If it's not that welcome phrase, they may replace it with Ni Hao (Good Day).
What A Pleasant Surprise
Being my first time here, the Taiwanese greeting is rather 'fresh' and truly welcoming, making one feel rather important. Especially so when welcome greetings back home are a lil harder to get by, what's more smiles (though yes, some outlets do practice it).
I'm not sure if it's genuine & sincere; or a smile & greet campaign initiated by the Taiwan government for the service sector; or an influence of the Japanese culture where they greet customers similarly when one enters their stores/ restaurants.
But so far, my experience is that it does seem real. I can feel their sincerity and it really makes one feel good. (A broad smile & sometimes grins with laughter, plus the sparkling eyes is rather genuine I'm sure :) ).
I really didn't expect this, as usually most greetings in other places seem more like service oriented greetings & smiles, which don't really come from the heart.
Maybe in a way, I'm swayed as a tourist on all things nice in Taiwan, which I admit, it may have an effect to me looking this positively on this beautiful island. But as I only am here for a few short days, I'll leave it as that - that the Taiwanese are a bunch of friendly & welcoming people.
And I say this not just based on the experience with the people in the service industry but also based on my experiences with some acquintances and their friends & families.
That's coming up next!