Pet Peeves in Taiwan

I really hate the loud rap music that they play at almost every shop and even at the supermarkets.

Oops, you left one out.

Locals who insist on practicing their English with you

a) no matter how good your Chinese is


b) even if your first language is not English


c) even if their English is limited to one or two phrases


d) even if your English is limited to one or two words


e) even if you have no interest in talking to him/her in any language

  1. The fact that women here (xiao jies and tai tais and even some men) have to scream when communicating with each other no matter how short the distance between them (ie. across the table).
  2. Toilet slippers passing for apparrel among betel boys
  3. Men driving their WWII-era motorcycles with three propane tanks mounted on the back cutting you off.
  4. The fact that you’re expected to put the toilet paper into the bucket after using it, even if they don’t care enough to keep it from overflowing with the TP of others…
  5. Creepy small-town betel-chewing taxi-drivers and their unemployed friends.

On the other hand, it makes my day to watch those fragile-looking old people trample each other trying to be first on the bus…

Taiwanese weddings.

Taiwanese Funerals.

When you come back from doing a piss, and there’s ice in your bloody beer. And I don’t mean because I took too long either.

BUGS, Taiwanese creepy-crawlies
Somebody KILL THE BUG!

The creepy-crawly mutations turn into mice or rats whom are the honorary household pets of the very untidy Chinese housemates. (Domesticated cats aren’t thought of as pets when they’re on the menu.)

And a no better mouse traps other than “humane” glue boards.

(some moight have been mentioned … so what)

Bad dental health amongst locals

Betel Nut juice on the streets

Not enough garbage cans around

Breaking winds

Locals screaming at each other no matter distance

Chicken claws

Driving skills

Everyone pushing and shoving to get in the bus/lift/mrt/anywhere first

Disrespecting my personal “bubble” (space)


Homeless animals

Ugly feet

Over/Under Bites

Big flat noses

Men with long (and often dirty) nails

Woman with long toenails thinking it’s “hot” …

Woman not shaving their legs and under arms

The fact that I have to walk down the street to take out my garbage …

People not looking where they are walking

Ill mannered kids and their ill mannered parents

Nosy neighbours

Drilling and construction early in the morning on WEEKENDS !

Power cuts happening often

  1. People weaving as they walk in front of you on the street and they suddenly stop.
  2. People in queues cutting past
  3. How long it takes them to check the statement from the ATM, and in fact use the ATM
  4. when you are in a shop buying something, and a Taiwanese person cutting in and asking something to the girl/guy behind the counter
  5. Multi colored lighting system on the back when they press the brake or indicate… which one is it I always ask
  6. Safety belts buried in the back seats in the taxis never to be retrieved
  7. The parents and 5 kids on the bike… with the parents only wearing helmets… it seems that in a crash the kids here are protected by some force field generated by the motorbike… hence no need for helmets
  8. Driving masonary nails into walls… and espically tiles… giving some nice cracks
  9. Total lack of understanding of any codes for doing anything and why they are necessary… ie wiring, plumbing, etc…
  10. The way that the plumber also runs a betel nut stall and drives a taxi…
  11. Dog shops with “Hau Ke Ai” puppies in the windows…
  12. People in supermarkets here… they always manage to get in my way

The pavements (usually outside banks, posh blocks of flats, etc.) that, with the slightest bit of rain on them, turn into skating rinks.

Or using the girlfriend as a human air bag in the event of a crash. On the scooter, she is seated in front of him as he drives in and out of Taipei traffic.

Or hovering side-saddle behind the boyfriend, not entirely hanging on, legs crossed and flimsy shoes threatening to fall off. She’d better just hope that if she falls off, it’s forward…

And naturally, she’s not wearing a helmet either, as it might destroy her precious coif.

driving down a street with a dozen scooters window shopping.
people walking in the middle of the road.
oops soory about that last one sidewalks are for vendors.

Taipei City’s disregard for shade trees.
Trees are topped and uprooted with what seems to be a program to eliminate shade. I have numerous examples, but just look at the Taipei Art Park next to the museum. How many years have those “trees” been there? They will never provide shade. What are parks for, anyway?
The planners here must come from some desolate alien world where a good time is hanging out in the middle of a dry lake bed where the temperature is 35 degrees. (No offense, Alien)
It is really a scandal.

Planners. What planners?

The great thing about Taipei is you could come back in 20 years and probably not recognise any of it (not a bad thing on the whole).

—hearing the local school bell on weekends and 7 am
—having a similar system at work (sigh)
—having the local school sports days go on for a week, starting at 7 am and ending at 5 pm each day, during which each class has to whistle and make as much noise as possible for their team
—insisting on the school band also practising during sports week
—being poor when everybody thinks your rich
—being overtaken in the bus queue , even with my UZI and suicide belt strapped on they still belt past me!
—everybody standing around looking at the latest accident victim (this works ok if you caused the accident and have to escape quickly
from your illegal scooter


Big people who don’t like little people.

Big people who forget they were once little people.

Arrogant Americans. (I’m American by the way)

Arrogant foreigners.

English speakers who also speak Chinese who think Taiwanese people should speak Chinese properly… what on earth does that mean? Like, whatever. (Get it?)

Rich people who walk around the crippled person in the wheelchair who would really appreciate a few coins.

People who don’t return a smile.

People who look at me when I greet them with a “good morning” and a sincere smile (as opposed to some of the plastic smiles I get from other foreigners), and then don’t say A WORD!

People who shove a 3 year old kid on their way out of the bus.

People who rush to board the bus and step in front of an elderly person.

Okay, I’ll stop there… There are also many things I like about living in Taipei. Anyone care to start a new topic?


“You don’t understand - this is the Taiwanese way.”

To which the reply is often: “Yeah, but it is also the wrong way.”

Many people are too unwilling to experiment.

People who rush to board the bus and step in front of an elderly person.[/quote]

Elderly women who elbow you out of the way when you’re queued up!

Elderly (and not so elderly) women who scream on the top of their lungs in Taiwanese while using cell phones!

Teenage boys and girls who don’t stand up on a bus to let elderly/infirmed people sit down, and instead shut their eyes tightly pretending to sleep.