Sunday, 22 July 2012

Okay, Bye-Bye


There a few cultural things that I find interesting about Taiwanese people. For example instead of saying goodbye with a “ 再見(Zàijiàn)” the way I was taught in school, most people say “ Okay, bye-bye” with a hand wave that is very close to your face, and  you wonder if you are in endanger of being  smacked.

Another thing I've noticed has to do with their favorite destination countries. From what I gather Paris, France is the go to dream place. There are pictures of the Eiffel Tower everywhere on notebooks, bags, and posters. Maybe it is the French accent they like so much, who knows. I count myself lucky that my Tai Chi class has 5 French people in it; I will have to ask them what the secret it is.

Their exotic destination of choice is definitely India. It is used in commercials to denote the ultimate travel experience, also Bollywood films are a big hit in Taiwan. I watched 3 Idiots for the first time last week, and I can see why it became a major success in East Asia. More than just being hilarious, its depiction of life as a competition between the have and have-nots, coupled with the pressure of needing to be a success to please your parents is universal. A reason it might strike a chord more with Taiwanese people is because they along with India have a big population (for its size), limited resources, and intense rivalry for jobs among the youth. I really enjoyed the movie and now have a hankering to go to India as well; perhaps I will meet my Taiwanese friends there!

Lastly I notice with their driving that yes, they are a bit erratic, but the amount of U-turns they make seems excessive. Being one who only makes a U-turn when I am lost, and don’t see a way to get out of it effectively, I tend to think they are very confused drivers. Trying to walk along the cross-walk can be bad for your health. Even though the little green guy says go you mentally don’t want to. The cars and scooters insist they have the right of way and they usually get what they want. Strangely enough it’s the Taxis and Bus Drivers you have to watch out for. You’d think that since they rely on people to use their services they wouldn’t want to hit us, but it’s not true. All I can say is it definitely makes walking to school a more fun filled experience... if I make it.

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