The neighborhood south of Shita University is where young, fresh faced students from abroad come to study Chinese, immerse themselves in local culture, and prepare themselves for a life of hair-tearing frustration in the world of East-meets-West business. It is here that we find in great abundance members of the expatriate species, engaged in the various rites and rituals peculiar to them and their ilk. An afternoon spent in the Shita Expatriate Preserve is indeed an elucidating experience to those who wish to understand the species. Taiwanese are advised to follow certain common sense precautions to help ensure that their trip to the preserve is both a pleasurable and educational experience.
If one follows you, do not panic. The attention span of average expatriates is notoriously short, and they will most likely lose interest when more attractive members of any bipedal species catch their notice.
An expatriate may approach you offering a “language exchange.” Do not, under any circumstances, accept the offer; decline politely, but firmly. Such arrangements are never without strings.
Should an expatriate follow you outside of the confines of the preserve, duck into one of the many conveniently located McDonald’s, buy a cheeseburger, and leave it unwrapped on a nearby curb. This will usually distract the expatriate long enough for you to make your escape.
Of course, under no circumstances should you take them home with you, no matter how cute they may seem at the time. Many are the tales of naïve locals who have taken expatriates home, only to be reduced to flushing them down the toilet once they realize just how much trouble they are.
While these are most likely urban myths, it may account for some of the strange sounds one often hears emanating from deep within the sewers of Taipei.