I miss Taiwan

So I’ve moved away to Malaysia and things have been rough. Taiwan has its negatives been do I miss the good parts.

  1. Food doesn’t make me die in Taiwan. I know certain foods you might want to avoid but that’s probably true for most countries to a certain amount. I’ve been having diarrhea since I’ve been here for 3 weeks. If I’m not having diarrhea, Ive been vomiting the last 3 days. Had to go to the hospital because I was serious depleted of fluids and electrolytes.

  2. My building has serious problems. One of the nicest buildings built and brand new just opened. Moving in I became extremely sick more and more each day. It got better once I opened all the windows and aired things out and living in a hotel for many days before moving back. I told the management this and their advice is open the window and air it out and see how it goes and maybe they will send someone. Even though I was like vomiting, can’t breath, see well, nose and throat is clogged and burning.

  3. More building problems, we didn’t have hot water In some places. Called and had to fill out a form. Finally fixed it. 3 days ago all hot water stopped working for some reason. No one can do anything on the weekend. Told me to come fill out a form with building management and they will contact me.

  4. Bank, many banks won’t even let foreigners open one

  5. Visa process is ridiculous. I have to do a full medical exam at one of their approved clinics at the county you apply at. There is none is Taiwan so I have to get a doctor that is willing to run every single thing they required and submit to Malaysia signed my him. Lucky I was in Taiwan or else it would have taken thousands in places like US. Blood, urine, X-ray, physical, eyes and hearing, mental screening. After you submit you get a VAL temporary visa to get final approval visa at Malaysia.

  6. After we submit we must do another medical exam at Malaysia. It takes a week about to get the results. After you get the results you submit to get the actual visa. So for about 3 weeks we don’t have an actual visa. Meaning we can’t do most things like get a phone or bank account. So let’s say I rent a building when I get here, my visa can just get denied. Am I supposed to stay at hotel for 3 weeks.

  7. Many banks and phone and other services don’t approve to open an acount for foreigners.

  8. People here gets offended if you ask if they speak English like you’re looking down on them. Malaysian all speak English they said. Not fucking true. Many barely speak English that I can understand. More ridiculously they tell me they don’t understand my English.

  9. My mainland Chinese landlord decided to bring his entire family the day we sign the contract. Uncles, grandmas grandpa kids, grandkids. They didn’t Take their shoes off to walk around and the kids were out in my balcony where there were water puddles from rain and jumping around getting everything dirty. Grandpa couldn’t find a trash can and decided to throw trash on my floor. Also we had to fight with the landlord to get our apartment cleaned to moved into. Apparently this common concept of cleaning the apartment before the tenant moved in is not known to him.

  10. Some of our drains in the building didn’t even work.

  11. That cha bu do attitude. Times that by 10. Malaysians mess up consistently and don’t care. They don’t pay attentions to details here. If I tell they not to put spring onions on top of my soup. Maybe in Taiwan it’s like 50/50 they mess up. Here it’s like 90% they mess up.

  12. slow, Malaysians do everything so slow. I needed a letter, I see it on their computer and they literally just have to print out. They ask me to fill the paperwork for it that takes 5 days. Stupid.

  13. Everywhere I go, something is broken and out of stock. Starbucks don’t have coffee for like 2 weeks. It’s incredible. They don’t care.

  14. Discrimination against non Malays. Some schools don’t allow no Malays in by law. It’s actually a law to not allow non Malays in.

  15. Food sucks here. No decent western food. You think Taiwan doesn’t have good western food or it’s expensive. There’s none here. It’s disgusting. I’ve walked out of multiple restaurants because it’s disgusting.

  16. Touristism tax. Non Malays are subject to tourism tax in certain things.

  17. New I guess you would call sales tax. It’s stupid for example. I buy 10 RM of credits to use for my phone. I get 8.60RM after the tax. But I need 10 to get 2GB. So I will need to buy 2 10RM credits to just get enough to get the 10RM package. So stupid.

  18. My building management sucks. I fight with them everyday. My security doesn’t do shit, at the very least say hi and acknowledge me. I had to complain everyday for one week because they only open 1 elevator on one side. The side I’m not on to save money. After complaining…they open 1 on my side. Sometimes it takes me 5+ min to wait for my elevator to come.

  19. Management thought my girl was complaining about the paint doesn’t match the furniture and laughed giving me a BS complaint form. When she is saying we are getting sick…like had to go to the hospital sick from something in the apartment. Migraine, burning eyes and nose, can’t breath, muscle aches and pain, Always tired. I was so pissed.

