Thursday, May 16, 2013

啤酒,素食,辣妹 (beer, vegetarian food, babes.)

In my ignorance, I had assumed Taiwan would be almost identical to China in terms of culture and people. Wherein I reveled in the chaos and lawlessness of China's lax social culture, I find myself watching my manors here. In China, you can smoke anywhere, drink anywhere, spit, and yell, and scream at wait staff, and generally make an ass out of yourself, and  it's socially acceptable. I thought that was going to be the case here, but it's certainly not. I learned that this is attributed to Taiwan being a Japanese colony for the first part of the 20th century, until Mao took over China and made a mess of things and the old regime fled to Taiwan and it became infused with Chinese. So the Japanese behavior became the social norm, even though it's no longer under Japanese control. People are friendly here, and more outgoing than what is normal in Japan (so I'm told), but don't have the abrasiveness and inhibition of the parts of China I was in five years ago. Nobody seems to care that I'm a westerner. In China, people would constantly shake my hand and take my picture as I walked down the street. Here, they just nod and smile, if anything. As for me, I'm biding me time for a few days as Jason finishes up his work before we go exploring. I went on his roof yesterday and climbed up the tower to the tip top of the building and started reading Haruki Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World. Bringing a little of Japan back to Taiwan.

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