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Whack Things in Taiwan (part 3)

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Re: Whack Things in Taiwan (part 3)

Postby finley » 23 Mar 2012, 22:32

superking wrote:So stop repainting your scratches. People in France happily plough into one another all day long. Italy too. I never paid money to someone who hit ME. Have you? Really? Seems weird and pointless.

I have. A taxi driver sideswiped me and knocked me off. There was no reason to do so since we were all doing 2mph approaching a red light. He just wanted to be on that bit of road. I was so mad I kicked his car. Taxi driver gets out and starts threatening murder. I call police. Police said that because I'd damaged his paintwork (I hadn't) the best thing to do would be to give him money to make him go away, because knocking someone off a scooter is not a crime (really - gf's bleeding toe was irrelevant). At that time, of course, I simply didn't realise that the job of the police is to make their own lives as hassle-free as possible, not to uphold the law or even have any knowledge of what the law is.

It does happen.

the driving behaviour in Taiwan is not necessarily a reflection of bad driving, but a deeper representation of Taiwanese society as a whole: Lack of respect for rule of law, lack of respect for personal space, lack of respect for property and lack of respect for safety.
This is beyond nonsense. You paint your categories as wide and as pointless as you like, but what you said there is balderdash.

I would add to that: lack of respect for life in general - vegetable, animal, or human. This is very common in third-world countries and Taiwan simply hasn't caught on to the fact that it's not third-world anymore.

Do you have an alternative theory?
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Re: Whack Things in Taiwan (part 3)

Postby superking » 23 Mar 2012, 22:58

finley wrote:
superking wrote:So stop repainting your scratches. People in France happily plough into one another all day long. Italy too. I never paid money to someone who hit ME. Have you? Really? Seems weird and pointless.

I have. A taxi driver sideswiped me and knocked me off. There was no reason to do so since we were all doing 2mph approaching a red light. He just wanted to be on that bit of road. I was so mad I kicked his car. Taxi driver gets out and starts threatening murder. I call police. Police said that because I'd damaged his paintwork (I hadn't) the best thing to do would be to give him money to make him go away, because knocking someone off a scooter is not a crime (really - gf's bleeding toe was irrelevant). At that time, of course, I simply didn't realise that the job of the police is to make their own lives as hassle-free as possible, not to uphold the law or even have any knowledge of what the law is.

It does happen.

the driving behaviour in Taiwan is not necessarily a reflection of bad driving, but a deeper representation of Taiwanese society as a whole: Lack of respect for rule of law, lack of respect for personal space, lack of respect for property and lack of respect for safety.
This is beyond nonsense. You paint your categories as wide and as pointless as you like, but what you said there is balderdash.

I would add to that: lack of respect for life in general - vegetable, animal, or human. This is very common in third-world countries and Taiwan simply hasn't caught on to the fact that it's not third-world anymore.

Do you have an alternative theory?


Erm well actually you kicked a car, that is what you paid for. Not because he hit you.

As for an alternative theory... how about 'none of that shit is real, it just exists in your head.' Taiwan is quite happy plodding along being an island. It doesn't really seem to want a load of honkies with shitty memories telling it how wonderful things were back in old Xanadu.

Someone once said to me, "If you don't like it in Taiwan you could always fuck off." So I did. Best advice ever. Taiwan looks wonderful again to me now.
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Re: Whack Things in Taiwan (part 3)

Postby PigBloodCake » 23 Mar 2012, 23:22

finley wrote:
superking wrote:So stop repainting your scratches. People in France happily plough into one another all day long. Italy too. I never paid money to someone who hit ME. Have you? Really? Seems weird and pointless.

I have. A taxi driver sideswiped me and knocked me off. There was no reason to do so since we were all doing 2mph approaching a red light. He just wanted to be on that bit of road. I was so mad I kicked his car. Taxi driver gets out and starts threatening murder. I call police. Police said that because I'd damaged his paintwork (I hadn't) the best thing to do would be to give him money to make him go away, because knocking someone off a scooter is not a crime (really - gf's bleeding toe was irrelevant).


You got a raw deal. If your gf is Taiwanese, she could have called her family member for help.

Never deal with Taiwanese in this situation with the police by yourself.

At that time, of course, I simply didn't realise that the job of the police is to make their own lives as hassle-free as possible, not to uphold the law or even have any knowledge of what the law is.


Take that sentence to the bank! :thumbsup:
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Re: Whack Things in Taiwan (part 3)

Postby Baas Babelaas » 24 Mar 2012, 10:44

Someone once said to me, "If you don't like it in Taiwan you could always fuck off." So I did. Best advice ever. Taiwan looks wonderful again to me now.


