Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Sunday, June 02, 2002

When I first came to Taiwan, I knew that I wanted to learn both Holo Taiwanese and Mandarin Chinese. My Chinese language skills were almost nonexistent. Learning Mandarin Chinese is a “necessary evil” in Taiwan.

My Taiwanese speaking skills are stronger than my Chinese skills, and until recently my Chinese speaking skills were almost nonexistent. So I often find myself asking for explanations and conversing with people in Taiwanese. When people realize that I’m more fluent in Taiwanese, and not even able to communicate in Chinese, this raises questions: “Where are you from?” the salesgirl asks. “Are you American?” guesses the taxi driver. “Are you Thai? Are you Malaysian?” asks the bus driver. “Japanese?” asks the street vendor. Even sadder still is that many people simply have a hard time conversing with me in Taiwanese.


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