Friday, December 14, 2007

Taiwan's everyday differences

Well this entry is going to be more about all the differences that Taiwan has that we see everyday. And I was just realizing that there is some really crazy and unexplainable things that occur that Jay and I have incountered and will keep incountering without explanation. Lets first discuss scooters, they are a major part of everyday life in Taiwan, so I will give that our first attention. Scooters are very dangerous, thats all there is to it, but they are also pretty much an essential item if you want to do our get anywhere in Taiwan., and exspecially in Taichung. I have purchased pratically a motorcycle helmet, that covers my entire face and Jay will soon purchase a heavy duty helmet. Helmets are required for driving a scooter, it is the law BUT Taiwanses have not seemed to have grasped the importance of a decent helmet. They might have one on but if they did crash it would do absolutely no good. And sometimes they don't even buckle it under their chin....which I think they think looks cool because even when they aren't on their scooter they are walking around a store or down the street with an unbuckled scooter helmet. They have a variety of very stylish scooter helmets... so instead of a safety item I think it is more of a accessory. Even though it is the law to where helmets while you are driving a scooter I still haven't found out if it is illegal not to wear a helmet if you are just a passenger on a scooter. Children from the age of 1 to 14 are on scooters with no helmets. Jay and I have seen as many as 4 people on a scooter, which is a pretty impressive feat. Not only are they carrying their precious children on the scooter, they also carry their dogs on the scooter. I have seen about 3 to 5 dogs on a scooter with a person. WOw it is so impressive. THey are so well behaved, big and little dogs. I am looking for one to take a picture of be looking for that footage. In this country you are not allowed to take left hand turns....but of course you have to take lefts so you are allowed to basically do some sort of U-turn in the middle of an intersection, which for some reason I think they believe is safer...beyond my understanding. Also, there is some sort of strange concept that when you ride a scooter you have to wear your jacket backwards. I haven't found an explanation for that yet.
This country is also very fanatical about recycling, which is so great and every country should learn from it. I mean the garbage lady has yelled at Jay many times for trying to throw away something that could have been recycable. But you would think that they would have an abundance of recycle bins around the city...but you cannot find a single tashcan on the public streets, but yet their streets are very clean. You also would never find a public restrooms. If you go into a store you will find the regular restroom which is called the squater, basically a hole in the ground...but suprisingly very clean and really not that bad. You will also find a 7-11 on every corner of Taiwan, right now that is our refridgerator since we have not bought one yet. 7-11 really keeps everything so cold, it doesn;t seem like there is any need for a fridge.
THe people in Taiwan, really are afraid of the sun..they don't want to be tan at all. They want to be as white as possible. So they carry around umbrellas when it isn't raining. I don't know what they are going to do when it is 120 degrees outside.
Well things are good, teaching is getting easier and easier everyday. We get lost with the scooter everyday as well, which is great because we learn a new part of the city everytime. We have skype now which is great and if you would like to talk to us please download it, its free and you can talk over the computer for free, its awesome. if you have a camera you can also see us and we can see you. Anways hope all is well, please leave messages we love it, no matter who you are and who reads this. Hope all is well

1 comment:

Paul said...

Glad to see things are going well for you two. Sounds like ya'll are having a blast. The scouter stuff sounds like you're in Itlay. They are just as crazy there. App State won last night! 3 in a row now. DT came up to Raleigh for the game last night.
Best wishes,