2012-07-13 03:05:14 UTC
- No good Western food outside the big cities. No good Mexican or Italian food either. Since Mexican food is a favorite of most Americans, it's depriving not to have it available in Taiwan. The pizza and pasta in most places in Taiwan is bland and tasteless. Even the staff at Pizza Hut in Taiwan have never heard of "pizza sauce" amazingly. The closest thing they have to pizza sauce is putting ketchup and tomatoes on the pizza. They don't know how to make decent pizza. (On a side note: While the Italian food sucks in Taiwan, conversely, in Italy, the Chinese food sucks.)
- People are very closed and cold to strangers and make no eye contact. While they may be very kind and helpful to their friends, if you are a stranger, you basically don't exist to them (unless they are trying to sell you something of course). Thus if you go out alone in Taiwan, you will feel very alone, alienated, isolated and invalidated. Going out alone in Taiwan is a very lonely experience. (For some reason, no one has the guts to admit this, except me.) It's a taboo truth. That's why people in Taiwan go out in groups, never alone. Individuals have no confidence when they are alone and feel insecure. The only people in Taiwan that freely talk to strangers are the elderly and middle age folks, but young adults are like a different species there, much more cold and stoic, oddly. (Even though this is very obvious and apparent, no other website has the guts to mention this for some reason.)
- Girls and young women are very closed, conservative, picky and stuck up. They are not easy to meet or chat up, unless you are introduced through mutual friends. Every honest Taiwanese will admit that the girls in their country are very "bao so" (conservative, closed, inhibited). It's common knowledge. They have this "cold wall" around them which makes approaching or meeting them feel very uncomfortable. Although 80 percent of the girls are cute or good looking, they are mostly empty dolls who are spoiled, flaky and flighty - "all look but no touch". Moreover, they have spoiled rotten attitudes which makes them difficult to deal with. Many older locals remark on this change in attitude for the worse.
- In Taiwan, there is an inverse relationship between a woman's beauty and friendliness, as well as her age and friendliness. In simple terms, the more attractive a girl is, the less friendly and open she is, and vice versa. Likewise, the older a woman is, the more friendly and easy to talk to she is, and vice versa. This just plain sucks, because what it means is that the women you desire most will be the most unavailable and unapproachable. Thus, for men who love beautiful women, this works against them.
- The social environment and atmosphere in Taiwan is very stagnant and sterile, similar to Seattle, Washington (aka "The Seattle Freeze"). There's simply no real "social energy". It doesn't "flow" naturally or openly. Instead, it is very cliquish, lacking energy, fun, excitement, stimulation, etc. The whole atmosphere in Taiwan feels way too conservative and prudish. Most young foreigners I've met in Taiwan have concurred, remarking how much more fun, wild and full of action Thailand is in comparison. Taiwan is basically a highly conservative, inhibited and repressed culture, which is reflected in everything in it, and explains why people have to act super innocent in order to fit in (in fact many white guys in Taiwan act a lot more Taiwanese and feminine than White or masculine). The foreigners who like Taiwan the most tend to be reserved quiet feminine types. The only people that talk to strangers freely in a direct, straightforward manner are the elderly/middle age folks (similar to the US). In fact, old people and young people in Taiwan are like a different species, oddly enough. What this means is that if you are seeking fun, excitement, wild times, adventure, thrills, energy, action, passionate people, etc. you will likely find Taiwan to be boring, sterile, too inhibited and devoid of "energy". As a result, you will feel like you aren't "truly alive" in an environment where you can't "come out of your shell and be your real self". (Note: If you've never lived outside of Taiwan, you might not know what kind of "energy" I'm talking about. You'd have to spend time in Russia, Latin America, Eastern/Southern Europe, or Pattaya/Bangkok in Thailand to know what I'm referring to.)
- The architecture is ugly and drab, consisting of slab concrete buildings, which is standard in Asia. Buildings are designed for practicality, not aesthetics. Concrete cement slab streets in Taiwan with flashing neon signs and lights are all the same - you've seen one, you've seen them all. Of course, you might not notice as much unless you're coming from say... Europe. Sensitive people in particular may feel drained easily in such environments, for when you are constantly surrounded by cement structures, traffic, cars, scooters, noise, advertisements, and pollution all day, it can drain you physically and spiritually. Better to live in a quieter place closer to nature.
- Since people are indirect, polite and nonexpressive, it's hard to read people. You can't know what they are thinking or feeling, as they are very indirect and do not like to show their feelings. So if they dislike you or have a problem with you, you won't know about it.
- Taiwan is a workaholic culture (like America). Most people live to work and make money, and have no other purpose in life. They have no ability to create a higher purpose of their own. Taiwanese commonly work 6 or 7 days a week. What this means is that if you are not a workaholic and you live for other things besides work (e.g. freedom, adventure, new experiences) you will not be on the same wavelength as everyone else, and will thus feel somewhat alienated in that while everyone is always busy being a busybee, you are not. Moreover, it is hard to find people with free time to hang out with. It's mostly foreigners and young Taiwanese that go out for fun, however, the young Taiwanese are very cliquish and don't like to interact with foreigners much. For some odd reason, the ones I know don't have much free time, but the ones I see out having fun on weekends are never the ones I know... whatever... maybe it's another case of Murphy's Law.
- There is a thick language barrier. Most people can't speak English and even if they know some, don't have the guts or confidence to try to use it. While there are ways to get by without knowing Chinese - you can still buy things, pay for things, or use transportation - it's difficult to deal with problems that involve discussions when they come up.
- The weather is hot and humid most of the year, except for Winter, since Taiwan is located in the Asian tropic region. The humidity makes the heat much worse, since it causes excess perspitation and makes your body work harder to cool down, which is not healthy. So if you don't like hot weather, you won't like Taiwan's weather. This especially affects creative intellectual types, such as writers, artists, musicians and philosophers. Such types, which are accustomed to thinking in a deeper zone or wavelength than most people, have difficulty concentrating and getting into their "zone" when it's hot and humid. This is why, not surprisingly, the greatest writers, artists, and composers throughout history have generally came from colder cooler climates (e.g. Europe) rather than from hot tropical humic climates.
- Taiwan's atmosphere has an extremely repressed vibe, energy and feel to it (which is uncommon in other countries of the world and rivaled only by Japan and Korea). You can see it on the cold repressed faces of the masses of Taiwanese people everywhere. What this means is that if you are not repressed yourself, you may feel awkward in Taiwan. If you are outgoing, open, direct and relaxed with strangers (like me), you may feel out of place in Taiwan, like you can't be yourself, like who you are doesn't "fit the flow" in Taiwan. It's hard to explain what I mean, but that's the best way I can put it. Also, when you see cold repressed faces all around you, you can't help but feel repressed yourself. It sort of rubs off on you, especially the longer you are there. Needless to say, it is very awkward to feel like the vibe/energy in Taiwan's is trying to repress you, if you are not that way. It's as if Taiwan is trying to make you into something you're not. It's very awkward to say the least.
- Most white guys who are drawn to live or work in Taiwan tend to be the passive soft-spoken feminine type, which is unusual for western white guys, but common of foreigners in Taiwan. Such are the types that seem to fit in Taiwan best (as well as Japan and East Asia in general). As they say, like attracts like. What this means is that if you are not passive, soft-spoken or feminine, you will not be a natural fit in Taiwan. Typical Taiwan character is very modest and soft-spoken, which by western standards is very feminine and not masculine at all. So if that's not you, you may feel a little awkward because your personality won't fit in.