April 26, 2012

Almost every day, while thinking about to write about, the first thing that comes to mind is talk about the driving in Tainan.  The problem is, there are just so many things that go on on the road, that it makes it difficult to begin to explain.

The other problem for me, is that it begins to sound like complaining, and I really don’t want this blog to become a bitch session.

Years ago, when I first arrived in Taiwan, I was told that if I could drive through the streets of Tainan, that I would have no problem driving anywhere in Taiwan.  I found that to be a bit humorous, but after 10 years, I can understand.  Driving in Tainan has got to be one of the most challenging aspects of living in this city.

People often ask why I don’t have a car.  Honestly, I don’t think I could handle a car.  That’s not to say I don’t know how to drive a car, but rather driving a car in Tainan would be even more stressful than driving a scooter.  I don’t think I have the patience or the blasé attitude towards driving that others seem to take to heart.

One of the first things I learned was that lines and lights are mere suggestions.  It seems that the roads in Tainan are just one big piece of black pavement.  People are either oblivious or don’t understand what the various lines on the road mean.  You know, the solid white or yellow lines, the dotted lines…  traffic signals are just coloured lights on the roadways…  and most vehicles seemed to not be equipped with light bulbs for turn signals, brakes, etc.

Where North Americans are taught to be defensive drivers, I think most Taiwan people are taught to be offensive drivers.  Everyone is obviously in a hurry to get to wherever they want to go.  It’s like they needed to be at their destination 10 minutes ago.  The driver behind is expected to know exactly where the driver in front is going.

Perhaps I do bend the road rules once in a while, but I always make sure that, when it be necessary to do so, it is not at the expense or danger to others.  I always use the mirrors and look around.  I suppose for the most part, I may be a stupid driver in Tainan.  I care too much about my life and the lives of others around me.

But enough…  I just needed to vent for a moment.

Cornelia had to go into the vet for her check-up after a week of recovery.  She has gotten used to eating breakfast with medicine, and seems to realize that I won’t pay attention to her, or take her back to join the others until she finishes her breakfast.

The vet took a couple more X-rays and showed them to me.  Compared to the X-rays from a week ago, a great improvement.  Still a bit of shading on the pictures, which has led the vet to conclude that she indeed has pneumonia.  Since taking the medicine, the fact that all conceivable testing was done, and that she is recovering well, is good news all around.  Her next appointment is to be in 3 months, but since Qadan has to go in to be spayed in 2 months, Cornelia’s appointment will be then as well.  I’ve got more medicine to give to her, but I think she’ll be fine.

What else…

I noticed that a few places in central Canada got a spring snowfall!  HA!  Sorry folks, I’m sorry you’re getting it, but glad I don’t have to experience it.  The days and nights here in Taiwan are getting warmer and more unbearable at night.  I need to get my air conditioners installed – and soon!  It’s also a good incentive to me to get the decorating completed.

I still have a few ceilings to paint, my bedroom to complete and set up, the wardrobe to be painted, floors cleaned up, furniture put back in place, some pieces to be painted…  still enough to keep me busy for a while.  Aside from the bedroom, all the walls in the apartments are now completed.  A bit of touch-up stuff, but nothing major.

I’m actually quite in awe with myself of what I’ve accomplished thus far.  I showed the pictures to my landlord, just so they can see what has been done, and it seems that there is no problem from them.  I think I’ll plan on a one-year open house.  With things getting busier at work, and only having one full day and about 3 half days through the week to do any work on the apartment, it’s going to take another 6 months to get things in order… but it getting done.

Well, enough for today.  Time to get lesson planning done, and perhaps continue painting the chairs and wardrobe.  May as well put my time to good use.


That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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