Thursday, May 8, 2014

expat culture shock: the pole dancing in rush hour traffic episode

I have lived in Taiwan for nearly two years now.

I am mostly over my culture shock.

Things that would have once floored me, for example a K-12 school's response to deadly creatures living on its campus or having to chase the singing garbage truck down the road nightly, no longer faze me.

But every once in a while Taiwan throws me a curve ball and the American in me is flabbergasted.

This morning was one of those times.

I was sitting in my homeroom at 7:45 am and music was blaring from outside. I asked my 8th graders what was going on. A lot of giggles ensued and then I was told the oddest story.

Apparently a parent found my school's admission policy unfair. So naturally, he or she hired pole dancers who dance on top of [moving] jeeps to put on a show outside the school at 7:40 in the morning when all students, ages 5-18, were being dropped off for the school day.

Source
I thought my kids were pulling my leg.

But then I saw this footage that made national television.

Taiwan, you win today.



How about you other expats or travelers? 
What other bizarre episodes have caused your culture shock around the globe??




32 comments

  1. Replies
    1. I know!! It's such a Taiwan moment.

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  2. Wait... what?!

    Hahaha that is by far one of the weirdest things I've ever heard.

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    1. Right.... who on earth has the following thought process: my son did not get accepted into this school so pole dancers are the appropriate retribution?!!!

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  3. That is so crazy and hilarious! I can't even imagine!

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    1. I am still laughing myself. Sometimes culture shock is mind blowing. I am still confused that:
      a. this company exists in the first place [pole dancers on jeeps]
      b. no cop pulled them over as they drove down the road pole dancing
      c. a person legitimately thought this response was either okay or would accomplish anything

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  4. I'm speechless. I would guess that this stunt did not help her child get into the school. #SundayTraveler

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  5. Wow... I am guessing the child didn't get a place? What an odd thing to do! :D

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    1. I feel like "odd" barely scratches the surface. In the [Chinese] article, apparently the mother claimed that this wasn't over. I wonder if we all have more episodes of rush hour traffic pole dancing to look forward to or if she will get even more creative.

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  6. Wow what a crazy concept! I would be flabbergasted myself!

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    1. I kinda love that I live in a country where it is more acceptable to do something like this in order to save face than it is to actually have a face to face confrontation and shouting match. It certainly makes life more interesting.

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  7. Wow, You have gotta love that! Just showed this to my husband, lol.

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  8. Ok, at first I was a bit taken aback - but now I kind of want to see all disputes settled by staging public spectacles. It would be like living in a musical! An, um, pg-13 rated musical . . .

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    1. I know, right?! I was explaining to my kids how it is wrong to be so [kinda passive] aggressive and immature when resolving conflicts while at the same time laughing hysterically on the inside.

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  9. Oh my goodness. That is crazy. It beats any weird culture shock moments that Malaysia has thrown at me.

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    1. It's by far my best culture chock moment! :)

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  10. Hahaha this is hilarious! What happens in this crazy world of ours doesn't surprise me anymore. People are weird! The strangest thing that happened to me while living in Budapest are the concept of "garbage days." Every 6 months, each district gets one day where people can put whatever they like out on the street as garbage. People pick through the garbage in hopes of finding treasures, but usually there is nothing of note. It's a mad house sometimes with people arguing over things or laying claim to the contents of a whole street. Overnight the city comes and picks up everything and the next morning you'd have no idea what just happened. The first time it happened I had been in the city less than a month.I walked out of my office and was greeted with a toilet. Down the street was a smashed up fridge and bags full of all sorts of weird things. I thought people were seriously crazy.

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    1. I feel like I should not be surprised but this one did get me! And that garbage day does sound truly bizarre. My college town would do this too right before everyone left for summer and my room mates brought a couch home and I could never find it in me to relax/lounge on it. All I could think was: you got this off the street and who knows who owned it before/what it went through!

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  11. Wow...We saw these types of things in Korea, but I thought it was for new openings of businesses or what have you, not to embarass them!

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    1. Hmmm... I could actually see that happening in Taiwan too but this time it was definitely for the purpose of humiliation and making a point. Bizarre world.

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  12. What a crazy story! I would never imagine doing or seeing something like that...wow! That's just so different! haha!

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    1. Different is a good way to describe it :)

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  13. HAHA well we can safely say that parent is an out-of-the-box thinker. Very creative indeed! I remember when I first moved to Asia (I used to live in Korea teaching ESL) and heard pick up trucks with announcements being blasted early in the morning. The first time I thought it was like some kind of emergency evacuation communication system lol! WHAT WAS GOING ON? Turned out they were selling fruit. No biggie.
    the-lifestyle-project.com

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    1. Yes! The first time we heard those truck announcement we were on the coast in Thailand. We thought it was an evacuation, like "tsunami coming!" Hahaha!

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  14. Haha that's awesome! Kind of want to meet the person that would do that. Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler!

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    1. I'm kinda afraid to meet the person who did it, since it is actually a real possibility.

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  15. Hahaha.. this made me laugh so much (still laughing). This is really funny episode that it's hard to beat. Well done! Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler!

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    1. We are all still laughing too! I am still floored. It's not even that a parent was upset and reacted this way. I have been teaching for 6 years and I have met some very bizarre, very irrational parents. What I was most surprised about was that such a company actually existed in the first place. I mean, isn't the whole concept one big traffic violation and therefore should most likely be illegal??

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  16. Hahah! I would have had to stop teaching and laugh hysterically for about 30 minutes. The photo that you found is priceless. I think if I ever have kids and get angry with the school I will hire pole dancing car-riding strippers as well :)

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    1. Yup, it was definitely one of those moments when internally you're reacting one way but externally you know you should react a different way. Sometimes I am only as mature as my 8th graders and it is hard.

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