The "Old Days"


#21

I was born here in 92. Left around 2001? Bur i came back a few times a year and officially moved back in 2014.


#22

Another big one was not so much pessimism about CHinese power. China was yet to become an economic and military giant and Taiwan still had More allies from South America and Africa. So you’d bump into people from small countries like Costa Rica or Honduras or whatever African country and not think anything of it. By 2003 it was obvious though the the economy was dipping markedly and the buzz was disappearing as folks started to move to China. Then we were hit with the SARs virus which had a very huge impact and there was almost panic for a while. Also George and Mary credit card crisis which caused a wave of suicides. There were a few tough years then also with very unstable government as KMT blocked almost all govt bills under Chen Shui Bian. There were about eight years that it felt like nothing had progressed at all! And of course salaries had actually dropped for many people .


#23

I get the sense this is a worldwide change brought about by smartphones.

I’ve been here since 1999, but the first six or seven years were in Tainan, the rest in Taipei. I’m not sure what’s changed, and what’s just different between Tainan and Taipei.

Kending used to be a destination people wanted to visit. It seems like most just scoff at it now. I remember many of us being shocked when Chen Shuibian won the election - not because of the vote tally, but because the vote tally was accepted (mind you, we were also pretending to be hardbitten cynics). There was a weekend trip to Taipei when I went halfway across the city to get a bag of Starbucks coffee beans for a friend in Tainan - that requires a little less effort now!

I spent a lot of time in Internet cafes in that first year or two, and a fair bit of time in MTVs as well. After all, I was only going to be here for a year, why would I buy a TV and VCD (!) player for my apartment?


#24

cant tell em apart. the gangsters are the ones who often rat out on their fellow gangsters . They do the “real” police work sometimes.


#25

shit tommy goes further back then the 70s. But then the memory gets foggy tho


#26

Tommy goes back to when Taiwan WAS China.


#27

lol but true


#28

Well in the 80s a lot of people would go to gangsters to mediate in disputes. The gangsters would often decide who pays what to whom in as small a case as getting bitten by a dog or something. Nowadays most disputes are settled with suing and hiring lawyers etc.


#29

Like the other poster said, I’m feeling the same way too about smartphones.

I had actually been scouting out a reference to it because here in the West around that time, there had been a marked change IMO. There was less “outsidey, outgoing” vibes from people progressively throughout the years until maybe 2010, where it started to become ingrained in culture with the introduction of social media at hand. Interesting.


#30

I consider myself lucky that in my childhood in
UK and Ireland, we had one dial up land phone, no TV and just a radio. One of our neigbours whose father was an officer in the merchant navy had one of the first colour TVs imported from America! So we would all go round to his house and crowd around it, mostly watching John Wayne. “Get off your horse and drink ya milk”. Yes, I was lucky because the rest of the time we would play outside creating our own games as well as swimming in clean rivers , climbing trees, wrestling with other kids etc etc. I never knew how lucky I was compared to today’s kids “blessed” with their latest Iphones and second life…


#31

Sounds horrible.


#32

I know, right? God forbid kids should actually go outside and make their own entertainment. Better to keep them festering away in their rooms growing pallid and diabetic, watching PornHub on their smartphones. It’s the modern way :+1:


#33

Yeah all these sound real charming.:roll:


#34

The Old Days to me represented a lot of ‘energy’ but things really started to dial down around 2003 or so.

Taiwan hasn’t changed massively because there is very little immigration and a lot of people in the older age bracket who control things here.

Overall things have gotten better in terms of the environment , living standards and just ease of doing stuff but there’s more distance between strangers now.


#35

Perfectly summed up.


#36

Usually the more distance there is, the more civil a society is. See:

I think this is Finland.


#37

How are we supposed to judge how civil a society is, based on one out-of-context picture? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


#38

In highly developed countries, strangers don’t talk to one another. Do you see strangers talking in Japan? No.


#39

Fake news. I’ve chatted up plenty of strangers in Japan. And been chatted up (as in I didn’t initiate it, so you can’t say I was bothering people and they were just being polite). They’re super nice and hospitable.


#40

1984, you would get into an elevator on the ground floor and get off on your floor with a new job. No ARCs or work permits needed.

And trash collection in Taipei done by everyone just throwing their trash down on designated street corners, where it was feasted on by packs of stray dogs until the trucks came to collect it.

The “real” Chunghua computer center in the two-story concrete building on Zhonghua where the tax office is now (I think). Bought a real advanced 24x24 dot-matrix printer there that could actually print Chinese characters. It was amazing.