I hear ya. Left after three years. But visit every few months. Works well for me.
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Re: Whack Things in Taiwan (part 3)

Postby finley » 24 Mar 2012, 12:17

It doesn't really seem to want a load of honkies with shitty memories telling it how wonderful things were back in old Xanadu.

Grief. I don't know how often we have to say this: we're not comparing Taiwan with "back home". If we were, we would indeed have fucked off. We're discussing it on its own merits. Taiwan has access to an entire planet's worth of hindsight, and it blatantly ignores 100% of it. And no, it doesn't exist in our heads. The accident statistics are real. The factories tipping shit into the rivers and hong bao into the local bigwig's pockets are real. The bit of land across from my house, which last week was covered with a mini-forest and is now razed to bare earth with a few "pretty" sakura trees, is real. There are many things that are good about Taiwan. That's why we haven't fucked off. There are lots of other things which bother us, for the same reason it would bother you watching someone hammer nails into his head.

Never deal with Taiwanese in this situation with the police by yourself.

Yeah, I know that now. This was going back a few years when I naively assumed the police were, in fact, police.
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Re: Whack Things in Taiwan (part 3)

Postby superking » 24 Mar 2012, 13:11

finley wrote:
It doesn't really seem to want a load of honkies with shitty memories telling it how wonderful things were back in old Xanadu.

Grief. I don't know how often we have to say this: we're not comparing Taiwan with "back home". If we were, we would indeed have fucked off. We're discussing it on its own merits. Taiwan has access to an entire planet's worth of hindsight, and it blatantly ignores 100% of it. And no, it doesn't exist in our heads. The accident statistics are real. The factories tipping shit into the rivers and hong bao into the local bigwig's pockets are real. The bit of land across from my house, which last week was covered with a mini-forest and is now razed to bare earth with a few "pretty" sakura trees, is real. There are many things that are good about Taiwan. That's why we haven't fucked off. There are lots of other things which bother us, for the same reason it would bother you watching someone hammer nails into his head.

Never deal with Taiwanese in this situation with the police by yourself.

Yeah, I know that now. This was going back a few years when I naively assumed the police were, in fact, police.



Got a scooter? Driven that scooter after a few beers? Know foreigners who do? Ever cut someone up while riding a scooter/driving a car? Re-cycle? Everything? Sure that all westerners in Taiwan recycle everything?

We all pollute, we all break the law when it suits us. Telling an entire island of people how you know best, is, well, weird. Quite weird.
There are millions of people in the world. And none of those people is an extra. They're all leads in their own stories.

If you lose one sense, your other senses are enhanced. That's why people with no sense of humour have an increased sense of self-importance.
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Re: Whack Things in Taiwan (part 3)

Postby finley » 24 Mar 2012, 13:49

superking wrote:Got a scooter? Driven that scooter after a few beers? Know foreigners who do? Ever cut someone up while riding a scooter/driving a car? Re-cycle? Everything? Sure that all westerners in Taiwan recycle everything?

I wasn't speaking for "we foreigners". If you're asking me personally, no, I bloody well don't drive after a few beers. I don't drive at all if I can help it. I use my indicators and my mirror. I have an actual driver's license, even though the test is a joke. I attempt - as far as it's physically possible - to drive the way I was taught is safe and courteous. Seriously, why on earth would I not? I want to stay alive even if nobody else does. And you know what? Taiwanese people berate me for it. They tell me that "this is Taiwan", and you can't follow the rules, because nobody else does. :loco: My wife insists that scooters are not allowed to overtake on the left. Ever. Which presumably explains why you can indicate right and have some wanker zip past on the inside. She told me that when you turn left, you're supposed to position yourself on the right. After years of listening to this shite, I can quite honestly say I don't give a fuck about whether Taiwanese people think it's right to make up your own rules instead of following the proper ones. That's their problem. I'm going to follow the rules because I know what their purpose is: to make driving as safe as possible.

We all pollute, we all break the law when it suits us.

No, we don't. Or at least some of us make an effort not to, within the constraints of the society we're in. I can't help the fact that my flush toilet discharges directly into the Danshui river or that we have a massive power bill for public areas of my building. I didn't design the thing. And as above, I don't drive like a retarded chimp simply because I can.

Telling an entire island of people how you know best, is, well, weird. Quite weird.

