Skip to main content

Going To Hong Kong

And so the time has finally come for me to say good-bye to Taiwan for a longer period of time: tomorrow I'll be moving to Hong Kong. I must admit that it was really hard for me to write the previous post, because I am so excited and couldn't concentrate. 

I will be living in one of those huge buildings where thousands of people house (I will post pictures when I have the chance). And I will experience and explore the life of this amazing metropolis.

On the one hand I feel relieved. Somehow I just couldn't stay in Taiwan any more. Although the country and its culture as such are very interesting, and although I tried to understand and learn as much as possible, I am probably not very good at coping with the environment here. I want to give you an example, just to vent my anger a little, if you don't mind.

I have already written in another post about the habit of many Taiwanese people to cancel meetings as they please, giving just a short notice. I am sorry guys, I can't help - it just gets on my nerves. Of course, not everybody is like this, but as far as my personal experience is concerned, the great majority of the people I've met here do this. If you have other experiences, please let me know and help me change my mind. 

Anyhow, a few days ago a friend of mine saw on my Facebook page that I was going to move to Hong Kong and asked me if I had time to meet. I said yes and she suggested to meet on Wednesday. Then, on Tuesday morning, she cancelled. "Okay, no problem," I said, "do you have time another day?"
"I have time either on Thursday evening or on Friday evening," she replied. Fine, I chose Friday.
Then, again, on Thursday she said that she had no time. 
Well, that's not such a big deal, but please, try to respect other people's time. In the past I used to be patient. I would have tried to meet her. But this kind of things happen so often, and I simply can't get used to it, I find it too rude and disrespectful. I don't mind if it happens once or twice, but there must be a limit, especially if you are the one who asks to meet. 

Anyway, I won't mention this thing any more, but I needed to "expose" this bad habit. Which, among other things, shows that politeness can mean different things depending on personal preference or/and culture.

Apart from this incident, there is of course the problem of having too many memories here. I had the bad idea to go and have lunch at Shida night market today, where I went with my ex girlfriend. It will be a good thing not to see these places full of memories for a while. 

Comments

  1. i am following with interest your blog, but found puzzling the absence of comments, especially given the quality of your posts. Also quite interesting is the initial choice of Taiwan as a start point to living in Asia. Not many choose Taiwan, except perhaps for working reasons, and that's a pity because Taiwan in my opinion has a lot to offer culturally and socially to a coming foreigner than mainland. Being married with a Chinese mainland woman, and having coming regularly from more than ten years there, i can see an increase of an inward-looking mentality, an unwillingness to look and see and study what's good in the outside world that can be imported and used, all replaced by a bellicose and inflammatory rhetoric, that in reality masks a deep insecurity about the role the country is taking in world affairs. On the other side Taiwan has a vibrant society, a lively intellectual and political environment and a still viable economy, with deep links with the western world. God only knows what would have been of China if the Communists were defeated rather than KMT in 1949, all I can say from what i've heard from my wife family is they passed a about 30 years enduring hard work and food scarcity, and while now they can live quietly and more safely than before still they are witnessing the relentless pursuit of riches and affirmation that the PCC is allowing to anyone to remain unchallenged in their power.
    Best of wishes for your staying in HK, here you will find a society that, after more than 10 years from the handover is deeply reflecting on their role within the motherland, and with the consternation of many here and in China they are increasingly looking to their colonial past rather than adhere to Beijing propaganda. Asia is becoming the centre of the world again, and HK is one of the places to be: you could not have had it better.
    (e ora in italiano: auguri di nuovo per il trasferimento ad HK e mi auguro di leggere post altrettanto interessanti di quelli che hai scritto sinora su TW)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Luigi,

    thanks for your comment, for your compliment, and for sharing your view: )

    To be honest, I, too, would like to see more comments on my blog. I don't know why, people send me a lot of private messages instead, which, of course, makes me happy, so it would be really rude to tell them to stop writing to me and comment here.

    As you can read in my last post, I have already spent my first day in Hong Kong, So far it's definitely less "honeymoon"-like than the previous two times, when I stayed at a hostel and met a lot of people, and I also hung out a lot with Hong Kong friends. Today, I just went to the Central Library to check literature about Hong Kong for the next posts. Pretty lame...

    (E adesso in italiano: spero che i miei prossimi articoli siano interessanti, ma ci vorra' del tempo. Di solito, prima di affrontare un tema, oltre che a basarmi sulle mie esperienze personali o sulle interviste che faccio, cerco anche di leggere qualche libro. E devo ammettere che, essendomi finora concentrato su Taiwan e la Cina continentale, non conosco HK particolarmente bene)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Living in Taiwan: Seven Reasons Why It's Good to Be Here

Chinese New Year can be a pretty boring time for a foreigner. All of my friends were celebrating with their families, and since I have no family here, nor have I a girlfriend whose family I could join, I had nothing special to do. Shops and cafes were closed - apart from big chains like McDonald's or Starbucks, which were overcrowded anyway. So I had a lot of time to think.
On Saturday evening I went out to buy my dinner. While I was walking around, I heard the voices of the people inside their homes, the sounds of their New Year celebrations. Then I suddenly asked myself: "What on earth are you doing here? Why are you still in Taiwan?" 
Before I came to Taiwan, some Taiwanese friends of mine had recommended me their country, highly prasing it and going so far as to say that Taiwan is a "paradise for foreigners" (bear in mind that when I say foreigners I mean 'Westerners'). 
"It's easy for foreigners to find a job," they argued. "Taiwane…

How Conservative Is Taiwan? - 5 Cases of Sexuality in Business, Marketing and Media

Is Taiwan a conservative society? Are Taiwanese people prude, family-oriented, and faithful to their partner?
Before going to Taiwan, basing my opinion on what Taiwanese had told me, I would have answered all these questions with yes. But after living there for some time, I began questioning my assumptions. 
In many of my posts I have tried to explain some features of the Chinese/Taiwanese family which make it clear that every Western perspective on East Asia should take into consideration the different values and social structures that the Chinese-speaking world has developed over the centuries.
In this post, I would just like to mention a few interesting cases of liberal sexual conduct and the objectification of the female body, which challenge the image of Taiwan as a prude society. 
One day I was walking around the German city of Potsdam, near Berlin, with a Taiwanese. She often told me that Taiwanese people were conservative, Taiwanese girls naive and innocent. But on the other hand,…

How Is Customer Service In Taiwan? - My Thoughts Before And After Living In Taiwan

Before I went to Taiwan I had a lot of expectations regarding customer service there, mainly for two reasons.
First of all, I hated customer service in Europe. Having lived in Italy and Germany for several years and having spent time in Greece, the UK and other European countries, I noticed that across the continent a lot of shop assistants are indifferent or rude to customers. Of course, that is based on my experience and on that of my friends, and it refers only to episodes I witnessed or heard about. 
Let me tell you just a few examples. Once my internet provider in Germany changed my contract without my consent. When I went to their shop, I was yelled at and threatened with a lawsuit right away. Later I quit that company, but the point is, whether I made a mistake or not (and I think I did not), they should have cleared up the matter in a nice way instead of being so aggressive. 
One day I was in my university cafeteria, and I saw a student leave his trey with food on a table and go …