Thursday, January 3, 2013

Taiwan Blogs Scooters

The Bamboo Butterfly shared her experiences living in Taiwan and riding a scooter.
The ironic thing is, that after living in the country for awhile, you begin to see that there’s a flow to the system. The people make it work. As crazy as it seems, I felt safer driving in Taiwan than I have back home in the Chicago suburbs. There’s a synchronized dance at work behind the chaos.
Her advice to prospective scooter riders about getting a driving license attracted the attention of MJKlein, a long-term foreign resident and blogger on NHBushman.
Bamboo Butterfly: Anyone can purchase a scooter in Taiwan. However, it’s not legal to drive a scooter without a TW driver’s license. With that being said, most foreigners in Taiwan still drive illegally, without a license. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met a foreigner who had a license. My previous boss has lived in the country for about 20 years and still didn’t have a license.
NHBushman: Rhonda, all the long-timers that i know have TW driver’s licenses. i wrote a detailed article about getting mine. it’s not difficult – one just has to go through the procedures Taiwan style.
Bamboo Butterfly (Rhonda): That’s interesting MJ, you’re the first foreigner I know to say that. I knew none during my stay there…but then again, a lot of them left Taiwan after a year or so so they probably didn’t care about getting a license. However, my boss lived there 20 years and said it was very difficult…but I guess that just depends. Maybe what facility you test at matters too?Thanks for the information.
NHBushman/MJKlein: Rhonda, like i said: “long-timers.” the vast majority of foreigners in Taiwan are not in that category. i normally do not have day-to-day dealings with short-timers, so it all depends what your circles are i guess.
here the URL for the detailed article that i wrote about getting a license: the comments are especially interesting. Thanks Rhonda.
Finally, There's Isla Formosa, a blog written by friend and colleague David Wilson. He has written about scooters many times, and here you can find posts in which he has discussed scooters. If you come across the post about the mynah bird who imitates a scooter starting, know that I too found a bird who performs that trick. In my case it was a parrot who spends each day in his cage on the sidewalk in front of a pet store.
David captured this iconic image of Taipei scooter culture, the burned hulks of two scooters. He also has some practical advice for riders.
After almost 6 years, I still haven't had an accident. What do I attribute this to? Personality. Keeping a cool head is the key to success with scooters. There are other related things though. Don't be the first one through an intersection. Be aware of your periphery. Study the behavior of taxis and buses. Keep your scooter in good shape. Use your mirrors and not shoulder checking. Watch those slippery surface road lines and sewer lids in rainy weather.