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Mini-America on an Island

by CallieDawn on September 7, 2010

Since we had never been to Taiwan, or even knew much about Taiwan prior to moving here, there were of course many things we were unaware of. I had spoken to a handful of individuals who had taught English in Korea, Japan and elsewhere prior to our departure, all of whom prepared me for our embarkation by suggesting that I bring some of the comfort things that I know and love from America. I did a little stock up on aluminum free deodorant, made sure that I had good shoes (I have big feet compared to 99% of Asian’s) and a few other items that I only slightly obsessed over getting before leaving. Little did I know…

There is a Starbucks on every corner (just like home). All the brand named stores like Esprit, Bodyshop, and Gucci are not only here, but they are very popular. And low and behold they have Coldstone Creamery ice cream shops too! Just when I thought I could save Jason from the clutches of diabetes by moving him to Taiwan…we pass by that sweet, rich, creamy smelling aroma that immediately makes his head swivel to the right as we walk by. No place on earth is sacred…I think that commercial America is taking over the world!

I’m sitting in Starbucks the other morning (like I said – unavoidable), when a well dressed Taiwanese man says “Excuse me, where did you get your purse?” When I tell him, Roots in Canada, he goes on to share with me the he is part owner in the 35 Roots stores that are in Taiwan!?!?

Now let me tell you my fantasy. For those who know me well I’m not that big into shopping and try to minimize my consumerism. I had this little pipe dream that when I moved to Taiwan there would be a simpler way of life that excluded the consumeristic drive to buy, buy, buy and go, go, go. Ooopps. That’s what happens when you don’t do your research. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a need to be outside of that type of environment…I had just somehow made up that that would be the case half way around the world from North America. I have a great imagination!

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