Something someone said in another thread prompted me to add this.
[quote=“Homey”]It just another example of the Chinese/Taiwanese ‘I hate everybody that’s not me’ mentality. They simply don’t care that people are waiting to use the tables. Common courtesy for the hungry people doesn’t even enter their minds. It’s all about me me me.
I have vivid memories of going out to breakfast every Sunday when I was a kid. The small town had one popular breakfast joint and there was always a wait. I remember my parents always saying we need to get going because other people were hungry and wanted to use the table. I guess this mentality of thinking about others was ingrained into me and I take it for granted. While I am thankful I learned this, I often have a very difficult time living in this highly selfish culture. If I am full and satiated why wouldn’t I want others to feel the same way?[/quote]
Does anyone else feel that Taiwanese people are unaware or uncaring of others in a way that is markedly different from the way you were brought up to be? I’ve thought about this many times, for instance whenever I’m riding an escalator and some dufus gets to the top ahead and then stands there wondering what to do next. I can’t help feeling that “in the west” people would move to one side, being aware that they’re in everyone’s way, before trying to figure out the next step.
I seem to remember as a kid that my parents would tell me think about other people, sometimes quite forcefully. Anyone else?
Caveat: you meet some really selfish people in western countries too. The difference is that they usually know they’re being selfish and will tell you to fuck off if you complain. Taiwanese people always seem totally perplexed when accused of selfishness.
maybe it’s a product of being bought up on a tiny overcrowded island that does it. It’s the usual “I’m alright Jack” attitude that exists in most cities. Move to somewhere where there is a bit more space and everyone relaxes and is more welcoming to other people.
Two years ago I went to a teppanyaki restaurant here in K-city, and there was a line of people waiting to get a seat and a group of 6 adults, westerners that had already finished their meal but didn’t want to leave their spots, they were talking, getting more soda and ignoring the people who were waiting for seats at the table. The locals were too polite to speak out and so I did, went there and actually told the group to go finish their talking in some McDonald nearby. They “suddenly” realized that they were being inconsiderate to the people waiting in the line.
I have met inconsiderate locals BUT I have also met lots of inconsiderate westerners.
Taiwan is the worst though. Never thought about this problem in Paris (can be quite crowded) where I lived a couple of years.
In Taiwan I thought about it within the first week of arrival.
The majority of people also talks way too loud in restaurants.
Anyways, it’s just about education, nothing else.
I’ve seen enough parents here who don’t care at all when their kid get outta control.
I found other foreigners can also have a ignorant attitude, mainly when abroad
My best experience of very crowded and still being nice: Tokyo, Japan
My worst experience of very crowded and being unnice: Shenzhen, China
[quote=“daisyhotkiss”]Two years ago I went to a teppanyaki restaurant here in K-city, and there was a line of people waiting to get a seat and a group of 6 adults, westerners that had already finished their meal but didn’t want to leave their spots, they were talking, getting more soda and ignoring the people who were waiting for seats at the table. The locals were too polite to speak out and so I did, went there and actually told the group to go finish their talking in some McDonald nearby. They “suddenly” realized that they were being inconsiderate to the people waiting in the line.
I have met inconsiderate locals BUT I have also met lots of inconsiderate westerners.[/quote]
The original post wasn’t suggesting that Taiwanese in Taiwan are more inconsiderate than foreigners in Taiwan. It was comparing the Taiwanese behavior in Taiwan and Westerners in their own countries.
After living here for a while I do admit that in certain situations I’ve adopted the “me first” attitude for my own personal gain. There’s just no way to get things done efficiently and still maintain the good manners my mother taught me.
Example: Holding open doors. Back home if you’re at a store and you get to the door first you’re supposed to hold it open for others coming behind. In Taiwan I might do it for the others in my group, but it’s just not possible to do it for an entire elevator of people exiting SOGO on a Sunday afternoon. Thank god for doormen.
So it goes back to StuartCa’s point about overcrowding and I fully agree. Taipei sometimes gives a one-sided view of Taiwan because things are definitely more relaxed outside of the big smoke.
I agree that there are a lot of inconsiderate people out there, but I suppose that it is just how they were brought up. I’m Taiwanese and my parents are just like yours, reminding me to hurry up and leave if there are people waiting for tables, etc.
I totally agree that stopping at the top/bottom of an escalator is very annoying and dangerous. Usually I just tell them to please move out of the way or you could just push them forward (that’s quite common, innit?). I think a lot of Taiwanese are just unaware of these things.
During the drive to work I was wondering all these things about drivers, and scooters, and people shoving, and bumping, and all the things they do that are different from my culture.
Then I realized, They are humans just trying to be humans in their own world and life, just like me, and all the rest of the people in the world that don’t have it nearly as good… and I decided to just appreciate them for being what and who they are. It is a beautiful feeling.
It’s not selfishness; rather, they are simply not aware of how they are inconveniencing others. And if the whole society thinks like this then, well, perhaps it is only westerners who are feeling inconvenienced.
Those people who remain sitting at restaurant tables long after they have finished eating: presumably, they had to queue too, right? Maybe, just maybe, they took the wait with good humor. With a little more patience and less self-centeredness?
[quote=“Thelonlieste”]Those people who remain sitting at restaurant tables long after they have finished eating: presumably, they had to queue too, right? Maybe, just maybe, they took the wait with good humor. With a little more patience and less self-centeredness?
Is that possible?[/quote]
It depends if you go to Mc Donalds in Taipei or Tour d’Argent in Paris.
I’ve never been asked to leave for others in a real restaurant.
That said, I think there’s more people occupying seats (students sleeping) in Taipei at McDonalds than at the Tour d’Argent in Paris and the ones in Taipei never get kicked out (even though I can’t get a seat).
Neither I’ve seen people sleeping in restaurants anywhere but in Taiwan.
It would actually be funny to wake them up and ask them to leave, maybe I’ll try next time
Oh! If it’s students sleeping, studying, etc. at McDonald’s and it’s quite obvious that they aren’t in the middle of a meal, you can simply inform one of the cashiers/supervisors/managers and they’ll usually make an announcement or ask those students to leave.
[quote=“rocky raccoon”]I think a lot of Taiwanese are just unaware of these things.
I got that tunnel vision goin’ through my head
I can’t helf myself all I see is red
Tunnel vision goin’ through my head
Lay me down inside your flying bed[/quote][/quote]
Crowding: No. There are many cities/towns/villages that are not crowded. Still the same behaviors in the countryside as seen in Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung.
I adjusted to this quickly, but it was painful. Some lessons I’ve learned:
If you’re not dry-humping the person in front of you in a queue, you are inviting others to cut. If you see an opening, GO FOR IT!
If you’re bigger, you don’t need to yield. This applies to foot, scooter, and auto travel.
Never look to the side or behind you. If you are in front, even by a centimeter, you have the right of way. Also applies to foot, scooter, and auto travel.
Find the napkins at the restaurant and take them all to your table. Nobody will bring you any, and nobody would need them, because you are unaware of any other patrons.
The alighting protocol for MRT/HSR is suggested. For god sakes, if you want off, just walk as if nobody is in front of you. Likewise for getting on.
When new people get on a crowded elevator, don’t ask which floor they want. You are always in a hurry to look important and cannot be inconvenienced by such matters.
If you have kids, teach them to be LOUD and run around in public. The best training grounds are the big supermarkets. Full of people so the kids must focus to ignore others. The carts bobbing and weaving also give the youth good practice for the roads.
Park your car or scooter in front of houses and businesses with the metal door closed for the night. They want you to park there. If not, they would have placed a cone.
8a. If you see a cone, just move it, or park on top of it.
When old or disabled people get on the MRT, stare at the ground, your phone, or just close your eyes. Whatever you do, don’t look at them and offer your seat. They don’t like to be stared at, and they want to be viewed as equals. Offering your seat admits to the world that you think this person is not as good as you.
Don’t worry about 12-point U-turns on major roads, or reversing on the freeway to get back to your offramp. You’re time is more important than others, and you have places to be. Afterall, you have a car in Taiwan, so you must be a very important person.
10. Don’t worry about 12-point U-turns on major roads, or reversing on the freeway to get back to your offramp. You’re time is more important than others, and you have places to be. Afterall, you have a car in Taiwan, so you must be a very important person.[/quote]
other day I was waiting at chengde / bailing bridge intersection, coming off bridge and waiting to make left onto chengde towards danshui. some guy barreling out of nowhere comes wrong way up bridge, makes a barnaby jones u-turn onto the right turn lane and heads his merry way back up chengde towards shihlin
Gotta disagree here, I’m afraid… I lived in Tainan for a while and then I moved to Taipei, and Taipei is far more “polite” (from a western perspective) than Tainan. The driving is far more reasonable… er, scratch that, let’s say it’s considerably less insane… and the way people behave on the MRT was a wonderful revelation to me.
Culturally, in Asia, is there generally less concern about minor politeness to strangers? Yes, I’d say there is. On the other hand, once someone actually knows you, I find the politeness/ hospitality somewhat overwhelming. Both things fall a bit outside my comfort level, but heck, if I wanted to live inside my comfort level, I wouldn’t be living here would I?
In line at 7/11 or at many local stores annoys me the most. Someone will be standing there ahead of you with their one item blocking the countertop when you have several things you’d like to put down instead of holding onto. It’s not intentional obviously, they’re just blind and oblivious to the world around them.
Then there are the a-holes who can see you waiting for change and still try to crowd and reach over/past you to drop their shit on the counter. Because even though employees don’t have 4 arms and they won’t get served until I get my change, it’s still a good idea, and not rude at all.
Then there are the worst transgressors, the total a-holes who see you but pretend not to see you and cut the line. With those ones I usually stare at them and either call them rude in chinese or swear loud enough for them to hear me in English. But they didn’t notice me in the first place of course so I can say whatever I want. If I’m in a real foul mood and this happens I’ll simply take all my stuff and walk in front of them and drop it in front of their stuff, then ignore them completely.
The employees will rarely jump in to straighten anyone out as well, which is almost as bad as the uncouth behavior itself.
This happened to me a lot more in Taipei then in Kaohsiung though. But also I lived in Yonghe, which needs to be accounted for. :neutral:
I noticed the last post just now about driving…yeah down south it’s the wild west on the road. I wouldn’t call the drivers here more rude though, they just don’t care about stuff like traffic lights or what side of the road they drive on and everyone just goes with it. They’re definitely worse at driving in the south, never trust anything but your eyes and ears.