Why did you come here?

There are all walks of life in Taiwan and each of us has a different reason for the things we do. Some of us have been here for years some only for days. Think back to the real reason you came to Taiwan. Why did you come to Taiwan and what were your goals before you left your home country? Have those goals changed? Did you achieve your goals? Did you achieve those goals and then set new ones?

As I remember I had always wanted to travel to Asia to see what it was like. I thought while I was in college I could come to Asia for the summer time to teach English, make some money, and return home richer and wiser to the mystery of the orient. It ended up that I only had my plans crushed with rejection letters telling me I needed a degree to teach English, so I gave up, figuring I probably would changed my desire.

Over the years during college and after I met several students, professors, friends, etc, from Asia. Actually come to think of it, most of them were from Taiwan. Keeping in touch with them over the years I finally decided to come to Taiwan with the goal of learning Chinese, culture, and several other things I couldn’t have imagined living my life as an ordinary person oblivious to life on the outside. Living in Taiwan has really opened my eyes to many things. Though, I’m still working on my goals, I feel coming here was the right choice. I find it useful and necessary at times to continue striving to meet and make new goals for myself.

All of us have different goals, different plans, and different encounters that made us in one way or another come to Taiwan. So what about the rest of you? Any stories to share?


It’s relatively lawless and the huntin’s good.

I got interested in Chinese culture and wanted to learn the language, (but not university style) so I planned to go to Mainland China. I also wanted to travel, so I planned a few months travel through SE-Asia ending up in the Mainland and hopefully/living/travelling and keeping myself afloat teaching English.

The first part of the plan was going well but I was getting a bit worried about whether the money would last by the time I was travellign through Vietnam. Even mega-budget travel was depleting the money I’d saved in London. Then I landed arrived in Hanoi the night before Tet, which is the same as Chinese new year. I was getting sick of Vietnam and wanted to get to China and see if I could find some English teaching work quickly beofre the money ran out. But I didn’t count on Tet. Everything, including the Chinese embassy, was closed for 9 days, so I couldn’t get a visa.

Actually being stuck in Hanoi (for 2 weeks as it turned out) was OK, because it was the best part of my holiday in Vietnam, but it really screwed up my plan. I decided it was just too risky to tavel throguh China and hope I could find work before the money ran out. I’d heard that you could definitely make money in Taiwan (through a friend at home who’s Mum is Taiwanese), and I wanted to go to a Mandarin speaking country. But I wasn’t sure and couldn’t find much info about Taiwan. I was trying to find a bookshop in Hanoi, that was open AND had English books, so I could browse the Lonely Planet. That’s when I got my ‘sign’. I went back to my hostel and was looking at the pile of a dozen or so mangy old English books they had there for something to read. Then I saw they had Lonely Planet Taiwan. I bought that and a Mandarin phrasebook for $US2, spent the last of my money on a ticket to Taipei planning on 3 months to save a bit of money, and I haven’t looked back since.


Had been living and working in Tokyo for 6 years.
Was traveling regularly between Tokyo and Taipei on business when I met my soulmate. Simple, yet boring, story.

In 1981 I went abroad and ended up marrying a Hong Kong woman.
In 1991 I went abroad and ended up marrying a Taiwan woman.
Now I don’t go abroad anymore. Too risky. By the way, mine is 12
years older than me, rather different than the cover model that
Mr. http://www.kraut.net.tw/ married.

I just arrived in January this year to take up my new job. Have been working in Malaysia before for 7 years until my former company fired me there while travelling and occasionally working in the SEA region during that time.
My new company is a VAR (Value Added Reseller) selling my old companies equipment so it was a good opportunity for me to stick with the same line of business and apply my skills here after being offered the job.

Kind of like Taipei/Taiwan and so far have no problems to adapt; intend to stay for at least 2 years.

So rather a professional / economical decision than personal but I may do it right this time and learn the local language.

I was in the Peace Corps-Nepal teaching science to 4th graders amonst other things and I wasn’t really ready to go home so I looked for jobs elsewhere and landed in Taiwan. I really came here for nothing more than the experience and a bit more money than the Peace Corps was paying and I have gotten both. Been here six months and I really don’t know where I am going to go next. Just taken’ it easy.

I guess I came here to avoid tediously pompous schoolmarms, illiterate theatre directors and other snobby gov’t bureaucrats who get to head idiotic university programs for untalented student dummies who think that a writer’s work is “good” if he/she learns how to copy the next tv-watching moron’s sub-literacy…

that and to see Asia and acquire some new skills
and experiences… But I don’t belong here, or
anywhere, and have resigned myself to leave
eventually… Probably never go back home, though.
I’ll just go somewhere cheap and write and die
too young. This world is all plastic fake money-
f****** bs anyway…


I came here permanently after having travelled here very frequently while I worked for IBM Holland. During that I married a Taiwanese girl and after my assignment here was ended, IBM Taiwan asked me to stay. So, I resigned form IBM Holland and joined IBM Taiwan as a regular employee, no expat stuff, I am one of the guys and girls.


Not to be a snobby gov’t bureaucrat or anything , but I have edited your post. In my forums I’d rather four letter words and there variations be left out.



Well I came to get away from all the fuc… OOPS, SORRY JEFF, I DID IT AGAIN, DIDN’T I…

Actually, truth is, I once killed a man in Arkansas. Later, I got tired of being abducted by aliens so I moved to Nevada, but it was full of wild-eyed ex-army types in poorly fitting clothes muttering incessantly about SFPT and TRA, so I came here to find some cheap putty and start my own window framing service.

you do have the sense of humor that I lack,
mr. sandman… that’s what I like about
Americans – you manage never to take things
too seriously ! I could use more than a
taste of fresh perspective…

What do you do to cheer yourself up when you
feel the world has made you into a remote
object of derision, for no apparent reason
other than idiosyncracies of personality?


Originally posted by popo: What do you do to cheer yourself up when you feel the world has made you into a remote object of derision, for no apparent reason other than idiosyncracies of personality?

Sorry to burst your bubble, David, but I’m not America… OOPS, SORRY JEFF, THIS PROFANITY THING IS JUST SO DIFFICULT TO BLOOD… OH SHI… FU… so difficult to deal with… What, you mean I CAN say “American?” Well, ya live and learn, now, don’tcha?

I’m Scottish and I’m a humorless git.

And for what its worth, the world didn’t make me into an object of derision – I did that all by myself. If I ever feel I’m taking myself too seriously, I just strip off and stand in front of a mirror. Usually does the trick for me.

Never thought I’d leave Arkansas, until I got an anonymous tip that the man who murdered my brother was hiding out on this cesspool of an island. Now I’m here to have my revenge, and I brought a whole six-pack of whoop-ass with me.

Seriously, though, I’m here to learn Chinese, travel around Asia, and get some business experience so I can get into a good MBA program back home in the States.

p.s. Popo, all my friends are schoolmarms… looks like one of my cans of whoop-ass has your name on it!

Hey Sandman - being mistaken for a septic tank by a Canadian … guess you really need to move on to greener pastures.

Not at all… Scottish? That explains
an awful lot… Do you retain the brogue?
I think the Scottish DO have a wonderful
sense of humor, and it’s of that very
special variety: ‘let’s see who can piss
on his own shoes the most…’

Used to have lots of friends, and I always
found the Scottish ones somehow – lighter
about life… I often wonder why… I guess
it comes from being in an underdog position
to the ruling British, who are proudly careless
of their own unfounded sense of urban superiority.


Originally posted by popo: Do you retain the brogue?

Your perspicacity astounds! Brogues, wingtips, desert boots, cordovan loafers – hell, I even have a pair of Chaco sandals. I’m something of a shoe fetishist.

Although I find some personal chatting interesting and unavoidable, could we possible stay on topic?



I met my wife when she was here in the US as a student. She’s really cool so we decided it was worth it to stay together when she left. We’ve been shuttling back & forth between Taipei & Seattle for almost 4 years now.

I love Taipei and Taiwan because of the cool people I’ve met and the beautiful mountain/oceanside terrain. I now consider Taiwan my country as much I consider the US my country. I consider myself a Taiwanese citizen in spirit (Although not legally)in addition to being an American.

What took me over there was my wife, what kept me coming back was my wife and everything/everybody else there.

I came here to get out of paying tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, and to avoid being integrated into a society in which I saw that there was little chance of enjoying a fulfilling future unless I gave up playing music and painting which I feel are my birthright anyway.

So, now I’m trying to make the most of things here, making decent $, travelling SEA, creating my art on my downtime, with no plans to ever return to the homeland, and hopefully, to end up moving to France eventually…