But I missed one thing the most.
And that would be my scooter.
If you've never driven a scooter in Asia before, you might not understand.
But I have.
I do every single day, actually.
My scooter is petite and black + white and has the cutest circular mirrors.
And she makes my life wonderful.
So, why do I love my little scooter so much?
Read on and you'll wish you had one for yourself.
never having to wait in line at a red light
It is totally acceptable and even expected that scooters weave in between cars, buses and trucks and cut to the very front of the line. In fact, there are even designated boxes at the front of each light where scooters are supposed to congregate. Plus, there are timers on the lights that tell you exactly how much longer until the light turns, which is kinda an excuse to go 10 seconds before it actually turns if there are only a few cars coming in the opposite direction.
I don't really think Taiwan has any real traffic laws. At least ones that are enforced. I have been driving a scooter in Taiwan for over two years now sans a license or clear understanding of the rules of the road. I've only ever been pulled over once and neither officer seemed too concerned that I had no license. In fact, they just let me go. In Taiwan, everything goes. This includes driving on the sidewalk, driving down the wrong side of the road into on coming traffic, cutting around and in front of cars, and just about anything else you can imagine. I know this sounds terrible, but it's not. I call it organized chaos. Your only job is to not hit someone or something. That's easy enough. And once you loosen up, scooting feels like the best video game ever.
I cannot tell you how great it feels to take off on a scooter adventure. We like to head up into the hills and explore more of Taiwan. Usually we have a vague idea of where we are going but always get lost on deserted, narrow, jungle-like roads. Most of the time, if we go up into the hills far enough, we can spend an hour without seeing any other car. Just us. It feels awesome to explore places, the wind blowing all around you, and simply pull over onto the side of the road anytime something you see strikes your fancy.
Most of the time, Monday through Friday, I just use my scooter to get to work and back and run an errand or two. Because of this, one tank of gas can last for about two weeks. Do you wanna know how much that tank costs? You don't, but I'm going to tell you anyway: $3 USD. That's right. Three dollars. So that means I usually pay about $6 USD every month for gas. Doing the math, that means I spend about $70 a year in gas. I know, now you really wish you had a scooter too.
Check out these fun Youtube videos to see exactly what riding a scooter in Taiwan is like: