Thursday, January 17, 2013

Connecting the City

 The bridges across the rivers that surround Taipei City are porous membranes between the capital and the rest of the island. In the morning, we commuters from the hinterland stream across the bridges in dense columns to scatter into the crowded city. In the evenings, we converge on the same bridges from all directions to again channel ourselves into the lanes that carry us home.

One of the perspectives on riding a scooter in Taipei that I would like to communicate through this blog is way in which riders interact with each other as navigating the roads and passages that are the arteries of this metropolis.

Riding a scooter is very much an individual experience. One feels free on a personal vehicle, in a manner that is not possible while driving an enclosed vehicle. I won’t call them cages, although that term is used, but that is the way they appear to those of us on scooters.  Those who drive cars have encaged themselves, in comfort, in security, in denial of the others around them.

On a scooter, other riders are all around, all the time. There is no denying the existence of others when riding a scooter. One’s ability to predict what they will do is what keeps a scooter rider alive. Sensing that the rider in front will slow down, veer to the right, or bear to left is a survival skill that scooter riders must develop.
The photographs in this series were taken at the entrance of the onramp to the Taipei Bridge that connects Ximending to Sanchong. Riders cross Huanhe S. road and enter a narrow chute as they execute a 90 degree turn to the left.