I hope you aren’t ashmatic Jess. That turned my planned year long trip into a stilted, unsatisfying, three month jaunt. The pollution in Taipei is truly bad. Most expats don’t seem to mind though. So if you can handle it better than I, go on and enjoy yourself. Now let’s see if I can answer your lifestyle question:
Unmarried Taiwanese women stay at home and play with dolls, even if they’re thirty. Occasionally they go on shopping binges, eat syrupy ice candy, and complain about all the slutty women who are having better times than they.
Married Taiwanese women with kids take care of the kids. Period. Sometimes they complain about slutty women, but usually their screaming kids distract them.
Married Taiwanese women with grown kids play majiang all day, drink nasty tea condensed from vegetable fiber, and complain about all the slutty women who are having better times than they.
Unmarried Taiwanese men — you know what, I just don’t have the energy.
There’s lots of stuff to do actually. Taiwan is certainly more family-oriented, but Taipei has all the usual entertainments and then some: you can see interesting religious parades carnivaling down the streets, go to night markets and eat a bowl of noodles while perusing through hundreds of pirated VCDS, take a weekend trip to Yangming Mountain and stay in lavish Japanese hotels built during the occupation, there soaking in the natural hot springs or hiking around the mountain. You can hang out at the pubs and watch all the expats totter around drunk. Oh, and since you’re Canadian, you’ll have the added pleasure of telling people that no, you’re not American, about a zillion times a day. Have fun!