Friday, April 10, 2009

Taiwan girls: Josh and Maggie I

Tales of scorned women harrassing ex-boyfriends abounded around the slightly paranoid foreign community. It was understandable:

a) We had no actual legal rights beyond the goodwill of the people. And if you did start getting hassled by your ex, whose side do you think the police were going to take: sweet, little Taiwanese girl, or dirty horn dog foreigner who just wants to fuck a lot of girls.

b) If you spent any time watching the local news it was filled with stories of ex-boyfriend killing girlfriend and vice-versa. The soaps weren't any better: it seemed suicide or murder was the usual way out of a relationship. How did you know? Understandably it was the only part of the TV that your girlfriend bothered to translate.

In truth, most of us got away with just minor harrassment - and we probably deserved that. We were hardly innocent. Poor Josh, however, seemed to always have bad luck.

Josh, after his last girlfriend cried when he finished with her, decided he needed a more westernized girl. Again a lot of us went through this stage to varying degrees, and none of us really knew what a more westernized Chinese girl meant; unfortunately, under the strain of culture shock it usually translated as thus: aggressive, direct, strong-willed, opinioned; all of those things we supposedly were. Fine, but even more unfortunate was there was a fine line between aggressive and direct and damn right crazy in your own culture - and submerged in a foreign culture it could be very difficult to pick the difference.

Maggie was educated in the States for 10 years, spoke perfect English, and had come back to Josh's willingly even after his diatribe about them having sex not meaning he loved her. She was supposedly happy with a casual fling.

When Eric and I met her, she sent a shiver down our collective spines: beautiful, yes, but her eyes were set on full stare paranoid beam, seemly evolved to stick out by the sheer force of mistrust. Afterwards, I felt like holding a teddy bear.

We tried to suggest things politely but he wasn't interested: "Thanks, dude, but she is cool," he said. "It is nice to have a girl who stands up for herself - not like the other locals."

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