A few questions :)

Hi there, not sure if I am supposed to post this here , but couldn’t find a place more suited for it.

I will hopefully be moving to taiwan sometime in January, brother will be taking care of everything until I find a place of my own/he has a couple jobs I could do

He couldn’t help me with a couple questions, so I thought I would take them here.

I heard that looks can play a role in how people can treat you there, so I was just wondering what troubles I would expect to run into. I’m 19, 6feet, and well, pink hair in the back/black in the front, and a couple lip piercings (also going to have my sleeve-length tatoo started on my left arm, but might dely that if it would also be a problem). Just not sure how people would respond to that there on me, i’m guessing that hair won’t be a problem, but the lip piercings perhaps (as it is sometimes a problem here, for jobs only though)

Also another question I have is how likely would it be that there are local bands that play my type of music (indie/experimental/hardcore), or are there perhaps any websites for that kind of scene in Taiwan? (or many people there that are like me for that matter?)

I will most likely do the teaching thing for a while, but my real passion is with my photography, as I’m a photographer here. i’m hoping I can bring all my gear with me, or atleast get paid to be on the other side of the lens once and a while

I’m sure everything will be fine, but I mean, i’m just on a information binge right now just to get myself ready, should hopefully have my ticket within the next week.

Thanks all :smiley: Looking forward to this, at the very least, to spend some time with my brother.

Where to start…where to start… :banana: :roflmao: :banana:

I just posted some stuff about a show in November, not realizing that you will only be here in January. Oops. There are always shows happening though.
Anyways, you might have difficulty with finding jobs here, as people expect a more conservative look for a teaching job. However, that is not unique to Taiwan. Also you need to have a degree to work legally in Taiwan and you seem pretty young to have finished one of those.
Depending on how much money you have, you might want to consider studying Mandarin to get a visa and then try to live off private students. I can’t help you much with the photography thing, but I have a friend who is a photographer so maybe I can ask him. It would probably help if you bring a portfolio, but it is also a competitive business. He studied photography and media in the UK to get a job here. Now he’s at all the Mandopop concerts taking pics.
Good luck!

Toronto, right?

As with the previous poster, I too am wondering where to start. I do not want to flame anyone, be it appearance, qualifications or for any other reason. My comments below reflect my personal opinions and others may well disagree. I will try with my first thought. Why the hell would you even THINK you wouldn

Enigma, that was quite a useless post, and despite your not wanting to flame, thats exactly what you did. You have no idea what i’ve done in my schooling, so don’t jump to any conclusions and think i’m completely uneducated and so alternative looking. I like my look, I can go from one thing to another. A retainer for my lip piercings, and a change of clothes and I am more dressy then most people. Lip piercings are never a big deal, because of retainers, and clothes, why would I go in to a job under-dressed in the first place? A higher educated persons will obviously get more attention from an employer, just like out here, but it all comes down to practical experience/how you do the job.

I was looking for helpful advice, not some guy telling me to goto school.

90% of the work I have done over the past 5 years has been with kids, 5 years, not a big number, but it’s a 1/4 of my life, so it’s quite significant to me. I know I can do a good job at this, it’s what I have semi-been doing. I know all about the legality issues, as it comes up everywhere does it not.

I call troll.

This guy cannot be for real.

Do you have a degree? If you don’t then you can’t legally teach. If you have money then maybe you could kick around and check out the band scene and maybe join a band. That would be crap money. :smiling_imp: You could teach kindy since it’s illegal anyway. I’m not saying that you can’t teach (illegally), but I don’t know how viable an option that is. I think a lot of schools will ask if you have an ARC nowadays.


Get a haricut, a diploma and get a real job. :smiley:


You could go to Taipei Clown College. :smiling_imp:

OK, what did I miss?? After reading the first two posts, I ran to the kitchen to make popcorn and get some Milkduds and a Coke! Back now, comfy chair … ok, go ahead.


The thing is you posted a picture of yourself with lip piercings and specifically asked if you would have difficulties getting a job looking like that. Enigma said that you would, and I think so too. Nowhere did you say that you would get a retainer and dress differently in a job situation, so I think his response was kind of fair.

Secondly, many people on this site does not like the idea of people who want to teach illegally. The fact that you are 19 gave people the idea that you would be teaching illegally, and you didn’t in any post indicate that you knew this, so I think that was another case of fair warning.

I can understand getting defensive when people try to change or attack the way you look, but don’t expect people here to support your decision if you say you want to work illegally. If Taiwan is going to be a long-term thing for you then I would still suggest learning Mandarin so you could later on do stuff like translating or even entertainment/TV work without having to compromise your look or who you are.
Why can’t you ask your brother about this stuff? I’m curious. :slight_smile:

I didn’t mean for it to be directly linked to a workplace enviroment, I mean jobs are jobs wherever you go and you have the same basic etiquette. I meant it more from a cultural/just day to day point of view.

