Vacation Vehiculating

While taking a vacation in Asia visiting family in Korea and Taiwan, I thought I would be relaxed and carefree – essentially eleven days of worry- and work-free bliss.

WRONG.

Everything was going dandy in Korea even amidst nuclear threats from our northern neighbors, and then I touched down in Taiwan. No longer relying on a public transportation system of buses and subways like I had in Korea, I was now dependent on my program manager and unofficial chauffeur, my aunt Kimberly, to zip around Taiwan. Suddenly my little quips about female Asian driving as discussed in this blog here and here escalated to a realization that genes don’t lie: I had high blood pressure. Not only was I sitting next to a female Asian driver, but we were also surrounded by them.

I watched as my aunt strategically (or luckily?) loomed in and out of the way of nimble motorcycle scooters, reversed at least 50 yards when she missed a freeway onramp that she later realized she did not need to take, and showed me how an authentic Taiwanese lane change was really more of a slow drift as if one were pretending to either be dozing or distracted.

One breezy afternoon, I held my breath as my aunt drove through an intersection with questionable illumination.

Me: Aunt Kimberly, did you just run a red light?
My aunt: No, I just ran a yellow light.

Getting ready to hit the road. Unless the road hits us.

Getting ready to hit the road. Unless the road hits us.

You know that moment you laugh to cover up your inner sense of fear, awkwardness, or both? It happened. Right about here –

My aunt: I actually did run a red light once though. Your uncle asked me about it just like you did now, but guess what I said? “You know, the light wasn’t THAT red.”

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