This afternoon, as is often the case, I was running late. I was late leaving the house to drive down the mountain to pick up my 14-year-old daughter from school. I had to pick her up and take her to the mall to find some very, very, very important Spandex shorts that she could wear under the dress she is modeling in the Taipei American School Charity Fashion Show this Friday evening. Apparently, if your designer tells you to buy Spandex, especially if said designer is a Senior, you don’t ask why, you just buy the Spandex. Hence the reason for the trip to the mall.
So, as I said before, I was late leaving the house to drive down the mountain to the school, and I was in a hurry. Now, there are basically two roads down the mountain (in reality, there is a third, but I’ve only been down it once and I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t think I could actually find it again.) The main road is full of goat carts and speed traps so I don’t usually like to go down it. OK, that’s not actually true. I completely made that up, except for the “I don’t usually like to go down it” part. Truth is, the traffic on it can at times be dicey and I have on more than one occasion seen full-sized city buses passing other full-sized city buses on the two lane, double middle lined, serpentine road. The back road is much faster and has much less traffic and it lets me off very close to the school, so I use it whenever possible. But many people I know avoid the back road at peril of death and claim that the only thing the back road will get you is dings and side-swipes on your car.
If you read/viewed my husband’s last blog post (which included riveting video footage) you got a good feel for the back road. And I have to say that when I’m on that scooter by myself I go much, much faster. It’s quite a thrill-ride and it turns out that at 42 I’m a bit of an endorphin junkie.
Anyway, so I was heading down the back road in my black mafia-mom mini-van and I got to the part, toward the bottom where the road becomes a one-laned, bottleneck mess. Every time I get to the bottleneck, whether I’m alone in the car or not, I say out loud, “OK everyone, suck it in!” And then I suck in my gut, hoping that my mini-van will follow my lead and suck in its gut.
So I was going through the bottleneck, sucking in my gut, when I rounded a bend and saw, at the very worst point in the bottleneck, a very large utility truck coming my way, hogging up a good 3/4 of the road. The gentleman driver (if you can call him that; maybe surly fellow is a better term) saw my van and stopped, opened his window and blew cigarette smoke my direction. He then gave me a “I ain’t puttin’ this truck in reverse, sistah” look. With that, I pursed my lips, unrolled my window, pulled in my side-view mirror and shot back a “Bring it on, brothah” look. I then took my foot off my brake, one second at a time and inched my way past him while he sat and did nothing.
Now here comes my moment of glory; after I finished inching my way past the truck, the people in the taxi that was stopped directly behind the truck unrolled their windows and all four of them, including the driver started clapping their hands and while giving me the thumbs-up sign yelled , in English, “Good Job!!!”
For those few seconds of inching my way through the bottleneck in my black mafia-mom mini-van, I was the back road Rock Star!