Taiwan and China, along with their neighbours Japan and Korea, have a turbulent history. I did not know what to expect when I arrived here, working for a Taiwanese design house, for a Taiwanese company, with Taiwanese bosses, but work colleagues here from China.
Certainly, the first day was a little strained, and by day two I was getting the impression that they resented their Taiwanese bosses to some degree. Talk to locals here and more often than not if they work for a large technology company their seniors are from the rogue province. As a result, the feeling on the street is that Taiwanese are arseholes. Even meeting foreigners on Saturday they had heard the same thing.
I am clearly not Taiwanese, but with the project being imposed by HQ in Taipei I was surely seen as ‘one of them’. I have to say that, over the course of these days my views have changed as I get to know the team here better. Like I believe I said before (I can’t check this post because of the restrictions) the initial impression was a little cold, but now they are offering the odd bad cup of coffee or biscuit. Rather like working in old Newmarket!
I am used to dealing with Taiwanese now, so the two occasions that I met with Taiwanese directors here were doubly interesting. Their interaction with their Chinese ‘underlings’ was akin to seeing an American barge into an English pub and order a Philly Steak. Suddenly they become assertive and decisive. It left me chuckling after the head of ID warned me that the Chinese do not speak their minds ‘like the Taiwanese’. Hilarious.