Sunday, December 27, 2009

The bus made an unscheduled stop

Yesterday, the bus I was on stopped somewhere between Taitung City and Zhiben. The driver picked up an empty plastic bag and got out, leaving the engine running. He mentioned to one of the passengers what he wanted to do - collect fruit. He spent the next two minutes scooping small, green golf-ball-sized fruit up from the pavement, gathering at least two dozen. Two of the passengers got into the act and grabbed a few each.

This is an aspect of Taiwan I and many other Westerners like. When travelling here, everything is pretty safe, reliable and well organised... but there's just enough oddity, funkiness and unpredictability to keep things interesting.

Over the years I've seen plenty of bus drivers halt so they can run into a shop and buy something, and in the mountains I've seen some stop beside waterfalls so they can collect water for making tea at home (good quality water is, of course, very important for tea devotees).

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