Riding a scooter is great fun. Scooting in freezing cold wind and sleeting rain is not. And with our limited wardrobe and lack of scoot experience, I was not only freezing, I was scared.
Highway 11 is supposed to have outstanding coastal views. But instead of blue waters and green forested mountains, I saw angry grey skies, skidding trucks and handles gripped by ice blue fingers.
The wind that was busy whipping huge white waves along the coast was also determined to unseat me from the scooter. Going fast helped you remain upright but brought the risk of skidding on the wet pavement. Slowing down meant flying sideways across the highway as huge trucks rumbled past. This was not fun.
We finally reached some famous lookout point where we stopped to check out the view and hopefully buy some hot coffee. Instead we found a duo of Taiwanese women who Chinese-mothered all over us.
I have come to love Chinese mothers, which is easy to say because I don’t have one up in my business 24/7. Unlike American moms (or at least my American mom), Chinese mothers tend to fawn all over you – from physically holding hands and petting you, to explaining in exact detail how to do a certain thing, to actually taking the reins and just doing it for you.
The Taiwanese women we met on that freezing cold afternoon tsk’ed all over us – questioning our choice of clothing, feeding us sweets and warning us to stay off the scooters. Seeing that we had bare hands, one woman ran into the back room and produced white gardening gloves. The other women insisted that we stuff ourselves with newspaper for better insulation.
As we scooted home I could only think of what would have happened at an American rest stop. Nothing. People would have made eye contact, smiled and gone on with their own business. But in Taiwan, you’re treated like family. What a great country. What fabulous people!
We are absolutely loving our time here!