You're right, of course, Finley. I'm used to the inconveniences and dangers of walking around small towns and the more chaotic parts of big cities in Taiwan, but what we experienced in Toufen was as bad as anything I've ever encountered during my 26 years in Taiwan. However, if we did move to Toufen or nearby, I'm sure we'd soon learn which parts of the town are best avoided, and keep well away from them. I'm glad to hear your assurance that such horrors do not represent the whole of Toufen, and that there are much better alternatives. Maybe I will still go to take a look at some of those communities.
GC Rider wrote:I think there are two lessons to be learnerd here:
#1 Don't drive a car if you don't like traffic congestion
#2 Don't eat at McDonald's
#1 Ah, but it wasn't the sitting in the car part of the traffic that I objected to: it was the walking from A to B part, once I'd finally found a place far from B in which to park. And since I was stopping by en route from Kaohsiung to Linkou, it would hardly have been feasible for me to do without the car and walk the whole way. I could probably manage the walk, if I had a sufficient number of days available; but my wife and 4-year-old daughter most certainly could not. And I'm pretty sure that, if we were living in or around Toufen, a car would be absolutely essential, since I very much doubt that there's much in the way of public transport available, and my 20 years of motorbike and scooter riding in Taiwan came to end when my daughter was born (I would never even dream of carrying her or allowing her to be carried on two wheels in any urban environment in Taiwan).
#2 Not knowing Toufen at all, having absolutely no idea about any of the eateries there, and needing to get our daughter to a toilet, food and rest stop as promptly as possible, all we could do was find the location of a McD on our satellite nav. and make a beeline for it. I'm no fan of McD's, and hardly ever set foot in one for many a year when I didn't need to (especially since they have almost nothing appropriate for my strict vegetarian diet), but one can't be so picky when small children who need to be tended to come into the equation.