Your name, age and nationality :
Alessandro (山左), 37 , Italian
How long have you been in Taiwan ? What do you do in Taiwan ? and what brings you here?
I've been here stably for one year, even if I have been traveling in Taiwan at least once or twice a year in the last 12 years. I live in Taipei where I'm studying mandarin and working part-time as language teacher. I also regularly teach self defense in Taipei and constantly upgrading my skills in the field.
Do you like Taiwan ? What do you like the most?
I've been always fascinating by the Asian culture and I'have found in Taiwan a perfect mixture between different asian traditions and cultures. There are many things I like and it's hard to pick up one as favorite... probably the life itself here.
What are the main differences between your home country and here?
The weather is pretty different from Italy, the summer heat, the rain and the humidity are things that you have to deal with if you really want to live in Taiwan. The people attitude as well is pretty different from Italy. Hard to explain but the Chinese roots of Taiwan education make people at beginning pretty shy, seems they are constantly trying to understand who you really are, what's on your mind.
What changes would most improve your life in Taiwan?
Definitely learning the language!
Do you plan to go back to your home country someday? And why?
It's hard to guess where the life brings you: I have always look at myself as a "sedentary person" but looking back to my past I have to admit I was more a gipsy. By the way I'm not planning to go back Italy and day by day I'm making Taiwan my new home.
Tell us something that your friends in your home country don't know about Taiwan?
Guys, Taiwan is not part of China!
What do you miss the most from your home country ?
Family and friends...
Tell us more about you... favorite reading, movie, food, music...
I don't watch much TV, I'm not so into series, movies or shows. I like more reading, especially authors such Bukowski, Mary Roach, Tiziano Terzani, Yukio Mishima. I love listening blues and hard rock. I'm fine with all kind of food but I confess my stomach is still pretty much Italian!!
Free space to add what we didn't ask but you would like to let us know!
I won't lie: Taiwan is not heaven and if you come here for living you are going to face some hard moments. Get into "the grid" can be hard so make friends they will help a lot!