Little Stories of September
There are topics that take a whole blog article to dig into, and there are also small events in life that might not be significant enough to write into a lengthy piece, but still contribute to self reflection and growth. September was very eventful. The month passed by like two months were gone, and it’s amazing how fast people forget small occurances as the days push forward. Here’s a small collection of some little stories worth highlighting in September.
I Admire Those Who Stand Up For Themselves
There is an observable difference between the overall service quality between Northern and Southern Taiwan. No discrimination intended, this is an honest observation that I’ve made after living in Taipei for 4 years. Mutual respect is critical to me, therefore this phenomenon is one of the main reasons why I’m more comfortable living in Taipei.
I was down in Kaohsiung visiting my boyfriend over the weekend. We went to shop for a shirt I could wear to work the next day because I found that I was short of one outfit when I packed my bags. I saw a cute croptop in one of the stores and stopped to take a look. I asked the girl how many colors it came in and she said three, but two of them looked quite similar and I mistaked them for the same color.
“But there are only two colors here?” I asked.
“No, there are three. Red, blue, and purple.” She replied in a slightly annoyed tone of voice.
I was annoyed that she was annoyed because I didn’t feel like it was my problem that I couldn’t tell apart two similar colors at first glance. I decided that I didn’t want to make eye contact with her and entered the store to take a look at some of their other products.
“Your boyfriend also needs to scan the QR code at our door.” She said impatiently. At this point I decided to head out because she was giving me an attitude. I didnt reply and headed for the door.
“Hey, do you still want to take a look at this croptop?” She asked, chasing after me. I still refused to interact with her because I was slightly pissed that she was giving me an unfriendly vibe. “Hello? I said do you still want to look at that shirt?” She asked again. I didn’t make eye contact and shook my head.
To my surprise, she spat “Don’t give me a shitty attitude.” and turned to go back in the store. I was a little shocked and pissed off. This kind of interaction is highly uncommon in any kind of service in Taiwan because we tend to favor the customer. I pondered going back in to bite her head off but my boyfriend took my arm and pulled me away. I was also furious that he didn’t stand up for me. He later explained that if someone hurt me physically then he would jump in, but to him she was like a barking dog and you don’t argue with crazy animals.
However, when I thought about the whole incident afterwards I found myself actually feeling respect and approval for her bravery and willingness to stand up for something that she was unhappy about. What she did was something I would do when I am faced with someone or something I’m not happy with. A lot of people in Asia are generally conflict avoidant and would rather suck it up than to fight for themselves. I was a tiny bit proud of her.
Not to mention that there was her, a girl, and there was me and my boyfriend. We could have caused a scene or hurt her if we were irrational people, but she still decided to take the risk and let us know that she was upset. My change of perspective towards this girl after the fact is quite interesting to me because I didn’t know that I wouldn’t feel angered once I thought about her behavior in a deeper manner.
Women Who Need To Rely On Someone
A girl left my previous position recently after just getting on board for one month. In my opinion she couldn’t handle the job, was not mentally strong enough, and didn’t try hard either. She was a weak person in my eyes. However, I heard on the grapevine that most of my male colleagues were sad to see her go and thought she was competent. I was astonished and appalled. Were we living in parrallel universes? Did they not see what I saw? That she never worked overtime when the whole team was doing overtime, that she took on less than one quarter of my workload when she was supposed to be filling my shoes entirely, that she often said she couldn’t do it before she even tried, and so many other things that screamed incompetent? I was amazed at their comments.
Later I brought up this piece of information with my colleague and she said, “Men tend to like weaker women. Have you not noticed? Everytime I say that Yvonne and Chloe are such great teammates and over acheive, they never say anything. They aren’t that fond of strong, competent women.”
What she was saying added up. There was another colleague who no longer works with us that is just a little more competent than the one who left, but is similar to her in general. The men on our team were very nice to her when she made mistakes, probably because she made them feel needed and they helped her with her tasks a lot. I couldn’t help but wonder, is this also one of the reasons why many women across the globe are paid less than men, need to work twice as hard to make it, and are torn down in this male dominated businessplace?
I am a dog person because I have a cat-like personality. Cats have an attitude and take time getting used to. Dogs are generally balls of energy, positivity, and sunshine, they tend to try to make sure you’re happy. Cats are more self centered and come to you when they feel like it. My boyfriend sent me an online test link to see which type of lover you are. Our results both came out as cats. I didn’t think much about it at the time but one of our arguments shed light on his cat-like personalities.
I was out with my bestie for the whole day and we took our time to catch up since we haven’t met for half a year. I told my boyfriend more than once beforehand that I would not be available for the whole day. He seemed ok with that at the time. However, when I didn’t reply to his messages for 6 hours I realized that he was giving me an attitude after I said goodbye to my bestie and had time to text him back. I asked him twice if he was mad and he denied. After a while he finally said, “You were gone for the whole day.” Then we started to argue. I won’t get into the details of the argument because that’s not the point.
I remember once I went shopping and he didn’t text me for 7 hours. He was fine with us not talking for hours then. I realized that this was because he didn’t message me. However, he wouldn’t be okay with me not replying to his messages, which is why he was upset that I didn’t read his messages for 6 hours. It had little to do with the amount of time that we didn’t talk, but that I didn’t respond. This is very cat-like because when cats don’t come to you, it’s fine if you don’t give them attention. However, when they are seeking your attention, you’d better give it to them or they’ll throw a tantrum.
Nene Fried Chicken Box
When I practice English speaking with my student I normally ask her a question and let her answer, after she does I would also provide my answer to that same question. This week I asked her, “What is something you did this week to make someone else happy?” After she replied I also had to tell her something that I did to make someone else happy this week.
Over the weekend my boyfriend and I went to get fried chicken. It came in a huge square cardboard box, and we were riding a motorcycle so there wasn’t much room. We needed to hold it. I put it on his lap while I circled my arms around his body and secured the sides of the box. However, the box was quite large and would block the handles a bit when he was making turns.
“This is the time to test if we’re coordinated.” He said, “When I turn left, you need to move the box to the right slightly, and vice versa. Got it?” I agreed and whenever we made a turn and cooperated successfully we would laugh. I felt like we were a team in that moment and we praised each other for our amazing coordination the whole way home. It all came from a box of Nene fried chicken. We were playing like kids again.
My student laughed so hard when she heard this story and she exclaimed, “You did something else to make someone happy this week! You told me this story!”