Taiwan - what's the attraction?

NFI & Jolie; think before you speak. Firstly I want to thank you both for you participation in this topic. I think we can all learn a lot. I think you have a real cheek posting this kind of rhetoric on this site.

We are guests on this island. If you choose not to have any interest in the language, culture, or people of Taiwan, then that is your choice. However, by making that choice, you are in no position to judge anything Taiwanese. If you think you get it all from the Taipei TImes, then you are wrong.

You are probably also the kind of people who criticise foreigners in your home country who don’t speak english,and then don’t fit in. Think about that.

Apart from the fact that you are trouble stirrers you are quite amusing. It is actually really sad how much you are missing out on. Taipei is not a pretty city, and no one denies that, but it has some of the most beautiful people, who speak the most enchanting language, who have managed to build a powerhouse economy from scratch. Now that in itself presents to me an environment in which I can learn a lot.

Regarding you to personally, be careful. Firstly, its obvious who you are. You advertise your opinions so freely, and one, it doesn’t say much for your companies that you have so much time on your hands, and two, that they would employ someone who obviously has major problems living in a foreign environment. I feel sorry for you, and your companies.

Good luck.

quote:
Originally posted by magpie26: We are guests on this island.

Funny, I always considered myself a paying customer.

No offense, but you don’t have to “buy here”.

Obviously it’s each individual choice and though I agree things here are not as back home *) I wouldn’t want to change it too much as else it would be like being back home - and what would be the point in that?

*) There are good and bad things here, several examples have already been given and everyone has to decide for him/herself if and where he/she is willing to ‘compromise’ on those.

But then, if you really can’t stand it or feel “back home” is just so much better, why don’t you then just go?
I think, and again no offense intended - it’s just an assumption, that those kind of people are just in for the money. Back home is better but here the pay is higher / the benefits are better.

So what’s it gonna be? Stay and keep on ranting while stacking cash or go back and complain that you don’t earn enough - " … but in Taiwan, yes, there I was paid very well and had a much cheaper living."

It’s you choice, nobody forces you to stay but perhaps a change of scenery (i.e. relocate to another country) would also do the trick.

But you gotta be open to it and not expect things to be perfect or as back home.


There is only one place like ‘back home’: back home.

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.

Thrydrail…
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.

By the above poster

quote[quote] manages to keep the world’s best model of a democracy functioning [/quote]You sure proved that with your last ections didn’t you. Stop blowing your own trumped and open your eyes. Patriotic is one thing, but your above post is a great example of why there an ugly american syndrome in the world. People love America because it has eveything that they don’t have, people hate America because people like you want everybody to know that you are the best. An if Taiwan is that bad, well go home, after all, you do live in the best country in the world.

Gee horny,
If I were American maybe you’d have a point.

One thing I generally like about Taiwanese is how little they care about “trumpeting” where they are from and how great Taiwan is.
I lived in South Korea for a year, and found it to be the most offensively nationalistic place imaginable.
For Taiwan to be so geographically close, yet so refreshingly “over” the primitive, insecure chest beating I too often experienced in Seoul, is just that, refreshing.

I gather from your writing you are Taiwanese, and sadly have proved that even in this mellow island, there are still flag wavers to be found.

quote:
Originally posted by horny horn: An if Taiwan is that bad, well go home, after all, you do live in the best country in the world.

Horn, please clarify the “policy” here - we are only allowed to say lovely, squeaky clean ,goody things about Taiwan or face expulsion??? It’s OK to bad mouth the US, but nothing critical about Taiwan is acceptable, I fear.

I love MY country & think it IS the best country on God’s Earth, but it doesn’t stop me living in other places and enjoying the experiences and diversity. Perhaps you should relax a bit and accept other’s opinions about where you CURRENTLY live, whether they (oviously) make you angry, or not.

yasser and pistoph, are you the same people?

One thing I generally like about Taiwanese is how little they care
about “trumpeting” where they are
Then why “Tongyong Pinyin”? And then why not go all the way my
http://jidanni.org/lang/pinyin/t_pinyin.html ?

Seems this is turning into an (Anti-)American thread again …

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.

Hm, jealous on what? I am European and I don’t see a reason to be jealous, yet I think am old enough to make up my own opinion - which has turned into a somewhat negative one about America.

But nothing to do with jealousy I am afraid.

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.

What experiment?

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-

… of us all … should read … for the US citizens …

How would you know what’s best for all? I cannot figure why the US can always know what’s best for the world and anyone else is just “bashing” the US when expressing a different opinion.

As well I heard this “best democracy” argument before (not here though) - but does this give the US the right to do whatever they want (towards other countries)?
Yes, you might be a super power and have the strength to do it without anyone coming even close, but in my opinion you are missusing that power.

