Taiwan From Foreign Eyes

One month in Taipei and I’ve learned a lot. 
A lot about the city, Taiwanese people and myself.

I hope to share a few of these lessons in today’s post. 

In my most recent live show with Homey Hostel, I took a 
stroll around the block. Starting off at 50 Lan with a classic 
milk tea bubble tea, owner, Kelly, and I began our journey.

We passed by a few local restaurants where you can see the 
well-known cheap and affordable meals Taiwan is known for. 

For less than 5 USD you can get a full belly. Complete with vegetables

and a protein source, whether it be tofu or meat, you won’t be disappointed.

Typical of Asian cuisine, appearance is just as important as the taste. 

That’s why I wasn’t surprised to see meat hanging in the window of some shops. 
You can see grilled chicken alongside roasted duck and shiny pork. 
All glistening waiting for your ready consumption.

And after your meal you can wash it down with some bubble tea. 
50 Lan isn’t the only place you can find the tapioca ball filled drinks. 
There are a number of tea shops that will hit the spot right around Taipei Main Station.

After passing by some Taiwanese traditional breakfast that is available even 
in the late afternoon, we came upon the Museum of Contemporary Art. 
Inspired by the impact art can have on how we interpret history, I spoke on the 
tenuous relationship between China and Taiwan.

Where most people in Asia understand or have heard about the historical tension 
their parents or grandparents experienced, they don’t let it affect their basic friendships 
with each other. The governments of the various countries may be trying to save face by
protecting what they deem historical integrity, but the everyday person doesn’t care. 
When you meet someone from another country, you don’t ask them about their 
cultural background before getting to know them.

This was a great realization on my part, because you often see cultural clashes 
between different Asian countries in the news.
But once you get on the ground and start talking to the people you realize they could care less. 
They just want to travel and get to know their neighbors.

During this time walking around the city, I also came to realize some things about myself. 
You’ll often hear about Taiwanese people’s kindness. Some of it seemed to have rubbed off 
on me as well. I noticed that I have become more generous. Since I’ve been in Taipei, 
I’ve become more willing to give without expecting anything in return.

Whether you believe in altruism or not, kindness costs nothing. 
People from the West are accustomed to giving something in return for another thing. 
Which is why you often see tourists suspicious about Taiwanese people being so nice to them.

It’s the same genuine feeling I felt while getting my hair did at the local hair salon a couple 
of weeks ago. Speaking of, we passed by the same hair salon the day of the live video. 
And auntie was there with a fresh haircut, a newspaper in her hands and a big smile on her face.

Overall during my time in Taipei, I noticed these things about Taiwanese people→

People are kind.

People are generally patient.

People are generally content with their balanced lifestyles.
There was always a sense of genuine care about others rather than just trying to be 
accommodating or looking to fulfill some type of duty on part of representing Taiwanese people.
This gave me a sense of welcome. A feeling that I could live here long term.

I’m grateful for the people I’ve met here. And I look forward to coming back.

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