Must agree with Jolie:
The people here are terribly friendly (almost to a fault), and it is SO unfortunately true about there being absolutely ZERO style, taste, or beauty in Taiwan’s populated centers.
An aesthetic nightmare…
the “kitsch capital”…visions of Hello Kitty hell, little girls flashing the peace sign (yet again)and plastic inanities as far as the jumbled mess of a night-market will allow you to see.
If you want to use that painfully abused euphemism, and again call it “culture”, well…then you’d be very Chinese in not wishing to offend (directly)… Though you’d be doing very little to improve the truly HORRIFIC physical suroundings.
I wouldn’t dissuade you from coming to Taiwan; I’ve been here 6 years and have to say/admit there are plenty of good reasons for that (the incredible amount of -personal freedom- I feel for one)
I would dissuade you however from being an apologist American. I thought if anything in this entire discourse was embarrassing, it was your “eeew, I hope you’re not American” comment.
If I follow your logic, it’s okay to let off steam/bitch n’ moan, only if one is not an American?
There are MANY, MANY reasons (assuming you’re not an American Indian) why your forebearers beat it to American shores, and believe me, after you spend some time in a WAY overcrowded, flourescently lit, barred windowed,
really quite physically ugly place like Taiwan, YOU TOO will see why MOST Taiwanese themselves are eager to go to the states where they ALL have family of one sort or another.
While I don’t support everything the states does, any more than I do everything any other country does, at least the states still very much represents a lot of what is and can be good in this messed up world.
I recently returned from a trip to Cambodia, and whilst there, had the distinct displeasure of sitting behind a large gathering of Europeans, having a collective bash at the US.
All I could think of was how naive, young, angry, and not just a little -jealous- they sounded.
Especially in light of the fact that no matter where one comes from in the world, when you hop on that Anti-American bandwagon, your just dissing yourself and all the rest of your cousins which comprise the ongoing experiment that is the USA.
At least the states tries its best to own up to its mistakes, manages to keep the world’s best model of a democracy functioning, and lets it all hang out for the ultimate betterment of us all; even if it is too often Jerry Springeriffic-
Makes me think of the recent tv ads promoting tourism in Mohammed Atta’s home, wonderful,religiously progressive Egypt:
“Welcome to our 7th millenium”
Jeez,…7,000 years and you still haven’t gotten it right.