OK, I’m new here, only been in Taiwan a month and a half, and I gotta say this one seriously has me considering running for the hills (or at least right back home).
Last Sunday I needed a place to stay for a few weeks, so I responded to an ad on Tealit–a Taiwanese girl was offering to let someone sleep on her couch for awhile. I get there, the place is great, we chat some–her English was excellent, so I complimented her and asked if she’d studied abroad, you know, polite chit-chat. We agreed I’d move in the next day.
When the day came, I called her from downstairs and she said her cousins were going to visit in two weeks, so I had to leave by then. OK, say I. Couple days go by, we go out to dinner a couple times, more chit-chat, etc. We seem to be getting along really well. Then on maybe the third day it’s like a light switched off–she acts SO mad at me, like she really can’t stand the sight of me. I rack my brain, but can’t think of anything I’ve done. Actually, I’ve worked REALLY hard at being a good roommate.
This gets worse and worse until tonight, when she quickly announces that her cousins are coming day after tomorrow, so I have to leave tomorrow. This gives me 12 hrs to find a new place. Also, it’s so clearly a lie that I ask if I can talk to her–ask what I’ve done wrong. She starts yelling that she’s not obligated to tell me. Long story short, she ends up viciously attacking me for about a half hour, saying that I’m breaking her heart–I’m so jealous of her (cause she speaks 3 languages?), stuck up, cruel, and condescending. Said she didn’t like me from the moment we met and I said, snidely, that her English was so good and asked if she’d studied abroad. (Is this the wrong thing to say to a Taiwanese? Her English is really terrific, far better than my Chinese, I was just being polite!) Seems the cousins were an invention from the get-go. She said she tried to make the best of it when I came anyway, she tried to be nice to me, but I threw it in her face and laughed at her, how dare I laugh at her? Oh yes, also I was completely arrogant about being American. Me, who’s dreamed of leaving America since I first looked at a globe! That didn’t matter, got called a selfish bitch and later on a stupid bitch for not knowing where all this vitriol was coming from. She said she’s been crying in her room at night–wanting so badly to be my friend, but I’ve been breaking her heart–etc etc.
Right. I don’t think I’ve ever in my life been attacked like that for so little reason. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve been super polite, on my best behavior as it were. If my manner was so offensive, I think my Taiwanese language exchange partners & “friends” (have only known them a month, of course) would have let on somehow. Maybe not. I really don’t know.
So this is my question–have any of you guys run into this sort of situation? Is it common? If I’m going to be facing these sorts of major misunderstandings a lot, I really don’t think I want to stay here. Just can’t do this over and over again.
PS WARNING–her ad is still on tealit.com. You can PM me if you wanna know her name, to avoid her apt! She’s got a big room to rent, as well as the couch.