  20. They don’t have any SOP. They have no idea where on of my package was for days. No idea. The security people are morons. At least say hi. This is one of the nicest buildings up in the entire JB. There’s only like 5 people living in because it’s so expensive. Most are just investments by Singaporeans and Chinese.


So, you didn’t know any of this before you moved? Didn’t you at least do some research?

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Visiting is a lot different than living. Also they got a new government so some things changed.

I was told misinformation and wrong info like they tend to do here. I have Malaysians here saying they got great Italian food here. My girl didn’t touch a single dish at the restaurant. Authentic Italian they said.

Another list is misinformation and being consistently wrong. My building I applied for internet fiber optics. I applied at Maxis a telecommunications company. They said they have it. Applied for me for 2 weeks. Go to the store and they said ohhhhh we don’t actually have it. Have to go to TM, another telecom company. TM said they will come tomorrow, changed to today and didn’t show up.

Dodgy visa rules, unfair banking, crap Italian food…

Seriously, dude, you need to do some research before coming to Taiwan to teach English.


Son, I’d like to say that Taiwan misses you.

No, seriously, I’d really like to say that.

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There are actually good Italian food in Taiwan. And decent food from different places. They don’t even have a place that’s decent. TGI Friday’s and Ding Tai Fung is the two best Resteraunts here.

Banking is another level of retardedness. I know how technologically behind the banks here are. But Malaysia is another level. I sat in one for 30 min filling out information just to have them telling me they don’t allow visa to open one. Seems like something you should know.

Johor Bahru though. I am slightly surprised by the list of woes. But not really. Also have heard that Malaysia are really stickly and difficult about work and residency visas… Oh nooooooo. That sucks alright though. not fun.

But… what about the char kuie tiau and beef rendang? If I was there, I’d be eating that stuff every day. : D

More seriously, you should get in touch with forumosan emeritus @Mucha_Man --he made the move from Taiwan to Malaysia, with I believe an Italian partner. I wonder how he’s doing?



I believe certain things have changed in the new government like bank regulations and taxes and what’s available to foreigners. They seem to not have made the proper adjustments to the new rules because it’s completely unreasonable that I have to wait 3 weeks to get the visa after arrival to open an bank. Another 1-2 weeks to get it approved by the bank. So up to a month I don’t have a bank account here. I was lucky to bring lots of cash.

This is true, although it’s tough for a newbie to find a decent Italian in Taiwan. I ate in a fantastic place in Taichung called Yao last Saturday. Sadly, it’s closing end of next month.

From what I heard its supposed to be a soulless real estate gold-rush sprung up over night town. Something like Shenzhen. Every cloud has a silver lining though. And Singapore is a stones throw. I guess your wings are clipped while they process your visa they keep the passport?

Yes, I realized I’m partly biased because I’m ROC national so I don’t jump through similar hoops. But I can’t imagaine Taiwan making you go to Taiwan and wait 3-4 weeks to get the visa approved while in Taiwan? And during this time you can’t get any services without a proper visa?

All the new high rise and major development like large malls is from Singapore and China. All the owners are Singaporeans and Chinese who want to move assets out of China or buy cheap land in Malaysia vs Singapore. Our apartment overlooks SG from the balcony across the water.

It’s tough to find a place that doesn’t give me diarrhea.

I’d always heard that Malaysia was a bit of a (Malaysian) food paradise. Or maybe that’s just Penang?

He’s moved on.

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It used to be worse that you had to fly in and out to go from visitor to resident, bunch of other bullsjit too. But in the past ten years Taiwan has made great progress.

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Sorry to hear about the rough start. Hang in there. As you make friends things will get easier. They will help you find the good stuff and once people know you, the wheels go faster.

At least here in Taiwan it is so.


I’m really sorry you’re facing so many problems living as a foreigner in Malaysia. I didn’t realize things were so bad (foreigners having difficulty opening bank accounts, etc) (although other things, such as the discriminatory bumiputera laws, are obvious even to the casual eye of a tourist).

I just hope that if you can find a niche for yourself and make the right local contacts, getting things done might become a little easier. Still doesn’t help you with the food, though…In my experience the (non-Western) food (in KL and Penang at least) is pretty good… but that’s just my experience as tourist. And as you point out, actually living in a foreign country is something else altogether.

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Sorry to hear things are a bit rough. The way I think about Southeast Asian countries (except Singapore I guess)… great places to visit, but couldn’t pay me enough to live there. Taiwan will still be here when/if you decide to come back.

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