Why is it weird? The reason we know best - at least on the specific topic of driving - is pretty simple. We've been doing it longer than they have. We know what works and what doesn't, because we've found out by a painful process of trial and error. We know that a lucky charm dangling from your incorrectly-adjusted mirror isn't going to keep you safe. On other topics, the Taiwanese do it better, and "we foreigners" could probably learn something from them. Food recycling, for instance, is done much better here than it is in the UK. The most striking difference between Taiwan and (some) other countries is that policymakers actively seek out new ways of doing things. In Taiwan, they actively ignore everything going on around them.
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Re: Whack Things in Taiwan (part 3)

Postby Nuit » 24 Mar 2012, 14:02

finley 2 superking 1

finley 2 superking 0

(sorry, read the posts again and superking's goal was clearly offside)
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Re: Whack Things in Taiwan (part 3)

Postby superking » 24 Mar 2012, 14:15

Ok, look, we can all see that driving in Taiwan is hairy. But what do you do about it? It is hairy in MANY of the worlds countries. Driven in Italy? Germany? France? India? Morocco? Thailand? Brazil? London? There is a global problem of people driving like shit. This is not a Taiwan thing, and there is no place where drivers have better behaviour because of the length of time the country has had cars. If you feel that the driving in your home country is much better then you must be thinking about driving out of the city. And Taiwan city driving is reasonable, and it is slow because there are too many cars, and too many traffic lights. If you are on a scooter then well, your body shouldnt really be hurtling about at 100kph without some sort of protection. I'd also say to you that you might be putting yourself at danger by attempting to drive properly. I mean that seriously. If people can't predict that you will drive like they are all driving then they might hit you. We can be dicks online, but I wouldn't wish you any sort of harm.
The house I live in in the UK is on a main road. My neighbour told me that until they put in a set of traffic lights at the bottom of the hill there would be at least one crash every weekend, and once every couple of months the crash would be fatal. Here, in England, where people apparently drive like saints!People are just dicks the world over when it comes to cars/scooters.

Also, you might not feel like you pollute but pretty much everyone on the planet is taking something and putting nothing back. That is just the nature of the global society we live in. Yes, Taiwan could clean up it's act, but so can ALL countries. The US are raping all the world oil and burning that faster than they can get their hands on it. The UK has a long history of spewing filth into the air. It's hypocritical to tell the people of Taiwan how to behave when the countries we are from are just as bad.

I just think you've got some sweeping statements going on, and if you took a step back you'd perhaps be more objective in your assessment of how Taiwan really is. Saying things like:
Taiwan has access to an entire planet's worth of hindsight, and it blatantly ignores 100% of it. we know best. In Taiwan, they actively ignore everything going on around them. a lucky charm dangling from your incorrectly-adjusted mirror isn't going to keep you safe.
Those aren't balanced thoughts.
There are millions of people in the world. And none of those people is an extra. They're all leads in their own stories.

If you lose one sense, your other senses are enhanced. That's why people with no sense of humour have an increased sense of self-importance.
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Re: Whack Things in Taiwan (part 3)

Postby finley » 24 Mar 2012, 14:31

superking wrote:Saying things like:
Taiwan has access to an entire planet's worth of hindsight, and it blatantly ignores 100% of it. we know best. In Taiwan, they actively ignore everything going on around them. a lucky charm dangling from your incorrectly-adjusted mirror isn't going to keep you safe.
Those aren't balanced thoughts.


Oooh, that's not just offside. That's red-card material. I did not say "we know best". You inserted those words yourself.

In fact I completely agree with what you just wrote above (except for that last bit). However, you can't use those facts to avoid making changes. Taiwanese people often say "Why are complaining about our driving? Look at those dirty Vietnamese/Indians/[random third-world country]? They're far worse!". It's true ... but irrelevant. Just because everyone else drives like there's no tomorrow (and there often isn't) doesn't mean it's OK, does it? Likewise, just because everyone is taking without giving back doesn't mean we can't try to take less and give back more. Less waste ultimately means a reduction in the cost of living.

But yes, there is a very small difference between what "we" do and what (for example) Taiwan does, and much of what The West does is so inefficient, so incredibly expensive to maintain, that we can only do it by sucking wealth out of other countries (China, for instance, which voluntarily gives away all its natural resources to any foreigner that comes asking).

My point was that Taiwan is in a position to observe the fuckups that other countries have made, and to do it differently, or to shortcut around the dead-ends. That's an incredible advantage. For example, instead of encouraging cars over scooters (which is now public policy) they might take the opportunity to implement personal rapid transport. Taiwan has almost ideal geography and demographics for it, and enough cash to make it happen. Or if not, then perhaps electric scooters. Or - at least! - a rigorous driving test. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it's a pity to waste it when you've got it.
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