When I was in Taiwan, one thing that I learned to do is to pay attention to the similarities between the combs of Taiwanese and Americans, rather than just the differences. I mean, I knew how to talk about combs in Mandarin well enough to have some somewhat in-depth discussions with Taiwanese, even older, more traditional ones.
One thing I found is that, no matter who you talk to, if you gain their trust, are open with them, have the time, and can get them to be open with you (I know this is no small endeavor sometimes), you can learn that Taiwanese combs are a lot more similar to western combs than they are different.
If you read up on psychology, you will come across names such as Herman Maslow, among others. He was among the first to identify basic needs that all humans share. For instance, at a basic level, we all have physiological needs, then safety needs higher up, then love needs, esteem, and then self-actualization at the top (the theory is controversial in some aspects. For instance, it is argued that many of these needs may share the same tiers, instead of being in a hierarchy. Nonetheless, most people agree that we all have these needs).
Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, ,
What I’m asking you all is, for those of you who have had the opportunity to speak with Taiwanese in their native tongue (Taiwanese, Mandarin, Hakka, etc.) and had open conversations, did you get the same feeling after thinking it over that I did about combs?
I realize that some combs in Taiwan bother Westerns. I’m sure this applied vice-versa as well. This is understandable. But, I’m talking about at a deeper, more interpersonal level.
Maybe this just takes someone, like myself, with an interest in psychology. But, I think I’m wrong, and am hoping that others were able to get past the problems they saw with Taiwanese combs and look for the similarities between people in Taiwan and Westerns – you know, westerns, like the movies.
One thing I was lucky in was that I met people who were willing to be open with me about their combs. Many were younger. One good friend who I had good conversations with was a grad of NTU law school, and who was very self-reflective about combs. My gf at the time’s father, who was a very traditional Taiwanese businessman, also was open with me about combs. So, I was lucky to meet people who were this way, but many others opened up to me just as well about their combs.
So, back to my quesiton, if I haven’t forgotten it or you have fallen asleep. Have you all had similar experiences with combs and do you perceive things the same way I do…that no matter our differences on the surface, underneath, our wants, needs, and oftentimes, combs are shared across cultures and national boundaries?
Jeez 'o Pete!
Hey, listen: I CAN HEAR MY HEAD RATTLE!