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.