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If you can type, they may not realise you can write by hand. Many foreigners make the mistake of ascribing this to ethnocentrism: This is not an accurate reflection of the attitude of locals who underestimate you, although it may seem that way at times. Rather, while many foreigners reach basic proficiency in Chinese, a truly fluent and literate foreigner is a rare thing to come across. In business, foreign colleagues sent to Taiwan from the home office will almost never be able to speak Chinese, nor will the foreign teachers at the cram schools where locals send their kids.
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There is a cultural predisposition towards stressing knowledge of Chinese characters — reading and writing — over speaking, and Chinese characters are genuinely difficult to learn. Locals generally spent years of their childhood grappling with them. Local culture in Taiwan You will see things in Taiwan that you would never expect, which are still very much a part of the traditional cultural landscape.
Sure, all the things Westerners expect are there: You will be simply amazed by the depth and breadth of preserved culture in Taiwan, and how many people still adhere to it.
Laws, while not perfect, generally do a good job of protecting women. Unless you are in an hourly-paid position, maternity leave is guaranteed and most reproductive health needs — but not birth control — are covered under national health insurance.
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Divorce laws are fairer than they used to be, although no-fault divorce is still a battle being fought. You are more likely to find women in their 30s, 40s and older in Taiwan who have chosen not to marry and prefer an independent lifestyle than you may find in other Asian countries.
Bosses will occasionally try to be too familiar with employees, which may extend to commenting on the relationships of female employees do not be surprised if your boss tries to give you life advice if you marry or break up. Dating in Taiwan The dating scene for men in Asia is already well documented.
You may receive some surprisingly direct comments, but it will be generally accepted and welcomed. The People Are Fantastic…Seriously Taiwanese are some of the most genuinely hospitable and friendly people around.
During the countless times I found myself lost, there was always a local around that would come to my aid, insisting they not only give me directions but actually escort me to my final destination.
Not only will you find the support you need, but you are also likely meet awesome people from different backgrounds with similar interests to your own. Someone who might not have had many dating opportunities back home will often find themselves overwhelmed with options in Taiwan. This includes but is not limited to pigtails, the color pink, Hello Kitty, and the name Candy.
For some women it can be a bit difficult to live in a place where the cuter you are the more desirable you are.
Plus, navigating those itty-bitty clothes decked out in sequins and cartoon characters does not always make for a rewarding shopping experience. But should you find yourself a non-teaching expat in Taiwan, it is most certain that the majority of other expats in your social network will in fact be teachers. And what do teachers talk about?
These are just six things to consider before making the big jump to Taiwan.
If it sparked your interest, be sure to download a free copy of my eBook, Tips to Living in Taiwan.