A rant

I haven’t had an “I hate Taiwan” moment for a long time. Probably over 2 years. Granted there are still things that bug me but i let them go and never do they bog me down or spoil my attitude about life here. I’ve got on quite well for almost 5 years. I had a pretty typical first year here getting used to things," not understanding Taiwanese culture," etc…
I’ve learned the language, i’m self-sufficient, I don’t rely on local friends to get stuff done for me and overall, i’m rather content.

However, lately I’ve been getting irritated with the constant, running COMMENTARY. the on-going dialogue about everything I do, whether i hear it coming from my landlord who is standing outside my house with her neighbor bellowing “look, they did laundry. See how they hang it. there is a coffee cup on the table.”

or walking down the stairs of my building only to get more running commentary from the temple guys. “there’s the foreigner. where is she going? is she going to put on her raincoat?”

For god’s sakes I’ve lived in this building for over a year. Have they not gotten used to seeing me by now? I’m not that different. i work, sleep, eat and shit like everyone else in this world. I don’t need to be noticed and i’m certainly not note-worthy.

AND THEN it continues… i get in a cab yesterday and the first thing the guy says to me is I would be a lot prettier if i weren’t so tall. that if only i were around 170 CM’s tall instead of 183… on and on and on it went until he asked me if i have AIDS cause according to him, all foreigners have AIDS… and god forbid what would he do if i cut myself and bled AIDS onto the seat.

…only to get out of the cab at home to get more running commentary by everyone who is not in their respective homes.

what is it? it’s driving me nuts. leave me alone. stop discussing everything i do.

[quote=“bushibanned”]
what is it? it’s driving me nuts. leave me alone. stop discussing everything I do.[/quote]

I think it’s time for a long rest. I suggest Ubud, Bali.

does it not get tiring? is there nothing else to constantly comment on? how about the trees for example? or global warming? surely there must be something a helluva lot more interesting. like enough already and I’m really close to telling them this, too.

About 2 weeks ago we were missioning around the house with the front door open but the screened steel door shut. I turned around to find 2 kids crouched down, peering in, and saying “my god, there they are. the foreigners!” my GF almost lost her head shouting at them that we aren’t cicus clowns on display. they ran off, had a fright, only to return later with their friends to peer in. We’ve had stuff go missing and someone is always parading someone by to show them where “the foeigners live.”

we are in the 21st century folks!!!

[quote=“bushibanned”]
we are in the 21st century folks!!![/quote]

No, we’re not. We’re in Taiwan and this is the the 95th Year of the Republic of China. All bets are off.

Holy shit! Where do you live?

You should just tell them what you think. Tell the kids peering in your door that they shouldn’t be so nosey and to not do that again. Tell the cab driver that he is an idiot for saying and believing such stupid things. Tell him he’s ignorant.

Go up to people who say, “Oh my God! She’s got a coffee cup on the table! She’s putting her jacket on!” and do the same thing back. “Oh my God! You have blue shoes!”, etc. and look 'em in the eye and they’ll understand they’re being foolish.

Or, you could just let it slide and laugh at it all.

[quote=“Comrade Stalin”][quote=“bushibanned”]
we are in the 21st century folks!!![/quote]

No, we’re not. We’re in Taiwan and this is the the 95th Year of the Republic of China. All bets are off.[/quote]

Damn straight. Look straight ahead at all times. Expunge any and all bodily fluids & disject membra as often as posible. Bellow all words you care to emit (other than guttural growls and other utterances that pass themselves off as expression) as loud as possible. Grin grin like the village idiot caught jerking off. If any notion related to common sense enters one’s brain, delete it like you would a deadly virus. “Safety, we don’t need no frickin’ safety!..”

This Town Needs An Enema…

J99188e77 is right: use sarcasm and wit as a weapon. Irony is a wonderful material. Almost as good as Steely & Goldy…

[quote=“Comrade Stalin”][quote=“bushibanned”]
we are in the 21st century folks!!![/quote]

No, we’re not. We’re in Taiwan and this is the the 95th Year of the Republic of China. All bets are off.[/quote]

:notworthy: Amazing quote.

