It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


A Rare Moment of Peace

page: 1

log in


posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 11:39 PM
This random musing is based on finally being able to travel abroad for the first time and what I've noticed in regards to how people treat each other.

I was born and raised in California, and I have seen most of the country, Tijuana, and parts of Canada. Right now I am in Taiwan on an internship, so I have been able to experience this country for three months now.

Upon arrival in this beautiful country, I was stunned... suspicious of how nice everybody was to a foreigner. When I could not figure out how to use the phone, some random person working at a food mart there offered me to use their cell. When I could not find the bus stop to get to downtown Taipei from industrial Taoyuan, a random dude off the street offered me a ride on his scooter to take me to the bus stop. I could scarcely communicate with them, as I am not Chinese or Taiwanese and speak only English well, but they looked at me with such a friendly manner that I was taken back. The training I had in the States was... "where are they gonna take me? what do they want from me if I use their offer?"

When cars and vehicles would come too close I would feel a flash of anger build up inside of me, until I realized that this was normal and that kids cross the street with vehicles cutting in front of them within a few feet...

When standing around in a public place, my discomfort at having people standing so close to me when there were plenty of other places to stand... this annoyance and claustrophobia came on strong but swiftly faded when I realized that people did not have that... strong aversion to being within close proximity of other... human beings.

When a car came down the street, they would honk their horn and I would glare at them as they passed... until I realized that they weren't honking in a negative tone, but rather to warn me that they were coming, and to warn other traffic of their presence.

When somebody bumped into me, I turned my head and glared at the back of their receding head, wondering what kind of funk they were going to bring... until I settled down and realized that this is a crowded place and people do not have the anger inside that we have back in the States.

A bump... a honk... the wrong look... these things were simply... not issues from what I had seen walking the streets of Taiwan. Of course I can mainly speak only for southern California and the Bay Area, since those are the primary locations in which I grew up.

I have not witnessed a single fight, assault, robbery, or any sign of anger in... anybody here! As naive and limited as that sounds, I think you can make a decent first assessment by simply walking around in all kinds of different locations.

Where does the anger and frustrations stem from in America? People my age seemed like they were far, far younger and more innocent (in Taiwan)... they simply did not have the same caution... the same atmosphere where you always watch your back and be weary of all the unknowns for the potential threat they present... one of my friends at work had just gotten a unicycle and was fascinated by the prospect of joining a circus! I felt true joy in the innocence and utter contrast to life in the States.

At night, people of all ages are up and about until the wee hours of the morning. Parents trust their kids outside, drugs are not prevalent, the cops do not harrass anybody and are chill, and people just seem... happy and jovial for the most part. I only say these things because it underlined what was missing in the youth in America.

I thought about the countless situations in the States... how somebody would react to certain situations... how people felt about their neighbors. There seemed to be an overwhelming need to prove one's self. This factor is only evident when viewed from the outside, and the implications were worrisome.

People seemed to be your enemy before they are your friend. They are guilty before they prove otherwise. Due to rampant crime and the general safety (lack of) of the night, kids are often confronted with a very boring, very restricted lifestyle in which they are almost encouraged to do anything to combat the boredom. In most parts of the city, the streets are empty at night and people are huddled inside the safety of their homes.

Cops are confronted with a violent and abundant level of crime, and they are also prone to corruption and and aggression.

Aggression... this is the factor that seemed most evident growing up in the States. Why are so many people so angry? So ill-tempered? Why do so many people lack the ability to control their emotions? To live without anxiety... to not have to prove that you are the s***?

What is the significant difference between the youth and night life in Taiwan as opposed to California? Where else in the world are factors similar to our own country and where are they different? And why?

When I used to go to raves, I would see a massive amount of people tripping off of various drugs, but despite the apparent negativity of the chemicals... people were embracing each other. Everybody felt love for one another minus the judgements, prejudice, and contempt. Everybody loved to meet one another and talk and be open and generally celebrate life...

Then the drugs would fade... and we were all left wondering why it couldn't be this way without the chemicals. The overwhelming sense of family and humanity were so acute, it left you with an empty feeling upon returning to reality. Why would it take chemicals to reach a point of positivity that is inherently within all of us?

Life could be utterly, thoroughly different (as naive as this may seem, is saying that it's just life a good enough answer?).

What supresses that feeling of oneness with our fellow neighbors?

[edit on 14-7-2008 by astronomine]

[edit on 14-7-2008 by astronomine]

posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 02:27 AM
Maybe that's why alcohol abuse is running rampant in the U.S. Many people feel love for their fellow man when they're high. People are looking for the peace and love they feel in their hearts, but are afraid to show it because it will make them look weak or stupid. People need to open up and let their hearts soar. It is so unfortunate that a huge number of people in America are very uptight about anyone that they think is "different" than white, anglo saxon American. Most people in other countries embrace the difference, and lead freer, happier lives.

posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 02:32 AM
reply to post by astronomine

Great post, Astron! It really gives me a sense about Taiwan, and makes me question what has happened (is happening) to the USA that the contrast is so very stark.

A bit off topic: When people ask you where you are from, don't tell them the USA -- rather tell them you are from California. Associate yourself with your home state rather than the entire nation. My experience with foreign travel is that this makes the whole situation much smoother.

Edit: Well, that works for me anyway, especially in mainland China.

[edit on 15-7-2008 by Buck Division]

posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 08:02 PM
reply to post by paisley101

They are afraid to show it... this statement is so true. Is hiding what's inside or showing it with some cajones the stronger option?

We, in America, seem to be tensed up into little anxious balls of springs that will let loose as soon as their comfort zone is violated.

At least we can say it has gotten a bit better than even 30 years back...

With this beautiful land that is America, imagine if we had the embracing-type culture rather than the rejecting type. I love America to death, so I imagine a place where people celebrate in the night rather than retreat to the safety of their homes.

posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 08:07 PM
reply to post by Buck Division

Thank you for reading

yeah I definitely claim California rather than the whole of America. It's actually quite similar out here (Taiwan), where we have the downtowns and mixed races up north and to the coasts, and as you head south you hit the rural areas where the country bumpkins (no offense intended) are... just like in the States!

Thanks for the advice Buck D!

[edit on 15-7-2008 by astronomine]

posted on Sep, 7 2008 @ 06:18 AM

new topics

top topics

log in