Beautiful Taiwan is akin to a secret metropolis. No matter what Mr. Takeshi Kaneshiro muses, the little island is often missed by travellers seeking a fruitful experience in Asia. Only through fate would foreigners find themselves wandering its friendly and bustling streets.
It does not matter where we are born, if one of our parents or grandparents is from Taiwan, we associate ourselves to be Taiwanese. Perhaps, it is because the nationality is few and far between that we readily embrace our role in preserving it. Perhaps this need to preserve contributes to the complexity of finding love in Taiwan. You must navigate the intricate layers of culture, religion, ancestry, values, academic and professional accolades of a person before you would even dare to make your first move...
For the lucky ones, fate decides for them...
Mia, Beverley, and Abigail, born and raised in Taipei, returned from abroad to seek their love and fortune after their respective higher education in Australia, the USA, and the UK.
They were inseparable during high school, drawn by their ambition and drive. Perhaps. In truth, they realised quickly that they were not rivals and were free to live how they wanted without competition from each other. They remained steadfast supporters of each other's dreams.
In Taipei, Mia became a successful lifestyle goods entrepreneur; Beverley excelled in her field of intellectual property law, and last but not least, Abigail became a famous fashion photographer and digital artist in Taiwan.
Here they were, on a hot summer's night, resting their elbows on the cool marble counter of one of the hottest bars in Taipei. Luxuriously dressed, they were at ease with beautiful and wealthy professionals surrounding them. Life, was good.
Sipping her tailor-made cocktail, a little tipsy, Beverley began, "So, this ABC guy that I am dating, Dylan..." Abigail interrupts with a sly smile, "...Is hot in bed?"
"No wait, let me finish!" Beverley chuckled, "He said to me one night, why do you have an open pack of condoms in your drawer?" Rolling her eyes, she demanded, "What, does he think that he is the only person that I am dating? Seriously!"
Abigail and Mia laughed harder than necessary. "Oh, you need to lock that stuff up somewhere secret," Abigail advised, pointing a manicured finger at Beverley, "We're dating new-age sensitive guys nowadays."
Beverley was not finished, "Next, he's going to think that I was cheating on him with my vibrator!" More uncontrollable bursts of laughter erupted. Mia exclaimed, "I can't believe you just said that out loud!"
When their laughter subsided, Abigail turned her attention to Mia. "How about you, Mia? Seeing anyone?" Both ladies watched her intently. She stopped her chuckling and replied, "Oh, I am not dating anyone at the moment. I am too busy!" At this point, Beverley chimed in, "What do you mean? Please, woman! Are you not over Brody yet? It's been more than a year!"
"I am!" Mia protested. "Then?!" Abigail and Beverley both proclaimed in unison. Mia pretended to cry, "I'm not fortunate like the both of you, being able to meet men daily. I would be lucky if I get served by a man at my local supermarket or convenience store!"
Tapping on her phone on the counter, Abigail said, "There are so many apps for dating nowadays. You should be on them. I heard Bumple has some pretty decent professionals on there."
Mia could not help herself and rolled her eyes. "And what am I going to say, 'I am the CEO of Simplesmente looking for love'? No thanks!" Abigail and Beverley frowned in understanding. Suddenly, Beverley proposed, "How about XiangQin?"
"I don't know anyone who's doing that." Mia shrugged.
"I do! I will find out the agency for you." Abigail offered.
"I don't know, I'm not ready to get married yet," Mia replied defensively. Abigail concurred, "That is true..."
Successful 27-year-old women were in no rush for marriage, unless they wanted to start a family. But even then, there were ways without relations with a man.
"You don't want anyone that I've slept with, isn't it?" Beverley had to ask. Mia shook her head profusely, "Oh, yes, no please, no." Taking another sip of her champagne.
Abigail was already distracted from the conversation and interrupted, "...Look over there..."
"What?" Beverley and Mia looked in the direction of Abigail's gaze. While playing with her slick ponytail flirtatiously, Abigail continued, "I think that guy is checking you out, Mia?"
"Is he?" Mia asked, following Abigail's glance.
Eyes fixed on the target, Abigail whispered, "He's pretty cute..."
Mia narrowed her eyes at Abigail, "No, I think he's checking you out, Abi." Abigail eyes widen, "You think so?" Looking at the gorgeous Abigail, Mia confirmed, "I know so. Go, girl."
Beverley and Mia's eyes followed her as Abigail sashayed along the bar counter to where the gentleman in the expensive suit was standing with his well-dressed friends. He was a good-looking young Laowai, probably in his early 20s. Abigail's favourite. They always fall for her beautiful baby face and long lustrous black hair.
When Abigail finally reached the young man, they fell into a natural conversation.
Losing interest in Abigail's love life, Beverley turned to her phone. "Oh, yes I need to give you my friend's number." In between sips of her expensive champagne, Mia asked, "Who? Don't worry about me, I really am not looking to date anyone."
Beverley explained, "No, it's my property lawyer friend who can help you with getting your building in Fujin Jie. He's fairly busy but I will give him a call tomorrow to tell him you will be in contact. I will make sure that he makes time for you." At that point, there was a 'ping' on Mia's phone. "I've sent his details to you. His name is David Tsai. He's very good."
"You said you went to law school with him in the States?"
"Yeah, he's a decent guy. Knowledgeable, intelligent, and totally dependable."
"What do you mean by dependable."
"He will tell you everything you need to know to get the deal done. He's well-connected in Taiwan as well, not only Taipei."
Mia nodded, "Oh that is helpful." Beverley pointed her phone at Mia in agreement, "Right? Especially, when you're thinking of opening up in Taichung and Kenting. The great thing about his firm is that his associates are in property development, architecture, and interior design. Really a one-stop-shop. My clients love them."
Mia looked down at the contact, intrigued. T&W Associates. "Sounds very formal, are they stuffy?" Beverley gave her a look of astonishment, "Do I associate with stuffy?"
Mia grinned, "No my darling. I will give him a call on Monday. Now, drink! Why are you not drinking!" Mia proceeded to put her arms around Beverley and pulled her into a bear hug while trying to order more champagne for them both.
By late evening, Abigail had enjoyed her time with Carter, but not enough to go home with him. The ladies then bid each other farewell and jumped into their respective black-hired cars, vowing to do it all again in a month.
They wished they could catch-up more often. But between jet-setting for work, attending networking and charity events, and attending to their careers, they just could not find the time.
"T&W Associates." Mia relaxed in the backseat and smiled to herself, "I'm going to get that perfect building in Fujin Jie, no matter what!"
 ABC meaning American Born Chinese. Often, it is used for someone who is not brought up in Taiwan and is brought up overseas in a western country.
 Assisted matchmaking where profiles of potential suitors are provided to each party for marriage consideration.
 Laowai is the Pinyin pronunciation/transliteration of 老外 (pinyin: lǎowài, lit. "old foreign"), an informal term or slang for "foreigner" and/or non-Chinese national, usually neutral but possibly impolite or loose in some circumstances. Source: Wikipedia.
 Fujin Street in Songhan District of Taipei, famous for its Instagram-worthy boutiques, cafes, and restaurants.