|A busy alley in XinBeitou, Taipei|
Admit it or not all of us build stereo types at the back of our heads. One thing I love about traveling is that it educates me to become a better person. Those of us who are enclosed within the confines of big buildings of our mega cities are more likely to be much less knowledgeable when it comes to cultures as we (well at least many of us) feel that we are much superior than people from the provinces.
The stereotype that I have made of people from the rest of the part of country has been gone ever since I traveled. No wonder they call our city Imperial Manila.
On my most recent trip to Taiwan, again, I have been educated.
At this point I would like to apologize for building the stereo types of Chinese. Please do understand that I have but limited interaction with them hence the image that was built to me.
One of the things that concerned me most prior to my trip was that people in Taiwan would be unfriendly and be a snob. This is because the image of the Chinese people that is in my head are the ones from divisoria (a shopping destination in Manila, Philippines) who never fails to loose their temper every time that I shop there as if I owe them something.
Breaking The First Impression
All of the myths and the worries inside my head disappeared as soon as we landed at the airport. Except for the lady nurses that seemed to have panicked when they detected that our temperature was higher than normal every one was calm and friendly. Even though most of the people don't speak much of English they still try to understand you and help you before they give up and let you know that they don't understand you.
I didn't change my money to dollars at the airport in Manila thinking that I could get a better deal if I change my money in Taiwan, aside from the fact that the money changer in the airport only has hundred dollar bills.
I tried to ask around but the airport staff that was around the arrival area wasn't speaking English.I tried to withdraw money on an ATM using my mastercard but the ATM wouldn't dispense an amount lower than a thousand dollars (Taiwan) and I wouldn't want to get that much money since I have enough cash with me (that was my self control working over overspending)
Then a Taiwanese couple approached me and noticed that I was having problems with changing my money. The guy offered to change my money with his dollars which would be enough for me to buy a bus ticket. Unnoticed, the guys girlfriend already left and looked for a money changer and found one in a hidden corner of the airport that was under renovation.
Upon knowing that I was going to commute around Tiapei Robelyn, my new found friend gave me a bunch of $10 coins and told me to keep it as I would need it to get around the city.
Thank God for these people! If they weren't around I would have spent my day waiting for that closed money changer to open by 10AM!
My host also was a great help, he was the reason why I was able to return back home. And that deserves another blog post.
Contrary to my concern before I left the Taiwanese people are generally friendly and has a great smile on their face. Helping people on how to get around seemed to be natural for them be it for tourists or locals alike which makes it easy for anyone to get around the city.
So there you go, another reason for you to travel. Definitely traveling makes a the world better, one boarding pass at a time.