專訪/台灣進入三級警戒 外籍朋友們分享最大差異|Foreign residents express concern at worsening of outbreak in Taiwan

A barista at Cotcha Coffee pours some milk in a coffee cup in this undated file photo. (Courtesy of Cotcha Coffee)


Since Taiwan raised its epidemic prevention measures to Level 3 nationwide, a handful of businesses have been closed to combat the virus, affecting many people’s livelihoods. 

Against this backdrop, 4-Way Voice has interviewed several new immigrants and migrant workers in Taiwan, hoping to understand how their lives have changed since the worsening of the outbreak.

來自印尼的劉先生來台深耕多年,並開了一間咖啡廳《咖竅Cotcha Coffee林口麗園店》,他表示生活上幾乎沒有受到太大影響,但創業方面的壓力很大。

The owner of Cotcha Coffee in Taoyuan surnamed Liu is greatly concerned by the dwindling number of customers at his small business. The Indonesian immigrant said his life hasn’t changed that much but the dire business outlook is a source of great concern.


“Since the government announced to raise the national epidemic-prevention measures to Level 3, takeout orders have dwindled around 15-20% on weekdays, while the decrease was more significant on weekends with a 30% drop.”

Cotcha Coffee is a small business established in Taoyuan by an Indonesian migrant. (Courtesy Cotcha Coffee)


In addition, Liu also pointed out that manpower restrictions mean that it is increasingly more difficult to organize work according to the workload amid the epidemic.


Another Indonesian immigrant surnamed Luo from Taichung said that the inconvenience caused by the pandemic, including having to refrain from eating outdoors, going to events, and working out in public spaces, has caused her emotional stress over time.

Students and tutors have expressed concern at the soaring number of hours they spend online for their studies and to make ends meet.
Students and tutors have expressed concern at the soaring number of hours they spend online for their studies and to make ends meet. (Pixabay)


As a contract employee under a government agency, she also mentioned the difficulty of adapting to working at home.


Teddy, an English teacher from the United States, who was teaching English at a language-learning institute before the local outbreak, told us that the epidemic has cost him his job. 

“We don’t have any students, things are difficult. My colleagues at the institute told me that there are no courses to be taught for now.” Without a steady income, Teddy is currently living on his savings.


Apart from foreign teachers, many international students are also under the pressure of the current epidemic situation. Since most of them rent small studios or share apartments with other friends, having to stay home all day can be equally difficult to cope with.

正就讀於國立政治大學碩士班的Jenny (為保護當事人,此為化名),談及目前上課狀況,她說不論是兼職還是學校都全面改線上,不能外出導致心靈上的鬱悶像是無形中失去呼吸空間。

Jenny, a Thai student as well as a language tutor who is currently studying for a masters degree in National Chengchi University (國立政治大學, NCCU), explained that having to stay home all day has made her feel she was like suffocating.


As a tutor as well as a student, all her courses are done online, meaning that she has to stay home all day in her tiny room, causing her great distress mentally as well as affecting her efficiency at work and study.


Another student from Vietnam said that most of her fellow Vietnamese friends have lost their jobs as most of them worked at restaurants, and many of the restaurant owners have closed down and even stopped receiving takeout orders at all.

On the other hand, her friends who worked at language institutes have faced manpower cut down with decreased working hours. 

“All the foreign students around me in Taiwan who had to pay for their own tuition and rent are a bit worried that they will not be able to make ends meet”.

The owner of the convenience store is also a migrant from Indonesia. (Courtesy of 萌太利印尼料理及商品)


Mr. Huang, an Indonesian immigrant who runs a convenience store selling goods and delights from his home country, however, is optimistic about the current situation despite seeing a 30 percent decrease in income in his business.


He said that he enjoyed the slow-paced lifestyle now with no indoor customers and fewer take-out orders, saying that it lowers his pressure.


He also pointed out the interesting facts that several Indonesian products are doing better compared to before. 

Having fewer customers is also a chance to slow down amid the worsening of the outbreak, according to the owner of this convenience store. (Courtesy of 萌太利印尼料理及商品)