[quote=“j99l88e77”]
Go up to people who say, “Oh my God! She’s got a coffee cup on the table! She’s putting her jacket on!” and do the same thing back. “Oh my God! You have blue shoes!”, etc. and look 'em in the eye and they’ll understand they’re being foolish.

Or, you could just let it slide and laugh at it all.[/quote]

Sage advice.

I understand your frustration, I get similar comments from Taiwanese, usually about my appearance.

Even so, stupidity knows no national, ethnic, nor cultural boundaries.

My greatest frustrations from stupid comments come from westerners, stupidity to which I have been subjected from a very early age. You see, my surname is the same as that of the famous, deceased, English director known as the master of suspense. Upon learning my surname, the response is invariably Are you related to ------ --------- ? Yuk, yuk, dipshit thinks he’s the first person to ever think of it.

I answer him truthfully, No I’m not. Not content to leave it at that, dipshit moves on to stupid comment #2: Do you hear that a lot? I look him in the eye and reply, No you’re the first person to ever say that. It is about this point in the conversation that dipshit realizes what an idiot he’s been and shuts the fuck up.

So go with j99l88e77’s advice, and let the idiots know what a bunch of idiots they are as they obviously can’t see it themselves.

I think you are missing the point that anything you do is in fact indicative of all foreign people. So thereby studying you like a lab-rat they can decode the mysterious and exotic habits of the Bigus nosious species.

From a recent issue of the Taiwan Explorer a Scholarly Journal of Primitive Culture studies:

For years Taiwanese scientists have been exploring the bizarre mating rituals of the flatfooted cheese eating foreign monsters, known as Bigus nosious, by peeking into open windows and doors of their bizarre and horrid dwellings. These intrepid explorers risking life and limb by proximity to the unpredictable and sometimes dangerous animal otherwise known as “Hello American Cool!” can only hope to witness a mating or grooming ritual.

It has been rumored that they, the animals, engage in some bizarre ritual known as

:roflmao:

This is a daily occurance in Chiayi. I’m not joking. I was in Taipei two weeks ago and I couldn’t believe how different the people were. No children poked me, no betel nut chewers spit at me, no one stared for more than three seconds, entire families weren’t called over to stare at the foreigner, etc…

You big city people don’t fully understand how good you have it! I find ignoring the ignorant locals makes life a lot easier.

Wow, reminds me of when I worked in Taishan. I had two weird occurances there…either people would avoid me like a virus, or flock to me like I was famous.

I would be doing my shopping in Welcome, only to have a woman shove a kid in my arms, take a pic with her phone, and take off. Not even smiling or doing that 'forgive me for being alive and irritating ’ bow they do. Other days I couldnt find a soul to order McDonalds from because they all pretended to be very busy digging for something under the counter.

Last night, we go out. COUNTLESS times my friends and I were approached by groups of Taiwanese who shove one person in front of us sayin’ This is my friend…she likes you…" Or at one point this nutsack of a girl actually came to our couch, demanded my friend cut her conversation short and join them on the other couch, because a friend likes her.

What the hell? Am I stuck in the 2nd grade? Next thing you know they will be running past us throwing little notes on our laps (that happened to me on the bus in Taishan)

And the ‘have you eaten’ greet. What if I say ‘no, where’s my steak?’

I don’t mind the running commentary so much, but the NEGATIVE ones…you look tired, you look older, you need to make your skin whiter’

GAG GAG GAG

This IS a reality of living in Taiwan. Just remember that not everyone is like this.

You either develop patience for it, smile at it, learn to ignore it, etc., or you suffer.

I long vacation may be just what you need.

That is good stuff there, …LOL. More!

“From a recent issue of the Taiwan Explorer a Scholarly Journal of Primitive Culture studies:
For years Taiwanese scientists have been exploring the bizarre mating rituals of the flatfooted cheese eating foreign monsters, known as Bigus nosious…”

My advice is to talk to those people regularly and establish some kind of a relationship with them. The stares will slowly disappear and be replaced by friendly greetings instead.

