Wrong place at the wrong time = time to leave?

Recently I experienced a situation out riding that COULD have got ugly. Basically some gangsta guys almost engaged in some violence when I was out riding. I still have no idea what provoked them, but luckily I was riding with friends, and they reluctantly left me alone.
Recently, I heard another story involving a unprovoked attack involving baseball bats etc.

I am just wondering how many foreigners eventually experience something like this and decide that Taiwan is not the place for them anymore? I know, even tho I got off pretty lightly, I was shaken a bit to the point of wondering how much it would take for me to leave.

It seems ironic that this place is so safe to walk around at night without anywhere near the concerns I’d have at home, in fact it’s one of the safest places I’ve ever lived…but then you hear stories of these violent, random attacks. Combine these with the stories you hear about foreigners getting involved in a road accident that is NOT their fault but they end up in court or requiring to pay $1000s in compensation.

Is it a matter of WHEN not IF you’re gonna find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Ive had a similar experience. Unprovoked wanted and tried numerous times to run me off the road, and had various weapons they were showing me through the window.
I ended up outmanouvering them, and ducking down some side streets. I dont know what would have happened if I would have stopped but I think I am better off not knowing.

While riding my scooter, I honked at an idiot who thought it was great fun to scream up to the red light in his car, then step on the brakes and slide --wheels squealing–into the intersection. He didn’t like that; chased me across town, tried to cut me off, hopped out and threw a tire iron at me. Why? :idunno: Had another guy try to run me off the road before taking off. Led to an ugly incident when I caught up to him at the next red light.

It’s definitely not one of the prettier aspects of this place; but I can think of a number of far better reasons to leave.

Really? lying a coma due to being bashed by a Tire Iron isn’t enough?

It’s interesting. Virtually all these random violence stories I hear have happened outside Taipei. :ponder:

I personally think it is one of the ugliest aspects of the place. It shows a fundamental lack of law and order. To each their own, but the possibility of getting seriously hurt or killed in a random act of violence while onlookers do nothing to help and the police similarly do diddly squat are pretty good reasons to consider leaving.

I can think of better reasons because of the probabilities. Some random act might occur and might have serious consequences. The environment almost certainly will have negative effects.

well I hear what you are saying, and I used to think along those “it won’t happen to me” lines. In my home country, violence happens all the time, but invariably it is to people on the fringes of crime in the first place. There are the usual car-jackings, home invasions and muggings, but the probability there is much more favorable.
It just seems to me, the more I talk to foreigners about this, there are more and more stories of being in the wrong at the worng time…and the probability seems to me to be pretty shitty if you stick around here for a few years.

I was just going to say that it is my perception that fewer of these types of incidents happen in and around Taipei-unless it is a Saturday night and you’re hanging at such and such a bar. People in Taipei do seem to be more open, to an extent. Though I’ve heard similar stories from Taipei.

Once, at a stop light, as soon as the light went green the guy in front of me put his car in reverse and raced back toward my car freaking me out. He slammed on his brakes and our bumpers just touched, then he sped off. I just sat there stunned and had no idea what prompted this until I looked in the rear-view mirror at myself just to shrug and caught myself adjusting my first ever pair of spectacles with my middle finger. :smiley:

I’m not saying you or anyone else did something to piss whoever threatened or attacked you, but sometimes it is a matter of perception. A slight, perhaps that we weren’t even aware of.

I’d like to hear 'em Jaboney. I personally think the probabilities are quite high. Very high in fact. I was the victim of such an attack last weekend. I escaped with a smashed windshield. Despite the high number of people around during this daylight attack, I haven’t heard of a single witness coming forward. The police treatement of the incident has been ineffective to incompetent. I scraped another car while being pursued by the maniacs. The police tried to get get me to pay those people. I told the cops to get stuffed and pursue the real guilty party. I also asked the cops to get the people who complained about the scrape on their car to come forward as witnesses. They obviously would have seen the car behind me. Suddenly, they “forgave me” for the little scratch, but were not willing to help as witnesses. If this had happened in a country with real law enforcement, 10 people who saw the incident would have been on the phone with the police giving descriptions and license numbers. The cops would have got the guys and they wouldn’t be seeing the sky for a while. Here, it’s an ineffective exercise of going to the station give a statement. Then the cops get the offenders statement without interrogation as if it’s some kind of mutual argument. The lot goes off to the prosecuters with little other proactive police work. If you lack absolute proof, usually in form of photos of the people actually perpetrating the act (we have a photo of their car, but not of them holding the bat or hitting our car), you have little chance of succeeding in the prosecution. Futility at its best. Great fun. I feel real safe and secure.

