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Taiwan, the younger generation

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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Taiwan, the younger generation

Postby El_Caudillo » July 18th, 2016, 3:03 pm

Hi. I've read a lot of what Winston has written about Taiwan in the past and, while not agreeing with everything, found his thoughts quite interesting. I have only been in Taiwan for three months and have found many positives here - life is easier here than other places I've spend time in such as China, Indonesia, Argentina and Brazil. Basically things here are of first world standard and people are polite - that goes a long way. However, the thing that has struck me is the vast difference between young and old people. The old people seem, well, normal! I've been learning Mandarin off and on for fifteen years and can converse on most topics. The old people here are friendly, pretty well informed, in good shape and not shy to speak their minds. Many of them have traveled overseas, but also gone through tough times. I like taking to them, I can relate to them although we come from vastly different cultural backgrounds. I'm a thirty-eight year old white guy from New Zealand.

Then there are the people of my own age group on down. Well! They are caught up in their phones, but I know it's pointless to complain about that as it's universal. They don't look around at all though, they don't seem to have opinions (many of them have told me this themselves). They are fashionable, oh so fashionable, they love their trips to Milan and Paris to be photographed with the Eiffel tower...They are narcissistic, but don't seem to be sexual. They are the most conservative bunch I've seen - a worry because in China the young people are opening up and it's the middle-aged ones who are the conservatives. However, who can blame middle-aged people from China if they are f***ed up (middle-aged and above)? Think of the education they got and how they were cut off from the rest of the world. Their government put them through hell. The younger generation in China, while grossly materialistic, at least want to have a good time. Taiwan? Why are the youngsters so uptight? The economy is down, but they are hardly poor - the government hasn't restricted their access to information or travel. I don't get it? Off to do some hiking and talk to some old folk. Or is it just me? Have I got the young folks here wrong? Of course I'm painting with a broad brush.
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Re: Taiwan, the younger generation

Postby Rock » July 18th, 2016, 3:57 pm

El_Caudillo wrote:Hi. I've read a lot of what Winston has written about Taiwan in the past and, while not agreeing with everything, found his thoughts quite interesting. I have only been in Taiwan for three months and have found many positives here - life is easier here than other places I've spend time in such as China, Indonesia, Argentina and Brazil. Basically things here are of first world standard and people are polite - that goes a long way. However, the thing that has struck me is the vast difference between young and old people. The old people seem, well, normal! I've been learning Mandarin off and on for fifteen years and can converse on most topics. The old people here are friendly, pretty well informed, in good shape and not shy to speak their minds. Many of them have traveled overseas, but also gone through tough times. I like taking to them, I can relate to them although we come from vastly different cultural backgrounds. I'm a thirty-eight year old white guy from New Zealand.

Then there are the people of my own age group on down. Well! They are caught up in their phones, but I know it's pointless to complain about that as it's universal. They don't look around at all though, they don't seem to have opinions (many of them have told me this themselves). They are fashionable, oh so fashionable, they love their trips to Milan and Paris to be photographed with the Eiffel tower...They are narcissistic, but don't seem to be sexual. They are the most conservative bunch I've seen - a worry because in China the young people are opening up and it's the middle-aged ones who are the conservatives. However, who can blame middle-aged people from China if they are f***ed up (middle-aged and above)? Think of the education they got and how they were cut off from the rest of the world. Their government put them through hell. The younger generation in China, while grossly materialistic, at least want to have a good time. Taiwan? Why are the youngsters so uptight? The economy is down, but they are hardly poor - the government hasn't restricted their access to information or travel. I don't get it? Off to do some hiking and talk to some old folk. Or is it just me? Have I got the young folks here wrong? Of course I'm painting with a broad brush.


Very insightful post and great food for thought. I lived in Taiwan for many years myself. I will think it over and perhaps post again with some of my own ideas.
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Re: Taiwan, the younger generation

Postby Winston » July 19th, 2016, 12:06 pm

OP,
Yeah I agree with you. The old or elderly in Taiwan are very down to earth and easy to talk to and open minded. They will even listen to me if I talk to them about why the Earth may be flat. lol (a subject that is getting popular on YouTube)

But the young generation in Taiwan are totally different. Very stuck up, snobby, closed and antisocial. Very exclusive too. Not down to earth at all. They look for reasons to dislike you if you are too genuine or down to earth. Say the wrong thing, they ignore you and never reply to your texts again. But even if you say only cool/popular/politically correct things, still they ignore you and forget you, because they are flaky, flighty and superficial. Friends to them mean nothing. They will be polite one day and forget you the next.

Even the locals in Taiwan will agree with this observation. Yet no one online has the guts to talk about it. Maybe it's because of materialism spoiling them, or American culture.

