I’m currently two thirds of the way through a vacation to central Taiwan. I’m lucky to have family from the area and was invited to visit – and needless to say, I jumped at the chance! I’ve always loved traveling and I knew this would be a unique experience to say the least. In case you’re not familiar with Taiwan, it is a small island nation off the east coast of China.
It should come as no surprise that everyday life is strikingly different here from the southern United States. Although the weather is remarkably similar to parts of Florida – hot and steamy! So I’ve traded my southern girl habits for three weeks and adopted those of the Taiwanese (for the most part). While staying in an apartment in Taichung I’ve learned a great cultural habit to adopt back home in the states. Some in the US already practice it, but it’s not ingrained in the culture like it is here: the removal of shoes upon entering an apartment.
Removing your shoes is not really an option here. If you walk into someone’s home, you immediately take your shoes, covered in dirt from the city, off and put clean indoor slippers on. It’s not just a sign of respect in another’s home, but in your own apartment it helps keep things so much cleaner! It’s fantastic how something requiring so little effort can save so much effort in the long run. It may not sound like great words of wisdom, but trust me. I’ve seen the rewards from this simple little apartment habit! At least here, an added bonus is you get to choose from some really hilariously adorable slippers to wear at home – Hello Kitty, Doremon (a Japanese cartoon cat if you’re not familiar with him), among other cartoon-character-adorned shoes.