This afternoon, my wife and I were eating lunch in our living room when we heard voices outside. We frequently hear people walking by, talking, so it’s not big deal. But these voices persisted, as if the people who were speaking had become stationary. I looked out the window. Boy, had they become stationary!
I opened the kitchen door and saw 3 men sitting on the ground next to our car, underneath our carport overhang. One was resting against the car. The other two were lying on the ground, and one of them was actually laying with his head on the stomach of the other guy (just too weird). They had hard hats with them which were placed on the ground. “What are you doing?” I asked. “Are we bothering you?” he replied. “This isn’t a hotel” I said as I slammed the door shut. They got up and left, clearly unhappy that I had made them move.
I don’t get it! Why would 3 men choose to sit and smoke on someone’s property? Add to the fact that these idiots who smoke always discard their cigarette butts as if they are bio-degradable. Those butts never go away and I end up sweeping the area every few weeks.
Why should I have to go outside and remind these guys that I live here and I don’t want them around?
Things that I’ve experienced due to a lack of respect for one’s surroundings include:
- A couple that stopped near my table in a restaurant to fight, including loud yelling – 1 meter away.
- A mother who stopped next to where I was seated outdoors, to pull her kid’s pants down. PU!
- A man who stopped his scooter next to our living room window to talk on his phone – with the engine running, at 2am.
- People very loudly talking on their phones right in the midst of people.
- 7-11 patrons who exit the store like an F-16 carrier launch, and run right into me because they didn’t look.
- People walking 2 or 3 abreast on a sidewalk, with no room to pass them, and no clue that anyone ever would.
- The elderly gentleman who insists upon cutting the corner at my home on his scooter so closely, that I nearly hit him by simply opening my front door to go out.
- Being woken up at 3am by people talking full voice as they go into their hotel room next to mine.
- Having to endure listening to someone’s radio while I’m out in the wilderness.
- People who park temporarily to visit the next door neighbor, while blocking my front door so I can’t open it.
All of these things are the result of people not thinking about others. It’s often been said that Taiwanese cannot imagine themselves in place of other people. My mother taught me that no matter what I do, I should not bother other people. Apparently this concept is foreign in Taiwan (and Asia for that matter). I have asked people who were talking on their phone to move away from me. Of course, they respond asking why. My answer “because I don’t want to hear you talking” always seems perplexing. I’ve asked people who are doing all sort of obnoxious things to please move away and it’s clear that they think I’m weird and have some problem. This is akin to the recent topic that’s been discussed on many blogs where people don’t respect peace and tranquility. I don’t want to look at your kid’s butt or smell what he did; I don’t want to hear you call your gf a dirty name and watch her slap you; I don’t want to have to block our your loud talking, and I sure don’t want you sitting in my carport smoking.
The last thing that I want to say on this topic is that all these things happen because people are indifferent to strangers. Once they are introduced to a person, they become the hao peng-you (good friend) and no one would do anything like this to their “good friend.” I’ve been in situations were a person was snubbed pretty good by indifference, only to be introduced later on and then treated with an entirely different attitude. If I had to sum this up, it would be that my mother taught me to respect the rights of all people. Here, people only respect those whom they personally know, apparently.