Culture in Taiwan As We See It

Welcome to our World! We hope you enjoy your stay. We're friendly people who are busy and have three you are always welcome, but we don't guarantee you'll have a clean place to sit when you get here!

We thought we might take this opportunity to share some of the fun things we've learned since we've been here in taipei.

First of all...tones...if you want to learn the language, you have to learn the tones...otherwise you can say some very embarassing things!

It is okay to burp out loud, and slurp your soup, but don't lick your fingers, even if you eat at KFC!

Everything is good with corn.

Soup is eaten at the end of the meal and drinks aren't drunk during the meal, only after.

If it looks like it should taste sweet, it probably doesn't and if you think it shouldn't be sweet, it probably is.

If you are bigger than a size 6, you are fat.

Even if you're a Christian, it is best to learn the "tao" of traffic...this is the term used for how traffic "flows" in Taiwan. It means that you fill every available space with a vehicle and move without hitting each least we hope to not hit each other.

if you hear a truck coming down the street playing music, don't run out expecting ice's the garbage of our friends said you know you've lived in taiwan too long when you hear the music and no longer think of ice cream"

When you call your Chinese language teacher and ask her what "Wo bu ju tao" means and she says, "I don't know" it doesn't mean that you've goofed again in trying to repeat some phrase you've heard, it really means "I don't know" and if you call her again another day and ask what "bu dong" means and she says she doesn't understand, you're not mispronouncing it, it means "I don't understand"...believe it or not, both of these really did happen to me!

New Years is in February, Christmas is not a holiday, neither is Thanksgiving, but October 10 is Independence Day and April 5 is Tomb Sweeping Day and both are holidays.

Riding in a taxi improves your prayer life. So does raising 3 children on the 7th floor of an apartment building!

Killing mosquitoes improves your agility and eye-hand coordination. And did you know that you really can get used to their bites! We were amazed. Dave doesn't even get a red mark now, Terrie gets a small one for about 2 hours and the kids are similar. It's really cool...unless you are allergic to them, which some of our friends are. then, it's a big Ouch!

Learn to say "Ee dien dien" early on, because if you say hello (ni hau) and turn right (yo juan) to a taxi driver, they think you know Chinese and start speaking at about 90 miles per hour and see you looking perplexed, then they will ask you if you speak Chinese, and you say "ee dien dien" which means "just a little" and they smile and practice their English on you after that!

Blond-haired, cute little two-year-old girls can get free stuff everywhere they go. Annalyssa has gotten more free candy and stickers since we've been here just for smiling and saying "bye jien"...."dzai jien" is goodbye in Chinese.

If you live on the seventh floor or higher in a building, aftershocks from earthquakes can make you seasick.

Tile floors are like ice skating rinks when wet. And kitchen cabinets are no help for stability because they are not attached to the wall.

One should never injure any appendage in this country, because you need all you can get to walk to the grocery store, walk to the bus stop, walk to the mrt, walk to the church, walk, walk, walk and carry, carry, carry everything home!

Summer in Taiwan...even you can experience it...go into your bathroom and turn on the hot water in the shower full blast with the door closed...keep all your clothes on so that they can get damp and stick to you. Now, turn on your hairdryer and blow it in your face. Next, run in place really fast until you've broken a good sweat. There, now you can feel like you've taken a quick trip to Taipei in the summer.

Winter in Taiwan...go sit outside on the sidewalk when the temperature is just about 40 degrees or a little lower. But you must be wearing slightly damp clothes...remember, it is humid here and rains a lot. Now, sleep there. That is what it is like...we have no heaters in our houses! And we have cement walls and tile floors. Of course, if you bundle up, it is quite comfortable. We also added two space heaters to our house to make it bearable.

The rest of the year is pretty great here. But always carry an umbrella, especially when shopping in Tien Mu...don't ask us why, but it seems everytime we go shopping there and forget an umbrella, we get rained on! If you do forget your umbrella you may get to use one of the local idioms meaning "Like a chicken that fell into the soup pot" meaning you are soaked! If you continually ignore people telling you to take your umbrella you may learn another local idiom "Like playing piano for a cow" meaning you don't appreciate what they are trying to teach you.

The American Club is a wonderful place! They have childcare! We go there and eat Chinese Kungpao Chicken while the kids play...yes, we eat Chinese food at the American Club...everyone thinks we're crazy, but it is the best dish they have in our opinion.

Stinky tofu lives up to its name!

You can be a nightowl here and never be bored. Night markets and 24 hour restaurants, stores, and clubs make it exciting. Swensens is open 24 hours here too!

Taxi drivers think you're crazy when you speak Spanish to them. Well, what can I say, the first thing that popped into my mind was Spanish when trying to answer in a foreign language.

However, La Cuca Rocha is becoming one of my favorite songs to sing, especially when walking on the streets at night. They grow them big here, you know! (one of the advantages to living on the 7th floor, by the way, is that they tend to stay on the ground and basement levels the most)

When the power goes out, you get a lot of good exercise....who needs a stairmaster!

Another favorite keep in shape exercise is learning to use a chinese bathroom facility...knee bends....enough said?

You can survive without a stove and an oven if you really put your mind to it. We did for several months but are very thankful for the stove we now have.

Hello either love it or hate it...few people are neutral on the subject.

Craft Stores, Wal-Mart, Radio Shack, etc. are luxuries we will never again take for granted.

As Rachelle remarked when we got off the plane....there sure are a lot of Chinese people here.

And as Nathan remarked...They keep speaking Chinese at me!

But most importantly,

you will never meet nicer, more friendly people than in Taiwan.

It is a place that is fun, exciting, and interesting all the time!

Come visit us and find out!

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