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Empty Beaches

by Jason on September 23, 2010

It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon.  Eighty degrees Fahrenheit.  We’re close to the ocean, so we decide to go to the beach.  When we arrive, we see sandy white beaches.  The water is warm.

But where are the people???

We are only 30 minutes from a city of 3 million people on a sunny weekend.  Is there a bomb threat?  What’s going on?  There’s only a few dozen people along the whole beach!  Taiwan is a tropical island just like Hawaii close to the same latitude.  Where are the hotels and the resorts?

A bit later it dawned on me.  My observation of the Taiwanese culture is that they value work and education a LOT.  The culture as a whole also seems to value the CITY for all their fun and recreation.  Outdoor stuff doesn’t seem to be that big here.  I haven’t heard much of Taiwanese people camping.  They’re definitely not at the beach.  EVERYONE is at the stores, restaurants and in the city.

I’m just shocked that they have an incredible tropical island with pristine warm beaches that go highly unused.  My gut reaction is “what a waste!”  Why don’t they trade their island with Canadians?  Canadians would love the tropical warm weather and the nice beaches.  The Taiwanese would love all the land Canada has as they make sure not to waste space.  What do you think?

On the bright side, that means Callie and I will have to make up for the lack of use on the beach by using it as much as we can.  Somebody has to enjoy the beach.  It might as well be us.

A few other observations.  Because the Taiwanese don’t value the beach they don’t clean up the litter that’s there.  So there is a bit more trash then I would like.  But that just means I gotta go a bit further from the city to get away from the extra rubbish.

Also, because the beach isn’t valued as much here, that means property values along the ocean are incredibly inexpensive, much less so than the city.  I know someone here who owned a 2-bedroom condo right on the beach and paid $60,000 U.S. for it.

One more thing.  I was in Hawaii for almost two weeks last year.  I couldn’t get any work done.  People who lived there didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry.  My pace of life slowed quite a bit.  I noticed the same on Vancouver Island, which is the Hawaii of Canada.  Every time I go there I don’t get any work done.  The pace seems much slower.  Both those places are paradises.

The same is not true of Taiwan.  Although it is an island paradise, the people here work like crazy and are extremely ambitious and busy.  They get a whole lot done here, and so do I.  I guess the business of a place has less to do with the surroundings and more to do with the culture of the people.

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