Adjusting to Taiwan


I would like all of you to think generally about the poll question. I use the word “adjust” loosely, you interpret it as you see fit.


Many people complain about living in this country. I often find that they haven’t lived anywhere else – other than their country of origin.

Taiwan has its problems – no doubt. But in general terms – for Americans like me, at least – Taiwan is a pretty easy adjustment versus other countries in Asia. (At least we drive on the right side of the street here)


Adjust…that seems to suggest that you somehow changed yourself since you came here… or you were forced to change your habits, beliefs or something else that defines you as you…

I wonder though has this happened to many people. True living in Chinese culture is in no way comparable to living in 100 different “western” countries or cities. Simply cause there are more things comparatable(spelling?) with living in NY or London than living in Taipei or any other western city.

For instance, when you come here first you are disgusted and baffled by certain things, like the old guy on the motorbike drawing the phlegm up from his toes in heartily draws, people appearing to have no disregard for littering, the guy in the restaurant giving free samples of Ebola or Ecoli with your noodles, the general standards of hygiene in restaurants, the Chinese face thing. But after a while do we become immune to this or see this as NORMAL. For example, in England would you go into Chernobyl Chicken’s restaurant(that is the name I give one restaurant near where I live for many reasons)?

To go back to another thread with the guy ranting about Taiwan, is this guy the only guy that sees the above things in the real light, and for those who have been here longer; is seeing these things as NORMAL just proof of you adjusting yourself to fit in here?
Should we not through out the word ADJUST and change it to INSTITUTIONALIZED

PS I am not claiming this as my view, I am just asking it as a topic for discussion?


I understand where you are coming from zhukov. I’d prefer not to argue with you about my choice of words used in the poll. Please know I used the word adjust to mean adapt. Maybe I should have used that word instead. Yes indeed a person coming to Taiwan should adjust themselves to fit into the society. No matter where you are from and no matter where you go in this world you probably have to “adjust” a little to fit into that place. It’s natural.

Of course I suppose if you really wanted to you could use the word institutionalize. Though I am trying to keep things simple. However, I am not convinced enough to change my question. Though, I look forward to reading more thoughts on zhukov’s insights.


I think for me adapting to Taiwan is to become tolerant to certain things here, not defining or seeing them as normal, but still not being too critical(cause I am sometimes a little) about things here.

Some people have written on forums that they can’t handle certain things in Taiwan, whether it be the traffic, face, the culture etc etc.
Some people are sympathetic towards these people, some are '“Why don’t you get the hell out of Taiwan?”

I have been in Taiwan for 3 years, and there are things here that are NOT normal, when I compare Taiwan to any western country. And maybe that’s bad for me, to think Taiwan is some abnormal place, but my brain is hard-wired to think western so it is hard to kill that thought. On the otherhand though, I don’t have a conflict or get confused by anything I see here, cause I write it off as being Taiwan.

To me that is adapting, while I haven’t changed someting about me, I haven’t tried to change the Taiwanese or Taiwan culture, I have just learned to tolerate it. While this has not stopped the occasional rant, what it has done has allowed me to get on what I want to do in Taiwan.


Well said zhukov, keep up the positive attitude, I like that!


Dear Oriented sirs: speaking about adjustment,
can you please place a “Sticky: Poll” about
which pinyin is right for Taiwan’s road signs,
Hanyu Pinyin or Tongyong Pinyin?
[I am hoping Taiwan’s govt. will ajust to the likes of us “foreigners”.]

I do not have the [mental] facilities to initate
a poll, as i dont know or want to learn the software and
cant even stay connected log enough usually etc.



Thank you for your suggestion, please check back often as I will post a new poll by the end of next week. In the future if you or anyone else have sugguestions for poll questions in the “Living in Taiwan” Forum, please send them to If you have a suggestion for a poll question in other Forums than please post them in that Forum, respectively.