Thursday, December 13, 2012

Polite or not polite...who is right?

Are you polite?  Are you impolite?

People here in Taiwan think quite differently about eating food together than they do back home.  They see it as really rude and not polite if you don't eat what your offered, regardless if you like it or not.  

There have been a lot of occasions so far when people think I am not polite just because I won't eat certain things I know I don't like.  I find this behaviour very odd.  For example I really don't eat a lot of sea food.  I like cod, tuna, a bit of salmon now and then other than that not much else.  In Taiwan they eat loads of seafood, especially prawns, shrimps and clams.  I hate prawns and shrimps in England so why would that change when I came to Taiwan, it does not.  It is still the same I don't like what I don't like and I cannot just decide to eat it because people will think I am not polite.  

If you kept trying to force people in England to eat food when they have told you so many times they don't want any or don't like it, then that would be seen as not polite.  People would also get very angry that you kept asking, and insisting that they should eat it, or try it.

A few months ago I went out with work to a beautiful place in the mountains for a meal with work.  I had a stinking hang over, and the place we went to had no menu, I was hoping they would have something I like.  They didn't have anything, actually it was mainly loads of raw fish.  As I have already told everyone I don't eat most fish to begin with because I don't like it.  So the fact this was not even cooked fish, and I had a stinking hangover made it all worse.  It was also boiling hot, and the air con didn't seem to be helping me one bit.  As we progressed through the meal, there was not one dish I could eat.  They did however keep insisting I should try it, even though I know I don't like it because I have tried it before.

I didn't think this would of been a great problem but when I went to work the next day I got politely informed that I was rude for not eating anything.  I really don't know how me not eating anything effects any one else's enjoyment of their food but that's really how it is here!

My girlfriend keeps telling me if I don't like anything I should tell them I am allergic to it, and this would make everything so much easier.  I think though why should I lie about something so trivial that really effects no one else but myself?  If I go out for a staff meal together and don't like the food I am gonna be the one losing out because I leave hungry not them!

Anyway, the point of this post is who is right?  Who is wrong? 

Back home it is not polite to force people to eat what they don't like, or make them feel like shit that they don't want to eat the food.  

Here in Taiwan it is the opposite, people see it as not polite if you don't eat anything because you don't like it.  They think your being rude by not trying some, and being too fussy about the food.  Also they think your not grateful!

Discuss...let me know your opinions!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The best place in Taipei to................take a dump!!!

So as most foreigners will know, a lot of the toilets in Taipei are squat toilets.  These are difficult to use when you first arrive in Taiwan especially when you are used to sitting on the toilet reading the newspaper while taking a dump!

I want to give you some advice so you can manage to get used to these kind of squat toilets:

First of all, when you arrive make a mental list of your favourite toilets, and know the fastest way to get there.  This way you will never need to bother with the dreaded squatter!

If you can't make it to one of your favourite toilets and have a mad dash to any.  When you open the door and go inside to your horror it is a squatter, don't panic head inside and watch out where you put your feet!  You don't want to fall inside the toilet now do you!  

Second, take off your pants, and boxers.  This way there will be no potential for embarrassment when you leave the toilet.  You don't want to have any kind of blow back or dribbles onto your pants and then have shit all up the back of your pants and arse!  This would not go down well anywhere, imagine if you didn't even realise!!!

Make sure you go inside with some toilet roll, as a lot of public toilets in Taipei City have the toilet roll outside the actual toilet for some reason.  This is odd, the first time I rushed into a toilet I didn't take any toilet roll inside and had to pull up my pants without wiping to go and look for toilet roll, you don't want this to happen to you!

Lastly when you leave, don't forget your pants and boxers, this would be a bit stupid but if someone left without any pants on i'm sure they would be in some kind of trouble ha!

Onto my favourite place in Taipei to take a shit.  I think the best place to take a shit is in the big massive Eslite bookstore by Taipei 101.  Sometimes I only go there for a shit.  This might sound crazy but their toilets are superb.  There is loads of room inside, there very very clean, and they have loads and loads of buttons on the side to play with while your busy.  One of the buttons even heats the toilet seat.  I don't know why it is needed in Taipei because it is normally hot all year around.  It is a novelty all the same that I enjoy. 

Here is a foreigner survival list for the dreaded squat toilet.

1.  Only use in cases of emergency
2.  Remember where your favourite toilets are, make mental notes of how to get there quickly.
3.  Don't forget to take in some toilet roll, as sometimes it is outside.
4.  Be careful not stand inside the toilet.  You might think this is stupid, but when it is a hole in the floor it is quite possible.
5.  Take off pants and boxers in case of any blow backs, or dribbles down your pants.  You don't wanna leave the toilet covered in shit do you!
6.  When you leave, don't forget your pants and boxers!  They are essential! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Being late in Taiwan is not the same as being late in England.

So as you all know, I work in the morning now as well as the evening.  I want to inform you guys all about one thing in particular.  That being late in Taiwan is certainly not the same as being late back home in good old England. 

I am currently working at Kid Castle, and I start work at 9.30am.  This is all well and good but they class me as being late if I am not there by 9.00am!  I would not mind, but they start to deduct 20pence (10nt) per minute if I am not there by 9.00!  

This would not be a major problem if I was getting paid from 9.00, but no I only start getting paid from 9.30.  In my eyes this is an utter utter joke.  

This has not only happened in Kid Castle it has happened in every kindergarten I have worked in, in Taiwan so it is a common thing here.

Another bizarre point which happened while I have been working at kindergarten is this:

I clock in before 9.00 so that I don't get fined any money, then I head back out to have my breakfast.  One morning the boss told me I cannot leave the school once I have clocked in.  I told her off course I can go to Seven Eleven and get my breakfast I am not being paid any money...her reply was that is irrelevant!  Jeez!!!  Don't worry everyone I still go and get my breakfast anyway because the rule is also an utter joke!

The Taiwanese employees follow the rules blindly and listen to everything the boss says, if more people were like me and realised that they are taking the piss with utterly stupid rules than maybe something would change, but it won't because like I said the Taiwanese employees are afraid to even go out after they have clocked in and even sometimes ask me to get them coffees and their breakfast. 

It is still worth doing however because I get quite a lot of extra money for two hours per morning.  This issue just bugs me a lot though, like I am their slave or something!!

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