My racist/xenophobic neighbors put a camera on the rooftop of the building next to me. They don’t live there it’s just a flat rooftop space. My apartment is next to it on the roof. They pointed a camera at my bedroom window from their side to my side for 5 months. It was placed 3 meters from & pointing directly at my bedroom window. I asked them to take it down, my landlords asked them to take it down, the city leader person asked them to take it down, but they never did.
They put the camera there because that’s where they feed the birds at 6 in the morning everyday. Hundreds of birds come down and wake me up early in the morning and poop on my clothes. I have photo and video evidence of this.
I complained to the police department about the camera violating my privacy. If I turned on my bedroom light at night with the window open, the neighbors could record everything inside my bedroom. This is a violation of criminal code 315-1. The police of course never acted on it.
After 5 months of this camera being there, I just removed it myself and tossed it. It was placed like 3 meters from my bedroom window in a non-residential rooftop shared space.
The neighbors, who live somewhere down inside the building next to me, complained to the police department. Of course now that it’s Taiwanese person they listen, and they promptly sent non-English speaking police officers to my house buzzing my door everyday. They inspected the grounds outside my apartment and forced me to sign a document in Chinese that I had no idea what it was.
Then lo and behold, I have a criminal charge against me for taking the camera down! Wtf, I never knew in Taiwan people are allowed to put up cameras and record other people’s bedroom windows. Even though they are allowed access to their side of the rooftop, it’s not a residential area that they own. My side is a residential area where I live.
They have also harassed me over the last two years. They came onto my property several times to tear down posters that I had put up (I put up horror posters next to my bedroom window so that would be included in their footage). To try to provoke me all the time. Flicking cigarette butts over onto my balcony (I asked them to not smoke where I hang my clothes). They have yelled racial slurs at me in Chinese and told me to ‘leave Taiwan’ in English.
All of this has been causing me daily panic attacks. I can’t afford to leave my home now with the lawyer’s fees. Actually, because of them I’ve been struggling from depression and anxiety. The police knew this as it was in my complaint, but still treated me like some sort of criminal. When I went to the police station all the officers were shouting “Go to Ministry of Foreign Affairs” to the wind and laughing like this is some sort of joke.
When I tried to turn in my complaint about the video camera the English-speaking officer in the police department was too busy eating his dinner to listen to my side of what was going on. He told me to come back about the criminal complaint against me, and literally threw my complaint about the neighbors in the garbage saying he wouldn’t accept it.
I feel this country is not safe for foreigners because we are not treated equally under the law. Technically I’m not a foreigner, I’m an immigrant because I have an APRC. Article 7 of the constitution says we are supposed to be treated equally regardless of race, Article 16 says we have the right to lodge a complaint.
Apparently, APRC holders are not afforded the same rights. In fact, the police told me that I need to learn Chinese. In other countries, like the US, permanent residents do not need to learn English to be afforded the same rights as natural born citizens. Moreover, it is extremely impolite to tell them that they need to go learn English and brush them off if they need help. ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE TAX PAYERS. I pay my taxes every year, but am not even given the same services as a Taiwanese person?
The neighbors even submitted the video camera footage to the police station, the footage shows my bedroom window in full view (I saw this because I had to go there about destruction of property charge). They submitted it to show that I took down their camera and destroyed their property. This is the same as removing a camera that you discovered in public restroom toilet. Imagine being charged for destruction of property in that case while the person who placed the camera there walks free. That’s the logic the government is using against me.
The government takes the Taiwanese people’s side and any English you write down or say will be ignored. The Taiwanese person will hide behind the xenophobic idea that you are the big bad foreigner here to cause problems. Screw this place for taking my tax dollars and filing a criminal charge against me.
Warning to everyone. DO NOT MOVE TO TAIWAN. If you are waiting here, and expecting to stay here, do realize no matter how long you are here you will never be treated equally. You will never be listened to if you have a legal problem. This country is completely racist and xenophobic towards foreigners. And I do plan to leave after my legal stuff.
Yes, I am responsible enough to try to deal with it before leaving. When really I should just cause some trouble and get on a plane and leave forever. I’ve wasted 10 years of my life living here, always thinking things will get better when I encounter blatant racism and xenophobia.
If you are here waiting for an APRC or on the fence of about leaving, please just leave. Nothing is ever going to change here. Because Taiwan is so homogeneous that they are completely unaware of their own discriminatory minds.