Quality of Life

Originally posted by zhukov: Would it be arrogant of me to say that most Taiwanese have no idea what a good quality of life is [img]images/smiles/converted/bawl.gif[/img]
How does everyone stay happy and sane in Taiwan? What gives your lifestyle here "quality"?

Quality of life? Quality of life? Why, ye young pup, I’ll give ye quality of life! I live in a rolled-up newspaper in the middle of the Bei-er Gao and have to walk to work barefoot, sixteen miles there and back, through the snow … blah blah blah …

And the poll doesn’t seem to be sticky, either, so its going to get lost pretty soon.

How do you define quality of life? That’s kinda broad, innit? Sure, my quality of life might be higher if I were living in some suburb in the midwestern US, driving an SUV back and forth to a job in a large, nondescript company, my nights dictated by TV Guide, but I think that kind of life would drive me insane much quicker than living in Taiwan, which is at least interesting.

No VB, Vegemite, AFL footy, Live One day cricket, Melbourne Cup, Easter eggs, Easter bunny, Santa, Torquey, Portsea, Anglesea, Bells beach. But who’s complaining, got the women, the dog and a pretty comfy life. How do I vote ‘about the same?’

The categories to choose from are a bit sparse. What heppaned to “Better than back home but not as good as the locals’?”

Cummon Jeff, you’re from California. I’m sure you’d get a few arguments from the guys chewing beetle nut and painting their car yellow down stairs.

Actually, Amos, I’m from Georgia and live in California (Orange County) now. I was in Taiwan from 1991 through 1999.

Quality of life has many components. One reason we came back to the States is that neither my wife nor I held a Taiwan passport or permament residency, so schooling for our kids would have been difficult. We also couldn’t afford to buy a house/apartment, because we’d have had to put an enormous amount of cash down and housing prices were outrageous. So from that standpoint life here is better.

Also in that regard… When I lived in Taiwan I didn’t have the same quality of life as most of my neighbors, most of whom owned their houses and could send their kids to public schools.

On the other hand, I enjoyed living in Taipei more than I enjoy living here, but I can’t really put my finger on why. It might have something to do with living in a city as opposed to the suburbs. I was never bored in Taipei, where I could take a 5-10 minute walk from my house at midnight and have my choice between “rice soup” or a couple beers at a local bar. I usually opted for a bag of dried squid from Circle-K, but that’s besides the point. So in that regard, my quality of life was better in Taipei than it is here. Now if I were a surfer or an avid outdoors person, things might be different.

Pah ! Sandman, bloddy luxury ! When aaah were a lad we didn’t even 'ave a rowelled up newspaper. We used to live at t’bottom of a puddle and when aah father came 'ome from t’pit he used to…

etc etc

Yeah Angst, vague.
Not as good as home: the food, the air quality, the bookshops, 2nd hand, flea markets, and vintage shops, the music shops, dvd selections, the overall cost of everything, access to the great outdoors and above all, OPEN SPACE.
Better than locals: no flourescent lighting, fewer working hours, being able to take a holiday whenever I want (even though I rarely do), no tv.
Worse than locals: no mama to cook dinner, not being part of a “Wei” and able to get my hands on a million dollars whenever I want, having to live off work permit/ARC, no shoes.
It’s all relevant. Shod me!

… it’s all how you define it. If working 12 hours a day, owning a big black Merc, cramming your extended family into a crappy apartment and wearing designer clothes means having a high quality of life, well - good luck to them. I’d settle for a decent place to kick a ball around and some air to breath that I can’t actually see…