A friend pointed out this post to me. I think I'll put up a link to what interested him: http://goo.gl/5dKDG
In a nutshell, the author compares Taiwan to China, using the format of a first-time visitor to these parts and what she walked away with (anger, epiphany, disillusionment, friendship, etc.). The former country is kind of good, the latter is not good at all. Okay. Both the author and the visitor are entitled to their opinions (I am not really trying to argue for a side here). I will say this: the woman he chooses to focus on offers up her own experiences while he does not prefer (see above link) to bring home a certain point of view. Here's a quick list-off of what caught my eye from his side of it (italicized):
China vs. Taiwan is a very interesting comparison
No, it is not. It has been done to death.
Both share common roots, yet the people are so different (or is it like comparing a mountain to a molehill?)
Well, Taiwan also has a distinctly aboriginal / frontier history. I'm no expert, but I think China has something like fifty-five different cultures, at least according to the official line. Back to Taiwan: I do know this is controversial, but many think that since Taiwan in her history had a closed door to female immigration from China (from the late 1600s until around the start of the 1800s, it was basically illegal for Chinese women to come here), most Taiwanese people have aboriginal DNA. The molehill in this analogy is Taiwan; this will only serve to annoy.
I'm not surprised by her experience, but I wonder, if she wasn't a white girl, how the experience would be like. Fact is, being white in this part of the world sparks a lot of interest and emotions among some of the locals: curiosity, contempt, interest, despise, admiration, mistrust and a mix of positive and negative cliches...
What cliches are you speaking about?
I'm speaking from my own experience.
The author is male. I'm not saying men and women cannot experience the same stuff. Her experience, as a female, has been stressed by the author though.
I'm not really liking the "yet the people are so very different" twist either because I come away with this take after reading the post, based on the set-up: we are supposed to see Taiwan and China as the same at the start. If not, the post doesn't really have a reason for existing. "Yet the people are so very different" looks like a story-telling technique. It has this tone: "I know what you were thinking and have thought, but are you ready for this? Get ready to have your eyes opened!"
For me, Taiwan's distinctness isn't much of a shocker. After all, China and Taiwan have been separated for 117 years (politically, that is -- an argument could be made that the separation dates back further), so it should go without saying they do not share exactly the same culture and by extension, behavior. If the author has posted up because some Taiwanese people and some Chinese people look similar and are able to communicate with each other, that could also seem problematic, especially in this transnational world we live in, where lines grow increasingly blurred.
I suggested to the author, who is from Slovenia, that he might not really enjoy it too much if a non-Slovenian were to set up camp and go about inviting the rest of us to talk about how Slovenians are distinguishable or indistinguishable from other peoples of the former Yugoslavia, or even Soviet Union. What I really meant to say is this: if the author had brought up his own experience, whether in Taiwan, China or back in Slovenia, a more honest and enlightening piece of work might have ensued. How I engage people still needs work.
The blog author closes out with a few questions. Here are three: Do you think what she [the girl who may be white] wrote is generally true or too subjective? Do you think what she wrote is generally true or too subjective [let's have another go]? Did you find it interesting?
a.) Do you think it is generally true? I don't know -- what's the point? I have brought my response over to my own blog because I don't really feel like running the gauntlet of censors at another site. Having said this, I rarely comment on other blogs these days. There are about five or six that I read on a normal basis. This post was brought to my attention; in all truth, I don't know anything about the guy posting other than what I was told when it was pointed out to me.
b.) Do you think what she wrote is too subjective [OK, let's have another go at this]? No. It's just a series of anecdotes. Most of us can appreciate a good anecdote and recognize it for what it is.
c.) Did you find it interesting? Meh.
c.) Did you find it interesting? Meh.