It's interesting that they insist on speaking English with you and perhaps other westerners you know. People I talk to around and about Taipei (restaurants, stores, drivers, banks, schools, mail carriers, repair people, etc.) almost always use Mandarin even if they are the first to speak. I wonder if they can somehow just tell that I'm a LT localized expat.ryanx wrote:I find a lot of Taiwanese girls very attractive physically...after nearly 5 years here I have not lost a single atom of my yellow fever. BUT the problems are language, culture and age.
It is a VERY difficult dating environment. The Chinese culture (with a somewhat Japanese flavor here) simply does not mix well with other cultures. It is not an inclusive or including culture. I think one of the reasons the great majority insist on using English with foreigners (Westerners and perceived Westerners and not their servants, maids and work horses from other Asian countries) is a kind of psychological wall they put up to not mix.
This is all pervasive and the girls feel the pressure too, even if they try to resist it. You never ever see foreigners (the few that are here) mixing freely and comfortably with the locals, laughing, joking, bantering.
I feel my presence always makes people a little bit stressed, uncomfortable and agitated (or maybe it is just me lol) very few act just relaxed and normal.
This kind of atmosphere is not exactly conducive to picking up girls.
If you add in the lack of language proficiency and age to mix (as is my case) then the prospects start diminishing. It is a shame really, because the girls here are so damn hot! but their culture, psychology, small island mentality, repressed sexuality and their fascination with all things superficial...all combine to deny you access.
Ce la vie.
Once in awhile, I do run into the person who actively speaks English to me. But usually, when they figure out its easier (faster) to communicate with me in Mandarin, they give up and revert to their native tongue. However, when I do come across someone who really wants to practice English with me (not common), I'm usually happy to engage them, especially if they have reasonable fluency or look cute in a miniskirt, joke!
For those who can stomach the cultural issues brought up by some here, I imagine Taipei is still a great dating environment for certain westerners in their 20s and those in their 30s who still look youthful. But, my personal experience is stale by now. It could be that Taipei has gone downhill in this aspect.
BTW, I do see mixed groups (western and Taiwanese) which seem to interact naturally sometimes, especially in unis and certain clubs or restaurants. Such groups usually seem to be comprised of people who are pretty young. What seems to be very common is seeing western guys who live in Taipei with a Taiwanese date, gf, or wife. I see this frequently whenever I go out in Taipei. So the group think might be more challenging but not necessarily dating.