Trust me,

Everybody is giving you sound advice… When I arrived I was refused jobs for being English, or being “too tall” (I am 1.91m… not huge but taller than most). even though I have an MA degree, 2 years experience blah blah blah. I dress normally (I guess) and for the most part I am pretty anonymous.

Now in that climate, your piercings and whatever will be a huge no-no, the job market here is saturated and there are god knows how many more qualified folk than you looking for work.

You will get stares wherever you go here, all foreigners do, not all of them complimentary. For you, the stares will be magnified by about 1000 times.

You can either listen to sound advice when its given (by people who have been here for in some cases 20 odd years). or carry on in the late teenage/middle class angst “The world owes me a favour because I choose to look different” period. Its up to you.

For the record, I don’t care how you choose to look, but you have to remember what Enigma says…its all about money, being legal and all the rest of it. Unfortunate as it is, you cannot change a first impression.

Good luck to you… but definitely consider twonavels idea about learning Mandarin… I wish I had started learning earlier.


Methinketh your pink hair and lip piercings will get lots of attention in Taiwan. Some of it might even be good. Probably not most, unless you count belly laughs at your expense.

But without a degree, a decent job is not going to be available, even if someone were willing to hire you to handle kiddies.

Idea: have you thought about Japan? In my travels there, I noticed lots of unusual fashion choices. They might be more open to people who choose to look different.

You should just come over and visit your brother and check out Taiwan for yourself. I think you could figure things out without exposing yourself to the views of others here. Their views are valid of course, but they don’t necessarily apply to you and I hope you don’t feel put off about visiting.

Taiwan is a cool place and there are cool people here and I think lots of people will judge you not for how you look but for who you are. Obviously you were trying to be sensitive to local culture so you’re no doubt intelligent and perceptive enough to work this out once you get here.

My mum used to say, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. Actually she still says this. Wise woman.

i’m surprised no one mentioned his six feet - i’d imagine that would likely get more attention.

Come visit to see, but with no B.A. you will be leaving every 4 weeks for a visa run and then eventually kicked out.

Also try taking the stick out of your ass.

You asked for some details and were given the cold hard truth by people WHO ACTUALLY LIVE here.

Instead of takin’ their suggestions to heart you lashed out in a pissy manner because you did not hear what you wanted.

Is that how you live your life.? how’s that working out for you so far?

Just what Taiwan needs another know it all wanker.

Are you kidding? My Taiwanese brothers-in-law are both 6’. So am I. That’s tall for Taiwan, but not especially. And not nearly as attention-grabbing as pink hair and lip piercings.


I heard that looks can play a role in how people can treat you there, so I was just wondering what troubles I would expect to run into. I’m 19, 6feet, and well, pink hair in the back/black in the front, and a couple lip piercings (also going to have my sleeve-length tatoo started on my left arm, but might dely that if it would also be a problem). Just not sure how people would respond to that there on me, I’m guessing that hair won’t be a problem, but the lip piercings perhaps (as it is sometimes a problem here, for jobs only though)[/quote]
You’re 19, degree-less, and you have a bizarre appearance - “unique” (I’m being generous) by western standards, and certainly bizarre by Taiwanese standards. What sort of boss/school do you think might hire you? Only those at the very bottom of the barrel. As a school owner myself, I can tell you that I would dismiss your application out of hand. I would be spending all my time fielding phone calls from concerned parents, which is definitely a headache that I would not welcome. There are older, more presentable, more experienced people out there, and you will be competing with them for jobs. Moxie alone ain’t going to cut it. :hand: Get thee to a barber, forget about the sleeve length tattoo, and remove the hardware from your lips. :wink:

Probably not want you wanted to hear, but there it is. :idunno:

I’m surprised no one mentioned his six feet - I’d imagine that would likely get more attention.[/quote]


That’s cute.

Dude, if you are in the least bit uncomfortable with people staring at you, you might decide against Taiwan. But hey, if not, disregard and come on over. :slight_smile:

Work: echo here, BA? I don’t think so. Lip rings can be removed, so not a problem. Pink hair? As MM said, most would not hire you and your appearance alone would up any bosses telephone call time explaining you to parents. Whatever work with kids you’ve done probably will not have prepared you for teaching kids in Taiwan. Try talking to kids who literally do not understand a word you are saying. Teaching is a hard, hard job.

Big thing is the BA. Without it you will stuck in illegal land and most of the crappy stories about teaching and jobs from hell come from the kinds of school that hire obviously illegal teachers.

Just the facts. Being objective here.

So, you’re from Toronto, right???