The photos tell the story of one great way to get your ass kicked in Taiwan.
Variations of this have happened regularly in the 20+ years I have been in Taiwan. The foreigner almost always comes out as the victim of an often serious beating. This guy was lucky he didn’t end up in the hospital.
American dude rides motorcyle on Highway 26 between Fangliao and Kending (Danger! Taike territory with Taike visitors from all over island joining the numerous local ones). Notice that he is lawfully in the the left lane because of the type of motorcycle.
Black sedan (Danger! Danger! Taike alert! Taike alert!) dangerously passes him and cuts him off (Danger! Danger! Meth/alcohol/betel nut-intoxicated driver operating vehicle!).
Instead of pulling over and settling down from a near miss in a possibly fatal collision, American loses his cool, pulls up beside the car, and yells (according to him, but a foolish confrontational act regardless of what he says) “What’s wrong with you.” (Danger! Danger! You have no idea who might be in car.) In this case, one of the occupants was this gentleman:
He says he thought that American dude told him to F-off. There’s no point in arguing over what was actually said. The point is that the kind of guys who were in this car want some foreigner to tell them to F-off. They live for this kind of confrontation. They will hear what they want to hear.
Actually, they don’t care if it is a foreigner. This happens to other Taiwanese people all the time. See this example from Jinshan in July.
Two of the occupants beat the American dude down with golf clubs (Were they on the way to the Hengchun links? I think not.).
I’m not condoning what happened. The people in the car should be prosecuted. They were driving dangerously and whatever the American guy said could never have justified a beat down with golf clubs.
Thank you, good advice, that road is dangerous. Good books says “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
In this case change it to “Keeping your mouth shut turns away wrath, any word will stir up anger.”
We too often forget that many of these guys are not cute little tattooed gangstas, but some are quite hardened. Think back to our home countries, we’d never act this way. There are many groups back in our home countries that would hurt/kill us for this kind of behavior. On Taiwan roads, 99% of the time you have to suck it up, swallow your pride and just drive ultra defensively, there’s nothing you can do, you can’t be pissed off all the time or go to war with the locals. Easy to say, very hard to do
I remember in my home town there was a period of time for about a few months, there were weekly instances of freeway shooting due to road rage. At that time, I drove like an angel and kept my cool.
Well said about how we need to suck it and and drive on defense. I got into an accident here in TW before and it was not a fun process dealing with the cops and insurance. A lot of drivers here hide behind their 80% tinted windows.
• Do not take your eyes off the road.
• Avoid eye contact with an aggressive driver.
• Stay cool; don’t react to provocation.
• Distance yourself from drivers behaving erratically.
• Do not make obscene gestures.
• Assume other drivers’ mistakes are not personal.
• Be polite and courteous, even if the other driver isn’t.
• Avoid all conflict if possible. If another driver challenges you, take a deep breath
and get out of the way.
• Understand that you can’t control the traffic, only your reaction to it.
In a smackdown between a motorcycle and a car, the motorcycle loses…it’s just simple physics. I’ve got nothing against flipping off/insulting the idiot in the car, but you better make sure you have a narrow alleyway to escape through first.