As a frequent visitor to Taiwan and having recently spent four weeks there, I feel compelled to draw attention to the second-class status of pedestrians.
In every town and city in Taiwan, the car is king. If it’s got wheels, be it car, motorcycle or bicycle, the poor pedestrian must make room for it. To go for a walk is to embark on an obstacle course and risk your life.
A visitor, if he is from the West, is taking his life in his hands if he attempts to cross the road on a pedestrian crossing, thinking that the traffic will stop for him, because it won’t.
Crossing the road, even at traffic lights, is a dangerous operation, because motorcycles will come at you from all directions, including taking short-cuts on the wrong side of the road.
The sidewalk is a dumping ground, not only for parked cars and motorcycles, but for anything that people don’t want in their houses. People seem to extend their houses onto the sidewalk and even run businesses there — without a licence, I suspect. I’ve seen 100mm drain pipes fixed permanently across the sidewalk.
Every section of sidewalk is a different level, making it dangerous for the very young and the old and infirm. I don’t know how the disabled and the blind manage the numerous obstructions.
I’m sure there are laws to regulate all of this, but it seems that the authorities — from the very lowly right up to the top — don’t pay the slightest heed to these problems.
I suggest that government ministers and local officials step out of their chauffeur-driven limousines and take a walk around Taiwan’s cities and towns.
I read an article in your paper about encouraging more foreign visitors to come to Taiwan. In the present economic downturn and with unemployment on the rise, it seems to me that there is a golden opportunity for the government to create public works jobs by using tax dollars to remedy this situation.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete