Covered, for life

To start things off as honest as possible, I am pissed off in such a major way right now. So this is going to be a rant, 100%, and probably more insensitive than I usually am. If you are offended, the door is that way. Or you can try and talk to me, but you can count on a few swear words along the way.

I’ve been working my ass off on getting my life going recently, and one thing to consider is of course, insurance. I want to be a globetrotter, and I need to make sure I’m covered for when bad things happen. The kind of stuff that is usually out of your control.

Enter Taiwanese insurance market, enter in a deep, dark hole of figures and promises that sound ridiculous but oh so enticing. To give a bit of a superficial historical perspective, this really took off about 30 years ago. People started making money, people wanted their lives protected. Everything up til then in Taiwan’s life was unpredictable and questionable, and now, finally, some stability was coming in. Since then, the market has been gaining some serious traction. There are a million different ways to be insured medically. You can be just insured for a monthly premium, or you can be insured, pay a higher monthly premium, and get money back after 10 years or 20 years. You can pay a monthly premium, get money back yearly, too, until the end of your days. You can get life insurance, and for a premium, get medical insurance. No wonder our medical system has to run so well. Everyone is insured up to their eyeballs.

Now, we meet the insurance seller. I guess some people call it a ‘broker’? I don’t see it that way. You are selling me a product, so behave like a salesperson. Now, my mother over the years, has amassed a few different forms of insurances. I won’t go into details, but it’s a wonderful feeling, knowing you are worth more dead than alive. Anyway, in order to find out what I was looking for myself, I asked her to get them to come and speak to me so I could take over payment for example, or just get a better understanding of what is happening in my name. Last week, a lady came by armed with a print out that was clearly printed on ‘save ink’ mode in black and white. She said a quick hello and then dove straight in to the insurance, talking about how much I would get if I ever had to stay in the hospital, how much per night, and if I had to get this, then it would add so much per night, and if I got cancer, etc etc. I had to stop her at one point. I tried to explain that the numbers didn’t mean very much to me because I’ve been out the country so long. She’d only caught my eye twice by this point. “Yeah, so let me finish explaining it to you”. No no, I have some of my own questions. She only half-listened, using the question to lead herself back to her spiel. I got more and more upset. I eventually stopped her and said, “Listen, if I were to die in Argentina next week, I wouldn’t feel comfortable calling you about it.” I tried as nicely as possible to excuse myself from the conversation when she just laughed it off saying she would give me an international number to call.

Just now another insurance lady came by to do the same. This one didn’t even acknowledge my existence, and only talked to my mum. I don’t exist. When you are someone’s daughter, and you’re not married or looking to buy your own insurance, you don’t count. You are just a figure. She didn’t ask me anything, either. How long you back for, what are you doing now, how can I help you today. Nothing. I’m a natural born seller, and this went against every play in every sales book I had ever written or even read. Connect with me, goddammit. If I’m going to hand over big bucks to you every month, for whatever coverage I end up getting, then I want you to treat me like I’m a human being. You don’t even have to tell me I’m beautiful like everyone else does here. Acknowledge my goddamn existence.

It’s times like this when I can’t do it anymore. I can’t be here, and be cool. I’m not going to play this game of not having a life because I’m not married or working at a factory. My mother ended up telling me off for being rude to the insurance lady. The scary part was that I had to explain to her that the insurance lady was the one being rude to me. I don’t have to be nice to anyone ignoring me. Especially when they are the ones that want my business. Welcome to the 21st century. Easy sells no longer exist and human connection is more important than ever. So get with the programme, old Taiwan.

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Resilience

I think I would need a good few thousand words to explain all the emotions that have been rushing through me this week. I’ve been elated, sure of myself, scared, unsure of life, questioning, curious, incredulous… I mean, the list goes on and on.

There are a few good articles floating out there, a few good videos, and I wanted to lend my two cents in this discussion too.

One thing I’ve noticed on my News Feed last night and today, as the news of President-elect Trump sunk in, is resilience. Disappointingly, I didn’t get that same feeling after Brexit, but I see it here. And this is why America is America. You’re so goddamned positive and glass-half-full. Having quite a few different life events over the last couple of years embitter me, it’s kind of annoying that America is the pretty cheerleader, but you know what? I started to feel something else. Hope. (This is the part where I remind you I fled Britain after Brexit because of the utter hopelessness and fear I felt)

Simon Sinek said it so well in his Live Video, take a look:

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I mean, I don’t really agree with the first minute or so (hello I come from a very civilized TWO countries thank you), but his overall message is spot on. LISTEN, for crying out loud, LISTEN to each other!

And then Aaron Sorkin went and made my eyes swell with tears here.

And Hillary, oh, Hillary.

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(Super awkward moment where the 1 Million Women Campaign spelled her name wrong but you know, it’s a good quote)

We need to stop pointing fingers at each other. We need to sit down, and TALK! Discuss. Find solutions. TOGETHER. This is valid for Brexit, for Europe reaching toward the far-right, and also for America.

And as for yourself… don’t forget about yourself… it’s easy to talk about ‘what we should do’ and ‘what the government needs to do is..’ but as Sinek says, BE THE EXAMPLE. Oh my god. Be the example. Stop pointing out other people’s flaws and start behaving like you want your countrywomen and -men to behave. This is not just about Trump, but about feminism, about environmental issues, all of it. What have you done recently to make Obama’s America great? What have you done recently to help the environment? Feminism? Hmm? HMM? Yeah, that’s right. Work harder at it.

And practice letting go. This is ultimately a very Buddhist practice but this is the only way that I can make sense of all of this. So, shit hit the fan and it’s now spread all over the world because of the spinning blades. Wipe it off. Go about your day. Smile at strangers. And don’t forget to educate yourself. You want this world to change? Educate yourself. Learn what you need to learn. Attend events you need to attend. Meet people you need to meet. Face challenges you need to face. Find a support system, and support that system yourself. In any way you can. It’s easier said that done, I know. I have a lot of personal struggles I need to take care of, too. But I refuse to give in to hatred.

Hatred is what happens when people get lazy and selfish. Don’t be either of those things. Use your anger for good. Stop using your anger as an excuse and stop using innocent people as an outlet. The world is bigger than you, and the world needs you right now. Get on with it. See you out there.