One of two articles generated from my recent Taiwan trip, sponsored by the Taiwan Trade Association. Story begins here, click link to follow on to Topics Magazine, wherein lies the original in its digital glory (with photos):
“Ni Fengle!” (You’re crazy!)
I remember fondly those words, spoken by my Taiwanese landlady Ms. Yeh on hearing my plan to cycle to Taipei from our shared home in Shuangshi, a small town on the outskirts of the Hsinchu Science Park. She’d never seen a man clad head to toe in skin-tight spandex and apparently found my costume shocking. But Ms. Yeh was not alone in thinking me mad. Ours was a small town, and as the strange foreign transplant I was often Shuangshi’s unofficial source of entertainment. Before I’d gotten past the betel nut stand marking the town’s edge, several neighbors had come out to wish me well on my journey, with more than a few casually dropping a derogatory comment about the helmet.
It was Spring 1995, and while Taiwan was being called The Bicycle Kingdom…