Racism And Reverse Racism In Taiwan For English Teachers

The sky in Montreal, Canada. Taken with a Sony Cybershot DSC-P93 5.1 MP camera.

Ideas and ramblings on teaching in Taiwan, racism, reverse racism, HFRBs, ABCs and fake ABCs.

If you didn’t know, this is what all of the schools in Taiwan want:

  • North-American English teacher, from the US or Canada
  • BA
  • Preferably caucasian

Really?

No shit!

/***Update****************************************************

Thanks to Mark, I corrected some of my ideas that I had originally posted. Most of these things came out of one HFRB, not a whole bunch. Some of the things I posted came out of hearsay and it is impossible for me to validate them without first hand information.

***************************************************************/

But in my point of view, this isn’t that different from where I was living before, Montreal Canada. Montreal is a very multicultural city, and my ethnicity didn’t stop me from getting the jobs I wanted; my qualifications did.

Now, as you might have noticed, I am not white. My wife is a redhead from BC, but that is another story. I am a visible minority and have always been treated as such in my whole life, since I was born in Germany. Racism was the worst in Quebec City, Canada, where I lived a big part of my life. That is funny, because I have lived in Germany and France before going to Canada.

The most important thing is that schools in Taiwan are a business. I am pretty sure that some schools will not hire me, because I don’t speak enough Mandarin and because I am not white.

Does that bother me?

Not really, because I have faced racism all of my life.

And BTW, I do not really want to work for large schools. I have decided that I prefer working in small operations with people that I like and where the pay is good, not great, but good.

Those jobs at 1000 NTD/hour and more are not what you expect. I know that the schools are especially known for their almost military strict discipline and a certain feel that does not seem to mesh with my own philosophy of teaching. Those jobs are very hard and and would be hard to do day in and day out, and I know a lot of teachers for whom they would be unsuitable.

I would rather have a less stressful job and have enough time to learn Mandarin by myself and in classes and live life. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like the idea of a high paying buxiban job either.

To get an idea of profit sharing, at Cortland each teacher receives 200NTD per kid per semester. That can add up if you run a few classes, but this varies from school to school.

On the surface, some of these schools look great but are disappointing once you get to know them. There are only so many things teachers will sacrifice for a good paycheck. One in particular in Taoyuan comes to mind; they are loosing most of their faculty because of firings and the lack of flexibility from their administration, and the fact that working there wasn’t that great. Sure the teachers made 900NTD per hour after training, but then they get stuck with a lot of pressure from the parents and the administration. Supposedly, the owner is a real bastard who spends his time firing people and living in the US setting up Mandarin teaching schools over there. Now this information comes from direct first hand knowledge.

Speaking good Mandarin will open those last few doors that have remained closed for me in Taiwan. The doors of everyday life in another country trying to cope with all the craziness. In fact, I prefer working for foreigners, since they understand our concerns a lot more.

I have seen loads of caucasians stuck at dead end jobs because of their agencies and not do anything about it. My wife and I are go-getters. We change our situation when we are unhappy about it, and will not let others dictate the terms for us.

Private teaching is the way to go for me. I like the small classes of 2 to 6 students, whom I all know very well and who’s parents trust me implicitly. The parents know that I am stern and strict, but not a total autocrat; I still like to have fun while we learn. From the students I teach at school and privately, as well at the adult language school, I have had nothing but great feedback. My wife likes to say that this has been a very good year for me.

Getting back on topic, I have read a few posts here and there about how African-American teachers have felt discriminated in Taiwan.

No shit?

I have been discriminated all my life, and you don’t see me crying about it all the time. I deal with the situation, because there is nothing… nothing you can do to change the situation right now.

Just like ABCs, fake ABCs and others, there are advantages.

Just a quick digression here, I just love the term fake ABC (fake American Born Chinese, fake BBC – British Born Chinese, fake CBC – Canadian Born Chinese). I can no longer count the number of Taiwanese pretending that they are ABCs and presenting themselves as such to me in conversations. Fake ABCs are Taiwanese nationals who studied abroad for a few years and come back to Taiwan and tell people:

Where am I from?

I am from Toronto!

In the beginning, I was none the wiser, but when I realized what was going on, I laughed my ass off.

The hypocrisy.

Face the facts. You can barely speak English, how can you be from Canada?

Face the facts again.

There is racism in Taiwan and there are no solutions to eliminating it.

Has my skin color stopped me from getting jobs?

Maybe, but those jobs, I don’t want anyways. I like working at schools where I am not forced to pass kids who fail.

Of all of the teachers I know, I am probably the busiest. I tutor students every weekday, run my own small classes and work fulltime as a teacher at a main job. I also have another job at an adult language school which offers me block hours and another job on Saturdays in Taipei.

I don’t plan on doing this my whole life, but for now, I seem to be doing it for a few more weeks.

How do you deal with racism? Sell yourself.

I have been in sales in the past and have no problems doing it. When tackling prospective employers, turn the tables on them because let’s just face it, as a foreigner in Taiwan, you are in the driver’s seat!

There are thousands of ads on tealit and on other classfied sites offering jobs and most of them offer ARCs.

Most caucasian teachers will face reverse racism here, being hired over other qualified Taiwanese teachers, because they are what the parents want. Even if it is illegal for foreigners to teach Kindergarten and preschool (kids aged 3-6; I have seen kids as young as 2 in Kindergarten), all Kindergartens employ foreigners.

My guess is that if you still feel discriminated and unhappy, try going back to school in Taiwan and working part time in an adult language school. The pay is better than in the kindy and chain buxibans and they are hourly paid positions. By going back to school, you will qualify for a 30000NTD/month scholarship. You can round that number up with about 10 hours a week at a language school.

If you are still unhappy, well then it’s time to reexamine the reasons why you came to Taiwan. Maybe it is time to change countries once more and find one more suited to your needs.

* * * * *

Relevant Posts

This post is part of a series on Racism.

  1. Thai tattoo crazy or how racism is the cancer of our society
  2. Viva la revolucion or how racism is polarized by multiculturism
  3. Brutal racist attacks in Canada
  4. Racism Watch Canada
  5. Racism World Watch: Senator George Allen Is A Racist Biggot
  6. Kramergate Or How Michael Richards Is Just Another Racist Bigot
  7. World Racism Watch
  8. Racism And Reverse Racism In Taiwan For English Teachers

61 Responses to “Racism And Reverse Racism In Taiwan For English Teachers”


  1. 1 Mark February 2, 2007 at 15:43

    The most important thing is that schools in Taiwan are a business. I am pretty sure that Modawei and some of the HFRBs will not hire me, because I don’t speak enough Mandarin and because I am not white.

    Range, I used to work at Modawei. My manager was black. He ran six classes and they were all full. He’s a lot further from being white than you are. The manager of the Cortland near me is a black guy, too.

    I know that Modawei especially is known for it’s almost military strict discipline and crying quotas, not that I haven’t had my students cry, but still…

    In my training at Modawei, I observed most of the other teachers classes. Of over 500 students that I personally saw, I only saw one kid cry one time. It was during a test. Some of the teachers were strict, but there was nothing remotely like a “crying quota”.

