Are there more rude people in Taipei these days or is it just me?

Yes people have got significantly more withdrawn and afraid or unused to interaction with strangers, especially of speaking with strangers. Even the taxi drivers are significantly less chatty. They used to always ask me about my views of this or that…very rare now although I speak much better Chinese. We are talking around 15 years ago. About 10 years ago society started getting a little less ‘farmery’ and by 5 years ago smartphones just clobbered the old chattiness. I find my home country still has a lot better conversational skills amongst the general public.
Also in my home country people started doing hugs and embracing whereas in Taiwan interaction between friends and family is still quite stiff.

My wife gets a bit more random interactions mostly from older ladies who like to share their past child raising experiences or they are simply more open to chatting with strangers perhaps.

People would even talk to each other a little bit on the MRT, that doesn’t really happen now. Too hurried and crowded is one problem.

Mainly it’s the smartphone and people connecting through social media instead of through random or real-life interactions. I don’t think young people or people In general really approach each other in coffeeshops or bars as much as before. I honestly think it used to be a lot better even with the irritation of ‘halloos’ and the ppl who just wanted to practice English.

I mean Taiwan culture has always been about in groups and out groups but the in group phenomenon through introductions has probably got worse due to social media and then people lose the skill and confidence in talking with strangers. The worst bit is I am probably suffering from this as well.

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There’re 23 million people packing this tiny island.
1% insensitive, rude, badly-behaved assholes will still be up to 230 thousand people.
So, not surprising if you meet those 1% people.


LOL they did that to me 2 years ago. Does it occur to you that they started recognising you, realised you weren’t a tourist, and stopped doing it?

I mean it’s that or Taipei was super friendly 5 years ago, then had another burst of friendliness 2 years ago when I first came, and has now stopped.

Those were real questions. This however is sarcasm:

I am a persecuted minority in a hostile country where I am followed around in shops and people don’t sit next to me on trains.

[quote=“monkey_yuan, post:101, topic:88829, full:true”]
Does it occur to you that they started recognising you, realised you weren’t a tourist, and stopped doing it? [/quote]

No, these were random people I’d see while jogging along the river in my first week or others; basically, people I’d see once and never again. The locals in my neighborhood here were never that outgoing or friendly at first.

This is the kind of persecution I can get behind. When they follow me around in shops (doesn’t happen very often), I like to stop suddenly so they run into me. The look of embarrassment on their faces is priceless. Fighting microagression with microagression is the way to go.

Not sure how I can be offended by other people mentioning they are white. Just thought that it was quite hilarious that they capitalized the word.

You have to give it to me though. This is rhetorical and borderline sarcasm. Nonetheless, to answer your question. Yes, of course. I’m pretty sure it would be a miracle for me to live here and not have met a Taiwanese person.

Are Taiwanese people racist, yes. Are they all racist? I highly doubt it.

I’m a local and if you look like Henry Cavill I will sit next to you and grope your thighs.

How’s that?:howyoudoin:

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That’s my experience too. I arrived in Taiwan in the late '90’s and people in Taipei in general seemed more relaxed, open and interactive then. Life was markedly easier and the rabbit hole of social media hadn’t opened up yet, swallowing the unwary.

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If only it were microaggression in the first place.

It happens more in small shops where the clerk probably doesn’t get a commission or in convenience stores. I notice it more outside Taipei.

Never seen a clerk follow around a local and pretend to adjust inventory.

I find it more rude when clerks follow me only to rearrange the minutest change in the item I’ve picked up when I place it back on the racks/shelf. Sometimes I think it’s just their way to find something to do, or maybe so they don’t have to remember to fix it later, but at least have the decency to wait for me to leave or not see you. It’s like, yeah yeah I know you’re just window shopping, but won’t buy anything so bugger off. :joy:

So, me being the :smiling_imp: that I could be, I sometimes go back to what they rearranged to pretend to look at it again.

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When I arrived in Taipei in 2001 it was a more friendly upbeat place.

Nowadays people seem more angry, rude and stressed. The reason who knows. My guess is a combo of smartphones/social media, housing bubble and economy woes.

I was being half-facetious. As they say, microagressions are in the eye of the beholder. Nobody likes being followed at close distance by “sales associates.”

Gf gets followed around all the time and complains to me about it. I tell her to stop walking into those shops and buying things she doesn’t need. The latter comment usually doesn’t end well.

I can’t recall ever being “followed” by a sales clerk in Taiwan in the same way clerks follow black people in the US; i.e. suspiciously. I think in Taiwan they’re just doing their job and trying to make sure they’re right there whenever you have a question or to start talking about a product you’re handling.

You guys might be overthinking this.


Perhaps with current housing prices through the roof, and stagnant wages, it’s more understandable why many people are stressed.

At the same time, I see LOTS of folks in Taipei look just plain disconnected–not aware, not engaged, just zoned out. This part is not good at all.


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Go right next to them and watch them rearrange things. Give little nods as if to say, “Yeah, that’s the way to do it!”, or look askance and suck in some air as if to say, “You’re doin’ it wrong, man!”

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Or be bold and say, “bu xing!” then rearrange it my way. :joy:

People need something to get them out of the work routine, football games , horse racing, that kind of stuff.
You know…big days out. Bit of passion.
Even the whole period around Chinese New Year just can’t compare to Christmas in the West.
The university games might help a little bit this summer.