Friday, October 28, 2011

Scooter Acquired!

The last couple weeks I’ve been gently “encouraged” on a number of occasions to post about our acquisition of a scooter. I thought that I would post something to the blog very quickly before Amanda and I head off to Puli (埔里鎮) this afternoon where we will be staying the night (more to come later). 

One of Amanda’s co-teachers kindly recommended a shop that they have a relationship with and trust. Our first visit was just to confirm what we were looking for (a 125cc scooter). Our second visit was for me to take it for a test drive (once around the block). The third and final visit was for me to pick up the scooter! 

When I went to pick up the scooter I was helped by a young mechanic whose name I first thought was Fun Li, but after he repeated his name a few times I realized he was given me his English name which was Funky. The shop took care of all the paperwork, including the scooter insurance, transferring the scooter license, and having my chop made which was required for stamping certain paperwork. A chop is a stamp that bares your Chinese name, used for stamping important documents. It is essentially the equivalent of the western signature concept. 

When it came to driving the scooter away I had a little more trouble... turning it on. At this point the shop owner and funky realized that I perhaps needed a very thorough scooter orientation (and it was probably for the best). After being shown how to start up the scooter, how to turn on/off the lights, indicators, high beams, and where to put the gas, it was time to leave. 

The scooter is a 1993 125cc Kymco. It has new brakes and runs very smoothly. All for the modest price of $13,000 NTD (~$430 CAD). 

I’ve really enjoyed being able to ride to and from work every day and I’ve already discovered so many things close to home that I never knew existed. Walking on covered sidewalks under tall buildings it is amazing how much you can miss without realizing. The new perspective of being in the road opens up a lot to be discovered. 

I haven’t taken a picture of the scooter yet. I will try to take a picture at some point next week and will then update the post. 

This weekend Amanda and I are heading to Puli and will spend the night there to celebrate a friends thirtieth birthday. We are planning to para-sail in Puli, so hopefully there is plenty of good things to blog about when we return. 

November is going to be a very busy month for both Amanda and I. We both have a new speech and writing class that runs during the month which will be a lot of work. I also have a new class starting on Monday and so I’m looking at a 20-30% increase in my workload for this month. It will carry us very quickly through to December at which point I’m sure Amanda and I will be about ready to start considering professional Mandarin lessons. 

I’ll finish the post here. There’s plenty for me to do before we head out to Puli this afternoon.

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