    Has my skin color stopped me from getting jobs?

    Maybe, but those jobs, I don’t want anyways, like the ones at Modawei and the like.

    One of Modawei’s most successful teachers was black. Where does this axe to grind come from? I had my own disputes with the school over contractual issues, but your complaints just don’t make any sense to me. Did you apply there or something?

  2. 2 range February 2, 2007 at 15:53

    Well, this came out after discussions with teachers who were leaving one of those schools and their experiences. Personally, I don’t have an axe to grind with Modawei, I have heard enough to know that those types of schools are not for me. I have found a nice small school run by a fellow Canadian whom I get along with pretty well.

    This is more in response to some comments I have seen about people complaining about racism, and yes there is racism but it hasn’t stopped me from getting good jobs.

    Whatever you might say, the parents of the children do want nice white caucasians, it would be ludicrous to deny it, because it is true. However, it hasn’t stopped me from finding good positions.

    This comes after my wife started training at one of those schools and we both did not like what we saw. At all. Then again, this was only one of those schools, probably they are not the same.

    Of course I have applied for Modawei, but I am pretty sure that my Mandarin is no where near were it has to be to be hired there. And I don’t really feel that it would suit me.

  3. 3 range February 2, 2007 at 15:59

    And yes, I remember you telling me about the black guys you know who worked at the schools. My guess that it varies from which location we are talking about. I am not aware exactly which one the teachers I met were discussing, but it didn’t sit too well with them.

    I sized up the HR person the minute she called and told her that my wife was interested in the position. And she was for a time being, but it didn’t really work out for a number of reasons. It’s one way or the highway.

    Contractually, well… not interested as well.

    A 60000 NTD deposit that we forfeit if we leave the school, not able to start our own school for 3 years in the same city, strict controls over teaching materials.

    I don’t mind the drilling or the chanting, the kids actually like that. But this was at the school I work at in Taipei, not the “real” HFRB. I have only seen a few classes in a HFRB, and at that location, most of the teaching staff were leaving because of management and the way that they had to teach.

  4. 4 range February 2, 2007 at 16:10

    In retrospect, I think some of my ideas may have come out wrong. Please recheck the post to see the changes.

    I didn’t really mean to put all of the HFRB into the same basket, since they are all different and run by different people.

  5. 5 Mark February 2, 2007 at 17:34

    A 60,000 deposit!!? I’ve never heard of that one before. The authoritarian management, unfortunately, is all too common. Several of my friends have left several different HFRBs due to that reason. The non-compete clauses and paranoia about teaching materials are common, too. I guess it’s because nearly all of those schools were started by teachers from other HFRBs who left, took their students and opened a competing business.

  6. 6 range February 5, 2007 at 12:41

    As soon as we heard the word “deposit”, we kind of scratched that idea. I understand the non-competence clauses as well as the teaching material, but still 60000NTD as a deposit? No way!

  7. 7 range February 5, 2007 at 18:11

    At least I found a school that I like. Where I am actually looking forward to working, so I will be seeing you soon Mark!

  8. 8 voyager108 July 29, 2008 at 20:25

    Just been in Taiwan for 2.5 weeks.

    Appliad for over a hundred interviews and only a few interviews.

    Today a headteacher asked me on the phone, if I looked white.

    There is racism in the UK, but I was still surprised by the situation here in Taipei.

    I’m a bit worried I won’t get a job at this rate.

    Its shook me up a bit, and I feel a bit disheartened.

    But its early days. Hope I can a job.

  9. 9 range July 30, 2008 at 10:59

    Hi,
    I’m not surprised by this. It’s happened to me a lot. You just have to be persistent.

    Try selecting the jobs you apply to. Try jobs in Taipei County, like Banciao and Sanchong, which are pretty close to Taipei. There are MRT stops in Banciao, and Sanchong is just across a bridge from Taipei Main Station.

    Right now, there are tons of job offers on the market. August is the perfect time to search, as all of the schools are desperate to fill their slots.

    I’d suggest taking a job that is paid by the hour, offers an ARC and gives you overtime for any extra hours that you teach. Full time positions mean that you have to stay at the school at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

    I don’t recommend working for Papa Jordan, but Happy Marian and some other chain schools are fine. If you want to teach adults, that’s fine. But be prepared to always wear a tie and dress business casual. Plus so-called language centers have rarely got any block hours, only 1-3 hours per class and usually in the beginning, they don’t offer many.

    Racism is disheartening, especially when it’s in your face like that by the Taiwanese. They aren’t shy about it either, and don’t think it’s wrong. I just put it in their faces and return the favor. I make them sound stupid.

    Anyway, good luck,
    Range

  10. 10 zack November 14, 2008 at 01:25

    Hi

    You guys are damn right, Taiwanese don’t have any knowledge on racism, they don’t even know what it is….Furthermore, they have huge ego…they think all the caucasians are dumb asses….

    Here are few tips to help you out:

    1.Don’t get too close with any particular Taiwanese, but try to be nice to them. Taiwanese have ample jealousy. Popularity is definitly a no no…Another issue is they will take you for granted easyly.

    2.Since they have huge ego in a unlogical fashion, most people mistaken it as being sensitive, it’s not. Try not to mention your past western experiences, please bear in mind that some people do refuse to be educated….

    3.Here is a brief algorithem of a typical Taiwanese conversation:

    If married:

    Are you married?
    Do you have kids?
    My wife is great, my kids are great, and I have a mistress, here is her picture….

    Loop until death

    If Not:

    You have girlfriend? (They will not ask if you are married, cause they are not)
    Would you like to see my porn collections?
    Let’s go to Karaoky and some escorts…

    loop until Married, then go to if marrried.

    4.Taiwan has four major ethnic groups: Taiwanese, Haka, Mainlander, and aboriginal.(This is only a tip to handle taiwanese, other ethnic groups are very different)

    Taiwanese think themselves as the sacred race in Taiwan. And they are racist against all other races.
    Haka people are not so bad, except for being jewish, they are very helpful bunch, and comparatively more honest (No offense to jews)
    Mainlanders are like Chinese, they are the true victim of racism. Their characters depends on where they are from orginally. Try not to hang out with them, cause Taiwanese will kick both of your asses….
    Taipei people are also more civilized. It will be ideal to work in Taipei.
    Aboriginal people are the happy bunch, they are naive, and generally nice. Don’t try to eat anything they said as delicious….

    Please keep in mind that all the ethnic groups are racist against each other.

    5.Political issues….a word of advise…stay away from Taiwan politics.

    6.When you are in a discussion, pretend you don’t have any idea. Let them speak. If they already have a solution, then try to give compliments. Do express your thoughts only if they beg you to give your ideas.

    If you still expereince racism, try threatening them, Taiwanese are 99% wuss….

  11. 11 range November 16, 2008 at 05:17

    I’ve learned to be extremely rude to get what I want in Taiwan, and it works well for me, probably because I am a foreign male.

  12. 12 rain January 19, 2009 at 09:39

    after reading all of your articles i agree that taiwanese people are selective racists when it comes to racial color as a person’s skin tone is viewed either as good or bad
    for that,i feel ever saddened as black and other darker skin tone people are discriminated against .This unfair judging of people needs to stop !

    but all said
    i would have to say that true racism stems from white people .
    it comes from a long line of imperial colonialisation through military dominance.
    it all started from the secrets of making fire crackers (gun powder) was stolen from the chinese (originally banned by the chinese emperors only to be used for ceremonial and festive purposes in china for fear that it would cause great harm to mankind).
    anway, the secret was leaked out to the west by a white missionary and from then on guns cannons and bombs were invented and thus began the down fall of every other non-white race today.
    military dominance (you know… guns, battles ships ,tanks , fighter jet planes etc.and of course the crem de la crem of all weaponry the “a-bomb” dropping oneor two of those on a race would really make big point wouldn’t it?) and after all that brutality… other non-white races were forced to sign unfair treaties that benifited the white race further more and so over time white people were provided with all the finer things in life their ancestors had unrighteously acquired for them. like owning land and all of the wonderful resources in countries that didn’t origianlly belong to them .
    ex. the portugese and spanish taking over south america the french taking over north and west africa and pacific islands the british taking over north america india south africa australia new zealand parts of china hong kong etc the americans -phillipines panama central america the list goes on!
    i would have to write a book just to finish the list but you get the picture.
    if you are further interested in liberating yourself on this matter go to google and type up “colonialisation” or “lambing flat riots” or the “history of racism” and you will find that it stems deep in white people and their ideology that they are the chosen race ordained by their god jesus and god of all races to govern everyone.
    (funny how most white people nowadays don’t believe in god anymore therefore excusing themselves of past crimes altogether! )
    most white people today don’t even realise that they are racist cause it has been so genetically imprinted in them since ancient historical times of colonizing for white people to feel racialy superior to all no-white races.
    and the beauty of it all is that they will almost always surely deny that they are racist when you confront them .
    they will say that “it happened a long time ago by my ancestors i didn’t do it,it has nothing to do with me !”
    ” i’m not racist i only make fun of other people that don’t look dress eat and do the things i eat and do !” “and why can’t they speak english?”
    it has become so normal for them to feel that they are righteous when infact they have done so much hurt and harm to every other race .i really think that the white race and culture is facinatingly bizarre and bordering on pure genius in the realm of being able to brainwash its own people in thinkig that it isn’t a racist group of people. they think of racist as being a southern redneck in america behaving towards black people.when infact it is present in all facets of their everyday life. for instance i have heard so many racial comments white people make towards asians for the way they look to the food they eat and for coming to their countries and stealing their job opportunities.i can remember a time when it was aimmed towards black people .now they can no longer do the same for black people for now ,if they make a remark like that to a black person they will have physically traumatic consequences as a black person will anhillate them.and so they turn to asians because they can still get away with it as asians are nonconfrontational by nature and are physically smaller to combat against them.but it is no excuse to do so anyhow.
    xenophobia is deeply rooted in the white race for reasons i have yet to understand .sometimes i wonder if white people are just so scared of things that aren’t used to ?
    it actually makes them very closed minded.(which they will also readily deny)
    and say that they are the most open minded people cause they have traveled to many countries and seen so much suffering (all of which were caused by their doing ironically) and eaten at all the macdonals and subway joints these coutries have graciously provided for their sake.
    not only that ,but they feel a crying need to impose their beliefs and ways everywhere they travel.i think it is very important for white people to look into themselves and realise that they need to stop slandering on other peoples’ ways of living for being different to their own ways of living. Different physical appearance, foods cultural beliefs that other races consume and believe in that is very different to their own and accept the difference as a good thing instead of something to ridicle at a dinner table of white obesely hairy english teachers eating macdonald happy meals who come to asians countries to make large sums of money teaching english, a linquistic imposition that their white ancestors have done for them to ensure their dominance.
    doesn’t it infuriate you to hear that white people come to your country make big sums of your money and still give your culture and people shit for being not like theirs ?
    well if their white countries are so great why aren’t they there then ? it raises a lot of questions as to their white mentality an issue for another day ..
    but for now
    if you can understand the origins of why english has become the international language today you can surely understand that white people have been actively imposing their culture on everybody and forcing other races to adopt to their ways through military and economic might.
    the fact that white people are able to ridicule and discriminate at others and still deny that they are racists.
    strikes tremendous facination in me .

    and so through all of this colonialisation,the white culture was imposed upon the conquered has over time permeated through all facets of everyday life.
    in this day and age we live and breathe white culture really .from the clothes we wear to the music and movies we watch to all the macdonalds burgerkings starbucks subways tgifs alley cats sababas establishments in taiwan …white cultural presence is everywhere .
    can you imagine a day where all cultures ceast to exist and is taken over by white culture ?
    what a scary thought! i don’t think it would be for white people though, i think they’d love it
    but all the beauty of the world will die along with it and that is
    the disease of the white race far scarier then any epidemic known to humans even aids as it was also a disease made by white people and leaked out to africa of which the white people will deny once more .but that is also another story for another day….

    i feel that white people are always trying to excuse themselves of being racist by stating that their country is “multi-cultural” but if you look at the demographics of their population you will realise that the majority their inhabitants are white .and that their “multi-cultural” inhabitants only make up less than 10% of their overall population .but yet they will still deny it for they are never wrong for they are the chosen ones to end all sufferings of the world !

    and they say asian people are racist !?

    it is time to admit to yourselves white people !
    you guys are the racist !
    get your facts straight !
    and put an end to it by learning to speak chinese and eating chinese food. and if you don’t like it just leave it at that
    you don’t have to make stipid wise ass comments about it
    and try to understand that the reason that you are here is because you “can” actually make money and have a life whereas back in your country you’d probabaly still be waitng on tables or working in a gas staion pumping gas so be grateful instead of being a bunch of whinny bitches!
    and most importantly don’t discriminate !and exclude people !
    you have no right
    not even if your white!

    • 13 梅拍石 December 6, 2010 at 19:36

      that was brilliant

    • 14 EM December 15, 2010 at 13:31

      This is absolutely BRILLIANT and TRUE. White people who read this: Learn to live with the truth. This ugliness is inside you. Educate yourselves. You are the real terrorists.

      • 15 RSV March 7, 2012 at 08:30

        As a black american male perusing several of these boards and attempting to gauge the hurdles of acquiring a teaching position in Taiwan, I must say that this fairly lucid comment has given me hope. Many thanks.

  13. 16 Troy February 13, 2009 at 01:59

    Hey, what was that about a 30,000 NTD scholarship? I was considering pursuing my master’s here, but I don’t have the money at all. That would be an excellent booster.

    Don’t have much to say on the racism thing save for the fact that I’ve been teaching here a year and the most well-respected and successful teacher I’ve met was black. Although all the same, I have heard of discrimination based on people with ‘non-American accents’ which is shady business.

    Also interesting is the fact that dark skinned in general is frowned upon aesthetically here – I trust you’ve seen umbrella girls, right? They don’t carry that parasol to invoke a sense of Victorian whimsy. It’s to keep their skin lighter.

    Moreover, what of ageism? Being white isn’t a golden ticket – try being a babyfaced 22 year old and having the guys in Science Park take you seriously. PROTIP: No matter what you do, they don’t.

  14. 17 Barb April 26, 2009 at 04:31

    whoa…okay i was considering going to taiwan next year to learn chinese…this is KINDA scary
    (am black, and not the light-skinned kind, and bi-lingual, speak English and Swahili fluently, my accent is not that American,I’ve lived here(U.S) for 3 years…)
    Any hope put there? I really want to go to Taiwan but I also don’t want to get shot or anything..Advice?

  15. 19 range April 26, 2009 at 06:41

    Let’s be frank. I’m not white, yet I do have a North-American accent, I’m trilingual and I encountered a lot of racism. This doesn’t mean that you can’t find jobs, it’s just a bit harder. This isn’t really just the fault of the people who hire you, it’s also because of the parents of your students. They can be even more racist.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts. Finding a job in Taiwan is pretty easy, it’s finding the right one that could be a problem. If I were you, I’d fly over on a Visitor’s visa, go to a few job interviews, choose the best one and try it out for a few months. Visitor’s visas last between 2 and 4 months.

  16. 20 Patrick Cowsill August 14, 2009 at 13:15

    “Racism was the worst in Quebec City, Canada, where I lived a big part of my life.”

    Interesting. Most of the Canadians I meet in Taiwan try to sell their country in a different way then you do here – multicultural, open, fair, etc. They then contrast it to the US, bringing up the usually stereotypes and backing them up with comic-book history.

    When I was in Canada, I heard and saw racism daily.

  17. 21 range August 14, 2009 at 13:50

    Quebec is harder because it’s French speaking and white. Kind of like the South of the US. It’s not that bad, but compared to Europe, there was a lot more racism there.

    There is naturally more racism in Taiwan as well than in Quebec. In Taiwan, it’s blatant and in your face, because some Taiwanese just don’t know any better.

  18. 22 Bubba September 14, 2009 at 04:21

    I came here via the hilariously (if over-the-top) cynical Encyclopedia Dramatica article on Taiwan.

    I’ve lived here in TW for some years now and have from the start tried my best to be the most upright kind of person possible. I do find myself occasionally feeling a little bit racist myself though…at least on first impressions. However, this is mostly since I’m white and I have dealt very extensively with the kind of white foreigners that make me feel guilty whenever I look in the mirror.

    Just being white attracts a huge amount of sycophancy from locals; it is further greatly magnified with ANY Chinese speaking ability, so any white guy with blond hair incorrectly saying “thank you” in Chinese will have people instantly telling him how amazing he is (many foreign lowlife-types also try to learn a bit of Taiwanese to impress and loosen local loins). That is a bit of a social value equalizer based on race, regardless whether it’s the abstinent, straight-arrow me or if it’s some degenerate Canadian or Australian coming over to teach for a year and lay some easy local girls from Carnegies who “just wanted to go dancing” or tealit “language exchange partners”….

    I know…complaining about being liked is a bit absurd. The only ultimate problems are that a) I have come to automatically be suspicious of almost all white and black foreigners, and b) I cannot trust any positive sentiment expressed to me. It’s all become meaningless naïve (but “polite”) sycophancy that any drug-dealing foreign miscreant would get. It really taints possible friendships–much more than simply being a prude.

    I’ve been present to anti-black sentiment a few times, and I’ve sternly lectured a Taiwanese woman who made some rather rude comments to her child about black people; and when in a desperate situation some years back, I was talking to one of the well-known foreign teacher agents in Taipei. She was on the phone with some local school and told whoever she was talking to that she presently had another teacher who wouldn’t be as scary as the black man she hooked them up with before. She proceeded to tell me that the kids were scared of him and called him “monkey” and that she didn’t like setting up black people often because children often dislike them (not as “clowny” as white Canadians are, if I recall correctly). There are small elements of a clear pro-black subculture, particularly in Taipei, but I don’t really know how much it would be appreciated by people who don’t want ignorant racial fanboyism (like what I deal with).

    I guess it’s a good personal emotional challenge for those of us who feel negatively about the situation. Try to take it the right way and keep your chin up and all that good stuff. Many people are genuinely decent (even some foreigners!) and will treat you the same no matter who you are. Of course, that doesn’t always mean “well”. :D

  19. 23 range September 14, 2009 at 14:49

    Thanks for your extensive comment.

    As a brownie in Taiwan, and as a Québecois, which the Taiwanese have even more problems understanding, there is so much racism here, especially when you are an ESL teacher. No matter how well you teach, I’m seen as disposable as soon as another white teacher walks along. This happened a lot to me when I was subbing.

    The kids are fine, except a few rotten apples. Kids are very accepting, but when I hear one kid call me a monkey, I grab him by the collar and bring him to the teaching director. I might call him a yellow pig. They get the message, because the Chinese don’t want to be called yellow and they don’t want to be called pigs. Trying to explain the situation, as I would do to non-ESL kids in Canada, doesn’t really work here.

    Ah well, the joys of like in Asia.

  20. 24 dumdidum August 19, 2010 at 12:13

    I dont know how your experience was in germany, but in my experience, as an “original”, I faced probably the same amount of aggression as a foreign guy could get , simply being different in some conserative villages that dont like strange new guys to enter their territory and behave different. At the end I often had to use force to fight in either physical or strategic, pseudosympathethic ways or just LEAVE THE HECK.

    It totally changes from region to region though. I dont think you would have faced much “minority” feelings in berlin , or the town I live in now. Sometimes, I feel as a minority again *chuckles* . But at the end of the line, I think your article is great for everyone who feels alien from time to time…. selling yourself ;) in a good, selfloving way.. or move on.

    Still, I feel like “fighting together” is something that should be forgotten totally. It might not help you, like most fights do, but sometimes , I think it might help the next generation.. every single person that opens the heart might give more love to many following generations..

    cheers und grüße aus Deutschland

    • 25 range August 19, 2010 at 18:52

      Hallo. Ach so, ich bin in Heidelberg geboren…

      And I was there until 7, so I didn’t realize that people hated me. In fact, a lot of babysitters, and little blonde German girls liked me a lot, but at the time, I wasn’t interested!

      It’s funny to see Caucasians feel discrimination in Taiwan. This is because they don’t get any of this at home, while I just get it everywhere in varying degrees.

      Luckily, I tend to rise above it and dismiss ignorance and blatant stupidity.

      Cheers

  21. 26 Mold September 15, 2010 at 14:02

    The older generations in Taiwan generally dislikes/hate foreign people due to rabid stereotypes.
    i.e. Chinese/Black/Mexicans/Not-Taiwanese steals shit.
    And that the Japanese are the sacred touristincome who’s boots shall be licked for great justice.

    That’s pretty much what many people are STILL teaching their kids(Mostly in the southern region).
    Vicious cycle is vicious.

    They probably wanted white teachers so they can tell the parents: “We have white people here!!1 8D”
    …even if they are one of these who accidentally the English language.

    And everyone will come to believe their kids are learning perfect Englrish the perfect American way, Because the white masters are the all-superior Aryan race with most perfected English powers.
    Rumor also states White people are actually all stupid.
    According to the more enlightened superior American born Chinese from the lands of Saarbrucken, it’s true.

    We also feature a national past time consisting of Blaming China and the Jews on things ranging from faulty wiring to things that has no relevance about anything or everything.

    Some also believe Hitler was right.

    But alas, I’m only a student armed with the Internets.

  22. 27 Tiffany October 12, 2010 at 04:26

    Reading this has scared me half-shitless.
    Though it’s been a while since it’s been written, I found this post via Google.

    Horrid thing is, I’m an ABC (Taiwanese/Chinese), and moved to the US when I was two years old. I’m about to pick a major in college that would best benefit me for a teaching job overseas, and I was considering returning to Taiwan to teach.

    But goddamn I know how they’re racist like hell over there, and it’s so stupid in my eyes, since I’ve been in the Land of Equality for my entire life.

    Now I’m not even sure if I want to teach English in Taiwan, but if I were to, I’d seriously follow what you’re doing. It seems like your philosophies are about the same as mine, to enjoy the job and actually make sure the kids are learning and loving it. I don’t want to work for a company that likes to show off their white staff and pass the kids that haven’t learned squat, just to make the parents happy.

    Ugh. I’ll figure it out?

    • 28 range October 12, 2010 at 13:53

      Hi Tiffany,

      I wouldn’t worry about this too much. If you have a degree from a US university, finding a job in Taiwan is pretty easy. There are a lot of available jobs, and most them are paid $20 USD an hour.

      With the job situation the way that it is in the States, you’ll probably have an easier time finding one here.

      Cheers

  23. 29 David November 20, 2010 at 07:29

    Thank you for this , I know now why its taking for ever to get a job in Taiwan! my god why are Asian so ….. I worked in China it was hard but ok I had two jobs. I wanted to go to Taiwan for two years but now my god, I dont know I was thinking china was bad, and the uk was bad.

    know I can understand the feeling I am getting for the girl for Taiwan in my church. She acts so open mind on one level but when i try to get info on Taiwan she feels very closed i get it now!

    This world

    so where can a black person go in Asian to work and live??

    • 30 range November 20, 2010 at 13:12

      Although it is challenging, jobs are a plenty here. You just have to toughen up and go to lots of interviews. I’m working at a very nice place now. Cheers.

    • 31 LB September 20, 2011 at 23:21

      from my experiences the best place to live if you are black, and from the US is Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Macau. S. Korea isn’t too bad, but its very closed minded at times. Overall I am biased towards Japan. If you choose Singapore then do something other than being a teacher seeing that Singapore is a country that speaks english. Japan is the easiest simply because they recognize skill over all other things. Also Japanese people just in general view all foreigners as outsiders. You may have a white friend tell you that white people are still favored, but it isn’t entirely true. In General it goes in this order in Japan:

      1.Americans (any race)
      2. Europeans (any race)
      3. Africans & latin americans (exception lots of negativity towards Nigerians)
      4.Middle Easterners

      other than that if you’re Asian and don’t speak Japanese expect to have some hard times especially from the older generation. Seeing that most people in their 20s now are from gen y, we’re the most tolerant of all the other generations also we hold the least amount of power. These are serious things to consider. I also prefer Japan because of how safe it is. I think Taiwan would be a great choice, my Taiwanese friends pretty much told me that the south isn’t very accepting, but cities in and around Taipei are pretty much open and very friendly towards black people. With that being said your experiences will vary from others. I’ve been all over Asia btw the most racism I have experienced in Asia came from white americans.

  24. 32 Skyfae November 25, 2010 at 23:34

    I agree with the comments about the racism in Taiwan; it’s made living here difficult at times as one of my closest friends back home in the US is black. Whenever things like this have come up in class, I make it a point to share my views on race equality with the students. A lot of them are taught that darker skinned people are dirty, or laborers. This gets under my skin big time but I realize that people are often scared of what is unfamiliar to them. And we all know Taiwan is far from a melting pot.

    I don’t appreciate the comments being made on here about white people though. It does get uncomfortable at times being stared at or seemingly “catered to” esp with my background and coming from such a diverse neighborhood, but I won’t complain about that.

    I don’t appreciate the comments about white people being stupid…

    I have encountered some stupid white foreign teachers here…the kind that are just here to take what they can, use the women, and they don’t really care about the country. However, there are those of us, especially white women working here (like me!) who are here primarily to learn more about Asian culture. I do think white men are stereotyped frequently in Taiwan, and with good reason, though of course I know it’s wrong to do and I know a few good white foreign men who really care about this country.

    Please stop assuming all white people teaching here are idiots though.

  25. 33 梅拍石 December 6, 2010 at 19:14

    I’m an African American living in Taiwan and I find this conversation hilarious. for one thing all of the white people I have met(with a few exceptions)in Taiwan DUMB. they come over here and expect all the Taiwan people to just bow down to them and kiss their feet. they come over here and get laid a few times and it goes to their head. and they pay no respect to the Taiwanese men. most people here are very religious, strict buddhist and very humble

    [slightly edited to be less offensive]

    • 34 ydac June 7, 2011 at 00:48

      Hi,梅拍石, I am Taiwanese and I am totally agree with you. I was studied in Canada a few years ago and underwent a lot of racist verbal attacks there and I personally think white-supremacy is hopeless to cure. Taiwanese has changed a lot during years and as so many of us travelled abroad and studied abroad, young people now are beginning to hold a different view of the world. I personally has nothing against all the race and I think racism is an ugly thing. I have to tell to the white people who write bias comments here, if your country has no anti-Asian racism or anti-black racism whatsoever, feel free to write here. Otherwise, please be fair when you use the words “Taiwanese”. For people like 梅拍石, I have to say you get all my respect. Love you, 梅拍石!!!

  26. 35 梅拍石 December 6, 2010 at 19:19

    I am not here to teach English. I am married to a Taiwanese girl. her family have accepted me and treat me with respect probably because I am respectful to them and I am good to my wife

  27. 36 elen lee January 9, 2011 at 21:42

    you can feel true racism if you are a foreign spouse, dealing with taiwanese in everyday life..not all i must say..Note that so many runaway spouse here and divorce rate are so obviously high. For sure you can find jobs here in taiwan so easy even for uneducated or unexperienced foreigners, jobs such as helpers, caregivers and factory workers (ktv or betel beauties)..racism is everywhere,just be happy you are not beaten because you are different or you are not abuse or neglected..as they say, endure or just leave.

    • 37 ydac June 7, 2011 at 00:57

      I don’t know what kind of Taiwanese you are dealing with everyday. If you are beaten just because of your race, please report to the police, this is a lawful country and please do not describe here as an outlaw place. In Taiwan, beaten up people is against the law. I think you are deliberately using bias words to describe this beatiful and friendly island. However, you should know that you are a free person and if you really dislike here, you are welcome to go back to your home country. We are welcome everyone who likes this land, but since it is a tiny little island, we do not have rooms for people who want to take advantage of the island but not being fair!

      • 38 range June 7, 2011 at 21:54

        As a visible minority almost everywhere except India, I can speak from experience. There is lots of racism in Taiwan. Taiwan is a Chinese culture, and because of this, very weary of foreigners. This is a blanket judgment, but it’s true.

        I’ve learned to ignore blatant racism. I’ve learned to swear at strangers when they give me the evil eye. How many times do people cross the street to avoid walking past me? I’ve lost count and honestly, I no longer care.

  28. 39 tori scarlette January 10, 2011 at 04:19

    My husband and I have decided to enter a TEFL program and teach English for a year starting this fall sometime. We are both 23 year old American Blacks; I am light skinned with neat dredlocs, he is dark skinned and close-shaven. We both will be graduating, me with a Bachelors, he with an Associate’s, this May. I have surfed the net for information on race relations in Taiwan , and keep getting conflicting stories. Some posts are of American blacks who come to Taiwan and say they had NO trouble finding jobs and the “racism” they experienced was more of a fascination with the unknown than a malevolent hatred, i.e. got asked could their hair be touched or if they were athletes. Others told me that the racism is blatant and that it took two months to find jobs, because Asians assume that White people are better teachers than Blacks. If someone who has been over there would agree togive me their email address, I would love to correspond with you on your experience.

    • 40 range January 10, 2011 at 07:44

      You can send me an email. I have been teaching here for about 5 years, and yes, there is plenty of racism. While it’s harder to find jobs, it’s still possible to get some.

      Typically, since I’m Canadian, I’ve found that the Taiwanese look for the North American accent. That will work in your favor.

      Like many Asian culture, there is an element of xenophobia here, but that hasn’t stopped me from finding a good job.

  29. 41 BHR aka CR January 12, 2011 at 10:27

    I’m finding this all quite interesting.

    I am reminded of the Quaker at the well story. A Quaker (known for their honesty in the old days) was standing by a well near a town with another man…resting. A traveler came up and asked the Quaker, “what kind of people are in the town yonder?”

    The Quaker replied, “What kind of people are in the town you come from?”

    “Dishonest, mean and nasty, they will steal from you. I have been stolen from and treated badly there.”

    “Regrettably, I think I must tell you that you will find the people there much the same…”

    The man thanked him for his honesty and had a drink and left them. A bet later another man came upon them and asked the same question. What are the people like in the town ahead.

    The Quaker replied the same way, “what are the people like in the town you come from?”

    This time the traveler replied, “they are a happy lot, merry and good natured. They are helpful and kind.”

    The Quaker said, “I am sure you will find the people in the town yonder much the same.”

    The traveler thanked him had a drink and went on his way.

    The man standing with the Quaker was shocked. “I thought you Quakers were an honest lot but here you have given two different answers about the same town, surely one must be false!”

    The Wise old Quaker said, “Both of my answers were true, for I have found the seeker always finds what he is looking for, so within so without.”

    ^^^

    I have traveled extensively in the USA, including “down south” I found people to be more often than not kind and hospitable, while in Hong Kong and PRC people looked at my hair and were amazed and wanted to take pictures with me…especially in PRC. People gave me things for no reason…which amazed my Chinese friends, I am from Hawaii Chinese are well known for being “tight.” I guess I just got lucky and ran into the generous ones.

    I have been toying with the Idea of moving to Taiwan, I can teach math, and don’t think I’d have much trouble teaching English, I have been tutoring and teaching for over 20 years but have no formal degree, but as you can see by my blog and website my teaching experience speaks for itself. How hard would it be to get a job at a school or private tutoring outfit that paid decently even though I don’t have the paper called a BA or BS? I can teach English and Math I’d think that would make me more sale-able.

    Teachers are at a premium in Asia still, especially NES…soon they will be able to teach themselves but at the moment we are at a premium…I speak about three phrases of Mandarin at the moment and have been teaching myself some Chinese online. I am encouraged because I can make Mandarin sounds easily, but don’t think I will ever speak Cantonese…I enjoy Spanish and was conversational in German; used to tutor kids in French when I was a senior in high school back in the early 80′s. I like languages and teach math as a language. How easy did you find it to get to the point of being able to converse? And how long did it take?

    I have heard mostly good things about the cost of living and weather and so on but are they going to be hard-asses about the degree especially since I don’t look very white at all, although I am told I have white features with brown skin…I also hear getting a radio job is easy too because they are looking for talent and I have a radio voice and worked in that industry for about 10 years…

  30. 42 BlackRealist January 29, 2011 at 05:06

    Asians tend to hate Blacks. Just how it is. They’ve always valued light skin, disliked dark skin, and the mainstream media and lowly racial position of Blacks along with global White supremacy make things difficult for Black folk in Asia. I’d advise Blacks to give up on Asia, and give up on integration as a whole. Whites are our eternal enemies.

    • 43 range January 29, 2011 at 20:31

      A lot of Taiwanese are extremely racist when it comes to foreigners who are non-Caucasians. This pertains to teaching gigs. This goes for the staff as well as the parents, who don’t see people of darker skin on the same footing as the Whites. I’ve been discriminated against, replaced, discarded, treated unequally for years in Taiwan. It’s not something that the other foreigners like to admit, even when they are privy to it.

    • 44 ydac June 7, 2011 at 01:12

      Please, BlackRealist, are you being fair? I especially angry when you use the words “hate”. Why do I have to hate anyone who I haven’t met? However, talking about racial attack, here is something for you:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ8rVx8IBGk

      This is how American treats Asian in their lands. Do you want examples after examples? How about this one: http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2009/04/28/9272411-sun.html
      This is how Canada treats its new Asian immigrations. Not only bullied in school for racial attack, but the whole police system pro white student. Do you want more examples? I can give you more links on all kinds of incidents. These are only tip of the iceberg for all the racism acts. There are more out there. I don’t hate any race at all, but I do feel intimidate as one cannot tell who is racist and who isn’t until you get bashed right on the face. For people who write racism comments here, please think again. Are you being fair?

      • 45 range June 7, 2011 at 21:56

        Canada is pretty tolerant, since there have been immigrants from many countries for years. Quebec is somewhat racist because of the insular Francophone culture.

