Most Common Questions a Foreigner Might Ask in Taiwan

Which banks ATMs can withdraw cash from using my foreign visa card?

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I have been here almost 20 years. I have been unable to perform task number 3 by myself.

Same for friggin ibon and company.

I had a friend that had been here for 12 years and also cannot operate or knows how to buy a ticket online through the TRA website. I ended up helping him with booking AND picking up at via ibon. They really should get an English version on those kiosks.

Chinese is not that much of a challenge. It is the out of order steps, they keep messing up with me. Very not intuitive/logical/user friendly.

I mean, after you go to the station to pick up the tickets at the machine, you still have to go to te counter it says. Can’t remember what for. All messed up. And I can speak Chinese, I always wonder what people who can’t read nor speak do in that kind of situation. Sit down and weep?

Stay home.

How this lunar calendar thing works?
Do I really need to learn how to use chopsticks?
Is it possible for a foreigner to drive in Taiwan?
What if I don’t want to teach english?
Where can I get a Easy Card?

I was thinking more like this: where just the questions are posted here so a new reader to this topic can quickly scan for a question.

This way people can jump down if they are interested in reading the questions (and answers?). Or the post with the question might have a Continuation Link to a new topic that discusses that question in more depth

Got it!
I guess we should start writing some answers then :smile:

Wouldn’t it be odd to reply and answer your own question though? Haha :smile:

I can imagine that. But I can also imagine that for many of us who have been here a while, we asked the question (when we first arrived) and we learned the answers (often the hard way)

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Maybe we can make a Taiwan FAQ.:stuck_out_tongue:

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How this lunar calendar thing works?
Lunar calendar lets us know some holiday or birthday correctly.

Do I really need to learn how to use chopsticks?
I don’t think so. There is always fork and spoon.

Is it possible for a foreigner to drive in Taiwan?
Yes.

What if I don’t want to teach english?
I think you can run a restaurant or something, not sure.

Where can I get a Easy Card?
MRT Station.

Where are the trash cans?
Home, or some streets walkway, restrooms.

I think some of those answers need vetting

my mum recently came here for a holiday so i defiantly got a bit of a newbie perspective.

the first thing seems to be where are the rubbish bins? this really made taiwan seem like some backwater retard country, especially when we were walking around danshui which has some night markety streets and there are literally piles of rubbish and shit on the streets because nobody put any bins there. we eventually found one after moving a street away from the river and it was overflowing with trash. its a joke.

toilets were another one. i kind of know to look in 7 11’s and temples to find them but i guess most new people won’t know this.

other than that i noticed that taiwan has a lot more tourists than i first realised. they really need to add more english. even for other asian tourists english is going to be more commonly used than chinese, other than with mainlanders but they are less numerous now.

the MRT map rotation is indeed dumbassery to the fullest.

I think some of those answers need vetting

such as?

If you’re saying the map inside the MRT (usually before the turnstiles) that shows what’s around the station and doesn’t point north, there’s a thread about that somewhere. Some of us also think it’s stupid.

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[quote=“ulaiwan, post:20, topic:154561, full:true”]
How this lunar calendar thing works?
Lunar calendar lets us know some holiday or birthday correctly.[/quote]

That’s not an answer

[quote=“ulaiwan, post:20, topic:154561, full:true”]
Do I really need to learn how to use chopsticks?
I don’t think so. There is always fork and spoon.[/quote]

There are hundreds of places where they don’t have Western cutlery. I suppose some of them have spoons for people with babies.

As for the public garbage facilities, perhaps it would be helpful to explain why there are so few.

I think some people are confusing ignorance with stupidity. We do have calendars in our strange barbarian lands and we’re already aware of the eating irons as an alternative to chopsticks. Admittedly some of these are difficult to answer with one-line but some of the answers border on facetious.

Also, with the toilet thing, it’s not like tourists are walking around assuming that Taiwan is a place with very few toilets. It’s more that they’re not aware that it’s perfectly acceptable to use the toilets in the places you’ve listed and that no-one’s really going to bat an eyelid about it. Where I’m from it’s not really the done thing to walk off the street into a convenience store (and most convenience stores wouldn’t have them anyway), restaurant or hotel lobby and use their facilities. A fast food place…maybe…if it’s busy you’d try and get away with it. Department stores are fine, I guess places where there’s more anonymity are ok. Of course some people have no qualms at all about it but for a lot of people they’d prefer not to risk the embarrassment of being frowned at and tutted at by someone.

The OP mentioned that there’s a bit of a disconnect between the sort of questions that foreigners are likely to ask and the questions that Taiwanese people would generally expect them to ask. If you reversed the situation and did the same exercise about Taiwanese people going to US or Europe for example then there would probably be a similar disconnect. This sort of comes through with the answers as well. I find that sometimes I ask Taiwanese people simple questions and get (what I think are) very strange elliptical answers, other times when I’m asking a question trying to understand something a bit more complex I get a straightforward answer delivered in a slow and patient way as though I’m a complete moron.

I think that to give decent answers you need to understand or think about why foreigners might be asking them. In some cases that might mean simply giving foreigners the facts but in a lot of cases it’s going to be more of an explanation of some (for example) social convention that’s different from where they come from but, once they understand it, will help them get by.

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Very much so.
Good point about the public/non-public facilities, considering that in lots and lots of places in N. America you have to get the key to use the bog in Starbuck’s