Have to ask: why do people come to Taiwan to be teachers?

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Re: Have to ask: why do people come to Taiwan to be teachers?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 02 May 2012, 12:59

bigduke: No, I can understand that. The funny thing was that when my father ran his own business, and there were however many dozen cars in the parking lot, his was by no means the most expensive. He always used to say to me that if he went to see one of his clients or a supplier and they had a Porsche it rang alarm bells for him because he'd always wonder what other extravagences they had, and therefore, how their business really was going. He worried about whether they could pay him in the case of his clients. In the case of his suppliers, he worried that they might not be able to pay their suppliers, and so they wouldn't be able to supply him. The meeting room in his company was pretty low-key. He always figured that the quality of the work he did for people would razzle dazzle them, not how luxurious his meeting room was.
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Have to ask: why do people come to Taiwan to be teachers?

Postby headhonchoII » 02 May 2012, 13:00

The EXACT same thing happens all over the world. My sister knows the founder of one of the worlds first payment security dot coms. The guy admitted he rented luxury cars when he was starting out because it was all about the impression made when talking with investors. Subsequently the company went bust but he made bank.

In Taiwan it is the same thing, hence the number of laobans and such driving black Mercs and Lexus ,and these days luxury SUVs. It is ridiculous but it is the way the human mind works unfortunately.

In some cultures this might be changing somewhat , you have to adapt to the audience.
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Re: Have to ask: why do people come to Taiwan to be teachers?

Postby bigduke6 » 02 May 2012, 13:07

My old man is the same as yours GIT. Old school, and to a large extent 100% correct.

He would crap me out for getting a new car or buying an expensive watch when I could get a $10 Casio.

The unfortunate thing, is in today's world image is often critical. Images costs $$$. I used to try and explain this to him, but you know what they say about old dogs. :no-no:
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Re: Have to ask: why do people come to Taiwan to be teachers?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 02 May 2012, 13:12

HH: It's crazy. If I were sending my kid to a buxiban and the owner had a black Mercedes, I'd either think he was cutting corners somewhere or he was charging me too much money to begin with! I guess I'm different to other people though. I'm actually not really impressed by displays of wealth, probably precisely because I've seen and known people who were a lot wealthier than a lot of people.

bigduke: Yeah, I know, but that said, you'd also be surprised to some extent how irrelevant a lot of that really can be. Some of the richest people I knew did not flaunt it at all. I was acquainted once with a girl whose family were the largest non-institutional shareholders in the National Australia Bank, but there's no way I would ever have guessed just how wealthy her family was. Sure, I knew she was wealthy, but I didn't know she was that wealthy until someone else told me.
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One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words "Socialism" and "Communism" draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, "Nature Cure" quack, pacifist, and feminist in England. -- George Orwell
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Have to ask: why do people come to Taiwan to be teachers?

Postby headhonchoII » 02 May 2012, 13:19

That's because she was already wealthy and did not need to earn her own wealth. If you are dealing with other business people or customers impressions are important. They can be overcome in some cases but not always.
You wouldn't walk into a business meeting in the West or anywhere for that matter with flip-flops , vest and scraggy beard and expect many people to give your their money. Well unless you were panhandling.
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Re: Have to ask: why do people come to Taiwan to be teachers?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 02 May 2012, 13:25

HH: Sure, but have you read The Millionaire Next Door? There's a bit in that where they look at how much millionaires (back when that really meant something) spent on different things from houses to cars to suits to watches. The average price paid for a suit by those millionaires was something like $150, and they only owned something like three suits. I don't think my father ever paid much money for suits. He didn't look like he'd just walked off a runway in Milan (then again, he hardly had the body for it!), but he never looked like a bum off the street either. In fact, there were always a couple of those flashy guys in my father's industry and everyone used to take the piss out of them something shocking.
And you coming in to scold us all like some kind of sour-puss kindie assistant who favors olive cardigans and lemon drinks without sugar. -- Muzha Man

One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words "Socialism" and "Communism" draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, "Nature Cure" quack, pacifist, and feminist in England. -- George Orwell
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Re: Have to ask: why do people come to Taiwan to be teachers?

