Life on the MRT 2018


Some get used to it faster than others. When you grok it, the logic of it is undeniable.

They could perhaps make the compass larger.

When I travel between Taiwan and the US, I fly a path that’s best mapped with a polar view. North is a point, not a direction.


I activated the emergency stop on an escalator the other day. I was walking on the platform when I heard people screaming on an ascending escalator. I looked up and there was this old lady lying on the moving stairway. Her head was on the bottom with her feet pointed upward. Apparently she had fallen backward while riding it. I ran to the switch and hit it, but there was this plastic lid on top of it. I hit it harder, thinking that it would break open or give way, but nothing happened. Then I realized you had to press down on the area below the switch to remove the lid. Sure enough, it popped open, and I pressed on the red button. The escalator came to a stop and an alarm went off. Someone else ran up to help her. Now if I had known the lid needed to be removed by hitting the area below it (I later saw the fine print on the bottom), I would’ve been able to stop the escalator a few seconds sooner. It’s just one of those things you never pay attention to, but it helps if you know what to do exactly in case of an emergency.


Ah what a lovely feeling: my big fat Latino bum resting, sitting down ina half empty train.


You forgot to put that in haiku format.




I’m sure this has been explained before but the maps are oriented such that the direction you are facing is up. It’s the same logic behind writing words on vehicles front to back on both sides rather than “right to left”.

I actually really really prefer the maps oriented this way. Here’s a tip, look at the map, find where you want to go, then imagine putting the map down flat on a table (with you standing on the “you are here” dot). Point in the direction of the thing you want to go: that is the actual direction you need to go. It totally obviates the need for me thinking about NSEW altogether. Very very easy to understand, and can get perfect sense of directionality with a quick glance at the maps while walking past.


nah i think maps are pretty good and work well as they are. no need to reinvent them…


I saw a “punk” couple on the MRT a couple weeks ago. I put it in quotes, because Taiwanese punks always seem like they try too hard to be edgy and don’t come off as very authentic. As an example, this couple thought what could be edgier than paying homage to the Third Reich. As a Jew, I felt slightly uncomfortable looking at the heavily pierced woman with the giant swastika tattooed on her arm (and no, it wasn’t the upright or backwards Buddhist symbol… this was the slightly tilted real deal). Like I said, I felt a bit uncomfortable but not super offended or outraged, because I doubt they even know what the Nazis were about. Most of these types that wear this kind of gear are actually completely ignorant of the context, and view Hitler as some punky edge-lord, instead of a genocidal dictator who probably viewed Asians as genetically inferior as he did Jews, gypsies, blacks, and pretty much anyone who wasn’t pure-blood German or Austrian.


An interesting piece: “How Taipei Metro turned itself around – and the lessons for Singapore’s MRT system”:

For once, something in Taiwan is viewed as a model that Singapore can emulate!


"How Taipei Metro turned itself around"

And what was bound to happen, happened.

According to media reports, at 9:04 a.m. Wednesday, after departing Daan Park Station, passengers in the crowded train apparently spotted a rat on the move, which caused some terrified commuters to scream and scurry the next carriage. Passengers with no knowledge of the rodent in the next car also noticed horrified throngs fleeing to other carriages.

Some uninformed passengers apparently started to spread a rumor that an attack similar to the 2014 Taipei Metro MRT attack was taking place. In less than a minute, a chain reaction spread across the train, causing panic and a full-fledged stampede among the rush hour commuters.

Hell, if I see people screaming and running, I’d run and scream too.

What the MRT needs are cats to combat the rats. Where is the soapbox emoji?


gotta give em props, the taipei MRT is the best one i’ve used anywhere. but why can’t they emulate the model with the rest of their transport? the mrt is great but the driving and everything else brings the transport in taipei down pretty far…


I wonder if the rat purchased a ticket, or was he a fare dodger?

People here are scared of their own shadows.


usually taiwanese don’t even bat an eyelid when a fat rat strolls past. cockroaches is another matter.


Last Monday I left work earlier than usual, which means I got caught right at the proper crest of the wave of rush hour MRT commuters. Aside from waiting packed like sardiines on teh paltform, and having to squeeze my way through to change trains, one at my home station I had to wait a good 5 to 10 minutes to get on the escalator. As I waited, I thought about how not safe this was, as in case of emergency it would be problematic to run with such crowds.


The biggest thing I’ve seen on the MRT were roaches. A rat, who gives a rat’s ass?


a tattoo, no less… I hope for her she never travels too far outside Taiwan… :confused:


the rat doesn’t meet the minimum height requirements…so free fare i guess?

I’ve seen some butterflies cheat the system at Qiyan as well.


Man they mention teh video… I see no video. There was a video of the aftermat, and a blurry picture of the rat, but I have not seen the video of the rat.

10 cms is nothing. I have seen rats half as big as Bobby in our neighborhood market. I bet they are a good kilo and a half or even two, about 6 month old kitten size.


I don’t think the point is the size, it’s that the thing was clearly a terrorist.

You know…Mice-IS…