Saturday, December 10, 2011

American Treatment...typical day.

I had to go on a 3 hour bus ride to 高雄 (Gaoxiong) to promote SYME at a Christian Christmas (kinda English) concert called "Friends Forever". Around 2:30 I go get a taxi to take to the bus station. I tell the taxi where I want to go, "Gong Guang"(its the name of the bus station). He tells me to get in, then asks me "在那裡" (Where do you want to go). So I tell him again. He seemed a little confused, and it could be because my tones aren't completely correct and my Chinese accent is overpowered with an American one.   He repeats saying some street name, but it seemed like it might be incorrect. So then I tell him "車佔、我要去高雄." (Bus Station, I want to go to Gaoxiong). So he, realizes what I want, and drives me to the bus station.

When I get to the bus station I buy my ticket. I tell the guy behind the counter where I want to go. He gives me the ticket and tells me "Go to information to get your ticket number". I being a little confused, seeing as I already had my ticket and there was plenty of numbers on the ticket already, said "ticket number?" "Yes, go to information to receive your ticket number." Instead of asking questions I just go to see what this ticket number is about. I go up to the counter and hand the lady my ticket and say "ticket number?" She then looks down a list writes the number 12 down on a piece of paper and my ticket. I then realized that it must be some priority order thing for getting on the bus.

After I go sit down a short chubby soft spoken man approaches me and says "The bus will be coming in a few minutes." "Ok how many minutes, like 5 min.?" After he stood silent for a couple moments looking at his watch, he looks back up at me and says "20 min." "Ok, thank you."

When the bus arrives I go to get in line for the bus, I am probably the 5th person in line. The ticket man lets the first 3 people on, then stops at the lady in front of me and makes her stand aside. I try to give him my ticket also, not really sure if it is because he thinks I am with her or not, but he refuses it. During this the ticket man had stopped the line and gotten onto the bus. So my friend from earlier, sees me standing there and comes over to me and tells me to wait a moment. He then goes onto the bus and has a discussion with the ticket man. They get off the bus and the ticket man takes my ticket. I then get onto the bus, with about 3 other people, noticing that there isn't any seats left. They kindly ask the few of us to get off the bus. My new friend tells me, "I'm so sorry the next bus will be coming. "Oh it's ok, what time will it be here?" He leaves to go find out the time, so I sit down. He then comes back over to me and says;

"20 min., I'm so sorry."
"Its fine."
"Sorry sorry sorry."
"Its ok."

Moments later he comes back with a warm drink for me while I wait and apologizes some more. When the bus arrives a line forms and I go to get inline but the man running the tickets puts in me the front of the line. So I can be the first on the bus.

This is just kind of a typical experience I have while traveling around in Taiwan with the language barrier and so fourth.

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