“When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do”
This exact phrase was once written on a group Facebook page I was apart of when I was teaching English in Taiwan. The reason it was written? Because a foreigner that arrived to Taiwan around the same time as I did posted something about the culture and how he didn’t understand it. The conversation carried on, then ended with that saying – Do as the Roman’s do.
This actually is one of the reasons why I love traveling so much – you get to learn about different cultures and how they do things. When I first moved to Taiwan there were a lot of things that I didn’t understand and wasn’t prepared for. But as time went on I grew accustomed to their culture and grew to love the things I once didn’t understand.
There are a lot of things that I learned from living in Taiwan, and a lot of things I wasn’t expecting when arriving to this beautiful island.
Here’s a list of things that I wished I knew, and what you need to know before traveling to Taiwan.
- You should not flush the toilet paper
- Bring your own toilet paper because the toilets don’t always have some
- Bring hand sanitizer because there’s not always soap in the bathrooms
- You can rarely find cheese, milk or any kind of dairy
- They serve food in bags sometimes
- You’ll rarely, if ever, find any foreign foods outside of the big cities
- Stinky tofu is everywhere and they love it so prepare your nose
- Most people don’t speak English outside the big cities, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try to communicate with you
- Their scooter traffic is what I’d like to call organized chaos
- Stand on one side of the escalators so people can walk around you
- If someone offers you something, you should take it. It’s considered rude for you to not accept what someone is trying to give you
- No food or drink on public transportation – not even gum
- It’s a cash only country – rarely do people use cards
- People will cut in line sometimes. I don’t think they notice it, but it happens
- Take your shoes off before entering someone’s home