vendredi 1 juillet 2011

A Taiwanese Sense of Altruism

I've always been deeply impressed by the Taiwanese profound sense of Altruism. Caring about the others needs, easily willing to help - trying to male people feel better without looking for personal advantages. Hereafter a few situations where I experienced this sense of Altruism:

1) My landlord, Mister Tsai, has been caring a lot about how I was settling down in Taiwan, my conditions of work and any need of help. He's been taking me out for coffee, restaurant, karaoke, and providing me with all I needed for the apartment. I felt bad eating McDonald's after 8:30pm because other restaurants were closed; Mister Tsai found me the closest night market where I could find better food until late at night. The iron I brought from Beijing was belching out steam instead of making my shirts flatter - problem of differences in electricity voltage and frequency between Taipei and Beijing - Mr Tsai bought me a new one!

I also wanted to share one of the text messages I regularly receive from Mr Tsai:

“晚安!我的好友,:-O辛勤工作的您已累一天,異國風俗民情是否還習慣?;-)需要我幫忙請不用客氣,下班後放慢腳步,忘掉一切不愉快,:-)好好享受美味晚餐,補充體力迎接明天的挑戰,加油喔!B-)麥克” .

This could be translated into:

‘Good evening! My friend, :-O You who must be tired after a hard working day of work, do you now feel comfortable with the customs and traditions of this country which is not yours? ;-) Don’t hesitate to ask for any help, slow your pace after work, forget all unhappy things, :-) Enjoy a good diner, refill the body and be ready for tomorrow’s new challenge, you can do it! B-) Michael”

2) A high school student who was sitting in a bus on his way home unfortunately let a glass of milk tea slip from the inside of his back bag, fall and explode on the floor as he was preparing to get off the bus. Instead of rushing out he stayed in the bus to sweep the floor. Several other high school students joined the effort, took out more tissues and helped the unlucky one sweeping the floor. It was only once the milk tea spilled on the floor had been thoroughly swept up that he finally got off the bus, already far away from his planned destination. I've been impressed by his attitude, and the generosity of the other people spontaneously joining to help him.

3) I landed up late on a Sunday evening at Taoyuan International Airport, and the shuttle bus to downtown was almost empty: we were only 2 passengers. The driver offered to take us straight to our final personal destination, instead of following the regular line. Isn't that lovely?

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