Taiwanese know how to pursue their dreams, manage their lives and enjoy life, which is more impressive and energetic than South Koreans, who tend to study hard to find a good job, one South Korean expatriate said.
Noh Hae-rang, from Daegu, South Korea, is a doctoral student of communications at National Chengchi University and has been in Taiwan for 14 years.
Noh said some South Korean public works are modeled on Taiwan’s infrastructure, such as bus-only lanes and the flashing walking person signal at pedestrian crossings in Seoul.
Noh said his first “impressions of the Republic of China” were formed by the TV drama Justice Pao (包青天) when he was a middle-school student.
He thought Taiwan was a democratic and free place among Chinese-speaking areas.
One of Noh’s roommates in college told him that “Taiwan has a complicated history, similar to South Korea,” which sparked his interest in learning Chinese.
Noh arrived in Taiwan one month after he finished his obligatory military service.
Noh says Taiwan is his “first love” and he likes living here, but many locals have ambivalent feelings toward South Korea.
“Some people tell me they have traveled there and love to eat kimchi, but actually, they hate South Korea,” he said.
Noh, who intends to have a career in academia, said he hopes that more interaction and knowledge sharing between Taiwan and South Korea would lessen some of the misunderstandings and animosity.
Noh is also a tourism ambassador for Daegu.
With a population of about 2.5 million people — the fourth-most populous South Korean city after Seoul, Busan and Incheon — Daegu has been called the “city of apples,” “city of textiles,” “city of fashion and clothes” and the “city of coffee.”
When traveling abroad, Taiwanese like to see new places and face new challenges, Noh said, inviting Taiwanese to visit Daegu.