Foreigners have rights too
When I read Valerie Caroon’s complaint letter (Letters, Mar. 10, page 8), I was shocked by what happened to her.
According to her letter, a bus driver made her get off the bus against her will so that he could go to do his own private things or play during his official hours. This behavior is illegal.
Valerie should file a complaint with the relevant authorities. She can photograph the bus and ask her Taiwanese friends to help her find the contact information for the bus company and the public transport office, or she can go to the office directly.
If she does not have any local friends to ask for help, she could e-mail New Taipei City (新北市) Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), who can understand English, describing the incident in full, including when and where it happened, the name of the bus — it is best if the name of the stop and bus are in Chinese — and with a photo attached.
Chu can be e-mailed at: http://talk.ntpc.gov.tw/registForm-1.jsp.
Taiwanese society is comprised of polite and impolite people. The bus driver that Valerie met happened to be impolite.
If she had been a local, he would never have dared to throw her off the bus because he would know that most Taiwanese would file a complaint to the authorities as is their right as part of a democratic society.
I would like to tell Valerie that she is welcome in Taiwan and please do not be dismayed by this isolated experience.
If you do follow my suggestions, I would be interested to know what official response you are given, which you could let me know by writing another letter to the Taipei Times.