19 November 2005

Post#1: Licensed to Drive

If you've talked to Me or Nevada about our last experience in Taiwan you'll know that one of the funnest things to do here is drive scooters. We had scooters almost immediately when we lived in Kaohsiung and driving was a highlight almost everyday. Taiwan, like all other developed countries, requires drivers to have drivers licenses however most foreigners don't bother as the police do a poor job of enforcing traffic laws. Most times when a foreigner gets pulled over the police aren't able to communicate in English so they just wave us on. I admit that both Nevada and I drove without licenses last time and were the benficiaries of foreigner nod but this time we want to be more legit in our approach to Taiwan. First of all it's the right thing to do, morally speaking and second of all Morrison Academy wants us to be positive representatives in this community. So two weeks ago I did some quick studying and practiced the online test and I was off to try for my scooter license. The test has two parts: written and driving. The written test is poorly translated but quite easy. Many of the questions are about the drivers moral fibre rather than about the rules of the road. "Politeness and tolerance are the best virtues that a rider can have: T or F", "Good drivers should be clean and dressed neatly: True or False" And there were some silly questions like : "It is ok to drive in bare feet: T or F", "If you ride and fall down because of oil on the road, you should (c) put tree branches on the area to warn other drivers." Anyways it was really easy...I scored 95%. Then the driving test. It's a simple course that honestly takes about 65 seconds to complete. The toughest part is the beginning in which you drive in a straight line for about 20 feet. The catch is there is a path drawn out and if you touch the sides a buzzer goes off...and it must take you at least 7 seconds which means you can't just hurry through it. I was scared because I hadn't driven a scooter for about 2 years...but I hopped on and did it. Then you have to do a turn....sort of horseshoe shape and then they have three simulated intersections: a traffic light, a pedestrian light and a railroad track. All you have to do is stop at each one and wait for the signal to go and then you're done. I passed with flying colors. I would say that a 10 yr old could do this test but I saw about 5 people drive up and fail. They really struggled with the straight line thing. Here's the thing that is so Taiwanese about it...people show up in their own scooter, scooters that they drive illegally everyday without a license. The test is administered by two uniformed police men and if people fail, the cops just give them their paper and send them on their way (driving....with no license...with the approval from cops...???) Makes no sense. So I passed and I'm legit....here's a pic of my license...

1 comment:

Michael Turton said...

You know, your blog would be a thousand times more readable if you broke the text up into paragraphs. I wanted to use part of your text in my round up today, but your text doesn't resolve into parts....

Michael

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