Old people

Just to get things straight first, I absolutely love Taiwan and I absolutely love everyone who is not over 60.
I seriously cannot come to grips with how unadvanced the old folks are.

For example:
● Chewing with their mouth open
● Spitting on the floor
● Staring at anyone who looks different (for long periods)
● Pushing and shoving to get onto the bus first
● Phleming up on the side of the road or in the bathroom
● Pressing on one nostril and shooting mucus out the other one

I had somebody stare at me while chewing with their mouth open while I had dinner tonight.
Were hygiene and manners invented after 1950?

A massively self-indulgent generalisation; based on only a singular incident?
All of the points you mentioned are practised with unflinching determination by many a North American youth.
What you describe is hardly solely a local occurence.

[quote=“bumclouds”]Just to get things straight first, I absolutely love Taiwan and I absolutely love everyone who is not over 60.
I seriously cannot come to grips with how unadvanced the old folks are.

For example:
● Chewing with their mouth open
● Spitting on the floor
● Staring at anyone who looks different (for long periods)
● Pushing and shoving to get onto the bus first
● Phleming up on the side of the road or in the bathroom
● Pressing on one nostril and shooting mucus out the other one

I had somebody stare at me while chewing with their mouth open while I had dinner tonight.
Were hygiene and manners invented after 1950?[/quote]

With you (someone presumably under 60) commenting in this way on the behavior of your elders? Obviously not.

Not based on a singular incident. A couple of months ago my Taiwanese girlfriend showed me massive purple bruises on her shins she got from being shoved by old people before the first step of the bus. Other time she got completely saturated from head to toe because an old man pushed her down the steps (again, off the bus), and she fell into a puddle.

[quote=“TheGingerMan”]
All of the points you mentioned are practised with unflinching determination by many a North American youth.
What you describe is hardly solely a local occurence.[/quote]
This wasn’t comparing Taiwan to anywhere else. This was about comparing the manners of old people with the manners of young people.

I know I’m making generalizations, but I feel they are true ones.

Not based on a singular incident. A couple of months ago my Taiwanese girlfriend showed me massive purple bruises on her shins she got from being shoved by old people before the first step of the bus. Other time she got completely saturated from head to toe because an old man pushed her down the steps (again, off the bus), and she fell into a puddle.

[quote=“TheGingerMan”]
All of the points you mentioned are practised with unflinching determination by many a North American youth.
What you describe is hardly solely a local occurence.[/quote]
This wasn’t comparing Taiwan to anywhere else. This was about comparing the manners of old people with the manners of young people.

I know I’m making generalizations, but I feel they are true ones.[/quote]
Bad Manners are just that,regardless of Age or Culture…I speak as an"old"person . Sadly I have seen young people,Americans,Europeans,behave in just the same way.
Plus ,I have observed many who are Polite and have good manners…There may be less awareness of other peoples’ space here…especially on the Roads :astonished: ,I agree :2cents:

Lets not forget crossing the streets without looking, likes its their right. Then they curse you when you hoot at them.

Many a time I have stopped my car and told the old goat to go fornicate her/himself.

The other day some nosy old goat stopped her scooter to complain my dog was shitting in the road, while I was in the process of picking up the shit. I had to tell her to self fornicate too. I loath the fact that I did not throw the shitbag at her.

Personally I think all old Taiwanese people who do not know how to behave properly should be shot, or at least shipped to North Korea as food aid.

[quote=“bumclouds”]Just to get things straight first, I absolutely love Taiwan and I absolutely love everyone who is not over 60.
I seriously cannot come to grips with how unadvanced the old folks are.

For example:
● Chewing with their mouth open
● Spitting on the floor
● Staring at anyone who looks different (for long periods)
● Pushing and shoving to get onto the bus first
● Phleming up on the side of the road or in the bathroom
● Pressing on one nostril and shooting mucus out the other one

I had somebody stare at me while chewing with their mouth open while I had dinner tonight.
Were hygiene and manners invented after 1950?[/quote]

You have reasons for your opinions, and obviously some older people do behave the way you have observed. There are reasons for this as well.

On the other hand, I’ve found some of the older generation to be among the most fascinating folks on this island. A few anacdotes:

I know an older waishengren who experienced first-hand nearly all of the important events of the mid to late twentieth century. Among his childhood memories were his village in Sichuan being bombed by zeros. His teen years were spent in the KMT army fighting the communists, until he was captured by them and forced to fight on their side under a minder (who was under orders to kill him if he tried to run). He escaped when his minder was killed, only to see the whole country fall to the communists. Then he was forced to march to North Korea and fight in the Korean war. He later crossed the line and surrendered to American forces. At that point, he was given the option to come to Taiwan to rejoin his old unit here, which he did. He was even in the states receiving training in artillery when he remembers seeing the news of the Kennedy assassination.

I also know an older benshengren who taught me a lot about Taiwan during WWII and the White Terror period. He told me one story of his father being gored by a water buffalo. He told me how, as a child, he was so poor that all he had on was underwear, which he had to rip off to make a bandage for his dad. He also told me how, in his teens, some of his classmates were imprisoned for 10 years on Green island. The white terror is called “white” because of the white helmets MPs and police wore during that period. He lived in fear until martial law was lifted. The KMT was suspicious of those who had received Japanese educations, and vice versa.

Finally, some years ago, I was performing a teaching demo. At the end, I noticed a smiling, quite elderly lady slowly making her way up to see. I was a little nervous. My mando at that point was not bad, but many locals of that age do not speak Mandarin well, if at all. Finally, she reaches me and says in perfect, unaccented English, “I just want to say you’re doing a wonderful job. My grandson is always raving about your class, and now I know why! You have such a way with kids!” Turns out, this old lady had worked at the former American Embassy.

Yeah, there are some old people with entitlement issues, and this society tends to enable their behaviour sometimes. But some of those old folks have lived absolutely incredible lives. If you really want first hand accounts of the history of this place, get to know some of these people. There aren’t very many left.

I’m sorry for making this topic. I realize now it was wrong.

Hey, no problems. Some things than happen here can be very annoying ,on a daily basis. Makes you want to scream out loud and makes you wonder why you are here :fume: Sometimes old means wise,sometimes just more stupid.Now where is that Zimmer frame? Lent it to Tom Thorne damn :s

You’ve provoked conversation on a site that can be a little boring at times. They should give you an award for the feat.

There have been fair points made all round. I’ve been verbally abused by veterans (to be fair just once or twice) while others have doted on my kids. They need to learn to cross the road at the lights but it may be too late for that.

Most Taiwanese ignore me, in general, but the few real assholes have been older men.

Ok, sorry to get all politically incorrect again, but on the way home tonight, I saw an old woman stop her bicycle and unload a whole basket load of rubbish onto the middle of the pavement.

Third time I’ve seen it. Old person every time.

Extremely. Pissed. Off.

Took a photo of her. Is there anything I can do about it?

[quote=“bumclouds”]Ok, sorry to get all politically incorrect again, but on the way home tonight, I saw an old woman stop her bicycle and unload a whole basket load of rubbish onto the middle of the pavement.

Third time I’ve seen it. Old person every time.

Extremely. Pissed. Off.

Took a photo of her. Is there anything I can do about it?[/quote]

Kick her in the face.

I’m going back there to pick it up.

Sorry folks. Just venting anger onto the internet, so I don’t punch anyone. All better now.

I for one have to agree with bumclouds and bigduke on this one. I absolutely despise old people, especially those of the Taiwan variety. I find the majority of them to be rude, crude, noisy, nosy, nasty, and mean. I live in a place surrounded by them. They constantly shout meaningless phrases and never stop talking shit all day long. You can hear their shouts towards one another echoing throughout the neighborhood for hours on end. Nevertheless, I go out of my way to help them when I see the opportunity (hold a door open for them, pick up something they drop, move shit out of the way in a narrow alley so they can carry on with their rickshaw bicycle piled high with recyclables), and they usually reciprocate with a smile and a kind response. And I agree with 80sStar too. Old people in general have a wealth of knowledge, at the same time ignorant as all hell, and have priceless real life experience during fascinating times of history. On the other hand, everything bumclouds and bigduke said is right on, and they’re one of the parts of Taiwan I’ll miss the least.

80s star, I love that post.

Old people, of course, can be real arseholes. Do we change magically from shitty middle aged person into pillars of society when the clock strikes 70?

When we judge ‘the old’, or ‘the young’, think about the fact that some illnesses manifest themselves in behavioural ways, and we are so quick to judge.

My grandmother who was incredibly elegant and well-mannered started to show symptoms of dementia in her late 60s. When you first realise that you have dementia, you go through a period of grieving for yourself. She became extremely difficult. She was depressed and full of rage. She was angry. She knew exactly how she was going to die, what would happen to her, how long it would take. She knew that her partner and children were going to have to do everything for her and she raised hell. She told the family the most brutal home truths, then she’d ‘repent’ and give away her jewellery. She swore, shoplifted, shoved, crashed her car. I don’t know if it was illness, or anger about her illness, but in a way, it hardly matters.

She could still control her impulses at that point but later she would push and shout at people. She was a tall woman, with an imperious manner and could be eye-wateringly rude, reminiscent of a kind of Glaswegian Margaret Thatcher. She was scary and obnoxious.

Later, as she became physically frail, older, and more obviously ‘absent’, people were a lot more accepting. Fortunately, she lived in a small community where people understood how things could be. I dread to imagine how things are for people with less support. She would wander around the garden and the neighbours would say hello. People stared if they didn’t know her, but other just ‘got it’ and smiled and helped. I’m always grateful to those people.

I can be really judgemental myself, sometimes. But without being too much of a hippy, before you get wound up, just think what made the person the way they are.

But all bets are off in the post offices in Taiwan. Those old bitches are gonna have get past my elbows!

Some reasons:

  1. Some elderly folk may think, “I’m old: I’ve earned the right to behave as I see fit. Respect your elders, whippersnapper!”
  2. Some elderly folk may not be all there, perhaps suffering from some stage of Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia.
  3. Many elderly folk grew up in a totally different environment, acculturated when and where behavior now considered rude was the norm.

Elderly folk are notorious for being slow, but they move at lightning speed when 1) boarding the bus (but not when paying their fare or finding a seat), and 2) when picking up their prescriptions at the hospital dispensary.

I feel blessed living in a country where my mother-in-law has worse table manners than I do. Really takes the pressure off. I’m no saint when it comes to old people in Taiwan though. I long ago stopped feeling even a twinge of pity when I see some geezer get mowed down on the evening news because he or she turned without looking.

Come on, the old people who are assholes now were assholes when they were young too !!

If you are an asshole now, bet you gonna be one too when you get old :slight_smile:

So to all young assholes out there…DON’T GET OLD !