Some time ago I described driving and biking in Taipei. If you missed that post or tend to liberate unnecessary information from your mind, just picture a video game, say Grand Theft Auto, multiply the obstacle amount by four and add an anxiety level appropriate for endangering your actual life. Today, for example, a blue truck (not a simple pick-up truck) pulled out onto Tong Hua street without looking, causing me to swerve into opposing traffic in order to sustain my current bone configuration. This was .4 seconds after I had carefully calculated a deviation to narrowly miss a lady toting a bag of vegetables yet not interfere with the scooter on my left nor the pedestrian attempting to cross the road by dodging oncoming traffic two steps at a time. To the man in the blue truck, I shouted, “Watch out!” which probably was a lot like what, “少心!” sounds like to me. But my scowl was an unmistakable sign of road rage and malice.
I showed you photos of people sitting on scooters, opening scooters, driving scooters in precarious locations such as sidewalks. That was nothing. It’s time you see the way children, dogs, and old people roll. Parents don’t pull children in little red wagons, dogs don’t ride in pet carriers in the backseat of a Ford, and old people don’t sit in nursing homes, waiting for… well, you know what they’re waiting for. Instead, they all cram onto a scooter OR walk in the middle of the street. Keep in mind that the following photos show fairly empty streets because this is when it’s most reasonable for me to pull out my camera: at a stoplight, in the market, near my house where traffic is light. What I really need is a photo of me
harassing photographing the public on their way home from work. Then my collection will be complete.
Seeing a child on a bike with mom, dad, or grandpa is very common. So common, that I’m not even sure if it’s interesting at all. But I remember thinking so when I first arrived here. Especially with the bustle of a big city around them. I remember as a little girl having to practice sitting still in the dining room on Sundays when I wiggled around too much at church that morning. The pews were stationary.
The above photo shows how the scooters (and bicyclists) often wait at stop lights, in between the cars. The car on the right is probably surrounded by scooters. So when the light turns green, it will wait for the path to clear. At rush hour, the traffic guard will often signal for scooters and bikers to begin crossing about 8 seconds before the light turns green to help everyone stay sane and safe.