Cycling is like life. Cycling with no goal is meaningless. What meaning is there cycling in circles? Or living aimlessly? Meaning comes from direction and destination. Join me in my life's journey on a mountain bike :)

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Nature vs nurture

Singapore River, 42 km. I meet some friends who’d spent winter cycling in Taiwan. It might as well have been on another planet; they describe how local drivers drive patiently behind cyclists and overtake only when it’s safe. No middle finger salute either, more like a thumbs up from drivers safely ensconced within their cabins with shouts of “jiayou”. The cyclists were given free drinks in shops and a driver went out of his way to help frozen cyclists. Why are Singapore Chinese so different from Taiwan Chinese; common gene pool, yet today I get bullied by two drivers ruled by law of the jungle rather than law of the land. Perhaps it’s because Taiwan is bicycle factory of the world? But doesn’t the law of supply and demand mean that when something is abundant, it is less valued?

Today, I also get a personal tour of a museum by curator. It’s like he knows by heart the captions to the exhibits but ask him more and he’ll go beyond what’s written. A few pedal strokes away from the museum is a dig which uncovered remnants of World War 2, colonial building material, Temasek era pottery and pre-Temasek sand. All that treasure underfoot, covered by dirt. To some, that treasure is trash ...

4 comments:

namie said...

教育的目的,不在應該思考什麼,而是教吾人怎樣思考.........................

Horseman said...

Hi, that's a wise saying. I'm guessing you're from Taiwan :)

Gretchen H said...

It's true, Taiwan may be full of crazy drivers but they are soooo nice to cyclists. Super nice in general, people go out of their way to help out clueless foreigners like me, all the while apologizing for not speaking better English!

Horseman said...

Hi Gretchen, cycling leaves us exposed to the sun and the rain. But what protects us like the metal of a car or bus also cuts us off from the kindness of those around us. One day, when I cycle in Taiwan, I'll ask them why they are so nice and I hope they won't take it as an insult :p