I also came to Taiwan in 1998 and loved it. Stayed a full year, taught English (loved it), enrolled in Mandarin classes (loved it), lived the Taiwanese life (loved it).
I like to think that I was a little different than most foreigners. I enjoyed hanging out with the locals MUCH more than the other foreign English teachers there. I loved their company and enjoyed learning all about what they do, day in and day out. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Would I recommend going there? Yes indeed! Ahem…but that depends on who’s asking. I’d recommend it to some of my friends and definately not, to some others. You see, if the person can make sacrifices, then they might actually enjoy it. I have some friends that just wouldn’t understand why some things are done these ways. This makes me think about an mini-article I wrote about culture shock. It doesn’t go over everything, but may be of some help to people that’ve never left their home countries.
Here it is: Welcome to your new country. You