Monday, April 13, 2009

Expat Culture in Taiwan: Shameless exploiting our name II

Us expats in Taiwan liked to exploit our name and play up our stereotypes for personal gain.

On this occasion we had gone to an all you can eat and drink wine and European buffet at a French wine importer's warehouse in Tien Mu, the old ex-pat area of Taipei. It was 600NT a head, but the wine on offer was cheap and there was no sign of good brie or camembert. Pierre was staring disdainfully with the corners of his mouth turned up and a told you so look.

"Sorry, mate," said John. "Even I don't think this is good cheese."

We looked around and the funny thing was still 50% of people in the party were French. “Man, this must be a nightmare for you. I know how I would feel hanging around in a place filled with fat Americans watching baseball,”said Eric to Pierre.

Pierre looked around at his countrymen bravely stomaching the wine and cheese for their own personal higher purpose: some were so homesick they wanted any excuse to hang around with other French people and talk about the old country; while, he knew most were with girlfriend, friends, or colleagues in tow, sipping the wine and offering their ‘expert’ judgment, desperately trying to show off - while the Taiwanese listened intently not knowing, or too polite to tell them they were full of bullshit.

"They are trying to get laid," replied Pierre.

John was thinking about Eric’s analogy about being stuck in a room with a bunch of fellow English watching the game.

"Now i am depressed," he said.

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