China Culture Shock #7: Getting Flashed in Taiwan


Part of the reason I was interested in moving to China in the first place was to explore a culture completely different from my own. I wanted to experience “culture shock” and challenge myself. I’ve been living in China for over two years now, and I’m still constantly experiencing things that shock me, or just don’t make sense. Here is a collection of my crazy stories and cultural insights as I explore this mystifying nation.

China Culture Shock Boob Flash

This one is technically Taiwan, but I’ve decided the story is too good not to share!

Over the summer I spent three weeks backpacking around Taiwan, my favorite country in the whole wide world. During this trip I took a boat to Lanyu, or Orchid Island, a very off-the-beaten-path destination full of aboriginal culture.

After a day of exploring the island, I decided to spend some time relaxing at the beach near my homestay. While I was waiting for my host dad to come pick me up, I decided to wander around a few of the stalls selling jewelry. I love buying cheap jewelry abroad because it’s small, meaningful and unique.

souvenir stalls Lanyu Orchid Island

Souvenir stalls in Lanyu

I walked up to two women sitting in a traditional aboriginal resting hut. They had a small display of jewelry on a blanket in front of them. As I was admiring their wares, I started up a conversation with them in Mandarin.

A few minutes into talking these two women started commenting on my chest.

“Oh! Your boobs are so big, mine are so small!!” they exclaimed.

Then they wanted to know if my boobs were real or fake. I assured them they are definitely real.

“Mine are real too!” exclaimed one of the women, who preceded to pull down the neck of her shirt and pop out one of her boobs with the other hand! 

Lanyu beach

My village beach

I was so shocked! I’d never been flashed by anyone before, particularly not a grown Aboriginal Taiwanese woman in her late thirties!!!!

The three of us were doubled over in laughter. I almost wanted to buy some of her jewelry just because I was so entertained by her antics. But unfortunately none of her necklaces caught my eye, so I left with a laugh, a wave and an extremely red face.

Lanyu Orchid Island

Have you ever been flashed abroad? How did you react?? 



About Richelle

Expat, traveler, and spicy food lover, I've spent the last few years living in China and traveling around Asia. In my spare time I enjoy salsa dancing, exploring night markets and stuffing my face with street food.

8 comments on “China Culture Shock #7: Getting Flashed in Taiwan

    • Yeah I don’t think I need a physical memento to remember that one, although it would’ve been a good story to tell every time I got a compliment on the necklace ;) hahaha

  1. This is too funny! Memories like these last forever. I had a similar experience in Italy… and after spending a month exploring the sites, THAT is what I remember most :)

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