to me by name or as "The white Taiwanese guy".
Sometimes kids point and stare, but how can I blame them? I'd also stare if I saw such a fine specimen on manliness.
Have I ever felt excluded? No.
Have I ever felt discriminated against? Well, honestly I have to say yes in terms of having to have someone sign with me if I want to get a cell phone contract, but the same rules would apply to foreigners in my country of birth. It's a bit risky letting someone who could bugger off at the drop of a hat have access to an account where they could phone up a storm and disappear, no?
That's for damn sure, and not just in Canada. In SA I was still seen as a European and a coloniser, regardless of the fact that my family had been in the country for well over 300 years and had initially colonised a part of the country that never saw a single Bantu person until the 19th century. Bloody impertinence. Imagine.
Well f*ck it. I opted to leave, and I've never regretted the decision for a second. Now, my only gripe is the red tape necessary (not to mention the "African time" involved) in renouncing my citizenship!!!
Sure, but countries like Canada have a long history of mass immigration from all parts of the globe. It would be idiotic to assume anyone there is a foreigner. In Taiwan, if you don't look Chinese/Asian, chances are you aren't Taiwanese. Easy mistake to make if you happen across someone like Poagao or SatTV...
Perhaps the real problem is, that as a German, it makes him feel like they're treating him like an Engländer... :idunno:
I can understand that, as I hate it when people, here or anywhere assume I'm an Afrikaner simply because I'm a white Saffa. :bluemad:
But then I just educate them to the truth, i.e. I'm descended from a proud line of viking marauding, Angle Saxon conquering, Norman invading, English colonising stock. Also known as a Rooinek. F*ck yeah!
I can vouch for that approach. People treated me much more like their own in my neighbourhood (even pointing out to outsiders when they refer to me as a waiguoren, that I'm "one of them") after I chased a neighbourhood kid down the street for repeatedly coming up to my house and staring. That was perhaps a bit much, but explaining your situation in a nicer way (as I did to the two aunties watching after I chased the little bugger) can have a similar result. Once the neighbours know you, you're all good.
Sure, there's always strangers, but it's not like they're belligerent or anything.
Where do you come from?
Whip out the old ID card ala SatTV, or failing that explain how long you've been here, have a kid etc. It's amazing how people welcome you as opposed to other places in the world where that may have the opposite effect. :2cents: