Tuesday, August 5, 2008

traffic

i think i once said on here that it helps to think of managing taiwanese traffic as like playing a video game: think of all the cars, scooters, bicycles, dogs, etc etc as things that you have to veer around in order to successfully navigate the game.

now i think that the analogy of traffic in taiwan as a video game is a bit of an understatement. i'd start to be impressed with the mario cart game if mario had to balance himself, luigi, AND yogi along with a bag of groceries in that cart of his. because that is pretty much how transportation goes in taiwan.

it's summertime, so gas is expensive even here in taiwan, so people swap their cars for scooters and manage to put all manner of things on them. i have seen numerous dogs happily sitting on the floors of scooters, and the tiniest of children on board the family vehicle whilst in the arms of their mother; or, if old enough, standing in front of the driver. people drive around with big tanks of propane strapped to their scooters, bags of groceries, etc. it is very common to see two people on one scooter, but imagine a family of four: two parents and two little girls, on one scooter. oh yes, it's being done. it is the kind of thing that would make child protection law makers in the states faint dead away.

i've learned that it's important to just kind of suspend all disbelief when it comes to taiwanese traffic. it makes all things seem possible. take, for example, how three girls managed to fit onto one scooter a few sundays ago when we tried to check out the chinese singles' ward in a city half an hour away from where we lived.....
i fear my mother's reaction at posting this picture but i'm sure that after taking a few deep breaths and completing her second double take, she will be fine, laugh and say something loving and gentle like, "well, i was 24 once....." so it turned out fine, our woman jessica is one heckuva balancer and driver. jessica, britta and i sure did garner many curious stares. guys, just a white person walking the streets by themselves is enough to merit some attention from the people of taiwan, so imagine three white girls all crowded on one scooter, all wearing skirts......
in the event we had gotten pulled over, i had an alabi story that britta and jessica were the bridesmaids to the purple-and-black combat-themed wedding i was the runaway bride to, and they were helping me escape ......

i am getting more and more taiwanese everyday. i have even bought a smog mask. the people of taiwan wear these masks around their faces to prevent inhaling tons of pollution while they are out there on their scooters. they come, as you can imagine, in all KINDS of styles. so i found one that i thought was PERFECTLY unique and PERFECT for me at the ten quai store saturday night. but just my luck i saw some other girl wearing it today, if you can believe it.....

with love, peace, and smog-free face,


megs.

1 comment:

Connie said...

Megan! I absolutely love your blog! ^_^ I most definitely think that riding a bike in Taiwan traffic makes you overcome any fear you may have once had about riding a bike with cars...I know it cured me! Just to not die means it was a successful bike ride.