When do you stop thinking of yourself as a "foreigner"?

Never, you’re always a wog.

  • After you’ve tackled the language and scored a local wife
  • After you become a legal passported citizen.

0 voters

My question arises in no small part from what I believe is all the pussy footing responses to other threads. Foreigner gets beaten up, we’re told because he was dirty dancin’ with a local lass. So in response, we get all these warnings about not putting the noses of our gracious hosts out of joint by flashing a bit of who we might be when we are at “home.”

Elsewhere furr’ner smokes some weed in public and the nannies have their knickers in a bunch about contravenng local laws, decency and scaring babies lest the chicken bit seller looks at them funny next time they get a hankering.

Well I say bollocks to all that. If I am in Taiwan, HK, or my passport country Australia or whereever, I will be myself. I don’t lop the heads of the local god botherers, I pay my dues and I remain largely a decent bloke in most cultures. Why should I tame myself because a xenophobe can’t deal with it?

I’m no thug, I actually abhor violence in all it’s forms. I run the odd light, step over the odd law I feel is silly to me but generally lay enough social greese with local awareness to keep relations fine.

So tell me, when do I have to stop wringing my hands about not being “local” and get to do my own thing? You know, just be me.


In short: never probably. Except on a deserted island of course or within your own four walls. Otherwise “your thing” will always be “someone else’s thing” too.

And as a foreigner, you’ll always be under the magnifying glass. And how much the majority will pander to you is always up to them. And bad thing when you are an immigrant - you are never in the majority.

The other way round, the local majority pandering to the immigrant minority has failed. Take a bit a look at Europe. Less and less buy the “sensitivity courses for the damn xenophobic natives!!!” any more. It’s about “when do these people finally care to fall in line, huh?” more and more. And due time I say.

Given that, I would not hang your hopes too high the Taiwanese will ever let you “do your thing however you like.” You fall in or you fall out. Especially in Asia.

Given what happened in Europe in the name of “multi-culturalism” - do you blame them?

Okay, the good news is that this sounds pretty much like the locals do it anyway. :wink:

But ever being “one of them”? No way. Not with the Chinese.

I give directions to locals. They call me lao3 tai2bei3. And I can order si2jin3 cao3huan4 just like them. So I feel right at home here. :smiley:

For better or for worse, I’m pretty well assimilated. But I have no complaints, I live a damn good life here :sunglasses:

I am, & will always be: A Foreigner Amongst This Shore.
I’ve never been in such a kultur that such likes to bend & weave!

Crap! I bollocksed that poll and there doesn’t seem to be any way to get in and fix it. Oh well.


You don’t use crosswalks on 4 lane roads. I’d say you were pretty local. :wink:

Not having returned to Taiwan for a while, it took me a second to understand that. Thank you for the laugh.

Why is there no option for “never”?

I’m completely comfortable living here. But I will always be singled out as being a foreigner.

I was born a foreigner. Then I went 10,000 miles to Norn Iron where I was regarded by the Irish as British. Then I went to England where the British regarded me as Irish. Then I went to Hong Kong (gweilo), Taiwan (laowai), China (waiguoren), back to England (Paddy), Ireland (jaysus not another West Brit), and back to Taiwan (adowah again).

What’s it like not being a foreigner?

In fact, I am beginning to feel the expat community is my only home. Long live the Republic of Expat!

Yeah, that’s how I feel too. But I’ve decided sod it, I’m a local wherever I have a local. No need to go mincing about apologising for entering someone else’s realm. That said, I try not to fart in anyone’s face wherever I am.

I think the problem in Taiwan is that we will always be called foreigners. In my passport country, I just assume until told otherwise that all the people of all the colours in Jesus/Allah/whoevers’ little rainbow are “Australians.” Aside from the abos, everyone else is basically a float over.


NEVER! I’ll be always a foreigner, wherever I go … :smiley:

Ditto. Never.

But I did have some “realizations” while I was living in Taipei where I would be walking down the street or something and I would suddenly realize that I didn’t look like everyone else (this sounds weird, I know). The point is that I sort of got to thinking that I did look Chinese without really thinking about it (obviously if I really sat down and thought about it, I knew I looked perfectly Western). I also got to where I would have to wait until a person got very close to me before I could figure out whether he was Western or Chinese on the street. Weird stuff.

Who thinks in terms of nationality anymore? I am a Taipei dude. As for Taiwan, am a foreigner and happy to remain so.

[quote=“Chris”]Why is there no option for “never”?


I’m guessing the title of the poll was to be option one. That’s what I’d vote for. You can get a passport but you can’t wear it on your forehead. People here will always see you as an outsider even when they are asking you for directions or where to find a certain product. Even when you not only have to correct their kids English but start correcting their Chinese as well.

I’m standing on the corner, jawing with my buddy.
A scooter is stopped at the light and the two cryptorchidic sub-evolutional office penii riding it are staring at us with slack-jawed grins.
chief: (in English) What the fuck are you looking at?
penii 1: (in English) Nussing…just being friendly…
chief: (in English) Yeah? Well go be fucking friendly somewhere else…

I guess when stuff like that doesn’t happen, yeah, that’s when…

I don’t feel like a foreigner here in Taipei, but nor do I feel that I am (or even want to be) a Taiwanese. While I have spent most of my adult life in Taiwan and soon will have spent more than half my life here, I missed too many of the formative life experiences that make one Taiwanese–growing up in a family here and school come to mind immediately.

I guess I don’t see this as an either/or question because I’m so much in the middle–is a hybrid identity an option?

How come Satellite TV hasn’t reminded us that he’s an ROC citizen? Strange; hope he’s okay. :slight_smile:

[quote=“the chief”]I’m standing on the corner, jawing with my buddy.
A scooter is stopped at the light and the two cryptorchidic sub-evolutional office penii [/quote]

What’s a penius?