  31. 46 ydac June 7, 2011 at 01:35

    Hi, Range, thank you for hosting this blog for sensitive topic. I cannot help but to write on your blog as I think so many people who replied here without a real understanding of this society. I cannot say Taiwan is free from racism but we are really friendly and we have really mild racism incidents in this island. Otherwise, we will not be the island for so many foreigners to come and learn Mandarin. If you lack of real contacts for Taiwanese friends, I can add you to my Facebook. I happened to be a Taiwanese Canadian who choose to move back to Taiwan because I was bushed by a lot of random racist attack when I went to senior high school in Canada. The job I can get back home in Taiwan is much better than in Canada where I cannot get the kind of job I want due to my race or my accent. It is really interesting that you are also a visible minority from Canada but you choose to work in Asia. Since I do not know you at all, I can’t make assumption of who you are. I am asking that to blog topic like this, please be fair. If you choose to work or live here, it must be good side of this place. Just because there are not a lot of Taiwanese come to the blog to write counter opinions due to language barriers did not make all the comments here entirely true or un-biased. I am taking my time in the middle of the night, sacraficing my sleep to write these not to please anyone who is disagree with me. I am just afraid that if people from other place who cannot read Chinese and use only English to browse over the website and see this blog, that is all they can get. I don’t know, maybe this is the purpose of this website? Making people to hate Asian or Taiwan? Come on, Range, you don’t hate this place! Don’t tell me you don’t have any Taiwanese friends and when you walk on the street, people do not treat you well. You have to admit this, in this island, young people are friendly, older people are shy but nice. You don’t have to be afraid when you walk late at night on the streets. This is a country with pretty decent public order and pretty open to the world.

    • 47 range June 7, 2011 at 22:01

      I don’t have many friends in Taiwan. There are no Taiwanese among my friends. Why? They are intimidated, they are scared, I don’t know. My classmates are very friendly at Shida.

      There are good things and bad things about Taiwan. I was shocked at how friendly people were back home in Quebec when I went there in 2009. Really shocked, so much that it might have been some culture shock. I have gotten used to the way people are here.

      Most women I know are afraid of the stray dogs who roam the streets. My wife doesn’t like walking out late at night. I’m not afraid of this, since I live in a pretty low-crime area. A lot of the older generation are pretty racist.

      I don’t hate Taiwan but I don’t love it either. I’ll move away soon, once I completed my Masters.

  32. 48 ydac June 7, 2011 at 01:42

    Be fair. Appreciate this beautiful island. For haters, you are lucky to write whatever you want just because you write this in English, because you don’t want Taiwanese know what you write about them, Um, you should be ashamed as you take this place for granted. How about “just leave”? For people browsing from other places, don’t make assumption on any place you haven’t really been to.

    • 49 range June 7, 2011 at 22:03

      That’s a very ignorant comment that you posted. Maybe the Taiwanese should read more English so that they can comment. Either way, this post was meant for foreigners who are coming or who have come to Taiwan.

      The fact of the matter is that if you are white, with a North American accent, you’ll find a job easily here. It gets more problematic when you aren’t. Part of it is the teaching directors and the school owners. Part of it is the teachers. It rarely has anything to do with the students.

  33. 50 anonymous September 16, 2011 at 16:58

    Hello Range

    I am thinking of moving to Taiwan to improve my Mandarin. I can understand, read, write (both simplified and traditional Chinese) and speak Chinese to a very high level. My boyfriend is from Mainland China and he can attest that my Chinese is good enough to live and work in China or Taiwan. If I don’t tell people where I am from, some people in China even thought that I was from Southern China. To finance my Chinese studies, I was thinking of working as an English teacher. I have taught in a public school in South Korea for 2 years and have a 120 hours online TESOL certificate. Technically, I’m not Taiwanese but my surname is a dead give away that I could have been Taiwanese if my grandparents opted to migrate to Taiwan instead. What are my chances of landing an English teaching gig? Any ideas on how long it will take for me to find an English teaching job or any other job that can help me finance my Chinese studies? I have already booked my flight and will be arriving in Taipei on the 1st of October this year.

    • 51 range September 16, 2011 at 19:32

      Hi,

      Teaching ESL while studying is something that I’m doing as well, and it’s possible, depending on how you can juggle your schedule.

      There is quite a bit of racism when it comes to the teaching sector, especially when it comes to foreign teachers. I have met only a handful of ABCs, CBCs, BBCs, that were hired as full fledged foreign teachers. The fact that you can speak Mandarin could be a hindrance, when it comes to getting hired at the traditional buxibans, but would be an asset at some of the foreign-owned schools.

      The most important thing after your accent is what you look like. What most Teaching Directors want is a Caucasian male. That being said, there are many directors who just want the best teachers. I’ve had competing offers from 3 different schools the last time I was looking for jobs and I’m not white.

      Finding a job is pretty easy. Just go to tealit.com and search through the listing. You should apply in advance and schedule interviews and demos ASAP. That way you’ll hit the ground running.

  34. 53 range September 22, 2011 at 19:04

    While I have worked at foreign-owned buxibans, I no longer do because I don’t like the style. It’s very intensive and difficult. You can’t teach more than 20 hours or so and it’s very draining. I like teaching Kindergarten and some cram school classes.

    I don’t maintain any contacts nor do I know their hiring policies vis-a-vis ABCs. My guess is that in Taipei, it would be hard.

  35. 54 jiming March 25, 2012 at 19:57

    Thanks to Range for bring this topic on his blog to life:
    I will link back to this section on my website: http://www.wdevn.tv

    I am making this comment on-line from a 24 hour bookstore in on Dunhua North Road (敦化北路) in Taipei on an iPad.

    First of all, I would like to say thanks to the people who took the time to comment on this very sensitive topic. I see a lot of people took the time to express their point of view. I personally don’t agree with everyone who has commented, but I do feel alliance with a few.

    Next, and importantly, I would like it known that I AM the former black teacher and manager mentioned in this conversation. I am one of the same. I have well over twenty years behind me in both Mainland China and Taiwan in not only English language teaching, but in commercial mass media. I have received a college education in the US, China and Taiwan and I’m quite fluent in Chinese and can converse in Taiwanese as well.

    To start off with, I would like to thank “BHR aka CR” on the Quaker story posted as it simplified that people can define a present or future perception based on their personal view of the world.

    Before anyone preaches a point of view about people of another, language, race or culture a step back must be taken that insures that biases are not a contributing factor. This isn’t 100% possible for anyone to do under any situation. This includes myself! I know many locals and people from all over the world who currently reside in Taiwan for one reason or another. The ones that function well here are those who chose to view the world in Taiwan from a Quakers point of view.

    The words “racist” and “racism” carry different connotations in different places and time. I can show how “religion”, “pride”, “nationalism”, “cultural awareness” and others can easily be turned over to express forms of negativity toward those who don’t come from similar backgrounds or have similar values. Over the years I have met, for other words, local jerks and jerks from all over the world here in Taiwan. I guess being a jerk is easy and doesn’t carry requirements or the need for registration to become a member. This is why I can understand the points Ydac and Skyfae made in their responses. We all need to be un-biased concerning this topic.

    Likewise, there are no special skills or requirements needed to be or become a decent person, which Taiwan, like many other places, has a Hell of a lot of. I have had the misfortune to have to work with local jerks that didn’t care about the quality of the education given to students. Surely, I have also worked with expats who thought along the same lines. This is a sad truth that I will never allow myself to be a part of or repeat.

