Saturday, July 06, 2013

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3 frequently asked questions for Taiwanese girls who date foreigners

7/06/2013 Taiwan Explorer
A Turkish guy charged with sexual assault is making the headlines recently.

I came across a very interesting post on the Apple Daily forum, where a Taiwanese girl named Mia shared a short story about her Russian boyfriend (now husband), and his struggles to find a job that would allow him to stay in Taiwan longer, and be with his sweetheart. The article highlights the common prejudice Taiwanese have about white guys, and the relationship problems of dating a foreigner. I'm republishing the article in Chinese with my wife's English translation further below. The title "白人達令 養台妹做粗工" could be translated as something like "White darling to keep Taiwanese girl does heavy labor" (the word "達令" darling is here a loanword from English, which I find kinda neat). If you can read Chinese, here's the whole article:

"白人達令 養台妹做粗工"

跟外國老公相識結婚共6年,一開始跟所有西餐妹一樣,對外國人的深邃五官及挺拔身材毫無招架之力,更不用說那浪漫激情無限春光想像。剛開始交往真的很順利,可是身邊朋友不停七嘴八舌討論台灣女配外國哥常見的問題時,不知是不是長期被洗腦,不禁像鬼打牆,心生猜忌,問自己:「我們的愛是真的嗎?」

自己也愛 不是騙色

常見問題一:來台灣的外國人都沒錢,只會騙財騙色騙妹妹!

騙財?我只是個普通打工小妹,沒啥錢給騙,剛開始出去吃飯都各付各的,誰不欠誰!因為我知道人家隻身來台賺的也是辛苦錢啊!我們一直是這樣的方式交往,最後培養出這次我出下次他出,而且想要禮物時,在合理範圍內,他都會心甘情願付錢。
騙色?不都自己也想要有需求才發生關係,如果真不想要就拒絕呀,這是你情我願呀!沒理由只要求人家出錢出力,自己躺好爽歪歪吧?所以何來騙色之有!

常見問題二:花蝴蝶飛來纏繞不斷,誘惑停不了?

我們出遊時,總是有些白目多過黑目的女人,想搭訕他,先是亦步亦趨跟在後頭,竊竊私語巧笑倩兮,再撂幾句英文,無非就是想引起注意,等到我們不堪其擾,他只是淡淡瞄了一眼,這些女生好像中獎那樣的驚喜盯著他發愣;我呢?被他牽著手的我,彷彿只是空氣!還有次在夜店更有趣,我只是去小解,回來就看到兩個女人使出渾身解數纏著他,不外乎擠胸露溝擺臀,我站在不遠處聽他笑著說:「我老婆來了!」她們似乎不覺不妥繼續痴纏,直到我走近,打破了充滿愛的光波氛圍,她們才悻悻然離場,不忘酸一句:「You are a lucky girl!」 諸如此類層出不窮,本想說是不是因為我在身邊,他才不敢作怪;後來有機會去了澳門工作幾個月,回台後我的眼線告訴我他真正乖!就算跟朋友出去也不曾帶哪個女生回家,一切如他所說。

俄籍藝人 難教英文

常見問題三:真要考慮以後,會有將來嗎?

大部分來台的外國人工作不外乎就是老師、舞者、表演者;他呢?屬於第三者,就是合約結束後便得返國,再等待下一個合約,因捨不得分開,又怕他的等待會遙遙無期,所以衝動地答應了他很早前就提出的求婚。很多人問我不擔心他只是要騙身分證的嗎?
老實說我跟這問題糾纏了很久,他無業了一陣子,找工作找的很不順遂,他是俄羅斯人說的是俄語,英文程度並沒有非常好,教過幼稚園不到2個月,因為教導的方式園區不太認同,所以就……在他積蓄快花光時,我狠心的告訴他:「再找不到工作,銀行完全沒錢時,我就會離開你!」我甚至打了他,氣他為何這樣不成器;他一個大男人無聲的哭了,儘管心疼到不行,但親友的告誡一句句的在腦海翻攪著。
這樣僵化的關係不知持續了多久,他還是沒放棄我,更沒放棄找工作,終於,他找到了一份是我親友也不可置信的工作;一個高帥挺拔的白人,天天頂著豔陽揮汗如雨的搬著粗重的鋼筋,在塵土飛揚的工地,來回不停的穿梭,領的錢全數交給我管。
他用行動證明了,他不是個靠長相騙女人吃軟飯的阿兜仔!誰說異國戀只是美夢一場?
我們現在正等待我倆愛的結晶出生呢!

Mia╱新北市

"White darling to keep Taiwanese girl does heavy labor"

I'm married to a foreign husband for 6 years. At the beginning I was just like other xicanmei*. I couldn't resist the features, the taller body of foreigners, and romantic imaginations. When we started the relationship it was quite smooth, but my friends keep telling me about the issues of Taiwanese women with foreign men. Maybe I was brainwashed for a while, I started to have suspicions, and asked myself: Is our love true?

