進入台灣的社會 Accessing Taiwan’s Society

Kim Douglas

Kim Douglas

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)

我來台灣以後,一直覺得自己很幸運可以在一個全新的環境求學,因為已經決定好我最少要在台灣4年,我早就接受我必須想辦法適應這個環境。我會不會跟一個台灣小姐在一起?會不會培養台灣人的生活習慣?其實,這些事情都很有可能性。雖然走在路上,一直有不少人到處用奇怪的眼光看我,但我還是很努力要了解這個社會;再說,學外文要多說多聽,為了加強我的中文,多交朋友是既有效果又有趣的辦法。

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.

當時,台灣人的傳統對我而言是一個全新的領域,而且我一直以為台灣小姐特別保守。實在說,我一到台灣就感受到台灣小姐的美麗,但因為文化的不同不敢追,而且中文還不夠順沒辦法表達自己的心意。我決定先了解台灣的社會,先把國語學好,然後加強我的花言巧語。

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.

一年過去了,自己開始急,決定要開始找我的台灣小天使。一天逛書店的時候遇到了一個古典美女,一看到她心跳就變快,真是一見鍾情。我告訴我自己一定要趁著這個機會,所以就馬上過去跟她說幾句。哇!我真沒想到。她不但很漂亮又很體貼,很熱情的跟我聊天,又給我她的手機號碼,棒極了。

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.

Kim Douglas

Kim Douglas

我但是有一個問題,我越來越喜歡她。我就直接把我心裡的感覺告訴她,讓她知道我很喜歡她,希望可以給我一個機會當她的男朋友,好好兒愛她。我也問她對我的感覺,跟她解釋我問的原因,是不希望誤會她對我好的動機。因為我自己也怕傷害我們好不容易建立的友誼,還說我希望我們好歹可以當朋友。她並沒有直接回答我的問題,而說我們應該多花一些時間多了解彼此,我一直保持旺盛的鬥志,繼續跟她來往,繼續表達我的心意。但是我一直覺得很奇怪,我都不知道她到底對我是否有興趣。

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.

我花了許多功夫在她的身上,嘗試探索她到底愛不愛我,三、四個月過後,我依然無法看出來她心裡的答案。西方人處理感情的方法真不一樣,嗯!我這時開始接觸到西東方人的愛情代溝,但是接觸不夠,我需要想辦法克服不得不遇到的衝突。

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.

這次的關係對我而言,是一個學習的經驗,真讓我打開眼界,讓我多了解台灣小姐的看法,我自己想了很久才了解,有的台灣小姐就是沒有西方小姐那麼直接,她們會為喜歡的人做好多事情,然後希望對方會意、感受到她們付出的愛意,我自己怎會那麼笨呢?我後來很後悔,希望她能回來我的小世界。

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.

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4 thoughts on “進入台灣的社會 Accessing Taiwan’s Society

  1. Rather interesting, westerners think the same, and can read each other mind, we never know Easterners, because they are not part of us.

  2. Nice story Kenton. Kim has no need to feel silly though, and I don’t believe love is in all of this; loneliness can give us a false impression of ourselves. Then again I can be wrong.

  3. I don’t think that it is silly, but is shows the diferences of culture and how we had to adapt or get to know the culture to another man”s country.. but in all of this I think the important thinks is the friendship and bond that was established.. it is rare that you find a guy who is willing to continue being friends espacially with a woman even though she is not (as we say giving it up) ..
    Thank you for sharing your story
    P.S .. Is there a followup to this story?.. did he eventually find true love?.
    Anxiously waiting

  4. I always thought those signs were the basics. My father has taught me a long long time ago. If you have to ask for love it’s not there, because if it’s there you are supposed to notice it.

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