So whats with the gangsters people keep mentioning? It seems like everyone has a gangster story. Do they interfere with the high-tech industries and other industrial businesses? Are they accepted or is there an active attempt at getting rid of them (or both)?

Originally posted by 4abudabit: So whats with the gangsters people keep mentioning?

Hmm, the surest thing to say is that they exist. Some are legislators - if only for the reason that you can avoid a prison term if you are elected as legislator. We have such a guy here in Taichung…
The lower ranks may even look as if they just jumped out of a gangster movie, I saw a few such specimen at the wedding of my girl friends sister…
There are people claiming all politicians are gangsters - which sometimes is hard to deny…
Just keep your eyes and ears open and you will notice them, whatever they may call themselves and however they are looking like.

Mobsters can get elected? (Not that I am surprised since America had a mafia buddy for a president) So do these guys interfere with legit businesses a lot?

Originally posted by 4abudabit: So do these guys interfere with legit businesses a lot?

Depends on what you mean. Small businesses (shops) may get “visits” (mostly from minor ranks, offering “protection”). Larger businesses will probably be useful for money laundry, but the more money is involved, the less you will hear about it…
I never heard of shops set up by foreigners being “visited”, but such shops are not very common too…

Years ago when I went to buy a Hawaiian shirt my girlfriend said “hen song, only gangsters wear those”. I think that style is young gangsters and wannabe gangsters. Movie style for some fo the old ones, but many just wear very ordinary clothes. In a nightclub the gangsters are any Chinese over the age of 35, probably including th boss and the bouncers.


It’s embarrassing to me as a Taiwanese that we have this kind of culture. However, most of them are harmless as long as you open your eyes & ears and leave them alone. But wait,another thought…won’t it be great if you get to know one or two gansters? They might come in handy when you need some “help”…Hmmm, such a catch 22 situation…

My husband was a small time gangster. He and his gang were hired to do ‘protection’ (collect protection $) and do stuff like scare farmers into selling their land to builders. He saw a lot of friends go to jail or get killed so he came to the US after doing military service (his father was already in the US). Once these teenagers were cursing at me when I was 8 months pregnant and walking around at night trying to get some exercise. He rounded them up and took them to the local gang leader to see if they were a part of it. They weren’t, but his gang buddies roughed them up a little and sent them to apologize to me, which was nice.

So where do the gangsters hang out?. Just to be safe.

Two of my friends came over last year, actually I didn’t know them them, but we decided to go into snake alley for a bit of likquid red viagra. Having never tasted the stuff we were curious.

Anyway, one of my mates (damn the Yanks) was nearly knocked down by a hooligan on a scooter, and proceeded to yell obscenities at the scooter riding adalescent. Being the calm Aussie I am, I told him, you know, let it go. Shit happens.

Well he didn’t let it go. About 10 mins later something whacked me on the back of the head, I though, shit mate what the f@#$ was that, and I looked on the ground there was an egg yoke there.

Now being allergic to eggs was the least of my worries at that moment, cause we had about 20 egg throwing Welcome Mark shelf boys boting towards us with iron poles in one hand, and eggs in the other. I didn’t know whether they were ganna make us some scrambled eggs or just belt us. Well, they attempted the latter. And they didn’t do a bad job of it either (again, damn the Yanks).

Point is though, the cops told us it was just the wanna be gangsters in the alley, and if we knew what they looked like, well let em know??? Well um, um, about 20 years old, black hair, yeah black hair, I think he had black eyes too. Oh yeah he was carrying eggs and a big stick. And the odd Hawaiin shirt.

I’d be more worried about the taxi driver’s. Just be careful about shouting at them after they nearly kill you on the road. One guy deliberately tried to side-swipe me off the road after I tooted him too aggressively, and I’ve seen one guy going to work witht th esteering wheel lock, and anopther with a meter long flashlight, that I don’t think was designed for emergency repairs. I don’t really want to give these guys any quarter, but now I usually check to see what kinda guy they are, or at least make sure I’ve got a good gettaway beofree I toot and shout, and I’m very judicious with the use of the finger.


Bri I totally agree, the same Ameriacan friend a week later or so was nearly knocked down by a taxi driver. Now this Yank is a good 190cm, and at the time was pretty new to Taiwan. Thus he proceeded to give the taxi driver’s ford telsta a little love tap on the front quarter panel. Next thing the driver slammed on the brakes, wound down the window as was furious, these two were at each other for about 5 mins, arguing like my little sister and I did in Grade bloody 2. As my mate chose selective New York fighting words, I would translate back to the driver. Every fark was translated into a duibuqi and so on. It wasn’t until the driver picked up his mobile and started dialing numbers, that I realised he was probably rounding up whisby drinking, bing lung chewing buddies for a bit of a friday arvo fiasco. Needless to say we were off like a brides nighty. I too, am very careful when choosing my drivers.

I just looked at that world wide corruption index, and besides Singapore and Japan, Taiwan was the least corrupt Asian nation. Although I think that only deals with government officials…

Originally posted by 4abudabit: I just looked at that world wide corruption index, and besides Singapore and Japan, Taiwan was the least corrupt Asian nation. Although I think that only deals with government officials...

No, much simpler: The guy responsible for the entry was corrupt too…:slight_smile: