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Best and Worst of Taiwan
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Jojo



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 119
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2003 11:47 pm    Post subject: Best and Worst of Taiwan Reply with quote

Hi Folks,

What do you consider the worst things about being in Taiwan?(besides the pollution and traffic:)
what are the things you like best about being in Taiwan?

Considering I'll be going in August,(hopefully SARS blows over by then)
it would be nice to hear from those already there and what other things I can expect to encounter..hopefully not everyone has gone back home because of SARS.

Thanks a bunch

Jojo
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TheyCallMeTrinity



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 44
Location: Taiwan, at the moment

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 6:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Best and Worst of Taiwan Reply with quote

[quote="Jojo"]Hi Folks,

What do you consider the worst things about being in Taiwan?(besides the pollution and traffic:)
what are the things you like best about being in Taiwan?



worst:

Most of the expats, SARS, and the government.

best: a lot of the food, Hong Kong movies on four channels on cable, conveniently close to Hong kong and Japan, and that it reminds me how much beter most places are whn compared to it.
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Egas
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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear TheyCallmeMisery,

What the *beep* are you doing in Taiwan if the only good thing you can find is how close it is to somewhere else you can go? Why don't you just put yourself out of yor own and everybody else's misey and go back home?
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Okami



Joined: 25 Jan 2003
Posts: 121
Location: Sunny Sanxia

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Egas, that is blatantly foul, and the start of a flame, please have the decent sense and courtesy to remove it on your own. This is not tealit. Keep it to PMs, and keep the board clean.

There are better places than Taiwan. I'm not sure how much TheycallmeTrinity travels around the Island, but there are some very beautiful spots. If you have a motorcycle or scooter PM me and we'll ride down to Ilan, a one and a half hour ride. Learning Mandarin and Taiwanese definitely improves your view of Chinese people in Taiwan. You learn to live with perceived deficiencies and how to use the system without the cultural baggage. I've gotten quite good at when to act American or when to act Taiwanese, in order to accomplish my goals.

Expats are a mixed bunch. I have a disliking for Caucasian Canadians (Personal opinion, any problems with such comments being publicly aired can be handled in a PM). It's nothing personal and I always try to give them a chance. Eventually you'll start getting your circle of friends as you stay here. Now I hang out with a lot of nice expats and starting to add more Taiwanese to the circle.

The Gov't: They will not miss an opportunity to screw up. They've been this way for thousands of years and will continue to be this way for probably a thousand more. Start reading the newspaper or there views on things in the world and you'll start to get an inkling of understanding. Better yet read Sun Yatsen's "3 Principles of the People," Bo Yang's "Ugly Chinaman," and/or Ping Chun Hsiung's "Living Rooms as Factories" to get a better understanding of Chinese governance.

You have to find everything here. There is no Yellow pages or anything to help you find it. the Taiwan forums, other expats and English newspapers are a good source for finding new and interesting things.

Pros:
Food-Have a lot of great restaurants, you just have to find them

Expats-Each expat had a life before he/she came here. they are often the best fountain of information you will find.

Laws and regulations: Learn how to play the game so that it doesn't play you. You cang et away with things in Taiwan that would be unthinkable in your own country.

Travel-Lots of nice places just a short airplane ride away. Please avoid China Airlines, but if you don't please let me file some life insurance policies on you. There are some really beautiful places in Taiwan, but you have to look for them as the Taiwanese tend to cover any good ones in concrete, dispose their trash there and generally wreck it, Wulai is a pleasent exception so far.

CYA
Okami
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Egas
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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okami,

You obviously haven't kept up with other threads. Mr TheyCallMeMisery has been bashing all and sundry and doing nothing but complaining here for too long. I'm just giving him a little of his own medicine back. There's a time for diplomacy, and one for being direct.

"He who lives a violent life will die a violent death. " Lao Tzu.
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okami wrote:
Egas, that is blatantly foul, and the start of a flame, please have the decent sense and courtesy to remove it on your own. This is not tealit. Keep it to PMs, and keep the board clean.


Hi, Okami:

WTF are you doing here taking sides, anyway?

Didn't you write, I hate Canadians on this thread and on another about a month ago?

You started a flame war with those comments, didn't you?

Your comments don't bother me and I kinda agree with why you feel that way regarding Canadians.

The guy above doesn't offend me either.

Let them have their say.

Let the moderators police the board.
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, I've been watching this poster over the last few days and
TheyCallmeMiseryseems to be a pretty accurate handle.

I actually laughed out loud when I read that. Very Happy
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wix



Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 250
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 7:47 am    Post subject: chiaroscuro Reply with quote

Okami, good post Cool Also strongly agree with your point about learning Mandarin and/or Taiwanese.

To me Taiwan is a good example of chiaroscuro. Many places are perfect examples of the worst aspects of urban and industrial development. While there are many places in the mountains and along the east coast that are like paradise on Earth.

I think many of the people that express continually negative views about Taiwan never bother to leave the cities. If they took a bit of time to discover the beautiful side of Taiwan rather than continually looking at the ugly bits they would feel a lot better about Taiwan (and themselves).

Here's my best and worst of Taiwan:

Best
* beautiful places in the mountains
* convenience of living in Taipei

Worst
* pollution and general total disregard for environmental protection
* traffic
* democracy that hasn't translated into good government
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sypanda5



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 57
Location: HK

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 2:21 pm    Post subject: Taiwan is GREAT! :) Reply with quote

Hello Jojo,

Just to respond to your question about the best and worst about Taiwan...

BEST:
*definitely the food - there is all sorts of yummy snacks, foods, anything available ANYTIME! (many 24 hour places!)
*shops are open late (compared to North America!)
*people here are SOOO incredibly friendly, generous and willing to help even strangers
*tons of things to do, places to go, things to see (sightsee, tour around, etc.) which are all relatively close (only a few hours away) by car, train or plane!

WORST:
*dog poop everywhere
*people here (usually expats!) who have nothing better to do other than BASH people from other countries (FYI: I'm a proud Canadian!)

I've been here for close to two years, but am leaving soon to go to HK for the NET program. I am already starting to miss it here! Wink I hope you have a great time here!
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TheyCallMeTrinity



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 44
Location: Taiwan, at the moment

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 2:54 pm    Post subject: I see that you aren't here, Mr. Flamer Reply with quote

Egas wrote:
Dear TheyCallmeMisery,

What the *beep* are you doing in Taiwan if the only good thing you can find is how close it is to somewhere else you can go? Why don't you just put yourself out of yor own and everybody else's misey and go back home?



Nice flame. You havecontribute NOTHING to this forum and you spew as much if not more "misery." You're in Beijing. What on earth can you say about taiwan? ou've been here? Well, you're not here now. that renders ANY observations you have about current crisis' on the island mute.

What the *beep* are you doing poting here and starting shit?

Egas must mean Loser.

This is a "taste" of your own poison.

"Diplomacy" is something you DON'T KNOW, given your rabid American bashing on a thread about SARS IN TAIWAN.

Please crawl back under the sordid rock from whence you came.
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TheyCallMeTrinity



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 44
Location: Taiwan, at the moment

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 3:46 pm    Post subject: Hola, amigo Reply with quote

[quote="Okami"]Egas, that is blatantly foul, and the start of a flame, please have the decent sense and courtesy to remove it on your own. This is not tealit. Keep it to PMs, and keep the board clean.



Egas has a sick inerpretation of "diplomacy." Much like Mainland china, where he stays, shuns most foreigners and bashes Americans - he has a problem identifying VENGEANCE/REVENGE as "diplomacy"

How "American" of him (I'm a yank, btw, but vengeance and revenge are not my cups of tea).

There are better places than Taiwan.


Indeed! Taiwan is NOt hell on Earth. the people are not completely evil; but facts are facts and I could dig up 100000 honest-to-goodness facts to prove that it is incapable of taking care of itself against the dogmatic rantings Egas has gone on (often tangential, i. e. him using a thread on SARS IN TAIWAN to bash Americans).

I'm not sure how much TheycallmeTrinity travels around the Island, but there are some very beautiful spots.

I've traveled up and down the coast, mostly on the west coast. I quite enjoyed it. did it alone and on a scooter. I met up with an adorable coed who was attending Tai Da and ende up making the journey south up to Taipei not-so-solo. Amazingly, our views on beauty differed. Rustic charm embued in rice paddies was lost on her. I understood why. Anyway, she's now doing her masters in the states and I am going to join 'er in two months. She's not particularly fond of the island - but yes, I have had a great experience doing that, but it wears thin and somewhat hollow when I examine the general way locals have treated each other over the years.



If you have a motorcycle or scooter PM me and we'll ride down to Ilan, a one and a half hour ride.

I might take you up on this. In return I'll bequeath you with some Anime.



Learning Mandarin and Taiwanese definitely improves your view of Chinese people in Taiwan. You learn to live with perceived deficiencies and how to use the system without the cultural baggage. I've gotten quite good at when to act American or when to act Taiwanese, in order to accomplish my goals.


I speak Cantonese. It has helped little here, but I knew it wouldn't help me. I find that if I attempt to speak Chinese, mainlanders uderstand a lot of what I say, but in taiwan it's as if nobody listens. Locals tell me ths is the norm. This is a country where accented Chinese is rarely attempted to be deciphered. Taipei is the only place where I found it to be Foreigner-speaking-Chinese friendly.


Expats are a mixed bunch. I have a disliking for Caucasian Canadians (Personal opinion, any problems with such comments being publicly aired can be handled in a PM).


I share your observation, but find folks from the west Coast of Canada to be the ones I cannot seem to bond with - no matter how much I give: the ytake and give back attitude.

Boks are my kind of people. I have fallen in love with South Africans: the islamic, the "Afrikans" speakers, and the black Africans I've met. there's an enegy and love for life and a way of seeing things I've observed in so many that I find myself enjoying their company. Humble people - a lot of them too. I suppose that's an odd ting about Taiwan: it is where I've learned to aprpeciate a people and its ethnicities I never had much exposure to: South Africans.


It's nothing personal and I always try to give them a chance. Eventually you'll start getting your circle of friends as you stay here. Now I hang out with a lot of nice expats and starting to add more Taiwanese to the circle.



I give all tawanese a chance when I meet them, but the cultural differences have put up a wall that i am comfortable with having. Oddly, Ifind waishenren and mainland Chinese to be hospitable and wonderful. The cultural flaws are the same, but I find Ican bond with them and brush aside differences. this, by no means means I will let their governments off the hook. I peg my own, so what's to stop me from pegging others, especially - like Taiwan - had there been a sense of morality (no religious, so I should change what I mean to humanist "Ethics"). Taiwan is not the worst developing to the point of almsot being developed - place on earth (South Korea comes close - but the people band together, and in the face of tragedy - generally behave humanely, even though it'ss a thoroughly xenophobic culture), but if a government can't enforce its own traffic laws nor protect its own people in the time of crisis without Ethnic partisanship in its politics - I can't trust easily. Here: locals have to EARN my trust. Discrimination? YES, but it wasn't always this way. Events forced me to do so. In that sense - I treat the mas they treat each other.

The Gov't: They will not miss an opportunity to screw up. They've been this way for thousands of years and will continue to be this way for probably a thousand more. Start reading the newspaper or there views on things in the world and you'll start to get an inkling of understanding. Better yet read Sun Yatsen's "3 Principles of the People," Bo Yang's "Ugly Chinaman," and/or Ping Chun Hsiung's "Living Rooms as Factories" to get a better understanding of Chinese governance.


You forgot the 36 Strategies. It applies a lot to the culture, even most people don't even try to apply the rules. It's an ingrained thing. Theflamers will live in denail, but they should read waht you've listed. They will still enjoy their time ehre, but not wit hsuch cut-and-dried horseshit. I laugh at the attacks I receive fro msuch folks with blinders on because the ywill never fess up to social ills because that would be "negative," but teh truth is rarely positive. If people know the warts, it's easy to look further into waht classifies as the "all", as in "warts and all". Maybe someone won't come here with an open mind and heart and have it warped by the brutal reality. if they know the brutal reality they can come and pan for the nuggets of gold.

I mut say - I cannot trust foreingers who have made this islandtheir long-term home - when the ycome from a coutry that offers up basic protections and civil rights. thsitells me the yare running from something. Damaged goods. I tend only to trust those who have a clear plan, even if it is "i'll stay here until I'm 40 and then go home and retire." That's fair. I just can't trust people who view the current mess as a paradise.: especially when they don't do anythignto try and improve the island they've made their home.


.

Laws and regulations: Learn how to play the game so that it doesn't play you. You cang et away with things in Taiwan that would be unthinkable in your own country.


This is very true, but sadly it cuts both ways. Such lax nature is often used against us too.



There are some really beautiful places in Taiwan, but you have to look for them as the Taiwanese tend to cover any good ones in concrete, dispose their trash there and generally wreck it, Wulai is a pleasent exception so far.


Again - the lack of respect for life and selfishness that dooms this island...
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Okami



Joined: 25 Jan 2003
Posts: 121
Location: Sunny Sanxia

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Egas: I don't care how poorly Theycallme trinity acts, stooping to his level only makes you look just as bad. Sometimes we must stay above the fray. This is not a crack at you.

Sunpower: I'm not taking sides and yes I did write that "I hate canadians". poor choice of words that day. Now what was your point again? You often never mention it or make any attempt. I'm trying to stop a flame war and keep the board on topic of what we think is good or bad in Taiwan. Sometimes mods need to be alerted to "problems."

Wix: Thank you. I agree you have to leave the cities and go exploring. I go crazy if stuck in the city too long. I wouldn't call Taiwan a democracy. here's my reasoning. Politicians don't do anything, a large unelected and unaccountable bueracracy does everything its own way and by its own rules. For the life of me I can not understand how laws and regulations can change in area less than a hundred miles apart.

sypanda5: Fresh tropical fruit is great. Most of the other yummy stuff though is fried. I was use to 24 hour Walmarts and grocery stores to say the shops are open late here. People are really nice, that they have the saying; "You know you fit in when they start treating you like shit." I've had more than my share of American bashing, though you do make a good point.

TheyCallMeTrinity: I don't think Taiwan is completely clueless, though I do have my days. Like when the cops stop motorcyclists and let people speed past them in souped up Hondas. See above quote about when you know you fit in. The locals are quite rude to each other, It's hard to describe it, like a total failure to realize that there are other people and your actions will affect them. What type of Anime? I have most of Neon Genesis Evangelion and I also have Jin Roh. I'm a big manga fan. I'm taking Japanese lessons with a Japanese tutor.

I understand about Chinese. No matter how simple it is or how many time syou have said it correctly some people here will not understand. My manager at my buxiban is like that, she's getting better, but she can't seem to even think about me speaking Chinese and her comprehending it. Do you read Chinese? That would seem quite useful in Taiwan.

I've met some very nice canadians and some real dingbats(americans too). I don't appreciate being told how things are by someone in the country less than 6 months, who doesn't even have a clue how to speak the language or being told that people shouldn't be aliud to teach unless they have a TOEFL certificate, but a philosophy degree is ok as long as you have a TOEFL certificate. Useful, yes; will you get higher pay for it, not likely.

I share your opinions of SA's. Probably the nicest bunch in the whole lot. Good for a brie or a beer(or whisky or tequila or scotch).

I find a lot of waishengren to be very arrogant, but get along well with the benshengren and aborigines.

I've mentioned the 36 Strategies in previous posts, but I was looking for books on Gov't specific ideas/policies. You don't like the naturalized foreigners? Most long termers are here because of their wives. Anyone who knows Taiwanese women, knows they can't stand to be away from their mothers. You're more independent minded ones tend to flee the island at first opportunity, with good reason since they can't change anything here. It was interesting to find out how many NGO's are gov't supported, around solely for the purpose of face or just fronts for money laundering(favored use by members of the Legislative Yuan).

I'm heading for Ilan and either Daxi or Suao this Saturday morning, let me know if you have time.

CYA
Okami

Jojo a con of Taiwan is that know matter how much proof or facts you have the other party will almost never admit they are wrong. On Tealit, it's just a flame war and on forumosa they tend to agree to disagree or change the topic.
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jason_seeburn



Joined: 26 Apr 2003
Posts: 399
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Best and Worst of Taiwan Reply with quote

Jojo wrote:
Hi Folks,

What do you consider the worst things about being in Taiwan?(besides the pollution and traffic:)
what are the things you like best about being in Taiwan?

Considering I'll be going in August,(hopefully SARS blows over by then)
it would be nice to hear from those already there and what other things I can expect to encounter..hopefully not everyone has gone back home because of SARS.

Thanks a bunch

Jojo


Best: motorbike rides over the mountains from Fengyuang to Hualien.
Worst: The insects are huge and plentiful. I HATE eating ants for breakfast in my cereal.
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Jojo



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 119
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to Everyone that replied to the worst and best of Taiwan. Just some extra asides

Okami, Sunpower: What is it with Canadians that has made you Generalize that Canadians are a certain way. I don't say all Americans are a certain way. That is Generalizing and stereotyping when you say that.
Okami: I promise I don't bite Twisted Evil

Wix: This is something I am looking forward to is seeing and hiking the mountains. Is Taroko Gorge as beautiful as it looks?

Sypanda: Nice to hear from a proud Canadian Eh! Dog Poop eh..!! Yuckyyy! At least over here they use pooper scoopers Wink
Good luck in HK Girl!

TheyCallMeTrinity: Hmm, I guess you have to take the good with the bad or else Get out..Maybe I should start a thread, "You know you've been in Taiwan to long when.." Although I'm sure the government is as corrupt as you and others attest to.

Jason_S: Yuck!! I hate bugs..as long as there aren't to many cockroaches??


Keep the comments coming Folks
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Jojo



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 119
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jason_Seeburn: that was roaches, I guess they beeped out the C*Ck. Rolling Eyes
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