Are foreigners friendly?

Anyone notice that some foreigners in Taiwan are rather unfriendly towards both migrant workers and locals?

Many foreigners here act like they’re above everyone else. Walking down the street they often don’t say hi to one another, instead acting like they’re invisible to one another. No one bothers to say a simple “hello.”

Some foreigners in tech, engineering etc… look down on English teachers, despite the fact that many of them are earning less than English teachers…

English teachers often look down on migrant workers and migrant workers in turn see all others as self-entitled “sexpats.”

Many foreigners don’t bother to learn Chinese and those who do often can’t be bothered to learn Hokkien.

There was even one foreigner who claimed Taiwanese were unfriendly. But when I offered him a beer to talk about it at a convenience store of his choice as I was curious to his reasoning… he refused saying he’d never want to meet me… (despite not knowing me in real life). Hypocritical much?

It’s high time foreigners dropped the superiority complex, started learning the language, and showed some respect to both the local community and each other.

What are your thoughts? Agree or disagree, let’s hear it.


Why am I supposed to say hello to randos? That’s weird.


Some foreigners are weird…

or dangerous


Some might be forumosa mods :howyoudoin:


I know it may be hard as a Canadian. Think of it as saying a simple “sorry” to some stranger for no reason lol. Brightens there day a little

There is a similar thread specifically about interactions with other foreigners. So may be here we focus on interaction with locals.

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Nobody says sorry for no reason. Its usually when you bump into someone.

Acknowledging people is how you get mugged.

If someone talks to you in Toronto. They want something.

To be fair my Taiwanese spouse doesn’t speak Hokkien so learning it wouldn’t do me much good :joy:
I can understand some basic Hakka but can’t speak it at all.

I haven’t. What are your experiences as “a local”?

I always make sure to yell, “Hi, White Guy!” to any pasty face I see.

Look down on?

I speak what I need. My job is in English. I get paid to not speak Chinese. That usually takes up the majority of my weekly interaction with people quota.

When some random dude has asked me if I want to meet for a beer, it’s someone of the gay persuasion. Once bitten, twice shy.

If you say so.


I feel like trying this now :thinking:


Sometimes it’s better not to speak to strangers, see this Aussie in USA. In Baltics even locals do not say much to people they do know

[Enraged Americans turn on tourist after harsh answer to question about the US (]

What will you do with foreigners of different skin colors?

When I first came to Taiwan as a 21 year old who had never lived abroad before and hardly even left Blighty, I had this naive idea that I should say hello to, or at the very least smile at, every other Westerner I encounter while out and about. I very quickly realised that all I was doing was weirding people out and making them feel uncomfortable so I stopped.

This is an odd comment and makes me wonder if the original post is parody. Most Taiwanese people themselves can’t be bothered to learn Hokkien. :thinking:


“Hi, black guy!”



If they make eye contact, they’ll get a hello and a farmer’s nod. I feel darker skinned people get oggled enough without me adding to their discomfort.


That’s kinda my go-to for everyone, but with people obviously not born here I make an effort to catch an eye

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Is that a wig?

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I go for a nod if the eye contact is reciprocated usually. That feels like enough.


That’s mostly for big city america. Back in Colorado people really Doo say hello to strangers as they pass by. Of course it depends on how crowded a street gets. There are a lot of unwritten rules about courtesy. I still say good morning to people when I’m out running here, but I realize it’s not as normal here as it is in Colorado. Some habits are hard to shake, but I don’t think there’s any harm in it.