Eye On Taiwan
Date: May 5, 2016
By: David Wang
to peek inside the minds of idiosyncratic Taiwanese, whose off-the-wall behaviors can leave casual observers slack-jawed. Kate on Oct. 17, 2008 felt sufficiently at ease to open ajar her closet to reveal a shuddering tale. And it’s often the highly-educated, sedate ones who shock bystanders by flipping presumptions on end.
Kate, with a master’s from Sydney to look as tame, well-behaved as any mid-30s woman from Taiwan, reinforces the negative stereotype that her native land, known for its mature ITC sector, unfortunately produces plenty of physically mature adults with juvenile mindset and behavior. However, one can argue till the cows come home whether Kate is just the tip of the iceberg in Taiwan, or are there multitudes of similar women wearing diapers (fastened excessively tight in Kate’s case to have cut off essential oxygen supply) beneath their designer dresses all over.
Perhaps the setting in which one grows up can tip the balance of mental adjustment. Kate is from a town outside of Kaohsiung (the largest southern city in Taiwan mostly known for heavy industries, third-world-quality drinking water, frequently reported crimes, with one female resident having confessed that all her friends have had their purses snatched), where locals are not known for tuning in to media to stay updated with global affairs, to glean the finer points of the SS16 creations shown at Paris Fashion Week, to read about the latest trend in integrating greenery on exteriors of condo towers, and where the folks actually believe Sex-and-the-City lifestyle is the norm in the West.
Some 5 years ago Kate stayed in a hotel in Taipei where a British man also happened to be a guest. They passed by each other a few times in the lobby, but being strangers Kate always avoided his line of sight, belying the inclination of her alter ego.
One night while the Englishman sat in the lobby, Kate walked by and inexplicably sat next to him. What happened next may be an intriguing seminar topic for the Global Psychiatric Association’s annual convention. But Kate incredulously laid her hand on his manhood, which, instead of triggering shock, dismay and bewilderment as would with most men, bizarrely forced tears from his eyes.
Those tears should have sounded an alarm to most liberal-minded women but Kate, with her own self-protective mechanism apparently short-circuited, was too overcome with wanton-indulgence to see straight.
An affair followed that saw Kate become pregnant.
They tried living together for a while, which truly revealed to Kate what she’d dragged in from the urban jungle. The man, according to Kate, is delusional and pathologically-insecure: he sometimes forced her against a wall by barring against her neck with chopsticks one minute and then begging for forgiveness on his knees the next; compelled her not to give out their phone number to friends, take her eyes off him while phoning her friends; insisted on having his hand held while walking together in public or he’d rant like a baby while sitting on the sidewalk; made sure their shoes were not placed too far apart at home; and never allowed her parents to call after 8 p.m.
After two weeks together with the Englishman in their funny farm, Kate ditched him to shoulder alone single-motherhood. In retrospect, she still could not fathom why she did not find the reason to abort. The explanation is simple for a fully mature, well-adjusted and educated, responsible woman would not have allowed herself to wade into uncharted water as if headed for summer break.
Incidentally, certain segments of the Taiwanese demographic, especially those raised in Small Town with blinkered vision, actually believe a correlation exists between Caucasian and genetic superiority (about as sensible as believing all Scandinavian women are attractive as Candice Bergen). At the risk of rubbing salt in an old wound, Kate should pray that her child has not inherited the basket–case genes from the British dad.