I’d like to hear 'em Jaboney. I personally think the probabilities are quite high. Very high in fact. [/quote] Yes, it happens. But is the probability any greater than that of breathing, or drinking? Hard to avoid Taiwanese black lung, or water-born nastiness. More probable than a genuine car accident? My point isn’t that random violence isn’t serious, only that there are more serious, more common dangers.

I’d like to hear 'em Jaboney. I personally think the probabilities are quite high. Very high in fact. [/quote] Yes, it happens. But is the probability any greater than that of breathing, or drinking? Hard to avoid Taiwanese black lung, or water-born nastiness. More probable than a genuine car accident? My point isn’t that random violence isn’t serious, only that there are more serious, more common dangers.[/quote]

I completely disagree. Every long termer I know of has had similar experiences. The probabilities are high enough to be a serious concern and the ineffective law enforcement serves to excascerbate the risk. Pollution and car accidents occur almost everywhere–certainly any large center. These are much more difficult to avoid any place you go. They aren’t comparable to serious social problems. However, inneffective law enforcement and a populace that enables lawlessness through inaction are things you can avoid more easily. They are good reasons to consider leaving a place. They are fundamentals. I can think of no more serious concerns about living in a place than the presence of random violence and law enforcement that fails to effectively protect people against it.

I don’t think that probablities of being involved in random violence are very high at all. In fact, I think they’re pretty low - I doubt that most of us (foreigners) have experienced actual violent attacks for no reason. Of course, there are a few guys who have been involved in violence of their own making (acting like jackasses in bars and pubs). “A high probability of violence” for me relates to home - South Africa. We’ve got one of the highest (if not highest) murder and rape rates in the world. Wonderful thing about one’s home country huh? :frowning: In the bigger cities, if you go walking around by yourself, or even in a small group at night, there’s a REALLY high chance (ie about a one in five chance) that you will get mugged, violently. In certain parts of the city there’s pretty much a 100% chance. That’s pretty much unheard of in Taiwan (ie, figures like that). If you’re a girl, you just NEVER walk anywhere by yourself at night. NEVER.

In the suburbs it’s a bit safer, but it still happens a lot - 2 of my friends got mugged at gunpoint a block away from my house. I got clobbered over the head with a brick and mugged while walking home one night.

So, I think Taiwan is quite a lot safer than that, at least.

If you’re worried about random violence from car thugs… buy yourself a nice sharp sword. Wear a black trenchcoat and Matrix sunglasses. When the gangster gets out of his car with a tire iron, you get out slowly, and without any emotion on your face, slowly pull out the sword from your trenchcoat, pull a few flashy moves and start slowly walking towards him… :wink: I think he’ll run away pretty quickly.

Your opinion, but I definitely don’t agree.

Are you accusing me of such a thing? We went for a drive in the country to see the camp siite where F.com held its campout last year. We did absolutely nothing to bring on the attack.

South Africa is a special case. I count myself lucky that I don’t come from such a place. Personally, I think comparing the situation here to one that may be much worse does little to refute my points. Yes, there are places much worse than here. But I wouldn’t recommend living in them either.

Are you trying to be funny? I find this kind of comment that minimalizes a random act of violence that left myeslf and my SO shaken to be in very bad taste.

Are you trying to be funny? I find this kind of comment that minimalizes a random act of violence that left myself and my SO shaken to be in very bad taste.[/quote]
I thought it was funny - sure your experience was bad, but I like imagining the “Matrix” strategy… :laughing:

i am sorry to hear about your experience while out riding, truant. didn’t this also happen to you for some reason when we went out riding with the taoyuan group? it seems strange, that this keeps happening to you. what if you get a helmet that covers your face better so it is not so obvious that you are a foreigner?

If you are really interested in exposure to acts of random viloence move to London, New York, Sydney, Paris

Of course I’m not acusing you of provoking the attack. What I was saying is that your case is probablyy the exception to the norm. I’m talking about statistics - (my opinion) that a lot of foreigners who are involved in violent attacks here are not entirely “innocent victims”. Most of the stories of Taiwanese vs foreigner fights I’ve heard involve drunk foreigners groping girls in bars and stuff like that.