Turning your argument around: why can’t we (non-US citizens) express a negative view or opinion without being told by Americans how wrong we are?
Why do Americans have to defend their “views” in a way that they even justify using force?

Sorry, but I don’t think I am jealous and I try not to “bash” on the US but people like you make it very difficult for “us”.

Wooow, I see this thread has been reactivated!!! Just when I was getting bored of this forum.

Yasser, I don’t know how this “apologist American” phrase applies to me. You really don’t know me, so please quit throwing these labels at me. I was born in Taiwan, and had always maintained an affinity for my birth country. I have a distaste for the negativity and negative attitudes exhibited by some of these forumers, that’s all. And my comments here were purely and sincerely just, well, defensive, of the country I still care for - so no other agenda. Just like I get defensive when people criticize the States, my adopted country. And I made the “eew, hope you’re not an American” comment because there are many Americans who travel and/or live in other countries and bitch/moan about the people/culture, etc., hence “ugly American”. And I’m just as critical about them. To answer your question, yes, fellow Americans are free to bitch/moan when living in other countries, but I think it reflects badly on America and Americans as a whole, especially in this highly charged atmosphere we’re living in with growing global anti-American sentiment. As an American, I just feel obligated to suggest to other Americans to watch it. I don’t know what country you’re from, but perhaps you don’t care about the behavior and attitudes your fellow countrymen exhibit when living in other countries like I do about mine. So, no dude, you didn’t follow my logic AT ALL.

Regarding your comment about many Taiwanese living in the States, yes it’s true. But I’m not sure it’s so much as getting away from the “overcrowded, flourescently lit, barred windowed” Taiwan as you suggest but wanting to live in the greatest country in the world, the U.S.A.!!! (ok, allow me a little American patriotism here.) Have you heard that many, many people from many, many countries the world over have immigrated to America, and still do??? It’s a concept that’s been around for quite a while, you know?? Centuries, probably. So it really isn’t just the Taiwanese, chump.

I can understand, Thyrdrail, that you don’t like people making derogatory remarks about your countries, but it’s sometimes hard to deal with the culture shock and differences between the cultures (for expats in any country). I’m still not accustomed to conversations between two people standing next to each other being carried out in VERY LOUD SCREAMY VOICES, for example (despite having dealt with it since my arrival two years ago) and sometimes we need an outlet. If I’m not mistaken, this forum exists for helping people to deal with these very things and getting such problems off their chests. If Jolie is having an “I hate Taiwan” day, she’s entitled, is she not? Or should she be required to leave because she hasn’t perfected her coping mechanisms and isn’t screaming with glee all the time? I realise that it’s expected that we respect the culture, and though many of us are “guests” of Taiwan, we will have negative attitudes from time to time. It’s sometimes very hard to cope with so much stimuli and so little beauty in our day-to-day lives.

On the other hand, Jolie, are you really unhappy ALL THE TIME or is it just an occasional thing? And are you saving your rants for this forum or exploding at the bewildered locals around you? Hopefully you’re finding the strength needed to cope, as chances are high that they find your ways just as strange as you find theirs.

And there is definitely beauty in Taiwan; there are just so many people and so much development that it’s getting harder to find. Try hiking off the beaten paths around Alishan and Yushan, or snorkeling near Penghu or Kenting (watch for jellyfish, though!). And if you look at an empty lot that’s been left unattended for a few months, you will find that it’s overgrown with lush green vegetation. It’s not hard to imagine why the Portugese called it “Formosa”. Taiwan is very beautiful, but as capitalism and wealth are relatively new here, people still haven’t learned to pay attention to nature; they’re too busy admiring the smog and sequins and plastic hello kitties to worry about enjoying what we consider the “real” pleasures. And we’re too busy searching for nature to enjoy all the karaoke…

Well, that’s my piece, I guess.

I have beeen travling around this world for the last 26 years and lived in alot of the places named thru out these post.
every place has its good points and bad points even nice clean little Singapore.
you just dont hear about them, but you can run into them. for those that want to find a place just like back home.
then just go home, when you get there then you will complain about home and miss little things about here that you took for granted.
and for the anti this and anti them bashers “up your” that is the only two words worth wasting on you.

