This post is to serve as a warning to Taiwan newbies and other expats.
The foreign community in Taiwan can be a highly competitive, backstabbing environment, if you’re not careful.
There are a lot of nice people around who may be very helpful and supportive of your endeavors. There are people who will go out their way to give you a hand when things aren’t going well, and people who offer encouraging words of wisdom.
However, there are those who you must be wary of.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to spot these individuals, and unless you’re keenly intuitive, you may find you’ve been taken for a ride. Look at the Glossika thread as an example.
There are yet others, who will pretend to be your friends (afterall, we’re all in this strange place together, right?), but who really just use you to get ahead. These are the ones you must be the most careful of because they can hurt your senses and sensibilities the most.
Be open and warm, compassionate and honest, and the true friends you’re seeking will come to you, no matter what you may have or not have, to offer them.
But always be aware that there are those ignoble few who may covet what you’ve built for yourselves, and who are so selfish, cruel, and calculating, that they will transmogrify into your worst adversaries.
These are the risks of being thrown together with the kinds of individuals you would usually avoid on your home turf. When you do decide someone is your friend here, just examine what that friendship consists of before you offer too much of yourselves.
I would like to hear from others on this subject because the topic of expat rivalry has come to my attention on many occassions, yet this subject has yet to be breached on a discussion forum. Why are expats so competitive here? It really doesn’t matter what you do that gets them going. It could be that you’ve written a good article for a magazine, got a promotion when they were passed over, or got a better job, but this sort of behavior surfaces, again and again, and you may not have paid much attention to it, until it happens to you.
My hope is the canailles will recognize themselves in this post.