Wanna make a bet? That’s what I have done and I think that was my mistake. Now they think they should know everything about me all the time and have the right to continuously run their mouths.

I really hope you didn’t pay for that cab.

Living outside big city limits is more difficult, but I lived at one address in Kaohsiung for the first year of my life in Taiwan and the guy down the street with the illegal pachinco parlor never missed a single opportunity to scream, “Hello!” at me as loudly as possible. Not one chance did he miss in 365 days!

And the more I leaned of Chinese and the more I understood the running commentary, the more I hatted it. I moved out of that address when I realized that my host there, who had asked so sincerely that I move into the top level of her home, was introducing me to everyone as “her foreigner.” Her special little pet. And what gets me about her is that she’d lived for four years in another country and been treated kindly for the most part, but understood what it was like to deal with some other people’s prejudices.

The running commentary also made me feel so terribly self concious. I knew that every time I showed myself in public I was being juged by how I looked, if I’d dressed well, or if I looked thinner or fatter, what I ate, or didn’t eat, whatever. This from blue slippered red mouthed Taiwanese red necks, and it still bothered the hell out of me.

I could just go on about this. But you know you need a break when it starts getting to you. If your’re usually able to just let it roll off, but lately it’s gratting at you, you need a break! Go somewhere with a good cheap massage.

You know, houscat, now you probably know how many famous people feel!

Wanna make a bet? That’s what I have done and I think that was my mistake. Now they think they should know everything about me all the time and have the right to continuously run their mouths.[/quote]
I agree with Banned here. In my experience, trying to be social with bagua people usually just leads to them gossiping even more about me. Any conversation you engage in with them suddenly makes them some sort of authority on you. If they’re already talking about you to other people before you really get to know them, then just think about how much there’re going to talk once they know, or can be perceived to know something substantial about you. My rule of thumb is that as soon as I hear someone talking about me in the way described by Banned, I dont even bother with pleasant greetings.

Wanna make a bet? That’s what I have done and I think that was my mistake. Now they think they should know everything about me all the time and have the right to continuously run their mouths.[/quote]

I’ve just found my approach has worked for me best. Don’t be a stranger and you won’t be treated like one. I’ve always found that it’s better if someone is talking to me rather than about me. Before they get a chance to get the mouths flapping about you, call out to them and make some small talk about the weather or their kids or something. In my own case, I live in a small community in a small town. There are basically no foreigners in my community (unlike the prestigious Yangguang Shanlin, which is home to some of F.com’s finest). I felt the stares as well, when I first moved in. However, I went out of my way to to show my neighbors that I am just another person, and a friendly one at that. I’ve also gone out of my way to display generousity as well. I’ve taken to buying the big flats of navel oranges at Costco (they are excellent oranges, btw). There are too many for myself and my gf to eat ourselves, so I give out some to my neighbors. I think my approach is working. Even in this small place, where foreigners are far less numerous than Taipei, I am getting greetings rather than stares. My neighbors’ kids call out “uncle!” to me in Chinese, rather than “foreigner!”

You may have something of a special problem on your hands, and my intent is not to minimalize it. However, I think my approach is the only way you can reasonably hope to feel comfort where you live.

I cannot stress enough the importance of having as many local friends as possible here. On the weekend, my car was damaged and I was chased by a carload of baseball bat wielding yahoos. My gf, though she was born and raised overseas, has family all over the island. We have made efforts to keep in touch with them. One of her cousins just so happens to be a high ranking police officer. His assistance has/will ensure that we get adequate compensation from the guilty party. Also, I should thank my not so Taiwanese friends for their help over the weekend. Thanks to Mr He and his local gf Rebecca for coming to the police station for support and assistance, despite the fact that they had house guests at the tme. Moral of the story is: Forget the stares and gossip. Do not be a stranger. Make friends with everyone you can. You never know when you might need them.