I’m in a good mood today so I’m going to give some positive comments
One good thing about Taiwan is the directions it’s moving in in many areas

  • aboriginal rights and land use issues
  • debate about introducing indigineous languages
  • acceptance of foreign permanent residents
  • push to deactivate nuclear power plants faster than anticipated
  • improvement to Taipei’s pavements
  • newer buildings look much nicer and better quality
  • nicer buses
  • high speed rail link introduction
  • charging for plastic bags
  • increased regulation of vehicle emissions
  • more relaxed regulations to gain work permit in Taiwan
  • debate about casino in PengHu whether beneficial to residents or not (try debating with a central government idea from a tiny little island offshore in any other country in Asia and see what happens to the local residents)
  • more recognition Orchid Island nuclear dump must be removed (to Russia if they can!!!)
  • wetland reserves gaining recognition
  • some cosmetic improvements and removal of those ugly green bridges over the roads in Taipei
  • Hsinchu’s awesome new riverside development
  • Taichung’s nice new suburbs
  • the MRT is back and better than ever after being a reservoir for two months
  • reduction in dollar diplomacy
  • reduced work hours and no mandatory saturdays(still rough though!)
  • newer generation questioning ‘stay until the boss leaves in the evening’ rule
  • hypermarkets have arrived (CostCo, B & Q)

I’ve thrown the negatives in the bin for today…

No I am not yasser - sounds too much like a palestinian guy I see on the news! It is very trendy to put crap on the US at the moment. In times past it was only the liberals & dropouts with bad clothes, now its just about everyone under 30 with a bad accent from Continental Europe.

They forget that if it wasn’t for the US they’d all be speaking German or Russian and living in totalitarian hell holes.

The Frenchies are the worst - moaning about globalization and US “cultural imperialism” even though they do whatever they want around the world (foreign legion in africa, nuclear testing in the pacific, and so on). The US has supported europe since they saved the day in WWI, WWII, the marshal plan, NATO vs warsaw pact, and even bosnia where europeans couldnt even stop a war in their own backyard without NATO and US airpower. No wonder people like Rascal have an inferiority complex…

No wonder people like Rascal have an inferiority complex…

It’s always intersting to see that when people can’t properly discuss an issue or are running out of arguments they have to insult others.

Sad but true …

Pistolpackingmama and Yessir,

Please stop giving anti-American bigots more fuel for their bad attitudes. No wonder the majority of Americans abroad have such a bad reputation, considering the extremely loud and vocal minority of Ugly Americans tarnishing us all with the same brush. Most people are naturally inclined to jumping to prejudiced conclusions, and if they see one bad apple, they’ll think “they’re all like that.” One bad foreigner hurts every other foreigner in Taiwan. For my own sake, please stop it.

Mod Lang, even though i am not american i have to agree with you.
It is morons like pistoph that perpetuate the stereotype of US citizens abroad being “loud mouthed ignorant twats”.

Pistoph, you knowledge of history is a little skewed. During WWI, it was only in 1917 did the US actively enter the war. Beofre that the European allies had to do everything themselves. During WWII, it was only after Pearl Harbour that the US felt it had to participate fully, instead of them partying whilst the rest of the world had been at war for almost 2.5 years.

Also, for by pistoph’s line of reasoning (that bit about Continental Europeans speaking German or living in a Russian hellhole),if we carry it back further, pistoph would be speaking the Queen’s English.

As much as pistoph likes to rail against the ungrateful French, well they may see it the same way in reverse. It is obvious that he spent only a modicum of his time studying history.

quote[quote] The French monarchy sent arms, clothing, and ammunition to America; it also sent soldiers and the French Navy. Most importantly, the French kept the United States government solvent by lending it the money to keep the Revolution alive. The magnitude of French support of the American Revolution can be glimpsed at the battle of Yorktown. There, the majority of George Washington's 15,000 man Continental Army were French soldiers. Washington's men were clothed by the French, the rifles they used were French, and French gold paid their wages. Nor must we forget that it was the French Navy that trapped Cornwallis's soldiers at Yorktown by preventing English ships sent from New York from rescuing the British army. Perhaps the final irony of the French monarchy's assistance to America (and proving once again that no good deed goes unpunished) is that it led to the financial collapse of the French ancien regime. And the bankruptcy of Louis XVI was one of the major causes of the French Revolution. [/quote]

I’m an American also, but I agree with the last two posts. Pistoph, read up or shut up.

KNH writes:

quote[quote]During WWII, it was only after Pearl Harbour that the US felt it had to participate fully, instead of them partying whilst the rest of the world had been at war for almost 2.5 years. [/quote]

So, KNH, I have to pick a bone with you as well.
The situation was far more complicated than the post modern “hip” toss-away description “partying” would imply. From what I understand, FDR did want to get involved in the war before Pearl Harbor, but he simply didn’t have the political capital at the time to get Americans involved. One must remember, as in Europe, the US had just pulled itself out the depression, the worst economic crisis the US has seen to date. It is easy for us to denigrate the motivations of others while sitting at our laptops but if I and my family had just experienced roughly 12-15 years of economic hardship, and things seemed to be looking up, I’m not so sure I’d be willing to risk war in those conditions, no matter how “just” it may look in hindsight.

One must also remember that WWII didn’t come from a vacuum. The victors of WWI, with the Versailles treaty, laid the groundwork for some of the political instability that shook Europe later on.