Taiwan 台灣 by night is a completely different beast, especially on two wheels. In recent weeks I have spent many a night pedaling around with no specific destination in mind, following the flow of traffic as it courses through the veins and arteries of Taipei 台北 and the sprawling ring of satellite cities administered as Xinbei.
Much of Taipei is actually somewhat boring to cycle around late at night so I have been making frequent forays across the Xindian River 新店溪 to Yǒnghé 永和 and Zhōnghé 中和, two places with far more going on after dark. The streets in these places are often way busier than the broad, segregated thoroughfares of Taipei proper.
It amazes me how scooters in liquid phase slip into the smallest gaps between idling cars to fill all available space at major intersections in Taiwan 台灣. Occasionally I find myself absolutely walled in at these crossings—flesh and bone momentarily locked in a grim, mechanical embrace. And then the signal changes and we’re all off to the next light up ahead, jostling for control of tiny scraps of asphalt in a seemingly endless neon metropolis.