OMG! I Never Thought This Would Happen In Taiwan! China, Yes, But Never In Taiwan!

Chicken bone Taiwan Hair SalonIt’s taken many disasters and disappointments before finally finding the right hair stylist. Blonde highlights are hard to come by in Taipei, and so while the salon itself is a far cry from the upscale western-esque salons I am used to, I’m happy to go there because my stylist is amazing. Plus, I get the added bonus of experiencing a traditional Taiwanese style salon.

As I lay there with my head in the shampoo bowl, a woman climbed into the reclining chair next to me for her shampoo. At first I thought perhaps she had just eaten lunch and had alarmingly bad breath. The smell was definitely food related, very pungent, with garlic and god knows what else. (For reference, stinky tofu smells like roses in comparison to whatever this was.)

Curious to get a peek of this woman, I glanced over to find an older Taiwanese lady getting shampooed, while at the same time viciously gnawing on what appeared to be a saucy bone. She was holding it in her fist, smacking her lips and sucking off whatever meat was presumably there, her fingers glistening with grease and sauce.

As if going to town on a hunk of meat in her bare hand while being shampooed weren’t enough, she then double-downed on the craziness when she discarded the bone by CHUCKING it onto the salon floor! No, she did not drop the bone. It did not slip from her hand. She hurled the bone onto the floor! Intentionally and as if it were no big deal.

“Oh my god!” I let out with a giggle of disbelief.

My stylist was horrified, quickly fetched a paper towel and retrieved the bone from the floor, tossing it in the trash. With a look of disgust she said, “Now there’s a blog post for you, rude grannies in Taiwan.”

From time to time I have experienced the “rude granny” phenomena in Taiwan. Mostly this consists of old Taiwanese ladies pushing me, stepping on me, cutting in line, staring and pointing at me. But until today I had never observed a category 4 rude granny.

I’ve heard stories of people tossing garbage, spitting, urinating and defecating on the streets and floors in malls and shops in China, but never in Taiwan. I could hardly believe my eyes when that bone was airborne. In the salon! Fortunately this behavior is very rare in my personal experience here, so I’m not suggesting this happens often. Since it was my first time ever witnessing a flying bone in a hair salon, I just had to tell you about it. Like when I had the farting / texting masseuse.

Have you ever seen this kind of behavior somewhere? Do you have any rude granny stories? Please share with me in the comments. Good times!

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10 thoughts on “OMG! I Never Thought This Would Happen In Taiwan! China, Yes, But Never In Taiwan!

  1. Are you sure she is Taiwanese? Probably she is from China. There are sooo many Chinese tourist in Taiwan now. And many Taiwanese could stand their behavior either….personal experience 😦

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  2. Not so surprising, my grandma would do that if she ever goes to a salon. The thing is, she spends her whole like in a country side as a farmer. She grew up with very little money. She wouldn’t be able to understand why people can’t throw things on the floor, because she’s never lived in a house where she needs to take off her shoe, there are even dogs and sometimes chicken running around in the house. She used to brush her teeth and then spit the foam out on the floor in front of her house until my dad, who moved to big cities after uni and is more “civilised”, stopped her.

    If you have ever visited a traditional market or real country side, you wouldn’t find it surprising. Of course it is rude, but rude people are everywhere.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing that. It really opens my eyes and explains a lot! It’s all a matter of lifestyle and perspective, and in the environment you describe, it doesn’t seem “rude” at all to toss a bone on the floor. Some other animal would probably come by and nibble on it. In fact, it could be seen as a generous gesture in that case. Your comment makes me realize that what we consider “rude” is really only a cultural perspective, and there is no objectively “rude” behavior if you strip away the cultural point of view we are judging from. Thank you so much for your comment, it really is insightful and I deeply appreciate it!

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  3. It’s the norm to throw bones on the floor when eating out in Vietnam. (It all gets swept away after the group leaves.) But I would be pretty surprised if someone did it in a salon.

    PS. Great to see you blogging again! I love reading your stories.

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    • I totally know what you mean about the rude grannies. I was in Taiwan last month and definitely got pushed around, trodden on and pointed at quite a bit by the older generation – it seems that wherever you go in Asia, the elderly follow their own rules!!

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      • What amazes me is how quickly this stuff changes. I remember reading that Taiwanese manners 40-50 years ago were about where China’s are today. It’s fascinating. I want more data points.

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  4. I’m still amazed when I see people smoking in the restaurant and not only flicking their ashes on the floor, but putting their butts out on the floor too. Even a carpeted floor! But then, this is the mainland. Great observation!

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