This piece was written by Kim Douglas, a Dominican who has been living in Taiwan for several years. It speaks of his experience trying to communicate his feelings to a Taiwanese female during his first year in the Asian nation.
作者: 金旺 by Kim Douglas
外國人看台灣/ 第一篇 A foreigner’s view of Taiwan/Part 1
進入台灣的社會 Accessing Taiwanese Society
(Translated into English by Kenton X. Chance)
After I came to Taiwan, I continually thought that I was lucky to be able to study in a new environment. Since I had decided that I would spend at least four years in Taiwan, from the inception, I knew I had to think of ways to get accustomed to the new circumstances. I wondered if I would find a Taiwanese girlfriend or if I would be able to get accustomed to daily life in Taiwan. In fact, all these things were possible. Although quite a few persons looked at me strangely when I walked the street, I made a concerted effort to understand the Taiwanese society. Additionally, when studying a foreign language, one has to practice speaking and listening. Making friends is not only an effective but also an interesting way to do this.
At that time, for me, Taiwanese traditions were a new field and I was constantly under the impression that Taiwanese women were especially conservative. When I first got to Taiwan, I immediately appreciated the beauty of Taiwanese women. However, because of the differences in culture, I dared not pursue them. Additionally, I was not yet very proficient in Chinese and was not able to use the language to adequately express my feelings. I decided to first try to understand Taiwanese society, learn Chinese and then improve my wooing skills.
One year later, I began to get anxious and decided it was time to look for my Taiwanese angel. One day while browsing at t bookstore, I chanced upon a classical beauty. As soon as I saw her, my heart began to race. Not only was she very beautiful but she was also very considerate. She chatted with me very warmly and even gave me her cell number. Great!
從這個時候，我在台灣的生活就變得更很有意思了。我們變成好朋友 , 她對我特別好，幫我加強我的中文，也有的時候做飯給我吃。我發現她比我大五歲，但是我還是沒改變我原來對她的感覺。噢對，我記得好多人都跟我說，我比較欣賞成熟的女人，可是我自己還是覺得內在美最重要，我覺得雖然台灣小姐的身材比較小，但是她們很溫柔、聲音很迷人 。
From that moment, my life in Taiwan found new meaning. We became good friends and she was especially good to me, helped me to improve my Chinese and at times cooked for me. I found out that she was five years my senior. However, that did not change my feelings towards her. I remember many people had told me that I appreciated mature women more but I still believe that inner beauty is most important. I think that although Taiwanese women are more petite, they are very gentle and their voices are very charming.
However, I had a problem: I liked her more and more. I told her how I felt about her, letting her know that I liked her a lot and wanted an opportunity to be her boyfriend and love her thoroughly. Also, to ensure that I did not misinterpret her motivations, I asked her how she felt about me. I was also afraid of damaging the friendship that we had worked hard to build. I was also hopeful that we could always be friends. She did not respond to my question in the least or say that we should spend more time getting to know each other. I however maintained a strong will to press on. We continued to travel together and I continued to tell her about my feelings. However, I always found it strange that after all my confession I still did not know whether or not she was interested in me.
I spent a lot of time at her side, trying find out whether she loved me. Three or four months later, I still could not tell how she felt. Westerners’ way of dealing with matters of the heart is really different from Easterners’. It was at that time that I began to encounter those differences. I needed to find a way to overcome the conflict I had encountered.
That friendship for me was a learning experience, a real eye-opener that helped me to better understand Taiwanese women’s outlook. I thought about it a long time before I understood. Some Taiwanese women just do not have Western women’s directness. They will do many good deeds for the one they love and hope that the other party feels the love that they exert. How could I have been so silly? I later regretted and hope that she will come back into my world.