I never talk about my reason for being in Taiwan, but in fact, I am an English teacher. Though I teach mostly adults, I occasionally teach young people as well. One of the things that you will discover about the culture here is that people are sometimes nervous about speaking English with native speakers.
There are many reasons for this, but it’s mostly due to the educational system which stresses rote learning, test scores and limits integration between students and teachers. One of the reasons that I have a job is because students learn English by reading and basic writing, but rarely by speaking it. As a result, you will meet a lot of people who are nervous and afraid to make mistakes, for fear of “losing face”.
So, when I have a chance, I like to encourage my students (and strangers) to be a bit more outgoing and courageous when it comes to speaking to foreigners using English. The truth is that very few people will care if they make mistakes anyway.
Two weeks ago, I bumped into a youth volleyball team in Ximending. Young people here seem to get a kick out of speaking to foreigners, which in most cases involves a quick “hello” before retreating to the safety of their group. However, I always choose to engage with these types of kids.
So I spent a few moments chatting with them and encouraging them before snapping a photo. It was a brief encounter, but a really satisfying one.
Dramatic title, but this rant has been building for some time and I need to get it off my chest. Friends, fellows, lovely fic writers: kink fic in fandom lately sounds like someone is reciting a How To BDSM 101 manual and it’s really starting to grind my gears.
It seems lately that, more often than not, any fic I open with even the teeniest bit of kink spends about half the fic being excruciatingly boring and samey about making sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to consent and who is spanking who in bed. As an Actual Real Live Kinky Person, let me tell you about some things that are seriously pissing me off.