I can't imagine what it is like to not have Internet access. But I'm getting close. I've spent most of this week without Internet access during business hours. Let's just say that it is excruciatingly painful. Doubly so when you are left alone.
Taiwan taxis are like taxis anywhere in the world. The drivers are slightly crazy and have an opinion on just about anything. Most are friendly (Shanghai the lone exception) and are curious as to who you are and what you do. All are talkative. Most are courteous (Shanghai is the lone exception). All are dangerous drivers. Cars are nice and clean. Most are small (Hong Kong, of all places, being the lone exception) size cars that can barely fit you in the door.
This particular Taiwan taxi, however, was mind bottling.
Travelling between two client sites, I slipped in the cab and quickly snoozed. The ride is usually 20 to 30 minutes long. I just had back-to-back client meetings and I was feeling quite tired… by the meetings certainly, but also by the prospect of the impeding work that I have to deliver. Anyway, I was drifting in and out of consciousness. I did try to stay awake and alert and notice the roads and where I am, but it only worked for a few seconds before I went back to nap again.
Yeah, so far it's like a regular cab ride. I finally woke up probably 5 minutes from the destination, noted that I'm very close to the destination, and started people watching from inside the cab. Suddenly, some corny music starts in the cab, stopping the radio broadcast. I looked back in the cab to see what is going on... and there it is, a porn video - yes, PORN VIDEO - was playing on the DVD screen of the taxi.
Did I say porn video?
Now you have to understand that this is a very awkward situation. Do I watch? Do I talk? Do I keep looking outside the window? Uh... and I hope the driver isn't distracted. Luckily, our man the taxi driver knew exactly what to do.
Taxi driver (TD): Nice, huh?
Slightly amused Josekin (SAJ): uh, yeah
TD: where are you from
SAJ: Hong Kong
TD: Can you buy these in HK?
TD: For how much?
SAJ (thinking): About $10 Hong Kong dollars
TD: Oh, that's $40... this one is only $20
SAJ: Oh, that's cheap
TD: Yeah, even in Taiwan you can only get one for $50
SAJ: Oh, how did you get yours then?
TD: I'm selling these for $20
Very stunned Josekin ( VSJ): ......!? Huh!?
TD: Yeah, you want Taiwanese? Japanese? American? I have Hong Kong too.
VSJ: What do you mean?
TD: No worries... I'll wrap them nicely for you. Just a regular VCD. You can play this at home. Oh, let me show you the Japanese one (changing discs)
TD: It's already very cheap... this price beats the entire market. Can't go lower...
(Arriving at client cite)
VSJ: uh, no thanks. , here's my stop. Thanks!
(All figures in Taiwanese Dollar, unless otherwise indicated)