    As a black man, I can say this loudly and clearly, “People in Taiwan are no more or less prejudiced or racist than people who live under other forms of democratic governments.” As a person who cares about the quality of education given to students, and who happens to be a Black American, I’m not finding it extremely difficult attracting people who really want to learn. This simply means teaching English without playing games and wasting time or money. Because of this, I can demand a premium for the courses I teach at my exclusively owned and operated HFRB. It’s like I’m running a well kept secret, as many of the students / children I currently have at my school are actors or of children of parents that have a high public profile.

    It is true, unfortunately like other places in the world; a black person, or someone of darker complexion, may find it challenging finding employment in some professions. Teaching happens to be one where appearances can be a major employment factor in some places in Taiwan. This can be downright frustrating. I have been in this situation a few times. However, Taiwan has changed a lot and very quickly for the better in this regards. Many people running things in Taiwan are now a lot more open-minded and internationalized than in the past.

    The next question is have I personally faced prejudice and racism in Taiwan? The answer is YES! I’ve also faced prejudice in a few places in the good old U.S. of A! I have been in some very difficult situations in Taiwan and as a Black American having to face them isn’t easy. However, when these hard situations do come, I have lines of Taiwanese friends waiting at my door to help pull me up off the ground and push me forward. In some cases, they give me a square kick in my black butt to get my engine running. My true Taiwanese friends call be “Blackman in Taiwanese (Taiwanese:歐郎) (Mandarin: 黑人). Sounds strange, racist, crude or rude? Not at all, if you understand the language and the system of brotherhood in Taiwan. This may sound unnerving to those who don’t understand, but it’s like “homeboys” in the Bronx calling each other the “N” word! Not smooth talk in some circles, but in many cases the feeling of being one of a whole is what counts and in this way I am grateful. Remember that no place can and will be perfect for everyone every time.

    Spend time making the circle you live in the best place it can be for you and those you and who care about you.

    • 55 Simon January 9, 2014 at 21:39

      Good to hear your experiences.

      it wasn’t so long ago that racism was involved in nationalism. Just look at the propaganda in ww1 & ww2.
      Nations were all one race. Multiculturalism is unnatural for most people.
      Just look at school kids. You will notice they are commonly grouped by race.
      In time things will improve and people with positive attitudes and colour blind eyes (i.e open to be friends with all races) will help break down these barriers.

      One thing to think about is what Taiwanese know of other races and where will they learn about others. When i was in Taiwan (enjoyed it people very friendly) movies were either from asia or Hollywood blockbusters.

      Hollywood movies are quite biased.
      Blacks for example are often involved with crime as well as this being “supported” by hip hop/rap culture (ho’s pimps … etc).
      They don’t have much exposure as family people, romance movies, hero’s .. etc as compared to the negative roles they are given. (yes i know DW, SLJ , WS & CR are often positive) DW=densel washington

      Even look how hollywood portrays asians. asian women as either dragon ladies or hyper sexual (e.g. LL in Alley Mcbeal) Asian guys as either nerds or martial artists.
      Asian guys do not usually get the girl.

      So considering hollywood on average doesn’t show black people in a good light (let alone Rap/hip hop) and as this is probably where TWN people learn about black the most, its sad but true.

      Only way people will change is if they find out the truth somehow.
      in real life the best way to change negative attitudes is by being positive.

      • 56 range March 1, 2014 at 17:58

        Interesting take, it definitely puts in words what the Hollywood bias does, but TW people mostly watch local, Chinese, Korean or Japanese TV, where there’s no diversity at all. Life in TW is fine, for the most parts, and better in my opinion that some other places in Asia.

  36. 57 Tim November 23, 2012 at 14:59

    I’m a Taiwanese and I think Taiwan is a horrible place to live especially for the people from south Asia.The racism against them is pretty bad.Taiwanese throw the rubbish everywhere, so the environment is terrible.The racism is pretty serious here, some races are not treated as friendly as others generally, but you won’t get insulted on the streets or being treated very unfairly though.The old people are the worst here like all the other coutries I think.

  37. 58 Casey October 6, 2013 at 13:07

    Hi Range, this is my first time coming by your blog. I cannot thank you enough for this entry. I am an ABC (and not a fake one, trust me.) I was born in Cali, and still am in Cali for all 22 years of my life thus far. I was considering to move to Taiwan so my mom can be with her family and with me as well. I of course plan on teaching English, but also consider working for foreign companies perhaps. Frankly, I feel at a loss after all of this research and bias towards “ABC’s.” But again, for the sake of family, I’m going to bear and grin it. I’m glad that you as a person who faces racism overseas has shared your thoughts and views. I am going to dig around your blog even more. But you’ve mentioned that you prefer working for foreigners. Do you mean foreigners who have opened up buxibans? If so, could you recommend a few as to where to start? Thank you for this post, I truly appreciate it! Take care.

    • 59 range October 12, 2013 at 13:36

      Hi Casey,

      There still is plenty of racism and reverse racism in Taiwan. If you stay in the bigger cities, it’s not as bad as the smaller towns, in my experience. While foreigners do open schools, they can get assimilated quickly if they marry Taiwanese, and start behaving similarly. I’ve had numerous bad experiences with foreign managers or owners as well. Depending on your skill set, I’d choose to combine two different jobs to make the most money. A morning/early afternoon kindergarten job, which is usually easy to teach and doesn’t require much marking, with an afternoon and evening teaching buxiban job, which can require more marking, but you teach kids that usually can already speak a bit of English. For Kindergartens, I like Happy Marian, but the branches can be a mixed bag. Some of them are good, some of them are bad. It all depends on the owners and the managers.

      As for buxibans, there are plenty out there. I’d choose one with a minimal amount of marking. You can find plenty of job offers on tealit.com. I’d stay away from Hess because they don’t pay much and stay away from full time employment and look for part time hourly paid work. The reason why is because they can make you do pretty much anything they want if you’re employed full time. If you’re on hourly pay, even if you work more than 20 hours at the same school, they won’t be able to. I combined 2 part time hourly paid jobs, which amounts to around 33 hours of teaching per week, and I earn a pretty good wage.

      • 60 Casey October 14, 2013 at 04:31

        Thank you so much for your response Range. I truly appreciate it, especially since this blog post was done years ago. I look forward to teaching now thanks to your advice. I guess racism is just inevitable over there. Racism never played a big part in Cali since it’s so diverse I suppose. But, time to realize the true world out there that not every single place is gonna be like Cali. Anyway, I can’t thank you enough for your advice on taking two part time jobs instead of getting fully employed. I move in May! And since Taiwan seems to be a small place, I hope I could someday bump into you and your wife if the chance springs up. Thanks again Range, and I truly enjoy the rest of your blog too! :) Have a good one!


  1. 1 ABCs And Fake ABCs « memoirs on a rainy day Trackback on March 9, 2007 at 16:05

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ranjitwithkinginbehand.jpgI'm Range, your host. On the menu, photos, art, stories, entertainment and reviews. Links, maths, education and social issues. I'm in Quebec (Canada) or Taiwan (R.O.C.). Follow me on Twitter.

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