From two other Missionaries in the past who validated my observations as well:
I just finished reading your article....
The Repressive Singularity of Traditional Asian/Oriental Mentality
I came to Taiwan 37 years ago as a missionary. I've been either in Taiwan, Hong Kong, or China for 33 of those years. Whereas I am not a "free spirit" like you (Hey, I'm a missionary with all the hazards thereunto apertaining!), yet your take on cultural analysis was very much similar to many of my own observations.
In a few days I'm going to be "orienting" four foreign couples (one from US, two from Australia, one from Philippines). They are more or less clueless about Taiwanese and Chinese culture. The 26 pages you wrote will choke them. Yet, I found what you wrote true to my experience. I will probably (someday) shorten your ideas, but for now I just wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts.
PS When did you write this?
Subject: Married to a Taiwanese woman
My name is Murray, I'm an Australian and white, I live in Taiwan and I'm Married to a Taiwanese woman. My wife's name is Kelly (sorry I can't type in Chinese just yet).
I was reading your ideas and views here http://www.happierabroad.com/Asian_Mentality.htm
and I have to agree, what you have written is pretty much smack bang on target.
When I first arrived in Taiwan I couldn't speak any Chinese (Mandarin). My wife (then GF) would have to translate for me or just simply answer first without telling me the question.
Since then, I have learnt to speak Chinese and I must say, some days I think I would be better off without knowing what Taiwanese people say. Within 6 months my Chinese was at a basic level, that's when I started getting asked "how much do you earn"? I was asked this by my wife's mum (mom) everyday and it became rather annoying. I know other foreigners get the same questions as me.
I have heard "you're too fat, lose some weight" and "Don't drink too much ...... or don't eat too much that" almost every second day.
My private affairs seem to be family affairs, and family affairs are nothing to do with me since I'm white. My wife's sister wouldn't acknowledge me in anyway, even saying hello was out of the question.
Nowadays, My family-in-law accept me and allow me more freedom. I think this is mainly due to the fact I have a strong personality and I don't do anything that I can't see the logic in doing.
A quick example of my life now.
I'm sick right now. I think I'm sick because I ate some night market food that was bad. My wife constantly yells at me and tells me that I should do more exercise and I wouldn't get sick. Then she will start asking "Have you taken your Medicine yet"? "Do you want to see a doctor"? ( my 3rd visit to a doctor in 2 days) or even "Why should I take care of you if you don't take care of yourself"?
My wife can be very caring and compassionate, but if I give cause for the smallest discomfort, she will start a torrent of verbal abuse and usually end with "Why don't we just get a divorce"? ( in my six months of marriage, I have heard this particular line about 30 times). Of course, the next day she is back to being the sweet innocent wife that only loves and cares for her husband.
Thank you for reading this far Winston. Your words and ideas have let me know, I'm not the only one who is seeing and feeling this, it's common all throughout asia ( or the orient).
Australian, 25 yrs old, lived in Taiwan 2 years, 6 months.
_________________Happier Abroad Grand Ebook
Meet Foreign Women
"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell