It’s pretty common on web sites for ex-pats in Taiwan to see a lot of complaints about the behavior of Taiwanese people. And actually I’ve seen some bad examples of this myself. But I’ve also seen plenty of examples of kind and considerate Taiwanese people.
Today we decided to go down to the Dajia Wharf park along the Keelung (Jilong) river. This is the area along the river in north Zhongshan district. It’s a fairly good distance from our house, but we decided to walk the whole way there. Unfortunately by the time we arrived, dark clouds had formed, lightning and thunder started up, and before we could actually do anything, it started pouring down rain. And we had also arrived pretty much unprepared for such an event.
We quickly walked across the field to the parking lot and huddled under a tree while Maggie tried to call a taxicab to come pick us up. (Normally it’s only a matter of going out to the street and lifting up your arm to get a taxi within a minute or too, but there weren’t any to be found in the park, and the traffic jam of cars trying to get out was probably preventing any from coming in.)
The rain was coming down hard enough that the tree was not providing a whole lot of cover. Just then a guy drove up and handed an umbrella out the window to us and then drove off even as we were thanking him profusely, just waving his hand out the window to us. Umbrellas are fairly inexpensive here, only about US$3 or so, but at such a time it was a most wonderful gift.
By this time, Maggie was having troubles with her cell phone, so since we had an umbrella, we started walking towards a main street where we were more likely to get a taxi. We had made it almost to the exit road when a small bus pulled up and opened the door for us. The bus regularly makes two stops in the park, but since it was raining, the driver was going around and picking up stranded pedestrians like us, and not just stopping at the designated bus stops.
The bus driver asked us (and each group of people he picked up) where we wanted to go. The bus route went near our home, and the bus driver offered to drop us off at the nearest intersection to our house, again not at an official bus stop, and even waited for the light to change before dropping us off so we wouldn’t need to stand in the rain long.
These may be simple gestures, but they certainly brightened our day in what otherwise would have been a miserable experience. Thanks to the donation of an umbrella, and a friendly and helpful bus driver, while we arrived home in soaked clothes, we were still happy that such kind people took time to help us out.