Monday, March 16, 2009

Only in Taiwan...

When I went downstairs last Sunday morning, someone had spread their recently washed laundry over all the scooters outside our building. Hardly anyone uses clothes driers here, so most balconies usually have a slew of laundry hanging to dry. But I've never seen laundry just chillin on a row of scooters. As an American with an ingrained sense of individuality and personal space, my first reaction was to think, "How dare someone presume to hang their laundry on my property!" But then I remembered that I was in Taiwan and that nobody really gave a crap about these kinds of things. After all, what was the harm? It was just kind of annoying having to extricate my scooter from underneath this person's sheets, but that's the type of thing that you're not supposed to mention for the sake of social harmony.

Here's Ian trying to get his scooter out from underneath a comforter without making it fall on the ground.

I asked my student if this was normal, and she said it was. She's Taiwanese so I'll take her word for it!


  1. I am Taiwanese too, but I have never seen that kind of things before.


  2. Abbie,

    How are you doing? I didn't know you still read my blog. I'm so glad you commented because I think most of my students are afraid to comment because they aren't confident about their English. So, I guess this laundry situation isn't normal then. Oh well.

  3. Cahleen: This is hilarious. I can't imagine having this, but certainly they have a different idea of personal space here, huh.

  4. Sandy,

    Wow, they don't even do this in Neipu! =)

  5. Hi Hi,

    Haha hilarious!!... I have been reading your blogs and I must say your perception on living in Taiwan makes me smile and appreciate such a beautiful country!...Thank you for making your blog such a worthwhile read!!!

    oh! Similar to this in the stairwell, my neighbour would put his raincoat over my bike to dry. I guess Taiwanese regard places outside your apartment as common space.

  6. Hi Nick!

    Thanks for stopping by. Your nice compliment warms my heart! I think what you said about Taiwanese regarding anything outside one's apartment as public space is correct. I guess this can be a good thing, because this convenient little rule applies to us and our stuff as well.

  7. I'm sort of Taiwanese, having been an adult here longer than most of my students. I too join the legions who have never seen this. I recently discovered more evidence that people in Taiwan should not be believed simply because they are passport holders of the ROC. And finally, Ian was much more gracious than I would ever be in this situation.

  8. Scott,

    Wow, so you're a lifer, eh? Now you've got me curious. What would you have done? I shudder to think.


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