Ten ways you know you're turning into a local in Taiwan

09/27/2015 03:21 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 23 (CNA) As a foreigner living in Taiwan, there comes a magical time when you realize that you've finally started to settle in. Where once your constant confusion was like a branding across your head that said "FOREIGNER." You now feel like you know the ropes to Taiwanese life -- at least a little bit.

See how many signs you can tick off on our handy checklist.

1. You're an MRT Maestro

You can waltz through the MRT turnstiles without stopping because you've found that sweet spot in your wallet where your Easy Card can be read by the machine without you having to lug it out.

2. You're mostly over your 101 obsession

Your Facebook news feed is basically a shrine to photos of Taipei 101 that your friends upload on a daily basis. But now you only take the occasional picture, and only when you're convinced you've captured the perfect balance of lighting and composition that is completely unlike any of the other million or so photos of 101 out there.

3. You hoard receipts

You religiously save your receipts from every purchase, as you are absolutely convinced that next time is the time your uniform invoice lottery numbers will line up and you'll be able to enjoy a very early retirement.

4. You plan your Typhoon Days

The night before a typhoon hits, you constantly refresh the official government forecast page in the hope that you will see the magical words -- "school and work cancelled." Even before it's announced you've already planned the whole day off to a tee, and have booked a karaoke room in advance because you know its impossible to do so once the day off is official.

5. You barely feel the earth move anymore

You barely blink an eye when you feel a minor earthquake, but when it's a really big one you excitedly update your Facebook and share stories the next day detailing exactly where you were, your reaction and afterthoughts.

6. You can squat it like it's hot

You no longer fear falling to your death when you have to use a squat toilet, and you've grown accustomed to the "in the bin, not the bowl" toilet paper rule.

7. You know the correlation between drinking and foreign language fluency

After several rounds of cheap beer and shouting ganbei! (乾杯, bottoms up) at rechao (熱炒) restaurants you're absolutely convinced your Mandarin has dramatically improved and that everyone must bear witness to your new-found fluency.

8. You know how to use the Holy Word

You live by the golden word, which, said enough times, can resolve any problem, answer any question and basically make you sound like you know way more Mandarin than you actually do -- "Dui, Dui, Dui" (對, 對, 對).

9. You're all over the local places to score cheap eats

You cringe at paying more than NT$150 (US$4.45) for a meal, even though to eat out regularly in your home country you basically have to take out a bank loan.

10. People accept you're in Taiwan (not another place beginning with T)

Your family and friends have finally stopped thinking you're living in Thailand, after your painstaking efforts to make it very clear you definitely live in Taiwan. Even more special is when after a while, Taiwanese people stop seeing you as a foreigner, and start thinking of you as one of their own.

(By Monica Mizzi)ENDITEM/J

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