It's love, not cheating for sex

Common question 1: Foreigners who come to Taiwan have no money. They only want to cheat you for your money, cheat for sex, and cheat on you with other girls.

Cheat me for my money? I'm just a part-time worker, I don't have much money, how can I get cheated? When we went out for a meal we always went Dutch. Because I knew the money he earned in Taiwan was also not easy, we always did it this way. Later we had the deal that one time I pay, the next time he pays. And if I wanted some gifts in a reasonable range he would like to pay for me.
Cheat for sex? If you have the needs, then you could have sex, otherwise you can just refuse. This happens from our own willingness. It's no point that you only ask the guy to pay the money and work hard, and you just lay down and "feel great". What's the point of cheating for sex?

Common question 2: He will get a lot of attention from women, the women will try to attract him nonstop?

When we go out there are always some baimu** who want to talk to him. First they follow us, chat and giggle behind us, and try to speak some English just to get my boyfriend's attention until we feel annoyed. If my boyfriend just glances at them a little, these girls feel like they won the lottery and feel so happy, however they didn't see me, they pretend as if I wasn't existing, even if I was holding his hand.
One time we were at a night club. I went to the toilet, and after I came back I already saw two girls trying hard to get my boyfriend's attention. They were showing their cleavage, and shaking their butts. I just stood close and heard my boyfriend say: "My wife is coming." Those two women didn't want to give up until I was close, and shattered their imagination. They finally left, but unwillingly, and said: "You are a lucky girl!" This kind of cases happened many times. I thought he is loyal because I was always with him, however when he worked in Macau for few months, and my friend who was his colleague and watched him told me he was very loyal. Even when my boyfriend went out with friends, he never brought girls home.

Russian performer's difficulties of teaching English

Common question 3: Do we have future?

A lot of foreigners who work in Taiwan are mostly English teachers, dancers, or performers. My boyfriend is performer, and their working way is when the contract is finished, they have to fly back home, and then wait for another contract. When my boyfriend's contract finished, we didn't want to be apart, so I accepted his marriage proposal which he mentioned a long time ago. And then a lot of people asked me: Don't you worry that he just wants to get the resident certificate? Honestly, I really struggled with this question. He was jobless for a while, and it was not very easy for him to find a job. Because he is Russian, his English is not very good. He once taught English in kindergarten for nearly 2 months, however the boss of the kindergarten disliked his way of teaching, so he wasn't able to teach English. When he was about to run out of his savings I told him seriously: If you can't find a job, and you don't have any savings in your bank account, I will leave you. I even beat him, and complained how come you can't succeed, and eventually my he cried out of frustration. Although I felt very sorry for his situation, but the warnings of my relatives and friends keep repeating in my mind. I can't remember how long this kind of situation went on, but my boyfriend didn't give up, and also didn't give up looking for jobs. Finally he found a job which my friends and relatives could not believe: A tall handsome white guy was working as a laborer carrying heavy steel bars at a dusty construction site, and he was giving me all of his earnings. He proved with his action that he is not a foreign cheater who is relying on women. Who says that interracial relationships were just a fantasy?
Now we are waiting for our child to be born.

Mia/New Taipei City

* xicanmei (西餐妹) lit. "Western food girl", derogatory term for Taiwanese girls who like to date Westerners
** baimu (白目) lit. "white eyes", people who don't know the situation or ignore the facts, but still do it their way


This story reads almost exactly like my story. I was also struggling to find a job when I first came to Taiwan in 2010. Unlike the Russian guy, I failed and I had to return to Europe with the plan to try it again a few months later, which was very challenging for me and my wife (girlfriend at that time). But the good thing was that she never threatened to leave me. She was always very supportive and encouraging, she truly believed in me. I would probably give up, if it wasn't for her, because failing made me very disillusioned about the whole idea of moving to Taiwan, and leaving behind everything I had back in Europe, especially my family. Once I got a job here, and we officially announced our love to people close to her, I was constantly suspected to be cheating her for money or sex, my intentions of coming to Taiwan were perceived as dubious, I was guilty until proven innocent (and it was a long trial). Yes, there was a happy end: I'm married, accepted by her parents, relatives and friends, but the things I went through in the first two years took a toll on me. I don't always show it, but the wounds are still not fully healed on my side. All this is the reason why I like to talk about issues of being a foreigner in Taiwan, and why I believe we have to talk more about it in an honest and open way. It can't just be put aside with a "你想太多了" (a common phrase in Taiwan meaning "you're thinking too much." It's often used by people to stop discussing an issue that might arouse negative emotions or conflict). Every cross cultural relationship is different, every love story unique. Even if we are white, we have different backgrounds, we are culturally diverse, we come with unique personalities, and we deserve the benefit of the doubt. If I could somewhat help to change the perception of few of my readers, then I will feel that all the effort I put in my blog was rewarded.

How do you feel about the girl's story? Let me know in the comments.