Peter (柯益友) (peterintaiwan) wrote,
Peter (柯益友)

Speed Racer, Taiwan Style

In a former life I drove a 9 foot wide, 31 foot long bookmobile. So when I criticize the bus drivers in Taipei, I think I do so with some authority. I have one thing to say: SLOW DOWN.

If the stops are less than half a mile or a quarter of a mile apart, why do they insist on pulling across three lanes of traffic to the left hand lane after each stop, only to have to suddenly go back across 3 lanes of traffic to the right to pick up passengers?

I realize that there are scooterists and bicyclists in those lanes, but really, do they have to go across all 3? Just go in the middle, it would save less swerving and hassle.

Also, if they go slower, they wouldn't t have to brake so quickly. I am surprised that after 8 months of riding on the buses in Taipei, the other day was the first time I fell down when it came to a near screeching halt. I am lucky that I did not hit my head on the back of the bus (where I was sitting). The kind riders of the buses usually push the signal to to indicate they want to get off. Why must they wait til the last minute to suddenly swerve from the left hand lane, back to the right hand lane? They have had ample warning.

The buses are also often crowded. I have resigned myself to the the fate of standing most of the time. This cuts down on my flash card studying time because I must hold on for dear life it seems. They are quite crowded to the point where some mornings I literally must push people out of my way in my quest to go to exit at the front of the bus. Some times when it has been quite crowded and I am slowly making my way to the front, I have found myself being pushed from behind. I later discover (the 3 or 4 times this has happened) that it is not a young person, but an old lady. One who you would assume would be sweet and polite. But again, I should realize that these sweet, old ladies will also fight to be the first on the bus in hopes of gaining a prized seat wherein they can safely ride the bus as the driver performs slalom runs in the middle of Taipei.

I just wish I could spend the bus rides I have studying my flashcards and not terrified for my life as it flashes before my eyes.
Tags: taipei, taiwan, thoughts
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