So I want to bitch why I’m leaving Taiwan.
Ideally, you may also get some perspective before you decide to move here.
Long story short, I’ve been here for 1.5 years. I have not worked a single day in Taiwan so I have enjoyed it mostly as a tourist.
The problem with Taiwan is that it is boring. Like really boring. The fact that this island was isolated can be seen with ease in how most people live and deal with you.
Sure, people are kind, I must give that to them but after a while, you just end up frustrated at their lack of “getting it”. You go to a doctor and you feel like the doctor doesn’t give a fuck about you and then you have to play “whack a mole” until you find a good one.
Or you make friends here and you realize that most people in Taiwan love their comfort zone and what’s considered normal in other parts of the world, here is extraordinary. And things like this.
In the first three - six months, everything is awesome.
Wow, 7 / 11 and you can buy this. Wow, you can go hiking. Wow, high speed train to Taipei and back. Wow, wow, wow.
It’s like watching a tv show that starts very strong and you want to binge watch it because it feels awesome. But after 10 - 20 episodes, you realize that it is not going anywhere and even if it is more of the same, there’s little substance to it.
From time to time, I find something that makes me feel amazing here, like this girl that gave me a ride for 20 kilometers on her scooter after I’ve got lost. And if every day would be like this, I’d learn Mandarin and move here.
But most days feel almost depressing because there is so much shallowness in everything around. The entire Asian idea of having face bothers me the most as nobody does anything because they’re afraid of failing and looking stupid.
So I don’t think it’s a good place to be long term. Sure, for the price you’re paying here, you’re getting a first world country treatment. The infrastructure is great and everything works. You know you are safe and this is one of those countries in which you can forget your backpack in the park and nobody will steal it.
I’ve actually forgotten things and I’ve recovered them safely.
But it lacks heart, it lacks soul. This is something that the Philippines and Thailand has a lot more. Sure, the Philippines are a shit hole for most part but at least, something happens there. Taiwan is like Korea, people who are forced by society to act in a certain way and which are afraid to do anything outside of their script.
I understand that all of this is very subjective. I came to Taiwan after I ran out of money for traveling around the world. I’ve found it a great country for focusing on my next move and for getting my life back on track.
But … to be honest, looking back, I feel like my last 1.5 years in Taiwan were a waste of time. I can’t say I have any great memories here or that I’ve made any great friends. I can’t say anything touched my heart. I’ve even met about 40 people, one at a time, through a language exchange site and I always felt alone in this country.
Is this bitching?
I guess so. I’m happy that I’m leaving this place. But it’s also something I wish someone told me before I came here. When I first came to Taiwan, everyone said only good things about it and how Taiwan is the best place in Asia to be.
And I’ve kept expecting that to happen. I’ve tried the food, I tried the dating scene, I’ve tried traveling and hiking (to be honest, hiking here is amazing, better than anywhere else in the world). I’ve went to local libraries and went to bars and to Internet Cafes.
And here I am, asking myself why the hell I haven’t moved to Thailand instead. It feels like Taiwan, living in Taiwan is a marriage with a spouse for which you don’t feel anything.
You don’t have any reason to argue or to hate her but you don’t have any reason to love her either. It’s just the land of “not bad enough, not good enough either” and this is before you add all the frustrations and the “fuck, I hate this way of dealing with people so much” that comes when you try to get something done here in Taiwan.
I think that if I actually had to work here, as get a teaching job or whatever job, I’d dislike it even more. At least I had nobody telling me what to do.
I guess that’s all. I admit it - it’s just bitching, I just want to meet other people who feel like me