February 19, 2011

I wonder if anyone knows what a mirror is??

Crazy question? I think not!

My job takes me all around Tainan. I spend about 2-3 hours per day, traveling between my classes. During those travels, I rely a lot on being fully aware of my surroundings.

There are so many times I wonder whether others are paying attention to what is going on around them. I have seen people ‘window-shopping’, while driving along at 10 km/hr. This wouldn’t be too bad if they were on the outside of the roadway, but no, they have to drive along the inside of the roadways. While looking at all the stuff in the windows or whatever they’re looking at, they are not paying attention to what is going on on the road! There are people driving WAY over the speed limits and weaving in and out of traffic.

I’m also surprised that people, especially those in cars or trucks, who just pull out into the roadway without so much as a hint of looking in a mirror. The number of times a day that someone hops in their car, which was left running while they were in 7-11, put the car into drive, and just drive right back into the lane as if there was no one on the street! I look in my mirror, and realize that there is no one behind me! Why they couldn’t wait for 5 seconds until I passed, and then they would have a whole lane to drive into. Hell no… cut me off… make me come to an abrupt stop, just so you can get back into traffic.

Most of the scooters I see on the streets, either a) don’t have mirrors or, b) the mirrors are broken or, c) pointing up at the sun or down to the street! When I drive, yes, perhaps I am too cautious a driver by Taiwan standards. The number of times people tell me that I drive crazy. I try to drive with traffic. I look in my mirrors when changing lanes or turning. I use signals, I stop at red lights… Okay, so call me crazy!

I know that I write a lot about driving in Taiwan. I was thinking the other day about sitting at certain intersections or areas where driving is insane, and filming it. But it occurred to me that, this is Taiwan! It takes a special kind of person to adapt to the driving in this country. Considering that I’ve only had one REALLY close call in an accident in all my time here, that I am now one of these ‘special’ people.

However, I still can’t NOT use my mirrors. I still cannot run red lights. I still have to signal when I change lanes or turn at intersections. I still look both ways when I enter an intersection, no matter where it is. I still slow down at intersections where there are no lights or stop signs, just in case someone else is barreling through the other way – which happens more often than not!

Well, other than a bit of ranting about driving, today was a rather ‘blah’ day.

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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