Monday, September 7, 2009

Expat Culture in Taiwan: The Canadian English teachers show

There was a popular Canadian TV show called ‘English Teachers in Taiwan’. It was an awful show trying to make drama out of a pretty undramatic situation: in Taiwan you are treated like Gods, there is plenty of work, and the major cause of you messing up is usually yourself. Still, as the human being has a tendency to like to blame others it was easy to make up stories. In one or two episodes the camera followed our intrepid teachers as they tried to get an apartment, and the following huge drama unfolded.
Said English teachers find an apartment they like, but there are other people who want the apartment so the landlord asks them to put down a deposit on the deposit as a show of commitment. They have one week to get the rest of the deposit together or they will lose the ‘commitment payment’. Over the next week they all sit around squabbling and bickering about who is to blame for the fact that none of them has the rest of the money, while the narrator paints a picture of peril in the dodgy renting industry in Taiwan. The narrator tries to make it seem that they are somehow victims in this process, which is nonsense: they shouldn’t have given over the money if they didn’t know where the rest was coming from. They were stupid.
In the end, after the deadline passes and they don’t have the money, the narrator tells us about the terrible lesson the poor English teachers have learnt – only for the landlord to reduce the deposit and let them pay it off slowly. She was kind and generous.
As I say in Taiwan you are usually your own biggest enemy…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If the narrator felt so sorry for them, why didn't he lend them the money for the deposit