Mon, Oct 24, 2016 - Page 6 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Sad, but not without hope

Remembering the letters of Ralph Jensen, Daniel Parent and Oliver Drewett (Letters, Oct. 17, page 6; Oct. 19, page 8; Oct. 22, page 8), I am forced to add my impressions about living in Taiwan.

Four years ago, I came with my Taiwanese wife back to Taiwan for retirement after almost 40 years in Germany.

I applied for a residence permit and my wife for a Republic of China passport.

After four weeks we got both; I got my permit and had to pay NT$3,000 for three years. My wife got her passport plus her National Health Insurance card.

When I asked where my health insurance card was, I got the answer: You have to wait six months.

So I tried to get private insurance, but no one wanted to insure me, because I did not have the basic insurance. Seven months without health insurance. Thank you.

Before we left Germany we both applied for a new European driving license plus International Driving Permit.

When we went to apply for a local driver’s license, my wife got it at once; I had to take a driving test. Wrong passport.

Last year we turned 65 years old. As an owner of an EasyCard I got a new one with some discount. My wife got one with more discount. Correct passport.

When we traveled to places like Tainan or Alishan, we were told that as we are seniors, many places would give us discount, but only with the right passport.

Also, after 65, my wife does not have to pay for National Health Insurance. I still have to pay. Thank you.

When my wife came to Germany about 40 years ago, she was immediately insured by a private insurance firm. After we married, she became a member of the family insurance.

In my country, every senior receives some discount if it is offered, no matter what passport they carry.

After our wedding, my wife got an unlimited visa. I have to pay NT$1,000 for each year here and have to say “thank you.”

We have many friends and family in Taiwan and we experienced great hospitality when we immigrated, but for a nation that wants to become a member of the UN and be a global player, it has to clean up the mess in its own neighborhood first.

Discrimination and racism should be unknown in such a wonderful nation and nice people.

I hope and pray that after eight years of corruption, bribery and vote-buying, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will do a great job.

Norbert Sladek

Taoyuan

Taiwanese imagining Taiwan

Jerome Keating (“Taiwan needs a new ‘consensus,’” Oct. 23, page 6) argues that Taiwan needs a “new consensus” to replace the (so-called, as the Taipei Times always puts it) “1992 consensus,” and that this new consensus would be forged with Japan as an ally.

Nothing wrong with having Japan as an ally, no doubt that would be a beneficial confab.

And the “1992 consensus,” whether so-called or actual, seems a bit of a fairy tale, with the idea of different interpretations of what exactly one nation comprises of, exhibiting an ignorance of what real nations are and encompass.

They are not subject to “interpretation,” they just are — unified national entities with their own histories, identities, constitutions, ethics, morals, cultures and the like. They are not two interpretations or readings at one and the same time.

In any case, rather than Keating’s proposal, which sounds more like a straightforward administrative alliance than a new compromised understanding and elucidation, I would suggest that Taiwan come up with a new “consensus,” but that that consensus stem from Taiwanese — no other nations, entities or coalitions involved.

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