The oddest foreigner you've met here -- share your story


You know there was a time when it was illegal to pay foreigners in cash? Ask @ironlady


So how were they paid? In “service”?:howyoudoin:


Back then, it was illegal for foreigners to work in Taiwan if you were a male and married to a Taiwanese woman. A Taiwanese woman had no power to transmit residence to her foreign husband.
She also had no power to pass her nationality to her children. My kids were born here and had a Taiwanese mother- they were still foreigners due to having a Canadian father, in spite of my two youngest never having been to Canada. Children of male foreigners born here to a Taiwanese mother had no right of residence after they turned 21.They were considered to be in the same category as every other foreigner. It wasn’t until a few years later they got residence rights, and then citizenship was allowed to be passed on through the mother.




Yeah, you had to go sell it on Linsen N. Road.





No, but there was at least one gold shop there (where the park is now) that functioned as a grey market currency exchange. Sometimes various regulations made exchanging at the bank a pain or impossible.


Back when I came to Taiwan in early 1990s, you received a Foreign Exchange Memo from the local (typical government) bank whenever converting foreign currency into NT dollars. If you wanted to convert NT dollars back into that same foreign currency, you had to show the bank that same Foreign Exchange Memo. Your only other choice was to go to Linsen N. Road gold shops and have them “covertly” convert the NT dollars into the foreign currency.

Those Foreign Exchange Memos were also kept and used when getting 60-day visa extensions at the foreign affairs police office on Chung Hwa Road in Taipei, as those memos proved you were bringing foreign currency into Taiwan to pay for your chinese language institute tuition out of pocket and not from teaching illegally.





Gold sellers down in the harbor/old town part in Kaohsiung.


I do not think the newbies believe us. It sounds too absurd. But such was life in the tropics. Things have really changed a lot, alotta.

Which is why I think many foreigners who have fought for human rights in general, democracy and foreigners’s issues in Taiwan in particular should be honored as they deserve.


Anyone want to speculate about why the ex-pats now are overall less crazy and wild than those of 15-20 years ago?


Oh, no, I believe you. I just meant “:eek:” at the notion of selling “it” (right after a “:howyoudoin:”) on Linsenbei.


But that was only for people on Student Visas. People on the (then-new) ARC could buy foreign currency (usually TCs) at the bank with $NT cash, no problem.


Its harder to get work here with no qualifications. Standards are slightly higher. 25 years ago you’d get off the plane and have a paying gig the next day.


I have some methodological qualms about your observation, pertaining specifically to sample selection.


You kids and your new-fangled ARCs. In my day…


That was the first year they had them.
When they were the little blue mini-passport


Were they blue? I seem to remember them being green, although my memory could be color blind. Also have fond memories of going to the local police station to grovel for a visa extension.