And the Matrix sword thing was a just a joke. It wasn’t related to you at all, and was not meant to trivialise your traumatic experience in any way. I apologise if it seemed that way.

I remember an incident where I was out driving with my g/f and this Chinese guy was being a complete tool. Driving real slow and changing lanes to cut us off whenever we wanted to pass. It was gettting kinda risky, so we opted for the better part of valour and ducked down a side street. Not 30 seconds later, here comes butthead right at us, so we stop, he stops and everyone hops outta the cars. He starts yelling at us, “You want fucking blowjob, I give you fucking blowjob”, in front of his wife and mother-in-law. My girlfriend was admonishing me, telling me to stay cool and not beat on the guy, which was the last thing I wanted to do anyway, but if he got physical, I would have abided him gladly. Anyhow, he keeps shouting about wanting to give me a “fucking blowjob”, so my g/f starts taking pictures. This seemed to bring him down to reality and he got in his car and left. Crazy ass shit.

Oh, did I mention this was in Vancouver.

Sorry to hear about your altercations Truant. I wouldn’t have stopped to talk to you if I had known you would get so freaked out about it. Next time I’ll just lower my eyes and walk on by, mmmkay?

But seriously, I hear what you are saying. I don’t worry so much about myself, but if some thug-a-bee took offense to me “dating” whom I do, and started in on her, well, that’s what really worries me. She has been stopped by cops and when they see my name (obviously foreign) on the registration for the scooter I bought her, they’ve detained her on the side of the road for an hour, making snide comments about foreigners and aids and how she is a disgrace to Taiwan. This is from the cops.

My worry then extends to the day we decide to have kids and the racism that will be levelled towards them. Remember DB’s kid getting shot with a BB gun? I’d fucking kill that kid. Then his entire family for raising such a redneck.

I am not sure if my fears have the sum total of packing up and shipping out. Not yet at least. But if they ever do, I will say this, it won’t be because I may be victimized by a random act of violence or, which seems to be the particular brand of violence this thread is discussing, road rage. Road rage, when it happens here, is surely very colorful, but that’s cuz it’s so outta place, imo. By contrast, we are shocked when we see the typically passive Taiwanese lose their lunch over something so minor as an errant honk.

These are people who could bottle fear of making a mistake. They’ve been laughed at, beaten, bullied and beseeched (to paraphrase TIME mag) to NEVER LOSE FACE BY COMMITTING THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN OF MAKING A MISTAKE. They shove this fear deep down into the pits of their guts, and when they are forced to swallow the seemingly insignificant indignity of having some barbarian honk at them, they lose it.

Not to forgive those whom’ve caused emotional harm to the victims of this thead, but to try and understand from whence this strange behaviour emenates. I blame legalism for everything.

The notion forwarded upthread about going all MAtrix on their ass holds water. I’ve moved through some pretty tough areas in my day. My trick was to look crazier than the craziest possible mutha-fucka out there. Don’t project yourself as a victim and you won’t become one.

SO far, so good. I am 1-0 with fighting in my adult life. And that was when I was 18. I am 44 now. And that was because he threw beer on us after a ball game cuz we were bitchin’ about how much our team sucked. Yeah, we used to take baseball pretty serious in the East End on Montreal. Them Bronx Bums got nuthin’ on us hopped up Frenchies. Especially after Stan Bahsen and Elias Sosa combine to load up the bases and serve up the final nail in a rain-delayed double header of grief.

But I digress.

i never experienced any violence in my 7 years here, too.

couldnt be more right. go to some suburbs or even some metro stations in paris where just looking at someone gets you in troubles (=the beating of your life). a friend of mine got killed on street because he was “making noise” while cleaning up his car.
in comparison, i find taiwan extremely safe. :s maybe your country is too safe :laughing:

My brother-in-law was sent to intensive care by some thugs with baseball bats. He “brought this upon himself” by pulling out in front of them and driving too slow for them. And then the police conveniently lost all the documents and denied that an emergency call was even made. They then found the documents after some guanxi (corruption) from my father-in-law. Even then no charges were brought, they just paid him some money (which was possibly stolen anyway) to cover it up, that will stop it happening again :s

How would the Taiwan apologists like Jaboney and Maoman like to defend that ?