TAIPEI (The China Post) — Moving to a new country is no easy task; it could take months, if not years, to get used to a completely new environment.
For some people, a new country is a chance for a new start. Michelle Casale moved to Taiwan in 2013 and immediately fell in love with this island nation.
Speaking to The China Post, she described herself as “the bridge between foreigners and Taiwanese.” She has finally decrypted the huge difference between Taiwan and Germany.
Michelle thinks that Taiwanese people are more passive (「客氣」) and respectful when speaking to one another. Whereas Germans tend to be more direct and straightforward.
“When I first came to Taiwan, I felt like a piece of wood,” she said because she “was used to people telling [her] what was wrong but “people don’t do that here.”
As she slowly learned the differences in cultures, she realized that Taiwanese people often use phrases like “It’s okay” and “I’m sorry” even when they are unhappy with something.
“Even when they are angry or disagree with you, they don’t tell you directly for fear of making things awkward,” she added.
According to Michelle, foreigners usually don’t place too much emphasis on “saving face” for others.
“Most foreigners just say whatever they want to whoever they want, but in Taiwan, we have to be respectful to those who are in a higher position than us.”
Michelle loves Taiwan because she thinks Taiwanese are a lot “more friendly” than Germans and it’s a lot easier “to make friends in Taiwan.”
”It’s a really safe environment and Taiwanese people are more welcome and open. Michelle added that sometimes in Germany, she feels “lonely because German people are more distant.”