Your WTF moment when coming to Taiwan

What was your WTF moment when coming to Taiwan?

I remember when I moved to the US, it wasn’t the shoes inside that got to me. I went over to a friends house and his mom asked me if I wanted water and I said yes. She then took a cup and filled it with tap water to give me. I thought maybe they were poor or just dirty people to drink from the tap like that :joy:


Not flushing used toilet paper…just having it sit there in the bathroom with all the fumes and germs. That definitely took some getting used to.


Sitting there after 5.30 and not getting paid for it because the boss is still in the office.


This I don’t get as well. I believe it’s done because the they get clogged easily in Taiwan with crappy pipes and water pressure. But Italy has the same problem, with pipe even older and crappier than Taiwan’s. Their solution is toilet paper that breaks up very easily in water. I first noticed this when I used some toilet paper to wipe down some water that came out of the sink, the toilet paper just broke apart once it got wet.


I received a HonBao in a family setting and I opened it thinking it was a hand written letter (I always hand write stuff to family and friends). I didn’t know a thing about money giving culture here and the red envelope thing.

I received it and thanked wholeheartedly the giver for such a beautiful gift. I then proceeded to open the envelope and didn’t look up to their faces as I was so touched to received a hand written letter.

When I opened it there was only hard cash inside, not small amount. I immediately lifted my face, and what was a white pinky emotional face with tearing eyes turned quickly in ‘no no no what’s this? Why are you giving me money?. It then turned into a long explanation of the red envelope culture and I felt so bad for trying to give it bad to them and getting upset because it was not a letter. At he time I thought it was a prank or something. I mean, back home envelopes are for letters.

Up until this day I cringe when I think of this episode. So bad of me for not knowing the culture beforehand.


Being forced to sit through 2-hour “meetings” when everything being said is in Chinese.


This always seemed like more of an excuse to me…probably covering up some weird scatalogical fetish. :open_mouth:


You’d never heard of the red envelope thing before coming to Taiwan? :thinking:



Interesting. I guess it was different for me coming from California. You kind of get a baseline exposure to the main Asian cultures.

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Do you pretend to understand and nod your head and stuff?


I have to admit that at the time I was too young, didn’t now much abut many things. But where I come from there is almost no Chinese, not in my city or state, and Chinese culture is not propagated at all over there. The whole city only had 2 Chinese restaurants when I left. Much different than California.


I remember my first earthquake. Very WTF moment as the world around me moved in unnatural ways. My coworkers just kept working while I thought we should be running for cover or something.


I think it freaks many people out if they haven’t experienced one before. Most buildings, especially newer ones are built to shake and be flexible so the movement feels a lot worse. My friend was so scared after she experienced one a few months ago when visiting. It wasn’t even particularly strong lol

Being forced to 4-5 hours meetings in Chinese with lunch breaks or boss ordering lunch boxes for all so we don’t cut the meeting. And in my case the pain was that I understood the Chinese. Sooo much talking in circles. I felt sorry for some of the big bosses talking to certain teams. You can see the good idea from the boss and the guy just want to report and cannot reply anything reasonably. Sometimes boss needed to draw fro the guy to understand the systematic.


I thought I was having an supernatural experience, ghost house type like. Totally forgot I was on the edge of tectonic plates.

I think that’s something you don’t forget: your first earthquake. I remember everything, the time, the weather, what I was doing and with whom.

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  1. Falling on my ass after slipping on a wet sidewalk paved with tiles…

  2. Hearing a scampering noise in the hallway in my house. Go to check it out and it’s the biggest friggen spider I’ve seen in my life! So big you could see its eyes! So big it was as big as a dinner plate! Tried to smack it and it charged me! I’m not ashamed to say I screamed like a girl. WTF!

  3. Moving into an apartment. Cleaning it before moving everything in. Was in there on my own at night. Started whistling a tune while cleaning. Stopped. 1 min later heard someone in the apartment above whistling back the same tune. Thought nothing of it. GF at the time showed up in the morning. Told her about it. She said nobody had lived in the apt above in 3 years since the old guy there died. WTF!

  4. Going to my GF house for my first family bbq get together. Watching them barbecue out of repurposed fuel tank from a car. WTF! Then they offered me some chicken. Gave it to me and they all went silent, staring at me as I ate it. Afterwards telling me it was the chicken’s anus! WTF!

  5. Trying to go to the bathroom in a bathroom where everything is dripping wet, floors, walls, and the toilet!

  6. Using a squat toilet in a public swimming pool changing room. Nasty nasty nasty! Enough said. WTF!


Extremely rich folks dining in extremely expensive restaurants and ALL burping without covering their mouths or saying ‘excuse me’. I think it is a competition that they are proud of.

What made me go wtf is that they were very rich and the meal was very expensive. If it was in a 快炒 I would laugh, but paying several Nt$K per person to do this? I wonder why do they even bother to wear nicely and buy fancy accessories to behave like pigs. And it wasn’t not only men, the women too.


Ever see one of these m-fer’s? Asian giant hornet. I found one dead in the middle of my first apt and completely freaked out trying to figure out how it got there. Every time I tried to sleep I kept thinking there was a nest in the walls or something.



You were given a red envelope?

I’m still waiting that WTF moment in Taiwan.