(Theory) Why Some Foreigners Never Leave Taiwan...

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Re: (Theory) Why Some Foreigners Never Leave Taiwan...

Postby shawn_c » 12 Jul 2012, 02:07

Super Hans wrote:
Shawn,
Shouldn't you be doing something useful with your time? Maybe studying Mandarin or finding yourself a girlfriend!


Ooooh...well, that, as I understand it, would be a big waste of time for him.


Haha... yes... it would be, as I came to Taiwan specifically to learn Mandarin and have accomplished that goal. And well, my wife wouldn't approve of me finding a girlfriend...

sandman wrote:Ooh! A new, never-before-broached topic! WOW! :roll:
Use the search function. This hoary old chestnut has been done to death MANY times on the flob over the years. And it ALWAYS ends the same way -- sniping, back-biting, MANY temped posts, finally locked.
In answer to your question, I know all KINDS of foreigners here. None of them match your description.


I did use the search function... found nothing. Perhaps, I used the wrong keywords?

shawn_c wrote:You've all met that "foreigner" who came to Taiwan long ago and has been here ever since. No family connections, no real future besides English teaching (doesn't mean that English is his first language), no plans for anything, really... not even a real girlfriend (i.e. possible wife).

He (yes, "he", not "she") could be white, black, yellow, etc... doesn't matter. What matters is that back in his home country, he had nothing going for him; not much of a social life, not many plans for the future, no real economic future, no feeling of accomplishment or being looked up to. But, he comes to Taiwan, and all-of-a-sudden he has value... he's a superstar! People look up to him, people want to chat with him, girls want him... because he is now special, has a special skill, and is exotic. (He's also a teacher in a culture where teachers are given great respect.)

That feeling is so great! He can't get enough. He's hooked and he's never leaving.

This theory, of course, is posited on the fact that all men need to feel; important, valuable, powerful, great, etc. Men want to be looked up to... and some men get it from working hard and busting their asses, and some men get it from... moving to where they can be exotic.

In Taiwan, the "exotic foreigner" gets all these feelings and more. No way they're returning home! Taiwan is home, now.

Do you agree?

(That said, this is actually the case for men all over the world, including Taiwanese men. Why do you think Taiwanese men can't bear it if their wife makes more than them (breakups and divorce are not out of the question)? Why do you think there's 大男人主義/Big Man Syndrome, where many men must be the one to turn to for their family and friends, must make more money, must know everything, etc.?)


Anyway, I seem to have struck a chord in the collective defensive mechanism of the foreigner community that has found itself on Forumosa. Oops... I apologize for any hurt feelings in advance :doh:

Umm... okay, let's just forget about everything I wrote in the first post. My theory really is this: men have the need to feel important.

Pursuant to that, I was merely saying that some, not all, foreign men in Taiwan/Japan/Korea/China/Asia, have ended up away from their home countries for one reason or other... but are getting that feeling of importance that they lacked in their home countries. This feeling of importance is like a drug; a drug which keeps them here, never to return... and even if they did try to return, find themselves coming back for more of this drug.

The part where I write about his social life, to clarify, I meant that back home, he had no social life, but in Taiwan, he's living it up.
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Re: (Theory) Why Some Foreigners Never Leave Taiwan...

Postby tommy525 » 12 Jul 2012, 02:29

The question should more be, why westerners would NOT choose to stay long term in Taiwan. Many people choose to stay long term in a country outside of one they were born in or raised in, and that alone is not a novel concept.

So some choose Taiwan, why is that alone so alien a concept?

And besides Taiwan is rather an alternate universe to many and once you get used to her particular ways, its hard to roll yourself back. Because you have changed as well to adapt, you would have to change back to adapt to what you were.

Theres tons of people in Taiwan and i often compare being there to being here in calif for me personally. And calif has been and is a second home for me since days gone by so its not alien.

I find that living in Taiwan, Taipei say versus here in the bay area, things are indeed different.

Its not all good, but somehow I do feel more alive and active. Here we have beautiful houses/homes/apts. A beautiful and organized development (in many places). Much excellent natural scenery, Awesome weather. Great parking. NO constant quakes. Great cafes, restaurants ,etc.

A very civilized existence.

And yet I find I don't do much really. Amongst all there is to do and places to go, I don't feel "charged".

In Taiwan i feel "charged". Amidst the hustle and bustle, the throngs of humanity. The chaos and traffic one can feel "alive" for some reason.

Could be the large numbers of beautiful ladies about? Thats a major plus.

But something about an afternoon summer thunderstorm. And ducking into a cozy cafe. Smelling that storm and the smell of coffee, hearing the conversations going about you. The place is teeming with LIFE.

Somehow, at least for me, i feel less ALIVE in my environs here then i did back on the rock.

Its a small island but yet everyone feels the urge to go all over it. You get lunch, on a day off and you drive over to Yilan or up in the hills or something. You grab a seafood dinner and get back in town to hang out with more buds and get a couple of beers with dinner and go on to other places late night.

Theres just so much to fill a day.

Take a scene. You are in a crowded cafe , tons of people around you. You are alone and chillin, enjoying your cup of coffee/tea, etc. In Taipei. You could if you wanted to engage someone in conversation readily, or the waitress or the owners of the place. You could more easily make the place YOURS.

Here in the bay area, you can strike up a conversation. But its harder and although on the surface friendly you will get the undertones that its a limited engagement. Nobody really wants to take it further. To develop friendships.

Its an environment where strangers are to be feared to be held with wariness.

Whereas in Taiwan you can quickly make up a circle of friends if you hang out in a place regularly. Real friends. Who you can do things outside of that place with.

Here? Even if you are a regular some place, you may chit chat with other denizens of the place but you rarely actually become friends and take that relationship outside of that particular environment.

Hard to explain. But its not the same.
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Re: (Theory) Why Some Foreigners Never Leave Taiwan...

Postby Chris » 12 Jul 2012, 10:38

Then there's NHI. Something they don't have back home.

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Re: (Theory) Why Some Foreigners Never Leave Taiwan...

Postby Mucha Man » 12 Jul 2012, 10:45

Chris wrote:Then there's NHI. Something they don't have back home.


Only you Yanks.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

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Re: (Theory) Why Some Foreigners Never Leave Taiwan...

Postby steelersman » 12 Jul 2012, 10:47

Take a scene. You are in a crowded cafe , tons of people around you. You are alone and chillin, enjoying your cup of coffee/tea, etc. In Taipei. You could if you wanted to engage someone in conversation readily, or the waitress or the owners of the place. You could more easily make the place YOURS.

Here in the bay area, you can strike up a conversation. But its harder and although on the surface friendly you will get the undertones that its a limited engagement. Nobody really wants to take it further. To develop friendships.

Its an environment where strangers are to be feared to be held with wariness.


Maybe the US has lost its soul. Tommy, that is what I am feeling from your post. Other than friends and family it is difficult to make connections in the US. I haven't lived in the US for a while, so it is difficult for me to say if you are correct or not.
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Re: (Theory) Why Some Foreigners Never Leave Taiwan...

Postby Omniloquacious » 12 Jul 2012, 11:05

Ach, but it’s really all very simple.

Human beings, especially males, are hard-wired to move away from where they were born and raised. To go off and explore new territory, seek a new place where they can settle, claim territory, find a mate from a different gene pool, and establish their own family. It’s a biological imperative, evident in many other species besides homo sapiens.

However, only the most adventurous of us act upon this urge. In most people, laziness, habit, fear, ignorance and other stronger imperatives prevail over it.

Some move but a short way away, to another part of the same county or country. The boldest, most imaginative and most adventurous move far away, across national borders, even halfway around the world.

This is a universal phenomenon of all mankind. It occurs among people from all parts of the world, moving in all directions. It has always occurred, at all times in human history.

People from Western countries move to every other country in the world, and people from every one of those countries cross paths with us moving to wherever we came from.

Some of us happen to find our way to Taiwan, whether by carefully considered design or purely by happenstance. Some settle contentedly here, put together all the essential parts of whatever kind of life they desire, find no compelling reason for moving on or back, and hence are happy to stay indefinitely. Some find it harder to settle, and vacillate between staying and leaving, always keeping an eye open for better opportunity elsewhere. Some find it doesn’t suit them at all, and soon leave.

All kinds of people take part in such migration, from all kinds of backgrounds, and with all kinds of hopes, aims and ambitions. Some would be “winners” where they came from, some would be “losers”, and many would be neither one nor the other, but with the potential to be either. The best and most fortunate among them would be successful wherever they migrated to; the weakest and least fortunate among them would struggle no matter where they went.

We Westerners in Taiwan are as varied a lot as any randomly assembled group of people from any segment of mankind. We have counterparts living in every part of the world, and counterparts who have swapped this land for ours. There’s not much value to be had in trying to pin generalizations to our virtues, vices, motives, situations, or much else about us.
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Re: (Theory) Why Some Foreigners Never Leave Taiwan...

Postby tomthorne » 12 Jul 2012, 11:09

I'd give that two recommends if I could. Excellent summary that should be applied to every thread of this type.
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Re: (Theory) Why Some Foreigners Never Leave Taiwan...

Postby Battery9 » 12 Jul 2012, 11:28

Why does there need to be a theory? Taiwan is awesome!
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Re: (Theory) Why Some Foreigners Never Leave Taiwan...

Postby Deuce Dropper » 12 Jul 2012, 11:35

shawn_c wrote:You've all met that "foreigner" who came to Taiwan long ago and has been here ever since. No family connections, no real future besides English teaching (doesn't mean that English is his first language), no plans for anything, really... not even a real girlfriend (i.e. possible wife).

He (yes, "he", not "she") could be white, black, yellow, etc... doesn't matter. What matters is that back in his home country, he had nothing going for him; not much of a social life, not many plans for the future, no real economic future, no feeling of accomplishment or being looked up to. But, he comes to Taiwan, and all-of-a-sudden he has value... he's a superstar! People look up to him, people want to chat with him, girls want him... because he is now special, has a special skill, and is exotic. (He's also a teacher in a culture where teachers are given great respect.)

That feeling is so great! He can't get enough. He's hooked and he's never leaving.

This theory, of course, is posited on the fact that all men need to feel; important, valuable, powerful, great, etc. Men want to be looked up to... and some men get it from working hard and busting their asses, and some men get it from... moving to where they can be exotic.

In Taiwan, the "exotic foreigner" gets all these feelings and more. No way they're returning home! Taiwan is home, now.

Do you agree?

(That said, this is actually the case for men all over the world, including Taiwanese men. Why do you think Taiwanese men can't bear it if their wife makes more than them (breakups and divorce are not out of the question)? Why do you think there's 大男人主義/Big Man Syndrome, where many men must be the one to turn to for their family and friends, must make more money, must know everything, etc.?)



shawn_c

joined: 10 Oct 2004, 02:39


:)
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Re: (Theory) Why Some Foreigners Never Leave Taiwan...

Postby steelersman » 12 Jul 2012, 12:12

The only question is why are some many Taiwanese people leaving the beautiful island they live on? :ponder:
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