Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Little Liu Qiu- Part 1

I gave Danyall a few choices for short trips in Southern Taiwan, and she chose this island of Xiao Liu Qiu because it would be a chance for her to ride a scooter.

We rode the High Speed Rail down to Kaohsiung- I am quite the HSR addict as it's faster and also so much pleasanter than the regular rail, in that there are no random Taiwanese people without seats standing over you and coughing.

From the HSR station we made our way to a bus station near the Kaohsiung Train Station. We had to ride a bus to the port town of Dongguan and then a ferry to Little Liu Qiu. It was pretty easy to get a ticket to the right place and we only had to wait a few minutes for the bus. When we got on a man had a little discussion with the bus driver and then asked us (all in Chinese) if we're going to Little Liu Qiu (yes) and told us that the bus didn't go to the port, just to the bus station, and did we know how to get from there to the port? (no) So he said he'd take us to the ferry place. I said he was too polite, we don't want to trouble him, etc, but he was very nice and insisted he'd help us. It was funny, I heard him on the phone later telling someone he'd be a little late because he was going to help some foreign friends (waiguo pengyou, which is what they often call us foreigners).

So we got off the bus and he was like "Follow me!" We walked after him at a pretty fast pace and arrived at a bank. Apparently he was a boss there and told two workers to take us to the ferry terminal. This kind of random helpfulness is not entirely without precedent but a little over the top even for Taiwan. There wasn't much discussion- by the time I figured out what was going on our bags were on scooters and we were being beckoned to jump on the back. The south of the island is a little different from the north in that they don't really believe in things like "helmets" and "traffic laws." But I think they took it easy for our sakes!

Here's Danyall with our drivers in their bank uniforms- I'm sure they had a funny story to tell about their workday when they got home- "So we were having fun because our boss wasn't there- and they he showed up with these 2 enormous foreingers and told us to take them to ride the ferry..."

Later I'll tell you what happened when we actually got to the island. But seriously, having Danyall here reminded me of how darn nice Taiwan people are.

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