Saturday, September 13, 2008

Typhoon Ramblings


Sinlaku is moving sluggishly over Taiwan. It was only moving at about 4km/hour at one point! This means that we are getting downpours and wind from it for much longer than usual, effectively ruining the Moon Festival weekend. I ended up riding this one out in Taipei, since I didn’t want to brave the trip back to Yilan, and I didn’t want to try driving my scooter through the wind and driving rain. It was fun to have company during this typhoon, and so far I’ve: made a salad, watched some episodes of the Office (not sure if I love it or hate it), braved the rain in search of a tea shop, went to Lisa and Peter’s for an indoor BBQ, and watched the Bucket List (fantastic movie). Tomorrow I’m hoping the typhoon will move on so I can go home! I might have left a window open……..

Other things I’ve been wanting to blog about:

I finally got my scooter license!! Being my first full license ever, I was very proud of it! So now I can drive legally in Taiwan. And I love it!

Things I LOVE about scooting as compared to biking:

  • It’s more efficient.
  • I can go FAST! (I haven't driven more than 40..ok 50ish)
  • I can go further now and don’t have to depend on train schedules or other people for rides.
  • I don’t get nearly as wet riding in the rain.
  • I can carry a lot more stuff.

The test was not too bad. I’d done some practice questions online awhile ago (remember when I was GOING to get my license about 2 years ago but they wouldn’t let me because my work visa was only 345 days (like 3 weeks short of a year!!!), so actually that part was pretty easy except for the weird translations at times, and the question where the written part said “Drivers CAN do X” but the audio voice reading the question clearly said “CANNOT”

The road test was slightly nerve-wracking, but I was glad I got to watch a bunch of other people doing it first, including some newbies. The first part is a really narrow straight line with sensors on either side that you have to drive down very slowly. Your driving time has to be more than 7 seconds, and you can’t put your feet down or swerve. If you mess up a really loud alarm sounds! You only get two tries, but I made it on the second try. The funny thing was, I went with Christine, my Chinese teacher (and her four girls!) since she actually only has a car license, not scooter, even though she’s been driving for 20+ years! The girls made friends with everyone, as they tend to do, and Christine actually didn’t pass the road test!! I felt bad! I doubt she’ll go back to get it though haha, that’s Taiwan for you. The craziest thing about the whole thing is they expect you to drive your own scooter to take the test TO GET YOUR LICENSE. And if you fail, they don’t even bat an eyelash as you drive away. Again, that’s Taiwan for you.


Update: One more thing I've done during this typhoon - put bowls under the water dripping from the ceiling in my room.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your scooter license! So do you mean that you're scootering in between Taipei and Ilan now???
    What season/episodes of the office have you seen? Are you watching them online or does someone have them on DVD? We'll have to chat about it soon.

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