26 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In Taiwan

Can I get some ice water? Not boiling though. Like, cold…with ice cubes in it.

26. Scooter

What it usually means: A child’s toy or a motorized bicycle.
What it means in Taiwan:One of the hundreds of small motorcycles on the road at any given hour.

25. 7-11

What it usually means: A convenience store attached to some gas stations.
What it means in Taiwan: A 24-hour restaurant, bill-paying station, ticket booth, grocery/liquor store, atm, and bathroom located on every street corner.

24. Beer

What it usually means: Any beer. Perhaps PBR or Bud light?
What it means in Taiwan: TAIWAN BEER!!!

23. A glass of water

What it usually means: A cold and refreshing glass of water.
What it means in Taiwan: A boiling hot mug of unflavored, undrinkable sadness.

22. Rice

What it usually means: An occasional starch and side dish.
What it means in Taiwan: A required part of every meal.

21. Cake

What it usually means: A moist and delicious treat, usually reserved for celebrations.
What it means in Taiwan: A semi-sweet mix of sponge cake, whipped cream, and artfully arranged fruit.

20. Spoon

What it usually means: You know, a spoon.
What it means in Taiwan: A short, deep plastic utensil that’s probably just for soup but also works for rice and stuff…kind of.

19. Chinese Food

What it usually means: Delicious Chinese-inspired meals (eg. wonton soup, chicken and broccoli, and egg rolls).
What it means in Taiwan: This mysterious bowl of noodles and some other things that I just bought from that street cart over there.

18. American Food

Photo by Rosipaw / Flickr Creative Commons / Via Flickr: rosipaw

What it usually means: American-inspired meals (eg. burgers, hot dogs, and apple pie).
What it means in Taiwan: Anything remotely non-Chinese (bonus point for McDonald’s, though).

17. Teacher

What it usually means: A professional educator.
What it means in Taiwan: Every single white person in the country.

16. Doctor

Yang Tsung-hao / Via wantchinatimes.com

What it usually means: A specialist you visit when you’re feeling particularly ill.
What it means in Taiwan: A specialist you visit whenever you feel like it because healthcare is cheap and medicine is free.

15. Air Pollution

What it usually means: The introduction of hazardous chemicals into the earth’s atmosphere.
What it means in Taiwan: No, no, that’s…fog. It’s just foggy…all the time.

14. Surgical Mask

What it usually means: A mask worn by surgeons while they perform surgery.
What it means in Taiwan: A mask worn by nearly everyone both as a means of protection and as a fashion statement.

13. Market

What it usually means: A collection of goods for sale.
What it means in Taiwan: A crowded street full of vendors who are all open until midnight.

12. Large

What it usually means: A size of clothing meant to be worn by large people.
What it means in Taiwan: Still way too small.

11. Costco

What it usually means: A store where you can get a good deal by buying in bulk.
What it means in Taiwan: A crowded warehouse full of angry people that you have to go into because it’s the only place in the country that stocks those granola bars you like.

10. Earthquake

What it usually means: A natural disaster that usually causes a lot of damage.
What it means in Taiwan: Did you feel that? I think we just had an earthquake again. So, how was your day?

9. Swim Cap

What it usually means: A hat worn by Olympic swimmers and synchronized swimming teams.
What it means in Taiwan: A necessary garment for anyone wishing to go near the swimming pool, no matter how bald.

8. Shoes

What it usually means: Protection for your feet as you walk around.
What it means in Taiwan: One of your three pairs: outside, inside, and bathroom.

7. Tan

What it usually means: When your skin turns darker from being out in the sun.
What it means in Taiwan: God’s punishment for daring to take your jacket off in 100 degree weather. Don’t worry, they make cream for that.

6. A rainy day

Fox Sports / Via businessinsider.com

What it usually means: A day when it rains .
What it means in Taiwan: Everyday.

5. Spring

What it usually means: The warm season between winter and summer.
What it means in Taiwan: Early summer. It’s very hot and I love it.

4. Summer

What it usually means: The hot season between spring and autumn.
What it means in Taiwan: IT’S HOTTER THAN I’VE EVER IMAGINED POSSIBLE AND I’M GOING TO DIE!

3. Winter

What it usually means: The cold season between autumn and spring, sometimes accompanied by snow.
What it means in Taiwan: I can finally wear my summer clothes and not get sweaty.

2. New Year

What it usually means: A celebration on January 1st that involves champagne and watching a ball drop.
What it means in Taiwan: A celebration in February that involves dragon parades, barbecue, and red envelopes full of cash!

1. Taiwan

What it usually means: A lesser known Asian country.
What it means in Taiwan: A fast-growing nation full of fun experiences and great people who are all proud to call Taiwan home.

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