I wrote a post and blog article about the Taiwan young generation before. See here:
http://blog.happierabroad.com/2012/01/myth-and-lie-of-taiwanese-young.html
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=31292

Btw, what did I write about Taiwan that you disagreed with? And how did you find this forum?

Also, you should know that politeness is often fake, whereas rudeness can be very genuine and honest. I prefer the latter.
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Re: Taiwan, the younger generation

Postby El_Caudillo » July 19th, 2016, 2:41 pm

Winston, if I remember correctly, you wrote somewhere about Taiwan having boring countryside and being an energy drainer. This is where I disagree with you. I'm in Taipei and find it easy to escape the city and find nice natural environments. In the mountains and by the river there is a plethora of wildlife - butterflies, squirrels etc (you won't see that in China). The architecture in the city itself sucks - but I don't find this urban environment as taxing as say Shanghai or Sao Paulo.

I just read your post on young people in Taiwan - yes, a lot of good points there and I enjoy your writing style. It's just stunning the conservatism - and I think the argument it is based on traditional Chinese culture is BS. Most young people here are not interested in Chinese culture - they have just been subconsciously subjugated into a kind of slavish Confucianism. As for the politeness being fake, I realize that, but I differ from you in that I prefer fake politeness to blatant rudeness. Mainland China with its pushing and shoving for example really does my head in. I do miss the opportunity to talk to more working class people that was the case for me in China though.

I have started to cold approach women on the street here, not really pick up, but damn I need to get the feel of what's going on. I ask them directions, even though I could just refer to my phone. Inevitably they will get their phone out and consult it so they can direct me. I then try and continue with a few pleasantries. What strikes me is that they never come back with the (universal question in Asia) 'where are you from?', which while tiring, at least shows some interest. I have have met about 50% mildly friendly women and 50% freaked out that someone is talking to them types. People really avoid contact though...they look everywhere but at you (as Winston has said) - so when approaching you must almost shout at them to get their attention. Then they will take their earphones out and so on...

I found some of your writing online when researching about Taiwan. Always good to find a dissident voice in the wilderness.
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Re: Taiwan, the younger generation

Postby Winston » July 19th, 2016, 3:02 pm

El_Caudillo,
Hi. Well having been on a tour of Arizona, Utah and Colorado, I've seen the best nature there is, even in the hidden back roads and off beaten path. So all the nature in Asia seems pale by comparison. I've never seen any good nature in Taiwan. Can you tell me where exactly? If come here to Chiayi, you won't find any wonderful nature. Too many insect in Taiwan forests anyway to enjoy them. You won't get the crisp air of the California Redwoods or the Pacific Northwest or Canada or Montana. The CA Redwoods are so clean that you can sit down and not feel dirty, or even eat off the floor. It's a very clean forest. Nothing like that in Asia that I know of, and definitely not in Taiwan. Well Taiwan has Alishan mountains, which is near Chiayi, with pine tree forests. But that's an exception.

Yeah I agree with you that Taiwanese lack curiosity. In most other countries, when you ask directions, people will ask where you are from. Taiwanese young people just don't care. They don't need to meet people or make friends. They just don't care. Even the girls in brothels act spoiled and bratty, as if they were from rich families. Not.

Taiwan just sucks for a single guy. You have to be young and connected. But even though, the girls are still super picky. Not down to earth at all.

Go to mainland China and you will see a huge difference. It's easier to talk to strangers there, including young women and they are more open and sociable. Ask Ethan_sg. Me and him approached hundreds of girls in China and there is a big difference for sure.

Also, I find that even if you meet people or make new friends in Taiwan, they tend to be superficial and forget you soon. Similar to making friends in the US. They aren't real friends and the next day they will usually forget you and ignore your messages or always be too busy to hang out or meet again.

Have you tried going to language exchange meetups on Meetup.com? I am kind of shy in groups because you have to be very politically correct to fit into a group, as we all know. That's how groups are. I'm better one on one. Rock is too.

How long have you been in Taipei? Have you been to any other cities? Rock was just there. You could have met him.
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Re: Taiwan, the younger generation

Postby momopi » July 19th, 2016, 6:15 pm

If you think they're glued to their cell phones now, just wait until Pokemon Go is released in TW. Hehehhehe.

El_Caudillo, if you're learning the language and want to see the local online community, you can check ptt:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PTT_Bulletin_Board_System
https://www.ptt.cc/index.bbs.html
https://www.ptt.cc/index.firstbbs.html <--- instructions

To access you'll need to use old school telnet and have Chinese fonts installed.

