Culture Shock: Fireworks and Naked Foreigners

Well, I arrived in Taipei a few weeks ago and the culture shock is hitting me a bit. First of all, why are fireworks illegal here, if so many people seem to dig them so much? Where I come from the kids approach us to buy them fireworks. Here, it’s just the opposite. I had to ask a couple ruffians to help me out, and we went to some back alley and they had to ask for them, the guy got them from the back room. Strange, there was a political rally in front of my house and they were blowing stuff up in the streets with no regard for anyone - got hit with a li’l piece of shrapnel. So the young uns and I had a quite a bottle rocket fight down at the canal, but then the heat started to hit me. Although my girlfriend thought those skin tight polyester pants were cute when she bought them for me, they just don’t make sense here, especially with no underwear. Of course underwear is also hard to come by here - what the hell is up with that?! I ran out the first week and couldn’t find a damn package of cheap fruit of the looms or socks for that matter. I ended up ripping off those %$#@ pants, tossing them in the garbage and walking home with a sweatshirt around my waist. Chaiffage was unbearable. Then this morning I broke down and shelled out 800 for two F***** pairs of French designer thongs. Then of course I found some cheap boxers outside the store on the street corner! GODDAMMIT!!! Any advice?

Fireworks: Probably only illegal in Taipei City - go to Yong He, Banchiao or somewhere.

Socks: 3, 4 or 5 pairs for 100NT at certain street stalls or night markets. Try Shi Lin.

Undies: Try the ‘cheap stuff’ shops. Look out for them.

In general: Look in the lanes and night markets, not the main commercial district stores.


Stage 2 of a culture chock means disillusion. You hate everything and nothing is like at home. However, my personal experience tells me that it’ll pass it just takes a little bit of time.

As Bri said, good cheap clothes and socks can be had from the street. You can get lots of stuff from the nightmarkets. If you have to buy shirts, then beware. the plastic ones, you can buy for NT$ 350 on the street (literally) tend to chafe a lot.

Supermarkets (normal subermarkets, that is) tend to have underwear etc.)

Enjoy your stay here

And for the Fruit of the Loom type of underwear and some other Western goods, check out the Costcos in Shr Lin and Neihu (Make sure you have a card or find someone who does).