Having a bad day.
I’m feeling pessimistic and anticipate that by the time I get home tonight someone will have posted some apologistic crap in my rant in the Living in Taiwan forum. So here’s a pre-emptive attack on them too:
Why do (some) people feel it’s necessary to defend the actions or attitudes of others when there is no benefit to be had from doing so? The worst is when they ask your opinion of something and then feel the need to make excuses.
For instance someone asks why I’m single, and I respond that I just haven’t met anyone in Taiwan I have much in common with. No criticism, just an explanation for something they have asked about. A statement of fact. They ask for an example, and I cite the obvious one of me preferring to go to the beach than traipse around central Taipei looking for things to buy. Or singing. In a room. With fruit. Very quickly it boils down to I like X and most people here like Y.
And then people start explaining to me why most people like Y. I don’t really give a toss why most Taiwanese think white skin is good and sunshine is bad. I don’t want to argue about it, I don’t really want to discuss it. I’m not even complaining. I’m quite happy with the way I am, and quite accepting of the way others are. The net result, however, is a difference of opinion which an awful lot of people can’t seem to accept.
The correct response would be to discuss my feelings about being single, but most people get stuck on the reasons why and feel the need to educate me. Presumably they feel that once I have had things explained I will somehow magically change my mind about what I like and the ‘problem’ they see will go away.
This is not a Taiwanese phenomenon. It’s global, and I’m just waiting for someone to turn around and tell me that (to use the example in my ranty thread) Taiwanese people don’t care if they buy envelopes that don’t fit and don’t expect their toilet to actually flush. I don’t believe that this is true, but that’s not the point. Whether or not someone else wants white skin and annoyingly sized envelopes, I have made my own choices. Can’t people just nod and say “yeah, you do see things differently,” instead of trying to lecture me about why some people disagree with me. I know they disagree. Very often I know why they disagree as well. Explaining why they disagree won’t change the fact that all those letters I carefully folded into three are exactly one millimetre too big for the envelope, so what’s the point?
The envelopes are too small. There is a turd floating in circles in my toilet. Explaining that other people don’t get annoyed about these things, which is why they have been tolerated long enough to become a problem for me, doesn’t make the problem go away. Explaining why a suntan is not fashionable in Taiwan won’t make me suddenly get a hard on at the thought of cute useless women with pasty white skin and squeaky voices. Why tell me this stuff?