May 20, 2010 1 Comment
There are so many inaccuracies and prejudices in Taiwan against foreigners that it can make your head spin.
The next time you are driving around Taipei and you see some graffiti, litter or damage to public property… be warned, as you are on the suspect list if you are a foreigner. Here are a couple of interesting excersizes that come from real life examples in the past. Overheard conversations and second hand conversations can prove that many people believe these kinds of petty crimes are caused by foreigners.
Here are some interesting observations that i have found. If you have time to spare:
1) The Litter Bug. Casually find a 7-11 or coffee shop with tables outside. Look for a table with litter on the ground around it or on the table next to you. Cleanly set out some items on the table you are sitting and relax (this does not work as well if you are dressed in business attire). Watch the reactions of people as they walk by you. You will find that approximately 1 in 9 will notice the trash and you. Watch the eyes closely, as they travel between you and the litter in question. However, it is also important to note that less than 1% will actually confrom you on this issue. If you want to double blind this observation find a Taiwanese friend and have them call another friend (Taiwanese) to meet them at a location that will require them to pass you en-route to their destination. Have your friend ask their friend (who shouldnt know you) if they noticed the foregner at the other table. Do not mention the trash in this gentle probing and see what responses are generated.
2) The unwanted foreigner. This is best accomplished by being a male around the age 25-35, any non-asian race does not seem to be an issue. 1) Find a medium to high traffic location. Place yourself in a position where you are near the middle (the intersection where people are walking one direct on one side of you and another direction on the other side) 2) Look directly in the face of oncoming travelers and smile a friendly smile (practice that smile first and get the opinion of friends). Count the number of people who walk by you, and count the number of people who give you direct eye contact. 3) Repeat steps 1 and 2 using a Taiwanese local.
3) The rich fool. This is best accomplished by being male and having a male Taiwanese friend. 1) Go into a real estate agency and look at houses. Find a house on the market that is interesting and get a general price for it. Go to view the property if necessary. 2) some time later, have your Taiwanese friend investigate the same location and compare the price quote you have received and he has received.