Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Taiwan girls: The moral code and the highest moral of all

Just last week we were watching some DVD, New York, I love you, I think it was called. A collection of short stories glorifying that city, as if it hasn't already been glorified enough. My wife was excited because Maggie Q was in it, but sure enough, as it got to the end of her scene, things went to Asian girl stereotype and it was revealed she was employed in the oldest profession in the world. I had been over this subject a few times before, but as the movie was boring, I started it again.
“Hey, doesn't it bother you all Asian girls are portrayed as hookers in the west?” I asked.
“She is American, isn't she?” said the wife preferring to watch the movie.
“Sure,” I replied. “But if you weren't looking at the Asian half why did you get excited when she came on the screen – point her out.”
“She is beautiful,” she replied.
“I think you are avoiding the question. Aren't you bothered?”
“I am living in Taiwan,” she answered. “Besides a lot of Taiwanese girls are hookers. Or KTV girls etc. It is a culture thing.”
I was taken way back. How could she say that? When I had first arrived and seen all the KTVs I had also tried to find an answer to what appeared in front of me. After a while, I just concluded that I was being an obnoxious foreigner and the propensity for Asians to sell sex was an illusion created by bigotry.
“You can't say that,” I replied. “You are saying Asian girls are dirty little – that gets me more excited admittedly – immoral hussies.”
She looked at me angrily. “It is not a moral thing, it is religious.”
“Religious or cultural?”
“Both,” she replied.
“Please explain,” I asked as it seemed she was going to leave me in limbo. I paused the DVD.
“Well, you know, I was a Christian when I was young...Oh, it is so different. They are always telling us what is moral and right and wrong and what we shouldn't do. It is so troublesome.”
“So, you are saying, your parents didn't teach you moral values etc? All the crap on the TV shows when I first arrived. Dads still care about the virginity of their daughters. I have first hand evidence I am not going into now...”
“Of course, stupid,” she replied. “You are missing the point. Do you remember why I gave up being a Christian.”
“Maybe, but enlighten me again.”
“When my grandfather died they said at the church I couldn't worship him...”
She paused wrongly assessing I had put two and two together. “Go on...”
“You really are stupid,” she continued. “Of course we Taiwanese girls have morals, but the highest moral is parents. If you are doing something for your parents that cancels out all the negatives below. What will your sister do if your mother needs the money for a life-saving operation?”
“Nothing. We have the national health service.”
“You know what I mean. Will she go to the KTV and earn the money?”
“You have met my sister and so the national health service waiting list is quicker than her earning potential...But I get your point – No she wouldn't. And nobody would expect her to.”
“See. In Asia we would all go to the KTV and get respect because we earned the money to save our mother's life.”
“So, you are saying all of the girls in the KTV are doing it to earn money for mother's operation. That is a lot of operations. And you all have national health insurance too.”
“Well, you know, if you can also manage to buy a Hermes bag, you deserve it. Hermes bags are very nice.”
“I know. You have told me many times -”
“Yes, and I am still waiting.”
I sat back and thought about it. “Anyway. Wow. Interesting. I'll have to get more stupid, slow romantic movies in future.” Then I suddenly got a bad feeling. “Didn't your grandmother die of cancer? Has your mother had a check-up recently?”
She looked at me and smiled. “I don't know, but I will do my duty when the time comes.”
“Lets just hope we have another ten years. Time for you to get too old.”
“I see. You say I will look unattractive in ten years. I can't earn any money?”
“Not at all. Just you will have a couple of nieces coming to an age where they can pick up the baton.”
“Yes. Even our daughter -”
“Ok. You win. End of subject...”
I spent the next few days sending my resume out to companies in England and making arrangements for the move.