Skip to main content

How Cyclists Behave in Taipei

A couple of days ago I was walking in the direction of National Taiwan University. Then I decided to go back and get something to eat, so I turned around. Suddenly, I heard a shrill cry and saw a woman falling down to my left side. She had been riding a bicycle and I assume she was trying to overtake me. But because there were many people on the street and there wasn't much room for such a bold maneuver she had come too close, and when I turned around she tried to avoid me and fell. The crazy thing is that she looked at me angrily, as though I had been the cause of the accident. "您好嗎?" (are you okay?), I asked. She didn't reply, but simply got up and left muttering to herself.

After this episode I decided to make a video to show you how cyclists in Taipei regularly ride their bikes in the middle of the street, even if there are plenty of people. They overtake, sometimes they ride pretty fast. I think this is a dangerous behaviour, especially because in the middle of a crowd it's hard to see clearly if there are children or animals, and they could hurt someone, or hurt themselves. I really don't get why cyclists are allowed to ride their bikes on the pavement. They should rather have special lanes only for themselves.

Unfortunately, the video is very shaky because I was holding a few bags and had to film with my phone, which has a terrible camera. Anyway, it's just to give you a general idea. You can see how cyclists try to overtake people, and you can also see that they come from behind me, so I cannot see them. The street wasn't extremely crowded that day, especially the campus itself was relatively quiet, but you can imagine how it looks like on the days and hours where it's full of people everywhere.

I also think it's nice to take videos of the city, because they show better than pictures how it feels like to walk around on a street in Taipei. 




Comments

  1. Hi,
    its very interesting you notice this cyclists problem. Foreigners I know they always complain motor bikes and taxis.
    And you said "您好嗎?" when the woman fell down, you meant "are you okay" but she probably thought you were saying "how are you". I would think like this.
    Maybe next time you can try "你還好嗎?"(niˇ haiˊ hauˇ ma˙)when you accidentally step on someone's foot or else.
    Sorry I could't help but type so many nonsense.

    Have a nice life here and happy new year :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello,

    thanks for your comment and happy new year to you, too: ) Oh yes, I noticed this cyclists problem, already a long time ago. Whenever I go to the NTU campus there are dozens of bikes, and I think it can be dangerous.

    Thanks for your advice, I will try to use this sentence if another old woman falls down right next to me (which I hope won't happen, of course)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really don't get why cyclists are allowed to ride their bikes on the pavement.

    Because its Taiwan. Not your country...

    ReplyDelete
  4. @anonymous: Sorry, but I am puzzled. Are you implying that I can have an opinion only about my own country and when I go abroad I have to accept everything that happens there? So if you go to Italy (my home country) and you criticise the mafia or corruption, then I should tell you "this is not your country, so stop judging"? Well, if that is your opinion, I disagree. Every individual is entitled to see the world in his own way, and to have his own standards, values and point of view, no matter where he is.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Living in Taiwan: Seven Reasons Why It's Good to Be Here

Chinese New Year can be a pretty boring time for a foreigner. All of my friends were celebrating with their families, and since I have no family here, nor have I a girlfriend whose family I could join, I had nothing special to do. Shops and cafes were closed - apart from big chains like McDonald's or Starbucks, which were overcrowded anyway. So I had a lot of time to think.
On Saturday evening I went out to buy my dinner. While I was walking around, I heard the voices of the people inside their homes, the sounds of their New Year celebrations. Then I suddenly asked myself: "What on earth are you doing here? Why are you still in Taiwan?" 
Before I came to Taiwan, some Taiwanese friends of mine had recommended me their country, highly prasing it and going so far as to say that Taiwan is a "paradise for foreigners" (bear in mind that when I say foreigners I mean 'Westerners'). 
"It's easy for foreigners to find a job," they argued. "Taiwane…

How Conservative Is Taiwan? - 5 Cases of Sexuality in Business, Marketing and Media

Is Taiwan a conservative society? Are Taiwanese people prude, family-oriented, and faithful to their partner?
Before going to Taiwan, basing my opinion on what Taiwanese had told me, I would have answered all these questions with yes. But after living there for some time, I began questioning my assumptions. 
In many of my posts I have tried to explain some features of the Chinese/Taiwanese family which make it clear that every Western perspective on East Asia should take into consideration the different values and social structures that the Chinese-speaking world has developed over the centuries.
In this post, I would just like to mention a few interesting cases of liberal sexual conduct and the objectification of the female body, which challenge the image of Taiwan as a prude society. 
One day I was walking around the German city of Potsdam, near Berlin, with a Taiwanese. She often told me that Taiwanese people were conservative, Taiwanese girls naive and innocent. But on the other hand,…

How Is Customer Service In Taiwan? - My Thoughts Before And After Living In Taiwan

Before I went to Taiwan I had a lot of expectations regarding customer service there, mainly for two reasons.
First of all, I hated customer service in Europe. Having lived in Italy and Germany for several years and having spent time in Greece, the UK and other European countries, I noticed that across the continent a lot of shop assistants are indifferent or rude to customers. Of course, that is based on my experience and on that of my friends, and it refers only to episodes I witnessed or heard about. 
Let me tell you just a few examples. Once my internet provider in Germany changed my contract without my consent. When I went to their shop, I was yelled at and threatened with a lawsuit right away. Later I quit that company, but the point is, whether I made a mistake or not (and I think I did not), they should have cleared up the matter in a nice way instead of being so aggressive. 
One day I was in my university cafeteria, and I saw a student leave his trey with food on a table and go …