Another Perspective

Travelling the same city streets using a different mode of transportation can give you a completely new perspective on how people move around the city, and indeed around each other. Last Thursday, I went for a 90-minute inline-skate tour through Taipei, 60 minutes of which were navigating the city streets and trying to stay on the major roads that had nice, smooth, wide sidewalks ... and no construction.

Here are some observations from that day:

- Inline skates are like foreigners in Taipei -- they are constantly gawked at.
- Because they're so alien, most motorists -- especially pedestrians, cyclists, and scooterists -- don't really know how to react to or plan for them. This makes encounters sometimes nerve-racking, for both sides.
- The city-planned bicycle routes are great for bikes, but still sometimes too rough for the small wheels of rollerblades.
- Children are fascinated by them, and I hope they are enamoured enough to try it out, encouraging the city to put more resources towards rollerblade-friendly paths.

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