Thursday, April 16, 2009

Taiwan dating: Breaking up Taiwan style

The liberal needs to execute with his bare hands.

Unfortunately, because of our reputation it meant it was always the westerners fault when a relationship broke up.

I had only known Karen Chu for a couple of months when she was posted to Hong Kong for half a year. I explained I wouldn't be faithful for that time so it was best we went our separate ways.

But then it was: “So you want to get rid of me? You think it is okay to just fuck the Chinese girl and then dump them?"

She insisted we shouldn't break up, and, fearing she might be a crazy one, I actually agreed to think about.

I wouldn't normally have tried this, but i decided i would act like a Taiwanese guy for a couple of nights to see if it would do the trick.

The next evening she was out with friends so i gave her a call.

“Hello it is me,”I said then paused saying nothing for a while. "Where are you? ”

“Gan ma, I am in a restaurant.” (‘Gan ma’ meant 'what do you want', it was used in the following ways: colloquial/accusary, used to express coolness or impatience, to throw something back at someone.

“With who?”

“Colleagues, I told you before.”

“What time are you going home?"


“Not too late - call me at 1:00 am.”

Then Karen asked me: “You. Where are you?" I went silent for a few moments to empress my disgust, and to give her time to explain why in the hell she thought she had the right to ask this question; she didn’t apologise and I hung up.

“What’s up,” asked Karen’s friend.

“My boyfriend is really so much trouble.”

I had overheard a conversation like this played out a thousand times by Taiwanese couples - and from both ends. The boyfriend, even though he knew exactly what his girlfriend was doing and where (besides he was out with his own friends) as the evening progressed increasingly cannot accept that she has not called him, reported in - He is the man after all. Now, I was going to use this approach to drive Karen away and I was happy with my performance so far: sullen, quiet, unfriendly, monotone and proud; I didn’t say anything nice, and I didn’t ask her how she was; that was my right because I was the man.

When she asked her question - where I was - I almost stumbled and answered, but that was not the way of the proud Taiwanese man: I didn't need to answer questions about myself.

All was going well - she responded as I expected, aggressive, flippant and short – but this was the easy part. If I was going to do it right I had to phone back in 20 minutes because a chain of events had been set in motion and I had to complete it. It was very hard, acutely embarrassing in fact, because what she did with her own private time was her fucking business.

Twenty minutes later.

“Hello, it is me.” A long pause. “You haven’t gone back yet have you?”I demanded.

“Why are you so mean?”

“How many drinks have you had? You don’t want to get drunk,”I continued.

“Why are you so troublesome?”

I put down the phone.

Several phone calls later, and I had told her I would be waiting outside the restaurant to take her home in twenty minutes.

I had to sit outside the restaurant in the taxi for twenty minutes with the meter running and make a few more calls to her to get her to come out. I had to listen to her while she shouted and screamed, but it was worth it because my girlfriend was at home, and a good Taiwanese man can’t enjoy himself outside when his girlfriend also is.

Next day, she broke up with me for not respecting her freedom.

While she was on the phone I was dying to say: "You want to break up with me because we had one argument? Relationships have there ups and downs and have to be worked at....I thought you Taiwanese were committed?"

Only the fear that i might provoke her to prove a point kept my mouth shut.


tw girl said...

so you guys broke up like tat ?

dan said...

Yes. That time. But if you read the article it is because she gives me no choice.

Johnson Huang said...

Dan you are a riot.