Coming to Taiwan as a foreigner can be a lonely and scary experience. Luckily most foreigners that come to Taiwan find out that it is easy to make friends with Taiwanese people, who are mostly friendly and curious towards foreigners in general. Here are the five main reasons that foreigners find it easy to make friends with Taiwanese people.
Let's get this list started.
1. Learning English 學英文
Taiwanese people don't have a good English learning environment yet and many of them can't speak English well, even though they want to learn in order to improve their career development. In addition, the most common job for western foreigners in Taiwan is English Teacher, and learning English is a big business in Taiwan. Taiwanese people love to practice their English with and learn from foreigners.
2. Physical Appearance 外觀
Taiwanese people love the appearance of different-looking foreigners, from the clothes they wear to their physical traits such as big eyes, big noses, light skin, dark skin, body hair, or any physical characteristic that are different from their own. You get bonus points if you look even remotely similar to any Hollywood movie star. However, the same cannot be said for other Asian foreigners.
3. Taiwanese are honest, polite, and hospitable 台灣人很有禮貌,很熱誠
Taiwanese people are taught to be polite to strangers and be kind to others. Violent crime in Taiwan is almost unheard of. It is safe to walk on the streets at night. If you lose your wallet or your keys somewhere, chances are that the people will return it to a police station or try to contact you to return it. How can you not be friends with such kind and honest people?
4. Shared Democratic values 共同民主主義
Taiwan is a free democratic country. It values free speech and individual rights. It was the first country in Asia to allow gay marriage and is often noted as having the freest media coverage and basic rights. Democracy lovers should flock here.
5. Stinky tofu 臭豆腐
There is nothing that will garner the love and affection of Taiwanese people faster than scarfing down some Stinky Tofu and shouting that you love Taiwan. Stinky Tofu is the most beloved delicacy of the Taiwanese, and any well-meaning Taiwanese person will take their foreign friends to try it. If you pass the test by eating poop-flavored fermented tofu and shouting "Taiwan #1!" then you have made friends with most of the people in Taiwan. Bonus points if you make a YouTube video of your family trying it.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.