Big Mistake??

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Big Mistake??

Postby rolltidemdj » 20 Apr 2012, 14:23

I have been working in Shanghai for two years and have just been offered employment in Taiwan. I am an ESL teacher. I have read a lot here about life and expenses there in Taipei. It seems to me that people there are much friendlier, the food is better, better customer service, and better access to nature than Shanghai...Am I right? I am big on quality of life... I know that I will earn less money Taiwan, but it seems to be enough to live well on,,I am not a big party animal..

So has anyone lived in both places recently? I find the people in Shanghai to be aggressive and rude, the city is dirty despite so many new buildings, food is bland and expensive, especially if you buy Western, 0% customer service, Internet is either too slow, completely inaccessible, or both. Hmmm..It seems to me that Taiwan is well worth the risk and will not be a mistake...Any comments? Thanks,
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Re: Big Mistake??

Postby finley » 20 Apr 2012, 14:33

I can't imagine why anyone would voluntarily live in China. Come to Taiwan. You'll like it :)
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Re: Big Mistake??

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 20 Apr 2012, 15:11

Almost anything is probably a step up from China. However, you need to be aware of firstly, the job market here (i.e. not great in terms of opportunities and nonsense work), and secondly, how much some parts of Taiwan really suck (but probably not nearly as badly as China). Taipei, Taizhong and Gaoxiong are all good if you can work (which sounds like it gets hard the farther south you go). Everywhere else on the west coast is pretty awful as far as I can tell (I haven't been to Xinzhu, but no one raves about it either). I lived in Taoyuan for a few years. Definitely avoid that place if you want quality of life. The east coast (where I live) is great, but has very few job opportunities.
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Re: Big Mistake??

Postby amarbaines » 20 Apr 2012, 15:31

Make the move. Although dated, I offer up the following: after graduating with a master's in 2007, I followed the rest of the West to China - landed in Shanghai. Didn't even last a month. Taipei is an oasis of civility in comparison.

As for teaching opportunities, it's a buyer's market. Supply exceeds demand so that you already have something lined up should make your decision easier. However, expect your wages to remain low for as long as you are here.
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Re: Big Mistake??

Postby cranky laowai » 20 Apr 2012, 15:35

rolltidemdj wrote:It seems to me that people there [in Taiwan] are much friendlier,

In general, definitely.

the food is better,

People will have differing ideas about this. But at least the food in Taiwan is less likely to be the culinary equivalent of medical waste.

better customer service,

Dunno.

and better access to nature than Shanghai...

Definitely.

I am big on quality of life... I am not a big party animal.

Taiwan's not so much a party place, though there are certainly those here who do have that lifestyle. Mainly, it's a good place to live. (NB: That doesn't mean everywhere here will be ideal!)

Shanghai ... is dirty despite so many new buildings

Let's just say that Taiwan didn't get the name "Formosa" because of the look of its cities.

Internet is either too slow, completely inaccessible, or both.

No Great Firewall in Taiwan to mess with your access/speed/etc.

Overall, I'd say Come to Taiwan. :thumbsup:
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Re: Big Mistake??

Postby Chris » 20 Apr 2012, 20:53

Yup. Come for the Internet - it's unrestricted. Come for the nature - forest-covered mountains within easy access of the city (Taipei, where else?). Come for the lack of "sewer oil". Come for the friendly people.
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Re: Big Mistake??

Postby Rabidpie » 21 Apr 2012, 01:28

rolltidemdj wrote:I have been working in Shanghai for two years and have just been offered employment in Taiwan. I am an ESL teacher. I have read a lot here about life and expenses there in Taipei. It seems to me that people there are much friendlier, the food is better, better customer service, and better access to nature than Shanghai...Am I right? I am big on quality of life... I know that I will earn less money Taiwan, but it seems to be enough to live well on,,I am not a big party animal..

So has anyone lived in both places recently? I find the people in Shanghai to be aggressive and rude, the city is dirty despite so many new buildings, food is bland and expensive, especially if you buy Western, 0% customer service, Internet is either too slow, completely inaccessible, or both. Hmmm..It seems to me that Taiwan is well worth the risk and will not be a mistake...Any comments? Thanks,


You will not regret leaving Shanghai. You will also not regret going to Taiwan.

End of story.
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Re: Big Mistake??

Postby PapaAzucar » 21 Apr 2012, 02:38

I always measure the "live-ability" of a place based on the 4 necessities: air, water, food, and bathrooms.

Air: In Taiwan, you can actually see the blue sky on a clear day. In China, there is no such thing as a clear day or blue sky in any of the big cities.

Water: In Taiwan, you can drink potable water from the faucet. In China, you have to boil the water from the faucet before you can drink it.

Food: In Taiwan, I am brave enough to eat most everywhere, even from the street-side vendors. In China, I never eat from the street-side vendors or the cheaper restaurants because I would get diarrhea.

Bathrooms: In Taiwan, there are clean public bathrooms most everywhere. In China, I am always looking for the nearest McDonald's since they have the cleanest bathrooms.

Other things that make Taiwan higher quality of life than China are--

Mail service: In Taiwan, pretty reliable 99% of the time with the unreliable part mostly from customs. In China, maybe 70-80% reliable(???). The unreliable delivery services/logistics are what is keeping the online purchasing from taking off in China. Amazon China is even thinking about building their own delivery network because they can't trust the mail/delivery services.

Healthcare: In Taiwan, Western-trained doctors, modern facilities, less placebo drugs. In China, I was scared to get sick, even for diarrhea, and I couldn't even trust that the aspirins are real.

Customer service/retail purchasing: In Taiwan, less haggling of prices, some warranties on certain brands, etc. In China, haggling of prices is expected and seems to be always an extra 15-30 minutes overhead for just about any purchases, and almost no warranties.

Freedom of speech: In Taiwan, freedom of speech, but in business, you do need to worry about getting sued for liability. In China, what is freedom of speech?

Internet: In Taiwan, free public wifi at all the MRT stations and other public places, 50Mbps for about 30-35US/month, no government website censorship, etc. In China, well...you get the idea.

All these are my reflections based on my 1-month stay in China about 6-months ago. Yes, a month was all I could take in China.
But things may have changed in China, because I hear China is changing very fast (faster than Taiwan, which may be the only advantage China has over Taiwan).

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Re: Big Mistake??

Postby rolltidemdj » 21 Apr 2012, 05:25

Thanks for the comments..For those who commented on China and Shanghai..You are definitely correct...For those who commented on Taiwan..it seems everyone says the same things..Great! I have a job lined up. Just hope I can save a little. I will probably do privates off and on. I feel good about my decision.
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Re: Big Mistake??

Postby PapaAzucar » 21 Apr 2012, 09:50

Hey rolltidemdj, send me a PM when you get to Taiwan. I have a question for you after you get to Taiwan. Thanks.
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