Last week when having lunch with a friend, we talked about the top ten list I wrote about the Things I hate in Taiwan. In the midst of us bitching about things we hate, I had a moment of clarity.
Two moments, actually. The first being, I could NOT believe that for the life of me, I had forgotten to include people chewing with their mouths open and smacking their lips. Oh God. I HATE it, and its part of the culture here. The second moment, right on the heels of the first, is when I realized that somewhere in this city there had to be, at that very moment, two Taiwanese people eating lunch and bitching about foreigners and all the things they hate about us. Foreigners don’t corner the market on bitchy snotty conversations, after all.
So I asked some of my Taiwanese friends about all things they hate about foreigners and here’s what they told me:
10. Foreigners don’t follow the traffic signals. If it’s red, they go anyway. ( I’m thinking this has to do with jaywalking, as not too many foreigners drive. To be fair, the Taiwanese treat traffic laws as if they were funny suggestions anyway, so I’m not sure about this one.)
9. Foreigners act very friendly and buddy/buddy and then blow you off the next day. Even when you have really good conversations with them the next time you see them they sometimes act like they don’t know you. Maybe its the alcohol involved. (Too true, there are a lot of people like that out there.)
8. Some foreigners are flaky. You can’t trust them with your secrets or depend on them to be there for you. (I’m not sure if my friend was thinking of something specific that happened here. I wish I had asked for an example.)
7. (From a female Taiwanese friend) girls don’t like it when a lot of foreign guys call them ‘Honey’, ‘Sweetie,’ or ‘Baby’. I’m not your baby, and I don’t even know you! (Yep, that happens. There are a lot of mixed feelings about foreign men here in Taiwan.)
6. Some Taiwanese are very proud of their English. They’ve studied it their whole lives so when they are talking to a foreigner they want to use it, and its insulting when the foreigner switches the conversation to Mandarin. (I totally understand. That happened to me in Poland too, where I’d start off the conversation in Polish, and they’d switch to English. It’s insulting.)
5. Foreigners/Americans make very good money as teachers here. They have a good life. Easy to get a job, easy to find a date, and everybody helps them. It’s not fair. (It’s not fair. Even as I take advantage of the system here I can understand the resentment.)
4. (From a male Taiwanese friend) a lot of the Americans think they are better than people here. They think they are special and want to be worshipped, even when they (the guys) are not so popular back home. (Um yeah, but more on that in a separate post.)
3. Foreign men picking up Asian girls. Asian guys hate that. They refer to the types of girls that go after foreign men as “pumas”, which translates as old dirty, worn-out slipper. Or, basically, dirty worn out ho-bags. (Ouch!)
2. Foreigners are loud and call attention t themselves in places where it is inappropriate like the MRT, buses, museums, and other areas. (Yep, I’m looking at you Americans! This is a worldwide reputation for a reason.)
1. Foreigners throw lots of loud parties that turn into orgies (this perception is the reason some Taiwanese won’t rent to foreigners), and they aren’t trustworthy. (I mean…I guess. I haven’t been to any orgy parties yet. Do you think I’m just not getting invited? Why wouldn’t I get invited an orgy?? Doesn’t seem fair…)
I’m sure there are many more things that Taiwanese people hate, but they weren’t sharing that information with me.
What are your thoughts and experiences?