I went to the gym today, and there was a girl there wearing a Texas Longhorn shirt. She was trying the machine next to the area where I was stretching, so I thought I’d be friendly and ask her if she was from Texas. She noticed my Vandy shirt, which probably helped a bit to lessen the awkwardness of some strange sweaty girl asking her random questions while she’s trying to work out, and talked to me for a bit. But she didn’t seem so keen to talk, so I finished stretching and left.
Then I went to Ryan’s to get lunch, this sandwich shop in Neihu with pretty good wraps, and I ordered a BBQ chicken in English (cause I didn’t know how to say it in Chinese). The girl at the register took my order, and then asked me if I was an ABC. She then went on to ask if I taught English and that I looked really young to be teaching. After our short polite chat, I was just waiting for my wrap when she then started the conversation with me again and asked me if I minded helping her with some English phrases. Sure, free English lessons are what I commonly do while waiting for food, no problem. So she whipped out this notebook with a few lines in Chinese and asked me to translate to English. The gist of it was some English-speaking guy/girl was mad at her and not speaking to her, and the girl wanted to make up but didn’t know to communicate her intentions.
This is what I do as an “ABC” here, although technically I’m a TBART (Taiwanese Born American Raised Taiwanese). I approach fellow ABC’s in awkward situations and give free English lessons to strangers all over Taipei.