Relationship/dating discussion on PTT is the boy-girl board: http://boardreader.com/fp/_655702566/Boy_Girl_427020850.html
There's also a marriage board. I've not been on their telnet site for years however. I mostly look at the TW backpacker site for travel ideas around Taiwan: http://www.backpackers.com.tw/forum/

If you like visiting nature places around TW: http://www.backpackers.com.tw/forum/forumdisplay.php?s=02c6fe52c95f98b0b56c8c7845a67195&f=10
Look for 【景點】 and 【遊記】 sections.
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Re: Taiwan, the younger generation

Postby El_Caudillo » July 21st, 2016, 11:39 am

Winston, my best memories of Mainland China are from over a decade ago in the city of Dalian. It's a nice medium sized port city with Japanese built trams and a street of Tsarist era Russian buildings (some of which are rebuilds) I used to hang out on that Russian Street, eat BBQ and drink beer before heading the one popular foreigner bar in town. Russian girls down from Vladivostok, African students, card playing locals and of course the English teacher crowd all mixed it up at that place - enjoying five RMB beers. I liked the food, the cheap clothes and DVDs (they had movies going back to the 1920s!) and you could take a walk in the green hills or even go to the beach. Winter was bitter though. My salary as a teacher was more than enough and my apartment was of a decent size and quality. Girls would make themselves known to me I didn't have to put in any effort.

Well, fast forward to 2016 Taipei and things aren't quite the same for me. I went on a nice bike ride today and ate a lot of fruit and vegetables...Are you in Taiwan these days Winston? So far I've been to Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Keelung, Luodong and Fulong. The only meet up thing I did was a meditation class, it was full of foreign dudes - in fact a gay guy asked me out, which was weird. I've been to a few bars - but I'm not a big fan of that scene anymore. I agree with you that not even the foreigners here are not that easy going. I have an idea that some of the local women might actually be looking for someone interesting to talk to though.
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Re: Taiwan, the younger generation

Postby El_Caudillo » July 21st, 2016, 1:32 pm

Momopi thanks for the links, today I went biking out at Fulong.
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Re: Taiwan, the younger generation

Postby momopi » July 22nd, 2016, 6:51 am

El_Caudillo wrote:Momopi thanks for the links, today I went biking out at Fulong.


I think the music festival is on now from 07/22-07/24 over there:
http://club.mmweb.tw/mobile/83265
http://tour.ntpc.gov.tw/activity/2016hohaiyan/mobile/
https://youtu.be/DKjfa3yfALw
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Re: Taiwan, the younger generation

Postby Falcon » July 24th, 2016, 7:57 am

In Thailand, I keep ending up dating women who are about a generation older than myself. I am currently with a Thai woman who is 40. I'm 25 now.

The young urban millenial generation in Thailand is similar to youths in Taiwan. Older folks are much easier to connect with and seem normal. But I simply can't connect with many Thai university students who are my own age or younger. But in the Philippines, I can very easily connect with girls my own age.

People sometimes ask me if this intergenerational difference means there are lots of incompatibilities. But I find that dating young, urban, cliquish smartphone-addicted youths results in far more incompatibilities, whereas I mesh very well with women who are over 30.
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Re: Taiwan, the younger generation

Postby Winston » July 26th, 2016, 4:18 pm

El_Caudillo,

Some questions for you:

1. Do you feel any social connection in Taiwan? Do you feel accepted, validated, care for, by genuine warm friends?

2. Do you ever feel lonely in Taiwan? If so, how often?

3. What vibe do you get from people in Taiwan? Do you ever feel like something is off about people there? You can't talk to them the way you can in most countries. Know what I mean?

4. How many Taiwanese women have you dated? What would you say are the pros and cons of them?

5. So you are here just for work and money? When you only come to a country for work and money and don't fit in, isn't that draining to you? In general when you do something just for the money, you don't put your heart and soul into it. You gotta do something you love too, not just for the money. How can you stay in Taiwan just for the money? I certainly couldn't. It'd be a compromise of your integrity.

6. Do you have any male Taiwanese friends? Rock and I find that we have nothing in common with them.

In fact, most foreigners I see in Taiwan are either with a) other foreigners, or 2) westernized asians, or 3) girlfriends who dig white men.
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Re: Taiwan, the younger generation

Postby El_Caudillo » July 26th, 2016, 5:06 pm

1. Did you read this Winston (the orignal post no the reply dont know why this links to the bottom of the page) viewtopic.php?f=11&t=31351&p=263426#p263426
It outlines a couple of social interactions I had over the weekend and makes some important points about how I feel about things. I don't really have a social life here in Taipei, but feel a bit more excited when I get out of the city on the weekend.

