Taiwan people are great! I am a newbie here hailing from the US heartland, and although I speak no Chinese whatsoever, I’m having the time of my life making new friends both with my Western colleagues and the local people. Now, I realize that I am probably riding the high point of the cultural shock curve as I have never before traveled abroad; well, my former husband and I did take the kids camping in Canada once, but that doesn’t really count as it’s more like crossing a state line with border guards. However the openness of this society astounds me.
What I really can’t believe is the number of local men asking me out on dates.
Every time I encounter a Taiwan man who is able to speak English, the first thing he does is to ask me out for lunch, dinner or a snack. For example, yesterday afternoon I was late for work, so I hailed a cab. As soon as I got into the cab, the driver asked me if I had already eaten lunch. As a matter of fact, I hadn’t because I had been in such a rush to get to work. When I told him that I still hadn’t eaten, he suggested eating at a beef noodle restaurant near the English school where I work. I really did want to accompany him for lunch, but as I was running late, I couldn’t.
Furthermore, yesterday was not the first occurrence of this kind. It happens on buses, in markets, at the park – everywhere. Each time I accept the invitation, the local man nervously obliges me. However, even though I do give out my telephone number on these dates, I have yet to receive a call-back. I guess Taiwan men are more timid than US men.
Why do you think these men aren’t calling back?
— Midwest Mom
Dear Midwest Mom;
The question, “Have you eaten?” (你吃飽了嗎?), is just a standard greeting in the Chinese language. These men were probably quite shocked that you actually expected to go out with them to eat. But you go girl! Sooner or later, I’m sure you’ll get a call-back.
— The things people do for face, MeiGui