Boring Taiwan versus Boring USA

I’ve heard from several Taiwanese that they think the USA is boring. Odd. I think Taiwan is boring. I’m trying to think why they think that.

My guess is that Taiwanese are used to chaos, loud and constant noises, night markets crammed full of vendors, the smell of food, and every place crammed full of people. I guess they find that exciting, since that stuff is lacking in the USA.

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USA is boring in a good way. Except when it isn’t boring at all.

Taiwan is boring in a very different way. It’s like the difference between dead silence and “Come On Eileen” on an endless loop. One boring makes you sleepy. The other boring makes you want to murder the DJ.

Many of my adult students have said the same thing to me. I usually ask them: What kind of thing do you consider fun? They always say shopping.

Seriously, they think shopping is fun. That and eating.

When I tell them that partying is way more fun than shopping they ask questions like, “What is the function of a party?” Or, “What do people do at a party?” And to explain parties to them I also have to explain a whole bunch of other shit, like how a lot of western people do not live with their parents, how no one over 18 has a curfew - not even the girls - and how safe sex is a socially sanctioned activity. I usually summarize by saying that, in my country, a 30 year old virgin who lived with their parents and whose primary source of fun was shopping would be widely regarded as having mental problems. Rightly or rightly.

And no one in their right mind would come to one of my friggin classes but I don’t say that.

A couple of weeks ago a lady told me - and I’m not making this up - that she went to a school reunion on the Sunday and had so much excitement that she had to take a day off work on the Monday to recover. She said she probably won’t go to the next one because it would be “too exciting” .

I’m Taiwanese and I think Taiwan is super boring. One of the most boring countries in the world, if not the most boring one.

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May be because in many parts of the USA you absolutely need a car, and these Taiwanese tourists rarely have one?

In Taiwan you just need a yoyo card :slight_smile:

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I can relate. The last couple of times we’ve gone to Australia to visit my Mum, it’s been kinda boring. Watching TV is about the only thing to do at night, at least in the area she lives in (Sunshine Coast, QLD). My wife and I got so bored one time, we walked over to the supermarket and spent an hour wandering the aisles just browsing all the junk food. It was much better when we took off down to Sydney (where I’m from) for a couple of days on our own, but that was for NYE so there’s plenty going on.

Yeah, the typical discourse I’ve heard about the US/Canada/Australia/etc basically comes down to “boring” = perceived lack of/poor quality shopping. But I suspect this is limited to a particular age group. Some of the older guys that go hiking and appreciate the incredible beauty of Taiwan can also appreciate some of that beauty outside of Taiwan too.

You can turn this around too, and say if Taiwan is “boring” perhaps you’re hanging out in the wrong places. The stunning beauty of some parts of Taiwan continue to blow me away.


Mostly I here people say that because in Taipei there is more nightlife and outdoors activity, basically you almost never walk around by yourself, which they not find as much in countries where the weather gets a lot colder and are not so densely populated. :2cents:

cant speak for usa but for the uk i agree. the first time i came back from living in china i had reverse culture shock pretty bad. the streets just seemed barren.

You all sound like you invested in wrong hobbies. I’d kill for a slope to shred just about now. I was semi-pro at skiing and nothing comes close here in Taiwan as the Wasatch, the Rockies, or even the Cascades. I miss white water rafting and cliff jumping into a crisp, clean water. I miss going to my favorite cocktail lounge that makes KILLER drink, and miss that Americanized cuisine around the world. I prefer the American taste, as their palate standard has dramatically increased over past 5 years. I miss all the REAL micro-brewed beers, incredible wines, and artisan breads. I miss ripping my modified car at my local race track…At least where I lived, it was FAR from boring. Taiwan is REALLY boring, and I am slowly wasting away. But I have two kids, and there are priorities that must be met. It is, at least, satisfying to see them both enjoying the companies of the in-laws on a daily basis.

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Suburbia is boring -not to say scary. I have always found USA daily life boring, and when I worked there, did nothing that would qualify for “fun” unless you count a couple of rare day trips. Most fun I had was, indeed, shopping.

Most of my classmates, friends and family in the US do lead what to me seems like boring lives, work/home/long commutes. Most engage in a lot of unusual DIY projects. When you have a Latino crocheting, you know you have real boredom…

In the ol country people do a lot more of socialization -maybe a little too much, mostly alcohol based, and since they find that very exciting, anything else is boring. But it is the same as US, as cars are vital, watch TV 8 hours or more. But you have the beach and that is so fine.

