Taiwan: 萬安演習 Air Raid Drills

There was an Air Raid Drill in Taipei today!
Wànānyǎnxí: 萬安演習

It happens once a year, and I’ve always happened to miss it. It’s exciting stuff! For half an hour in the bright sunshine, just after mid-day today, all of Taipei District, from the MRT 捷運, the cars and buses, right down to the pedestrians stood in a strangely peaceful quiet in the middle of the city. We, and the rest of the Taiwanese pedestrians didn’t take the ‘no walking outdoors’ very seriously, and neither it seemed, did the friendly policeman who told us we could walk as long as we didn’t cross the major roads. Until a different, but equally polite policeman asked us to stop, and handed us this friendly letter:

Needless to say, we stopped walking. After the all-clear sirens* sounded, the streets slowly returned to their usual bustling and constant drone of traffic resumed. What a strange event…

*If like me, you were wondering if anyone got that fabulous wailing siren sound on record: never fear, youtube is here.

 It’s a bit outdated, but that’s it all right. Noisy…

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