"Foreigner" returning to Taipei

So after 35yo no worries anymore?

I thought it was 37


“A man aged 18 starts his military service day from January 1st of the proceeding year and be discharged on December 31st of the year at the age of 36, called the Male’s Service Age.”

“A draftee-to-be in the status of an Overseas Chinese having previously established household registration in the Republic of China shall be subject to conscription enlistment according to law upon expiry of one-year period beginning the day next to his return to the Republic of China.”

If you need to know more,


I kind of remember in my case it was 36 aka 37 by Taiwanese ages. If you come at 35 you’d prob get drafted but double check that

I have a Taiwan-born American friend, whom I met here in Taiwan, who has a similar situation. He and his parents moved to the U.S. when he was 8, and he’s lived there for the past 35 years. His parents have since moved back to Taiwan to retire, and he comes here a couple of times a year to visit them.

He can speak Mandarin without much of a foreign accent, but his vocabulary is stuck at an 8-year-old’s, and he can’t read Chinese. It gets frustrating for him to have to continually explain to locals why he looks and sounds Taiwanese but can’t hold an in-depth conversation, and would rather speak in English (He uses mostly English with his parents, although they’ll often speak to him in Mandarin). I think sometimes local people assume he’s trying to show off, but it’s just that he’s more comfortable speaking the language he’s used for the past three decades.

As for being social in English, you might check out Meetup.com. They have a lot of weekly events in both English and Chinese. Good luck with your move.

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Thanks for the bit of info here, I’ve asked around and I’m getting some mixed info about this. You wouldn’t happen to know the chinese words for household registration?

you may need to know the difference between NWOHR and citizen.


Thanks for this, I usually remember Chinese words when I see them, this is some good info. I know I can restore my passport and in turn mandatory service. I think that was the reason my parents never renewed upon the expiry of my passport when I was really little.

In any case I honestly don’t really mind doing service even if it’s 14 months.

Haha yeah, I met my one of my cousin’s daughter for the first time coming back (she’s about 5) and my cousin said I was really good at speaking with her and teaching her english.

My thoughts “well you know my mandarin level is stuck at that level, I have no idea how to explain things in a sophisticated way”.

Cheers for the meetup lead I’ll look into that also.

You should be fine mate. I am an (anglo) Aussie who has been here for 3 months, and will head back home in February. Taiwan is an interesting place, but it is not for me. I think the hardest part is the language barrier (I am studying Mandarin), and you seem to have that covered. The second hardest was mian zi, which I am not fond of or want to participate in (that is a whole different kettle of fish). I have met a lot of people who love it here, and some who don’t.

Each to his own. Come and have a look and give yourself six months or a year, and see how you go. You have family here so that will makes things a lot easier.



Oh come on, the noodles arent that bad… sheesh

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I’m curious in what context in your daily life this affects you to be annoyed by it?

I can’t think of it affecting me to where it annoys daily.

OP, you’ve been to Taiwan and have some idea of it. And have been around Taiwanese people enough to make some sort of judgement on it you will like it here.

I’m not an Aussie, but I’m as American as it gets. I didn’t really feel awkward being in at least Taipei. I’ve enjoyed being in Taiwan and it’s helped my mandarin a lot being back.

I’m curious as well.

Can you elaborate on the mian zi part. Are you referring to the sort of pecking order that’s established in taiwan, family or work related hierarchy?

Thanks for all the advice and info it’s really helping me put somethings in perspective. I definitely noticed this time around it was much easier when it comes to communication seeing more people can speak some form of broken english.

My final concern (in jest) is riding scooters and driving around in Taiwan. Some of these scooters scare the shit out of me.

Where will you live? In Taipei I never have to ride one. I refuse to. I sometimes take the car for Costco runs. But that’s about as much action the car gets.

Still trying to decide but most likely yonghe area that’s the most familar to me in terms of geography even if everything changed over the past 30 years.

Other option is to research in to areas that have and are more friendly for English Speakers. All my relative say living in new taipei city areas is probably more affordable and just as convenient.

As for driving and costco I think that’s gonna be my new favourite thing. Went to one around here and it blew my mind.

fuck off we’re full

Pauline iz dat u? lmao GO BACK TO YA COUNTRY!