Postby Isha » 02 May 2012, 13:28

So, from what I read, people came here because they wanted to retire early with some money inflow in return of few hours of unstressed job!
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Re: Have to ask: why do people come to Taiwan to be teachers?

Postby finley » 02 May 2012, 13:31

headhonchoII wrote:You wouldn't walk into a business meeting in the West or anywhere for that matter with flip-flops , vest and scraggy beard and expect many people to give your their money. Well unless you were panhandling.

or Mark Zuckerberg.

I think image matters if you are in a "meet the public" role, but not as much as you'd think. I've read a few 'business' books that advise you to dress like you're already a millionaire, but I can't see that working. When I meet people like that I think, "what a dick". I certainly wouldn't consider lending them money or buying anything from them. OTOH, the way you dress shows what you think of yourself. I wouldn't want to buy from (or lend to) someone who, from his appearance, obviously had low self-esteem.

Anyway, to get back to the OP's question, I can't imagine coming here as a teacher, or as any other low-paid employee. The only reason I'm still here is that I'm earning a good salary and benefit mightily from Taiwan's low tax rate and low cost of living.
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Re: Have to ask: why do people come to Taiwan to be teachers?

Postby Omniloquacious » 02 May 2012, 13:46

GuyInTaiwan wrote:Omni: You don't have any friends or contacts in the MOE do you? :D


Unfortunately, no. I've never worked directly for the education bureaucracy or anyone in it.

GuyInTaiwan wrote:What's stopping you from leaving Linkou, other than selling your place there (probably a big one, I admit, though you could potentially rent that place out and rent elsewhere)? Do you need to be in/near Taipei for work, or could you live elsewhere and work from there? What about your wife?


I'm actively looking around for a suitable place to move to, meaning a good location and a home that meets all of my requirements at a reasonable price. But it's got to be exactly right, since I don't want to have to move more than once if I can help it. I absolutely hate moving. It was a huge pain in the arse the last time, and the family has accumulated a lot more clutter since then. I do nearly all of my work from home, so I could live almost anywhere. However, the wife doesn't want to live anywhere too remote or (in her eyes) backward, and really needs to be close enough to visit her close-knit family in Linkou at least a couple of times a month, and ideally every week. Fulfilling that need and giving our daughter the chance to spend plenty of time with her Taiwanese grandparents, aunts and cousins was the main reason for our move to Linkou. I didn't think it would be as bad as I've found it, or I would have stayed in Xindian. If I had only myself to think about, I'd already be living very happily in Hualian or somewhere equally pleasant, possibly even in Penghu for part of the year.
If I prioritized the acquisition of wealth above other purposes in life, I might still have come to Taiwan to study Chinese, but I doubt I would have remained here.
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Re: Have to ask: why do people come to Taiwan to be teachers?

Postby Omniloquacious » 02 May 2012, 14:03

bigduke6 wrote:Regarding the Joneses, it is more about peoples expectations of you. Especially on the work front. If you are in a senior position, you cannot really rock up to work in a car cheaper than your subordinates. This might sound a bit snobbish/shallow, but things like this are "important" in many business environments.

If you got a space in the front parking lot next to the entrance you need a nice car to fill it. What would customers think when they see, Merc, BMW, Lexus, Jag,Toyota Corolla? This might sound ridiculous, bit it is indeed the truth. Image is often as important as knowledge.


Immediately prior to leaving England, I was working as an in-house lawyer, managing the legal affairs of a shipping and commodity trading company. We had an office building in central London with its own small car park. The company directors, a senior executive and I were the only ones with parking spaces. I drove a small Renault, and the directors all had gleaming Rolls Royces. I used to get amusement from looking out of the window at my little car parked beside those beautiful Rollers (usually four of them, including two that belonged to the chairman), but I never even considered buying a flashier car (especially as I was saving hard for my sojourn in Taiwan).
If I prioritized the acquisition of wealth above other purposes in life, I might still have come to Taiwan to study Chinese, but I doubt I would have remained here.
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