Hi everyone -
Do you feel that people in shops and other places of service treat you differently depending on how you’re dressed?
One of the things I love most about NZ is that you get the same service whether you’re barefoot in jeans or dolled out in a designer dress and killer heels…I really like that lack of “hsien-shi” (there isn’t an equivalent in English - like calculating cynical materialsm, I guess - or snobbery, even) - you don’t have to worry about your image here or about conveying status, just to get decent service and be treated with respect.
I grew up in Dubai where it was the exact opposite - shop keepers literally looked you up and down when you walked in a shop and if you were’t dripping in jewels and designer labels, they were very snooty and rude to you. Especially if you weren’t white.
I’ve only been back to Taiwan on short family holidays when younger so didn’t get much chance to experience everyday life - so now that I’m going to be living there, I was wondering: do you guys find a difference in service based on how you present yourself? Do you feel the pressure to look a certain way to get a certain service?
My mother is always telling me off to dress in a certain way or wear certain things (like jewellery, which I hate!) because she says otherwise people won’t respect me…but she’s completely Taiwanese materialistic and living in Dubai all these years has only made her “status-consciousness” worse…so I don’t really trust her judgement.
Would be curious to hear what your experiences were…although I know things will probably be different for a white foreigner compared to a Chinese looking person (even though I’m westernised inside…)