Why do so many Taiwanese speak English to foreigners?


I think he made his point quite well, especially if you think about how many times one may have been asked 'are you an English teacher' or 'Where you from?".


excellent point, but again leads away from the topic at hand, Toasty may get irate again.


I guess I got asked the same questions 10.000 times in my years here. I have days the people around me seem like ghosts or robots, who talk, giggle and smile absolutely exactly like they did the day before. It's like in a Dante café where they play the same song 50 times in a row and I am the only one who seem to notice.

Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today


I am not the one who is having an emotional reaction to harmless behaviour. If anyone is irate, it's you. Days and days of posts by you, going around and around. It's clear this society just doesn't do it for you. So leave already.

The only people who ask such questions are people you don't know making small talk and trying to be friendly. Would you prefer violence or hatred? How are those questions hurting you?


I disagree entirely. Therefore, all I can assume is that they are uncomfortable, tensed and insecure when they deal with YOU. And they have my sympathies, because that is EXACTLY how you make ME feel when dealing with you.
Yet again: It is YOU, not THEM. :unamused:


I am sure that all caucasians in Taiwan experience what I described. All.


And I am sure you're sure. 'Aint so much as a hill of beans, though, really. I'm here to tell you that is NOT how I feel at all. And if I HAVE experienced it, I've long since forgotten all about it. Which amounts to pretty much the same thing, I'd say.
IMO, from the nature of your posts, you're prickly, easily offended, don't quite grasp nuance and quite possibly as a result (of course I don't know THAT part for sure), just not the kind of bloke people are happy spending time with. Look in the mirror, not out at the world. Because I am quite, quite sure that your problems come from within.


Too long to post here, but this is one of the many analyses of the message behind the film: transparencynow.com/groundhog.htm

From the article:

"An example of an exceptional work of moral fiction is the apparently minor comedy, Groundhog Day, which shows us a character who has to be exiled from normal life so he can discover that he is in exile from himself. In the course of living the same day over and over again, he finally figures out a constructive response -- he begins to live his life in the day allotted to him, or, rather, he begins to live the life he never lived before. Instead of allowing circumstances to impose themselves on him, he takes control of circumstances. What is so powerful about Groundhog Day is the way it lets us experience what it would be like to make a breakthrough like this in our own lives. The movie shows us a character who is like the worst in ourselves. He is arrogant and sarcastic, absorbed in his own discomforts, without hope, and cut off from other people. Like us, he finds himself in an inexplicable situation, seemingly a plaything of fate. But, unlike us, he gets the luxury of being stuck in the same day until he gets it right. Whereas most of us go semi-automatically through most of our (very similar) days, he is forced to stop and treat each day like a world onto itself, and decide how to use it. In the end, he undergoes a breakthrough to a more authentic self in which intimacy, creativity and compassion come naturally - a self that was trapped inside him and that could only be freed by trapping him. Like many of the heroes of fiction, he can only escape his exile from himself by being exiled in a situation not of his choosing."


Yes good movie. The whole point of groundhog day is that once you change your own attitude, other things change as well. But you are the one who needs to make the change, not the people around you. So you have just identified that the issues you have with being in Taiwan relate to YOU. It you who needs to change/

When I was in Norway and Sweden people would always ask me where I was from, what I was doing in their country, and when would I leave. They are specially friendly in Norway and Sweden as well. Sounds just like Taiwan.

I think it is you being tense and insecure, not the local people here. It's not like seeing a foreigner or speaking with a foreigner is not uncommon, especially in Taichung. I am caucasion but do not feel the same you do. Get it, I don't feel what you feel. If you felt as I did I am sure you would feel just like any other normal person in this country instead of having a big chip on your shoulder, about how you are a foreigner.

My bet is if people ask you where your home is, the answer would be somewhere in Germany. When people ask me where my home is, it is in Alishan.


Many locals ask other locals where are they from and what do they do for a living. Expats ask me that as well just as commonly.

I haven't had anybody ask me if I am an English teacher for years. Mostly they ask me if I even have a job at all.
Actually a lot of them ask me if I grow orchards or tea after I tell them I live in Alishan.


Touduke, when I was a FOB I took 2 semesters of Mandarin to get me going. I experienced some discrimination at places such as banks and phone companies etc.. I was ready to pack it up right away, but I had stuck with it, and had good success once I realize that I couldn't change ignorant peoples opinions, and just stuck around my close Taiwanese friends that were willing to help me out.

One of my family members in in Taiwan, and her Mandarin is flawless after being here for so many years. Even if someone yells "hello" at her, once they realize her Mandarin is a high level, they gladly switch over. It may just be that your level of language in their opinion isnt enough to hold a conversation with, so they default to English.

But I wont slag your opinion, as it is not an uncommon feeling to feel like a fish out of water at times.


I know that is common for people who look different, the point is it's just really boring!


No. Most people find this a pretty easy going place. Here's what a guy who recently came over to go cycling wrote on his blog:

Another member of the same group write:

Fact is most people here feel safe secure at ease. The very opposite of what you do. Really, time for soul searching.


I wouldn't be so fast to say it's safe and secure. High level of theft and break-ins (even in daylight) should be a sign that you must be on the look-out for anything suspicious, on top of scams.



It's not black or white but certainly a fair few Taiwanese have a fear of interacting with foreigners, that is not a racist thing, some are ignorant, some are fearful, some are lazy...we all know the routine, in the bank etc. If you speak Chinese first most of it is easily avoided.
But there are also plenty that don't have fear ..so hard to say really. It's very hard to blend in as a white person, actually impossible, so you just have to live with that.

Taiwan was and still is to a lesser extent a dangerous place for people with money, high rate of kidnappings, frauds, scams, burglaries. For instance I was once involved in a protracted set of court cases here, coincidentally I got a few fraud calls purporting to be from local police station issuing summons for me at the time, strange eh? Then there are the numerous calls my wife gets from people who have accessed her online shopping records, obviously sold off by corrupt employees of said companies. A lot of Taiwanese are not actually very honest but thankfully violent crime is relatively rare and the real bad guys are not interested in most of us small potatoes.


Yeah, you have to be especially really careful about the curtain sellers.


I've found that most taiwanese enjoy interacting with foreigners, but that probably depends more on your looks.


It's too bad the site does not have a english version. You should try to read it so you can understand the issues at hand.


Yeah, maybe one day I'll understand this place well enough I can write something. Maybe I'll even quote you.


In Chinese, I hope. :thumbsup: