An Alternate System

I work with a fair number of foreigners in my office on a day-to-day basis, all of whom have moved to Taiwan in the past year or two. Some are more open-minded and have accustomed themselves to the lifestyle in Taiwan, while others have been less successful at it.

You can see the effects on the latter group by how they are constantly complaining about Taiwan. (Usually their complaints are only quantified by "stupid" or "makes no sense" without a real understanding on the problem.) They talk about how fvcked up Taiwan is, and Taiwanese people are, but the truth is that they're just too closed-minded to see the system that works here.

Sure, Taiwanese people have ways that don't make sense to outsiders, but that's even more reason to try to see why it is. I mean, you don't actually think a whole society does stuff just because that's how they do it, do you? There's some rhyme or reason to it. If you're smart enough, you'll begin to notice why.

I've tried the explanation (education) approach to these people, but after a while, I realize I'm fighting an uphill battle: they're too snobby about how superior they are (even if they don't admit it), and won't really take the chance to understand that this is just a (very) different system.

I want to smack those people.

Because you know what? Nobody is forcing you to stay. Just move away, then, if you don't like it. We'll all be happier that way.


Rich and Angel said...

There doesn't necessarily have to be a rhyme or reason. Some people just like to follow the crowd because it feels safe.

Sometimes, it's just socially acceptable to do it even if not completely rational.

Kevin said...

I complain all the time about Taiwanese people... even if I do understand them. I make a lot of generalizations as well. But then I also make a lot of pointed remarks towards certain people's actions and stupidity.

At the end of the day, it's also because of these nuances that I think living in Taiwan is liberating. You don't have to dress up all the time, you don't have to follow all the rules of the road, you can cough, hulk, and spit without embarrassment and without anyone batting an eye. And sometimes, that's just fine by me.

Ben said...

I complain about life in Taiwan too, but the truth is, there are two sides to it.

I laugh at people who wear (very obviously) fake brandname clothing, but at the same time, I like that there are cheap alternatives to the normally expensive clothes in retail stores.

I hate how traffic is so messy and people pretty much ride however they like, creating somewhat elevated opportunities for accidents. But I also like that it means I can park just about wherever I like, and cut through pedestrian walks and drive the wrong way down a one-way street, without people batting an eye.

I don't really like all the greasy and starch-full food they serve in the night markets and street vendors (hawkers) around here, but on the other hand, it's sure nice to be able to get stuff on under $3 USD.

It's good and it's bad.

andres said...

it's organized chaos
yes, i complain and hate a lot of the things here of my homeland, but i learn to live with it all

Anonymous said...

sometimes smackin doesnt hurt