20 April 2018

12 things you didn't know about Taiwan

1. No rubbish cans / garbage truck play music 

Walking on the streets in Taiwan you will not see any rubbish cans. People collect their rubbish at home and always throw to garbage truck. The garbage truck can be easily heard, it's playing Beethoven's Für Elise as it's driving around.

2. Public toilets everywhere 

There are really a lot of toilets and all of them free. That doesn't happen in many European countries- if you find a toiled you always have to pay. Also most of shops like Family Mart or 7/11 will have a toilet.

3. There are no sidewalks 

Most of places doesn't have sidewalk, so you need to walk on the street. Mostly you will find sidewalk near school or park. People also drives like crazy...

4. Digital bus stops  

Most of bus stops have digital panel which let you check the actual schedule on it. Also buses has USB ports and wifi. In some cities there are also free buses depend how long distance you have to go. 

5. Shops open 24/7 almost on every street 

Family Mart and 7/11 are two of most popular convenient stores. In cities you can find them almost on every street, mostly next each other. Open everyday 24 hours, even during holidays like New Year. You can find them almost everything you need, also some hot food like boiled eggs, baked sweet potatoes or sausages. 

6. Mostly people eat outside 

A lot of people doesn't know how to cook or doesn't have time. Also many of houses in the city doesn't have kitchen and those which have are much more expensive. There are plenty of breakfast shops and other small restaurants where you can find food. 

7. Uniforms and 12 hours of learning 

Since kindergarten kids wears uniforms which are different for every school. Kids also have to study a lot. Families pretty focus on education which can give them a lot of pressure to be the best. School, cram school, no personal life... Many of kids starts school at 7am and back home 5pm-9pm,  depending they are going to cram school or not.

8. Different meaning of colors

In the West, black is a common color for funerals. In Taiwan you will see many people wearing white. You will also see girls wearing red dress instead of white on wedding day, which represents good luck.

9. Overtime working is normal 

8 hours working time a day, that's what it should be, right? Not in Taiwan. Here a lot of people work overtime, even working 70 hours a week. People are really busy working and has no much time for personal life. That's also the reason many 30-35+ people didn't get married or had kids yet. 

10. Woman doesn't change surname after marriage  

In many countries it's normal that married woman will use her husband's surname. Here it's not an option. Even after marriage surname can't be changed. 
I changed surname in my country, so now many documents use in Taiwan use 3 different names: my Chinese name, maiden name and my actual surname. 

11. Houses are built vertically

Many of houses have 3 to even 5 floors with usually 1-2 rooms on every floor. Rich people will also have elevator in the house for their convenience.

12. People hide from sunshine 

Many people, especially girls want to have fair skin, therefore they hide from sunshine. You will often see people walking with umbrellas.

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