2. I feel lonely quite a lot, but that is because quite a few social avenues aren't viable for me these days. I went to a meditation class basically for foreigners, it was full of guys and to cut a long story short one guy there asked me out. A young American guy. I didn't realize he was gay until the 'date' happened. I was of course polite but when he kept texting me after so I eventually stopped answering. Since he is one of the people who runs the meditation class I feel awkward going back. Gee I wish a twenty-nine year old woman would ask me out! Right now my work schedule is getting in the way of me joining a boxing class or touch rugby team. I should probably make a greater effort to go hiking with other people - but its actually something I love doing alone. The guys I work with are the typical ex-pat boozers, I used to be that way too but have changed. I hardly ever see anyone from work anyway as I go straight from my apart to clients offices.

3. People in Taiwan are polite but a little aloof. Girls do their best to avoid interaction.

4. I have been out with eight girls. One who was attractive, twenty-eight and dug me, but I could tell she wanted something serious only and her personality wasn't for me. I liked a woman of thirty-four with a good job and saw her twice - but she ended up being a bit vapid and flaky. All the others were pleasant and our dates were a bit bland - no connection, certainly no sexual tension. I've just started approaching girls on the street and to be honest although its the hard road I think it might be best for me. I also go into a lot of multinational companies to coach and teach their staff - often the secretaries are quite friendly - but that is just a pipe dream right now. Hey not even a kiss in three months! I was in Taiwan for three days a few years ago when I was here as a tour manager...I hooked up with a 22 girl at a bar on that trip and I think got false hopes haha.

5. My actual job of teaching senior(ish) staff in big companies how to write emails and stuff is quite OK. The hourly rate is good for Taiwan although I'm not as busy as my company led me to believe I would be. This month I've earned 1900 USD by working very much part-time. If I can make 3000 USD a month I might be interested in sticking round. I only signed a lease for six months. At the moment this isn't particularly more fulfilling than busting my arse in a more working class gig in NZ - given that I have had the HA experience in many other places over the last 15 years I'd have no trouble giving this up. What else can I say, I'm fit and healthy right now and got food on the table. I'm surviving not thriving.
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Re: Taiwan, the younger generation

Postby Falcon » July 26th, 2016, 7:13 pm

I just never really got along with most of my peers beyond being superficial acquaintances. Some of you older guys might have a bit of trouble imagining what it takes to fit in as a youth now. It means having to fit into a lot of dumb high-school-like cliques, social media cliques, social media mind games, flakiness, lack of real social connection, vapid social acquaintances, selfish me-me mentality, smartphone addiction, and all that nonsense. Things aren't that simple anymore for millenials. I envy the 1980's and earlier decades when young people could have more normal, more human interactions.

I am indeed surrounded by young Chiang Mai pretties at my school, who are considered by Thais to be some of the most beautiful women in the country. But they're mostly spoiled hi-so brats who are a real pain in the neck to deal with long-term.

You guys keep saying I might eventually want to trade her for a younger woman. But I keep ending up dating older women, not because I'm looking for them on purpose but because they somehow keep ending up with me.

If you're an older guy dating a younger girl, you're not expected with put up with any of this BS because they see you as from a different generation. But I'm expected to totally fit into all this BS because I'm a young Asian guy. If you don't, then you're out. You can get to know many people but you won't be able to crack into youth social circles, and thus will have more trouble dating girls your own age. Being able to crack into social circles is usually a prerequisite for getting into the university dating scene, so you're out if you don't fit in with their superficial culture.

My classmates in Thailand are not flirty rural girls from the rice paddies. They are bratty upper-middle-class Chiang Mai pretties who speak Thai with a very nasal, whiny accent and can't go anywhere without their phones. Yes they are cute, but how long do you think someone like me can stand being with one of them?

My girlfriend was born in 1975. It was a different planet back then, and I can deal with those folks easily. Many older Asians are very authentic and easy to talk to, but there's just something weird going on with the younger generation. They can be so superficial, selfish, and zombie-like. You see this generational gap going on in all the industrialized Asian countries like Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan too. Has anyone noticed this as well?
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Re: Taiwan, the younger generation

Postby momopi » July 27th, 2016, 3:25 am

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Re: Taiwan, the younger generation

Postby El_Caudillo » July 27th, 2016, 8:21 am

Another thing I noticed here is that people often think questions are used strictly to get answers rather than a way to promote conversation. If your motivation for asking something is unclear to them they will be on guard. They will often answer my questions with 'xiang bu chulai' - I can't think of anything. This seems to be a problem with the 20s, 30s white collar crowd. It's not everybody, but zombies do abound. What about people outside the main cities in Taiwan? They seem like more interesting characters to me. I liked Yilan and hope to hit Hualian, Taidong when summer ends.

By the way, another aside, I sat next to a table of two 18 year old girls in a coffee shop today (they weren't hot so calm down) they switched between Mandarin and west coast US English. What was funny was how much higher they pitched their voices when speaking mandarin. The contrast made their English sound almost masculine.
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