Ten minutes of scooting

Here’s a ten minute video about driving in Hsinchu. I showed it to my dad a while back to see if it was remotely interesting, and he claimed it wasn’t a snoozefest. There are a few bumpy parts when the road was rough or my arm got tired, but it’s fairly smooth.

I like making videos; pictures and words are great, but videos make everything seem more real. Things are moving! Mandy’s really there! I’d love to be in front of the camera a little more, but when people see me in Photographer Mode, they put their cameras away and ask for copies of my pictures. I have no problem sharing, especially because people seem to enjoy what I’ve shot. But all my straight-armed, right-handed, same-amount-of-me-showing-in-every-shot self-portraits get a little tired. Consider Exhibit Beijing. These pictures were taken over the course of five days. I promise I changed clothes a few times:


  1. As someone who has spent time on India’s mean streets (albeit not driving), nothing in here looked the least bit scary. I was a bit surprised all the non-numerical characters painted on the street were in Chinese, whereas the license plates used a Roman script.

    Hope Gretchen’s better!

    1. Compared to India, this looks like perfectly controlled traffic.

      You’d be surprised how often the English alphabet is used – license plates, identification numbers, all sorts of random stuff. It’s only when you get deep into Asia, away from tourism and business, that you see only Chinese.

    1. It looks scarier than it is because everyone drives pretty slowly. I think we topped out at 45 or 50mph. Don’t worry. I’m a good driver 🙂

  2. You are too fun. I love this video! And also wondering if red lights mean anything to anyone there (including scooter drivers)…

    1. People run red lights just like they do in the States, but the big difference is that most lights have timers on them so you can see exactly how long until the light will be green. When the timer gets to 3 seconds, most people check for oncoming traffic, then go ahead, especially if they’re trying to turn left ahead of the other traffic.

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