Scuba wrote:Thanks for the suggestions. Clearly the consensus is : let it go
& avoid any confrontation.
Vorkosigan's post made me feel that I have been living in somewhat
of a vacuum since moving to Taiwan 18 months ago. When people
(from outside) ask me what I like here, one of the comments I always make is that I have never once felt physically threatened. Taipei always seems safer to me than most of the major cities I have visited around the world.
Vorkosigans experience certainly challenges that view.
Most people never live here long enough to be physically threatened, so it never occurs to them it can happen. It just depends what kind of ill luck you have. The gangs are discrete in Taipei; in Taliao outside Kaohsiung where I was threatened three years ago, the twon is overrun with gangs. Just last month a group of mobsters on a spree molested somebody in Taliao, on route 25 (Fenglin Rd). A second unfortunate saw the incident, so they followed him from Taliao to Fengshan, shooting at him with a pistol all way along 25 (but missing). Finally he got away. The police claimed they couldn't find the offenders on the road -- but 25 is more than just the main drag between Taliao and Fengshan, it's really the ONLY WAY to get there. I think a lot of foreigners are simply unaware of the high level of violence in this society. Many have never seen the motorcycle packs that from time to time ride around Kaohsiung at night in groups of up to 200, attacking passers-by.
Another thing is the police don't tell you. Again, when we lived in Taliao, a nutcase was slashing women in front of the 7-11 by our house, was arrested, imprisoned, served his sentence, let out, and promptly went back to his old tricks. He got 7 or 8 women before they caught him again. Point is, the police never told anyone in the neighborhood about it. There's no idea of "community." I know of many stories like this. But why bum you all out?