Taiwan: a note-leaving culture

One thing you’ll notice after moving to Taiwan is that it’s prevalently a note leaving culture – but what exactly does this mean? It generally means that face to face confrontation is kept to a minimum. If you have a problem with someone, or something, then rather than find the person and speak to them, instead you would leave them a note somewhere for them to find.

You’ll find notes everywhere, and they really are the prime method of communicating a problem, anything ranging from parking in someone else’s spot or moving some one’s washing, to a smoker leaving cigarette butts on the floor, or someone playing music too loud – all can be handled by the strategic positioning of a note. It’s very rare if ever that you’d want to confront someone and personally ask them to not play music so loud etc

It seems the main point here is to avoid a confrontation – the reasons for this could be many, could it be to save face? Is it impolite to air your grievances in public, or to put someone on-the-spot? The difference between British and Taiwanese culture seems to be that while in Britain you can for the most part politely confront someone about an issue, yet in Taiwan people would rather not risk that it might end in an uncomfortable confrontation, and instead just leave a note.

Obviously there are difference point of views in all cultures, in the west you might only have to cut someone off in a car to cause a nasty confrontation, while in Taiwan people can actual crash into each and have it still not result in such a situation – how nice would this be in the UK! 🙂

Keep an open mind when you move to a new culture, and expect that there wil be fundemental differences in your own culture and the country you have moved to.

Can you think of any other quirks or interesting points you have noticed while living in Asia? Please let us know in the comments below:

One response to “Taiwan: a note-leaving culture

  1. I think I prefer this culture over the one in Korea, where people can be pretty loud and direct, even slap you. Taiwanese are generally shy, especially in Taipei. If you go to some places in the south, in some small towns, people are warmer and more approachable. But both suits me well, since I’m also rather reserved and polite.

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