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How to make friends in Taiwan

If you want to make friends with your neighbours in Taiwan, then buy lots of fruit. That’s our conclusion after our first year here.

“Here, we bought lots of guava, some for you!”
“Come, we’ve got a big pineapple to give you.”
“By the way, have some apples.”

Uncle & Aunty are neighbours in our community. We see them around often, and have had a few chances to chat with them and visit them. Lately, whenever we visit or walk past, they’ve been giving us fruit. They haven’t been giving us the fancy, expensive gift fruit (which is certainly common in Taiwan) but rather just plain bags of fruit from the markets. It felt a little weird at first, but then we realised that giving these simple every day gifts is an unspoken sign that we have a relationship now. It’s an indirect Taiwanese way of saying, “lets be friends”. So we try to regularly give them fruit as well, to say, “ok!”.

– Sam Chrisp, New Worker Team

(Taichung, Central Taiwan)

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