I have spent the last 18 months living in Taiwan as an English teacher. It has been an enjoyable experience. I try to stay as positive as possible. But, there are things that can still really drive me nuts about living in Taiwan.
#1 The Food!
The first thing people ask me about living in Taiwan is how I like the food. I have had some really rough periods. I went through a stage where I was literally gagging like my dad used to gag about chicken croquettes when I was a kid. It is just too greasy, and bland for me.
Sometimes, it drives me nuts when people don’t even look at you when they get in the elevator. I get the fact that they are trying to be respectful. It still gets to me.
#3 Living next to a school
After a rough night out, the last thing I want to hear at 7 a.m. is a school bell. But, I live right next to a school. The bell starts ringing at 7 a.m. and doesn’t stop until 10 p.m. You would think Saturdays would be a rest day, right? Not so fast my friend. There is a special event almost every Saturday.
#4 The language
Chinese is a really freaking difficult language to learn. I came here under the assumption that since I learned Spanish so easily, Chinese would be a breeze. Not so much. I struggle 18 months later
#5 Lack of live music
I live in a smaller city which adds to the problem. I really miss being able to see a live band a few nights of the week.
#6 Later drinking times
Happy hour does not exist here in my city People often don’t go out until about 10 pm or later. This isn’t extremely late. I still miss my afternoon bar/live music days like in the states.
#7 The stares
I remember when I first got here. I thought it was really stupid that people would complain about this. Now, I am at the point that I stare back and yell “foreigner” back at people for staring at me.
Taiwan challenges me every day. That is why I am still here. I completely aware that a lot of this stuff sounds completely racial, and culturally ignorant. It still can be hard to not let this stuff get in the way of having a good time which is essentially what we are all here to do.