I would like to respond to Stephen McCluskey’s letter to the Taipei Times (letters, April 23, page 8).
What a whiner. Tell him to go to Greece or Italy where the driving is better (sic). How many people come back from those places complaining about the driving? While everyone could perhaps stand to drive a bit more courteously — why doesn’t he make the effort to adapt to the driving norms of Taiwan?
Is there traffic congestion everyday on the streets of Taiwan because of accidents? The answer is definitely “no.” He makes it sound as though there is a wreck on every block. Maybe the motorists of Taiwan know something he doesn’t. The problem is his.
Is he seriously suggesting that the driving is better in New York City? Maybe all that “caution” he is asking for does not make for better driving. He should be vigilant and realize this way of driving has been around for decades in Taiwan and, believe it or not, in many other places around the world.
More importantly, they have been doing fine. If you are leaving because of the driving, you are a small minded person. Maybe you are better suited for the slow driving pace of Miami or in the Midwest. Go home.
In response to Mr McCluskey’s letter I would say that if your experiences walking and cycling in Taipei are what is driving you from Taiwan then you must have a pretty “thin skin.”
If you think things are any better back in the US or elsewhere in the world, think again. I would refer you to a recent article on MSN concerning bicyclists being involved in hit-and-run incidents in New York.
Here in Minnesota we are troubled by the same disregard for people on bikes, whether motorized or pedal-power, but we just deal with it. My wife and I spend most of our winters in the Greater Taichung and Greater Tainan areas of Taiwan.
Although the cycling conditions are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, we deal with it and accept it for being what it is — a challenge and a good advert for staying alert and being a defensive driver or pedestrian.
Our time in Taiwan is something that no bad driver is ever going to force us to give up. It is just too important to us to spend time in a place we like, with the folks we dearly love being with, doing what we like doing.
My wife’s parents live in Taipei. Would we ever think of living there? Not on your life. We take the bus or train to visit for a few days and then escape back to central Taiwan or further south.
I offer this final suggestion: Rethink your reasons for leaving Taiwan; maybe just getting out of Taipei is a better option.