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Showing posts with the label society

Customer Service in Taiwan: A Day At Guanghua Digital Plaza

When I lived in Germany many Taiwanese I met there told me that service in Taiwan is much better than in Europe. " The customer is king ," they often said. I heard this opinion so many times that I obviously came to believe it. Since I myself considered service in Germany and Italy - the two countries in Europe where I lived longest - overall pretty bad, I was looking forward to coming to Taiwan and experiencing an entirely new level of customer service. I will write in another post about the myth of Taiwan's customer service. Here I will just share my experience at Guanghua Digital Plaza (光華商場) which is, I believe, the most famous consumer electronics market of the Taiwanese capital.  I'd been thinking about buying a new laptop for quite some time. Today my old one was so slow I could hardly use it, and I decided to buy an "emergency" laptop before purchasing a better one in Europe (if you're wondering, computers in Taiwan are not cheaper than

A Taiwanese Man Used LINE App to Find Mistresses And Then Cheated Them

Recently the famous smartphone application LINE has turned into a platform for prostitution and other illegal and semi-legal activities connected with the sex trade. LINE is hugely popular in Taiwan, with around 16 million users (out of a population of 23 million). The potential for profit has been soon recognised by businesses, but also by people who engage in unlawful pursuits.  According to Apple Daily , a man surnamed Lai, who claimed to be an entrepreneur from Taichung, used the LINE app " meet people " to contact potential mistresses and then cheat them out of their money.  A 26-year-old girl (XiaoY) told the paper that last month Lai had contacted her through LINE and offered to "provide for her" (包養,  meaning that he wanted to take her as his mistress). The practice of taking a mistress is popular among wealthy men both in Taiwan and in China (more on this in my next post). She thought that he was a weirdo, but when he said that he was a well-of

Video of Chinese Mother Beating Her Child Sparks Outrage

Is corporal punishment a good method for teaching children how to behave? Or is it just a way for impatient and frustrated parents to unload their negative emotions on defenceless children?  Just a few days ago I was walking on a street in Taipei and I saw a mother who kept yelling at her young daughter. Then she suddenly hit the child across the face so hard that her cheek immediately reddened. I do not know exactly why the mother was so upset, but slapping her daughter in the middle of the street and in front of everybody doesn't seem to me a good way to teach anything. Passers-by, of course, saw what happened, and some looked slightly shocked. But as this is considered a private family matter no one would have dared interfere or even show too much attention. The child will have to learn to submit. As I have explained in one of my posts, corporal punishment used to be common in East Asia and is still relatively widespread, though not as much as before. However, mild for

A Loss of Face for Taiwan? - 2 Taiwanese Tourists Damage Hotel in Japan

I am Taiwanese and I am working in a hot spring hotel in Japan. Our hotel cares a lot about Taiwanese people and we are very nice to them. Our hotel hopes to offer them a top-level service, and we also care about the habits and customs of our Taiwanese guests. However, yesterday evening two Taiwanese guests have repaid the kindness of the Japanese this way [shows the pictures of wrecked furniture]. Four Japanese-style doors and two windows in one of the rooms have been damaged. When we told the boss's wife about it she was so angry that she cried.... This is a passage from a Facebook post published by a Taiwanese user who calls herself MikiJuan . The post was soon shared thousands of times. Several Taiwanese newspapers wrote articles about it. Many netizens reacted angrily. " Taiwanese abroad should not do things that put Taiwan to shame "; " Tell us the names of these people so we can understand what kind of parents and schools taught them to do this sort of th

Life as a Foreigner in Taiwan - Of High School Students Interviewing Foreigners

In my post about my first impressions after coming back to Taipei from Hong Kong, I mentioned that sometimes Taiwanese high school students interview "foreigners" (meaning, I guess, Westerners) on the street. This is a kind of school assignment in Taiwan which is apparently very popular. Well, today it happened to me again. I was sitting at Yamazaki, on the campus of National Taiwan University. I was studying Chinese; two days ago I bought a silly book at 7-11, called "這次是我愛上妳" (This time it's me who's fallen in love with you). I chose it because the books from regular bookstores are too difficult to read, and the other books from 7-11 are manga or horror books, which I don't like. So I simply picked this one.  As a man, I feel pretty ashamed to read this sort of stuff which is obviously made for a female audience; but anyway, back to the topic. I was studying Chinese, when suddenly I saw three people, a guy and two girls, coming towards me with