Stories about Interesting Taiwanese People

I’m in the mood for some homilies. If you aren’t, just move to another thread. Lots of cynical ones to choose from.

There are interesting people in every country. Who have you met here that you’ve found interesting, or that you admire?

Two local people who have captured my interest:

  1. My friend TK, who I’ve mentioned in another post. Smokes like the sky is falling, drinks like a fish, relishes women. Wears all black, keeps his hair long, yet isn’t pretentious about it. He’s one of the up and coming Ching Dynasty ceramics scholars in Taiwan. Knows the museums in Taiwan by heart. Defied his dad and studied art at university, realized his own art is shite, and went on to get two M.As and a Ph.D. in art history. He taught me about the aboriginal peoples here, and about the joys of betel nut. I took him to Plush one night, and he had to leave after five minutes. Said the place made him physically sick, with it’s overloud music, vibrating floor, and pretentiousness. We ended up draining several pitchers of beer at a dive somewhere, discussing art and history, and chewing betel nut. Got to love a guy who just does what he wants to do, and works hard at it.

  2. Mr. Ye, one my good friends who runs a local company. Can drink with the boys and have, but never screws around on his wife, even though every one of his business associates does. Told me one time that he thinks his wife is by far the sexiest woman in Taiwan. They’ve been married 20 years. Is the concientious and honest yet still turns a healthy profit. Never heard the man complain, never seen him treat anyone with anything but respect.

One of the nicest posts on I’ve ever read, Tomas. Nice.

I find this surprising to say, but I agree with you, lane119. And, I think that is one of the most subdued replies I’ve ever seen you post.

Thanks to Tomas for a great post. Unfortunately, I guess I haven’t been here long enough to meet any truly interesting Taiwanese… at least not in a good way. :shock:

I have a friend who was telling me excitedly about how much physical space a million NT takes up. He had paid his staff bonuses out the day before and was still buzzed. He really loved rewarding people for all the hard work they had done.

A few months back he was restructuring his company, and we had a long talk about his concerns. He simply didn’t want to fire anybody, and was trying to work out how he could shunt them into other positions. “I’ve got to take care of them,” he said. I believe it, too. Back when I was having difficulties he found work that he could pay me to do.

Whenever I encounter taiwanese bosses that are jerks I remind myself that, whatever their individual qualities, there are decent people here. A year ago I was ready to condemn this country and everyone in it. Because of one good man’s example I’ve persevered and found several good jobs working for people that I like and get along fine with.

I now feel guily about the elitist tone of this post. I’ve complained about being treated like a foreign monkey by Taiwanese people, and here I am, treating Taiwanese people like some kind of separate category of human. It would have been better simply to write “Stories About Interesting People.” In any event, the thread did not capture too many people’s interest. Apologies, and mods, please feel free to flounder this thread, if you see fit.

Don’t be so hard on yerself! Any topic or issue, is like a sphere. There are many different perspectives from which to view it. I mean, a circle (not even an entire sphere) has 360 degrees… that makes 360 different perspectives from which to view it.

Yes, some of our posts about the topic of the local folks on this site are rants… others are inquiries… and some are like the one you posted to start this thread. No need to feel guilty about singling the locals out on this site. Taiwan and the Taiwanese, and the ways that we foreign nationals differ and are similar to them, are one thing all of us foreign nationals have in common here. Its nice that you decided to look at them from one of the other perspectives from which they can be regarded.

I might post about the guys I work for one of these days. They’re exceptional people… who just happen to be Taiwanese. No need to flounder this thread.

Your apology is unnecessary, and I hope this thread isn’t tossed in the flounder tank. It’s just a little slow starting up. I completely understand the intended spirit of your original post. People living in another culture need to recognize the good things about it. Concerning Taiwanese people, the most typical positive posts about individuals are usually about our partners of the oppisite sex. Of course, nothing wrong with that.

Not having been in Taiwan for a while, I’ll have to share a positive HK/China story. From Monday to Friday, I work across the border in Dongguan. Many of you probably know Taiwanese families who have a member working in places like Dongguan. Of course, most of them are men.

Of the Hong Kong or Taiwanese men working on the mainland, I would guess that the majority of them cheat on their wives. I don’t think that’s a surprise to anyone here. However, there are three married HK guys in our factory who absolutely never cheat. These guys make plenty of money and could easily afford having an ernai in Dongguan, or at the very least going for a massage every now and then with guys from work. There is also great peer pressure for businessmen to cheat here; in my opinion, the peer pressure to cheat is much higher than in Taiwan. Nine times out of ten, if you go out for a business dinner or for a drink with people from work (and there is always a group of people going out), you will end up in a place where you’ll be surrounded by women offering services. In my opinion, even the most faithful man will slip if he’s exposed to this all the time.

I never have to deal with the temptation because my wife is usually up there with me. I’m rarely ever invited, so I don’t have to worry about offending anybody by refusing to go. These three guys have no excuses for not going out. Nevertheless, they refuse. If you’ve done business with Chinese people, you will understand how this can be taken as an insult. These three guys are back in the company dorm by 9pm every night. They refuse to expose themselves to temptation. They are so serious about marriage vows that they put peer pressure on me to be back at the dorm early when my wife is not up in Dongguan. I respect them a lot. None of them are religious, so that is not a factor. They’re just honest guys.

Plus, all the “interesting” people you talk about seem to be just a bunch of old drunks :slight_smile:

That’s OK. Old drunks are cool :sunglasses: Someday I’m going to grow up to be one. Just hanging out in my flip-flops, scratching my belly, hawking betel nut and hoisting a cold one. Ah, the life.