Sunday, May 23, 2010

first come first impression- how early arrival foriegners messed it up for all of us

one only has to look at some of the english textbooks written by foriegners in taiwan to know that somebody was pulling the wool over somebody's eyes. there was a time when any foriegner who got off the boat could make outlandish claims and get away with it. these guys managed to win the confidence of whatever bushiban they were working for and wrote generally crappy books that make my life, for one, very difficult.
in fact, one of the worst mistakes bushibans make is writing their own books. really excellent courses like "Side by Side" get thrown away and replaced by these shitty books written by somebody's favorite "lao wai".
a lot of these foriegners were/are escapees from whatever crap life they had in their own country. i call them "white trash drug addicts with language skills". they learn just enough chinese to get by and get noticed.
these foriegners also sealed into stone the idea that "all foriegners can play guitar, all foriegners are happy, etc". they plied their sappy, half-ass written songs in mandarin, convincing somebody that they ought to make a record, which of course DIDN'T sell, thereby ruining the chances of later foriegners from EVER making it in music here.
then they wrote their crappy books which flooded the market. you can't write a book now because these assholes already beat you to it. and these methods are part of the engrained learning method here. that is slowly changing thankfully.
was taiwan originally a haven for losers? it appears. luckily those days are coming to an end. you can't be just any hippie off the boat anymore. people are slowly coming around to seeing thru the "foriegn-ness" and into the fucked-up-ness. hopefully every foriegner with something to offer will be now given the chance to do so.


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  2. I personally try not to bitch about others. If you're good, you should not care what some other people made, bitching won't help. I'm also not happy that I have to prove Taiwanese wrong about certain stereotypes they had about foreigners. You have the chance to make a difference, many of us, who came to Taiwan recently, have. And in a couple of years the image of a waiguoren in Taiwanese eyes will be completely different. You can't call everyone a loser, who came to Taiwan in the past and wanted to be a teacher. If there was a market for it, the Taiwanese are equally to blame for the lack of quality. These things are usually not black and white, I really try to be positive about it and I know few English teachers who make changes. I'm not one of them, but I do know how things run in buxibans.

  3. no, not all of the early comers were losers. but it's a fact that in this country, the DWEEBS get most of the air time and the advantages and as you said taiwanese are as much to blame.
    that is, as you said, slowly changing. oh by the way:
    i personally try to bitch about others as much as i can, especially since it's my blog^^.

  4. but you're wrong about first impressions. they stick. and we're the ones who carry that burden of stereotype. fortunately many have proven the old stereotype wrong, so taiwan people tend to think that less and less.

  5. Of course I don't mean to tell you how you should blog. Hey, if you gotta bitch, you gotta bitch. I'm also sometimes complaining about many things on my blog. I just believe that in this case it doesn't help, since I am in a similar situation. Maybe I was a bit like you now in the beginning, but now I just don't care anymore, I try to do my thing and most people are pleasantly surprised, when they meet me or deal with me. I'm already happy, when people realize that I'm European, not American or Canadian. People just assume things based on how it usually is and I'm working every day to shift their ideas. The more like me (or us), the better.

    I wish you good luck in Taiwan.

  6. 成功多屬於那些很快做出決定,卻又不輕易變更的人。而失敗也經常屬於那些很難做出決定,卻又經常變更的人.............................................

  7. Well I am glad MKL is making it work for him (I don't think these stereotypes will change in a couple of years), I must say in this society these problems would still exist even if the first foreigners were gods of social and political grace. Ultimately, since I assume you don't walk up to every Taiwanese and attempt to 'correct' their logic or behavior you need to have an outlet somewhere. I tend to believe that these problems are cultural . In the end however, I certainly hope you get past these limitations and more importantly keep blogging.

  8. thanks for coming by. you meet all kinds of people here, some excellent, some the opposite.
    it's just amazing how far the opposite of excellent gets here.