First-time visitors usually need some time to adapt to Taiwan customs and get acquainted with their new surroundings.
Old apartment buildings, in particular, are often a cause of concern for foreigners who would question the use of metal bars on the top floors of the housing units.
A social media user recently took to Reddit to ask about the meaning of using metal bars in an apartment building in Kaohsiung.
The social media users asked why Taiwanese add window grills to apartments on top floors and questioned whether it was the norm in Taiwan.
His post resounded well with foreigners who had the same question, and one jokingly asked if it was to prevent Santa Claus from “breaking in to deliver presents.”
Taiwanese social media users also responded enthusiastically, explaining that families with small children may add it as a precaution.
One sarcastically suggested it could be to complete the “Taiwan aesthetic,” which led others to point to the sheet metal roof sheds that constituted the “favelas in Taiwan” look.
However, many also pointed out the legitimacy of the use of window grills as many apartments had been burglarized after thieves hid on the rooftops and repelled down to break in.
One social media user shared the unique “breed” of burglars called “Spider-man robbers” (蜘蛛大盜) prevalent in the early 2000s who would jump from rooftop to rooftop and climb down to the apartments below.
Though there is a specific necessity for establishing window grills, many apartment buildings do without them as they are not safe during emergencies.
Along with the invention of anti-theft windows and child-safety locks, the window grills could be a dying “aesthetic” of Taiwan’s urban landscape.
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