Taiwan for me is more exciting as there is always something going on, there is great ease in going from one place to another, and the choices of entertainment and learning are endless … if you speak Chinese. Otherwise, it is difficult and limited. Sure, you can say, oh visiting another train station town?! They are all the same! Ugh, crowded trains, ugh, taking the MRT, better stay in and watch DLs TV series. Then you will get bored and depressed. Unless it is winter. And you have good company. Then please do stay in, in bed, exercising wink wink. That would be more interesting that anything else.

You certainly will struggle to do some of those things here, some replacements for kicks could be kite-sailing, windsurfing, parasailing , river tracing or riding your souped up scooter through the backstreets of Taoyuan at night. It will be hard to compare the guts of a continent to a little island in the Pacific but things could be worse you could be in Beijinf or something.

There’s plenty of decent American style cuisine available in Taipei these days I believe, spare a thought for us Europeans or people from other continents! However I learned to enjoy local cuisine and Asian cuisine so do not suffer in the slightest.

You sound like you’re a fellow Coloradan? Especially about the skiing and micro brews!

In Wulai he can practice river tracking and mountain biking -to make up for going down the slopes skiing. Ther eis rafting in Hualien but certainly not at the level of Colorado.

Modified cars they do have here, though a very… sad scene, I’d say. There is a local race track in central Taichung, though not much. They do have several off road driving clubs -Jeeps and other 4WD.

I would also recommend surfing -you can cut the waves while the little ones play at the beach. Diving is also very popular.

How about some martial arts? Sword dancing or something really cool for when you go back impress the friends with exotic teachings from the Orient?

If feeling competitive, and missing the ice, why not join the ice hockey teams? Kids can learn to skate while you break a sweat.

I’m not a fan of suburbia either but the Taiwanese people who tell me Australia is boring are far more boring than the Australian suburbs are. They visit on package tours and peer out of their hotel room windows at the darkness. Or they study there but never make friends with any Australian people and spend every weekend at home by themselves. They want to step outside, “join the flock” and go shopping because they don’t have the confidence to do pursue any other kind of activity. But in the suburbs there is no flock to join.

To make the suburbs work you need a license and a car and local knowledge about where to go for fun. Or you need friends with those things. Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne all have far better live music scenes than Taipei but the kind of Taiwanese person who complains about western cities being boring doesn’t do live music, or clubbing, or anything else requiring a pulse. They don’t do beach culture because they don’t know how to swim. They don’t do art, or sport. Or sex.

I’m formally an Utahn (Utes!) turned into Oregonian(thus the beer and the wines).

Those are some sound advice. I just don’t have the dough to play around the modified car for now. I’m tempted to eventually grab a light-weight RWD car (preferably Miata or MX-5, though customs suck here) that’s easy to modify and fun to drive in 2-3 years. Hell, I might even settle for a Civic hatchback as those are easy to obtain.

I have Japanese roots, so I try to get my skiing itch fixed there in Japan as I do have some family members that live there. It’s just not enough days, but it does the job. I’d ski 365 days if I can lol (I actually logged 285 days when I was in Utah).

I’m in Tainan, so the food is not as diverse as Taipei. I see the tendencies where food in Tainan is a lot sweeter and less flavorful of that in Taipei. I think food in Taipei is delish for sure.

Thanks for those bits of advice! I might try surfing if time allows.

Taiwan and USA are the wrong level of comparison but people don’t realize it. They just have a wrong comparison set.

Look, lets face it. Asian people dont move to our countries to become involved with our culture. They go there so they can have a bigger house, a garden, more vacation and better education with their kids. While doing this, they would like to continue what they were doing back home, with people from the same country.

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Most people are boring, regardless of where they live. Countries, cities, neighborhoods can be as interesting as you make them. I find that the average fellow expat is far more interesting than the average American back home: they’re more curious, they’ve been places, experienced a lot, etc. To me, the US is indeed boring, but only because it’s full of people who can’t get their heads around why anyone would ever want to leave.

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You know, that sounds awfully similar to all the middle-class ex-urbanites in North America who got married, decided to have kids, and moved to the suburbs. Very few of my middle-aged friends in Canada have much to do with “our culture” anymore either.