Dan Chapman

I have been in Taiwan for nearly fifteen years, deciding to complicate life by adding cultural confusion to the mix of going from cocky early twenties guy to more mature family man. Along the way I have gone through almost every stage that we foreigners do unconsciously trying to reconcile culture shock, love of Taiwan and home. I have also spent alot of my time outside of teaching, being the only foreigner in local companies - big, small, legit and borderline. Dan blogs frequently at his own site,Betelnut-Equation
Taiwan culture: Have an internet connection, can start a business

Taiwan culture: Have an internet connection, can start a business

Taiwan has something like the highest percentage of small businesses per capita of any where in the world. They also didn’t worry too much about renting a spanking new office; if you can plug a fax machine in you can start a company. When I first arrived I taught business English and it was a […]

Taiwan culture shock: It is hard being the superior sex

Taiwan culture shock: It is hard being the superior sex

As foreigners in Taiwan we had the opportunity to play above our league. It may seem straightforward, but Taiwanese girls are different (see Culture Shock: Women) and there is alot of adjusting to do. It is difficult for all of us but for Eric particularly so. Eric looked around at the people sat around him […]

Taiwan culture shock: Don't expect PC

Taiwan culture shock: Don’t expect PC

At the time i really committed to learning Chinese. I was going to two classes a day. This was the afternoon one. “Good afternoon everyone,” the teacher would say in English every class and i would start to grit my teeth. “She is quite hot! Maybe, I’ll do you a favor and ask her out,” […]

Taiwan culture shock: Wishing you weren't a foreigner

Taiwan culture shock: Wishing you weren’t a foreigner

You know when you are an vacation or business you have to press palms and talk about yourself. You happily do it for the first few months in Taiwan, but then you remember you are not in Taiwan for two weeks, and sooner or later the non-PC unsubtly and stereotypes begin to get you down […]

Culture: Not necessary to live with your wife

Culture: Not necessary to live with your wife

You get used to the usual questions, but the one about marriage I always found funniest: “Where you from?” “America.” “Very good. I have been to New York, and…uh…Disneyland.” “How long you want to stay Taiwan?” “Two years.” “You come alone?” “Yes. Huh, so brave. You don’t miss your family?” “Not really” Chuckles and giggles […]

Culture: Daytime Soap Plot

Culture: Daytime Soap Plot

Who says soaps don’t give you an insight into local culture. Of course, there were soaps aimed at different demographics, but your afternoon or early evening ones aimed at the housewife/mother-in-law market always had the same plot: Bossy mother-in-law who is constantly worried about how much money her son is earning, and disappointed by the […]

Culture Shock: Women

Culture Shock: Women

My friends would ask me what it is like dating a girl from Taiwan, and I would say, “You have watched Pulp Fiction of course. Well…Remember Bruce Willis’ character’s girlfriend. The one who lies on the bed talking about whether she has a belly or not – Who forgets to bring his watch and then […]