The First Major Expat Mishap in Taiwan

So…it was bound to happen sometime, and here it is. The first major mistake. Sounds horrible, ended up being hilarious. Here’s what happened: I wanted to rearrange my room. I thought it would take me an hour or so until I moved the bed about five inches to find the thickest layer of dust and grime Ive ever seen along with year old cockroach traps, some old earplugs and a sleeping mask. So, my hour of moving turned into hours on hours of cleaning. I swept and swiffered and wiped every surface. Then, it was time to move the bureau. I pulled it out to find this button on the wall. It is big and red and says “PUSH”. So of course being the curious person I am, I had to push…a move which I immediately regretted.


The button didn’t come back out. It occurred to me I could have done something bad. So I text my roommate Lakyn at about 1:00am and tell her to come in my room because I think Ive done something horrible! She comes running in, climbs over all my furniture still in the middle of the room and looks at the mysterious button. She decides to Google it. We look up the company name on the button to find out they are famous in Taiwan for security systems…bad sign. Then, we find a picture from their website that looks just like my button…it’s a panic button….really bad sign. So not knowing what else to do, we run down the stairs to our doorman “Kevin”. We don’t know his Chinese name but his English name is Kevin.


Now to give some more back story: Ever since we moved in a few days ago, we have asked Kevin a million and two questions. “Kevin, how does the bus work?” “Kevin, where can buy tofu?” “Kevin, where is the bus schedule?” “Kevin, where can I park my bike?” “Kevin, where is a good vegetarian restaurant?” And Kevin is working on his English, so we may or may not overwhelm him slightly. But, he’s really awesome, has been to more places in America than me, and likes Barbara Streisand. So, we run to Kevin freaking out that we just called the police. To make matters worse, when we run down stairs we can see the flashing lights reflecting off the apartment. We come to realize it’s just the traffic light that’s set to blinking red because of the late hour…good sign. We come to Kevin in a frenzy telling him I accidentally called the police with this button, what do I do? Kevin looks confused because we are talking so fast and making no sense. He tells us he will come upstairs and look. Keep in mind it is 1:30am (THANKS KEV!). So he comes upstairs, can barely get around my room because of all the furniture, and makes his way to the button. He pops it back out and then proceeds to push it….seven more times. So if I didn’t call the police, Kevin totally just did. He stares at it a while more before concluding “No use”…its not connected…GREAT sign.


Kevin made his way back downstairs and Lakyn and I went to bed stunned but relieved. Yes, we did buy Kevin presents the next time he worked for his help. Alls well that ends well. :p

©2019 by Sammie Herrick | sammie@sammieherrick.com