Cast of characters

The rowdy child: Usually male and invariably dressed in bright, oversized clothes awash with SpongeBob, the rowdy child runs, slides, and stumbles through the MRT cars as they move from station to station, bumping into sympathetic and secretly satisfied young mothers or older gentlemen paralyzed with horror that someone is allowing their child to behave in such a manner.

The excessively cool girl: With not a crimped or bleached hair out of place, the excessively cool girl is often caught snapping pics of herself with her cell phone to later put up on Facebook or MySpace or the personals of tealit.com. Always dressed in the hippest fashions, the excessively cool girl comes with a small posse of other cool girls, who sometime get included in these cell phone shots.

The lone male: Young or old, the lone male has a stare that is part-creep, part-curious, and usually shudder-inducing. This creep-to-curious ratio is directly correlated to the age of the lone male, who has mastered the drive-by stare, the walk-by stare, and the sitting-across-from-you-on-the-MRT stare.

The Taiwanese grandmother: The Taiwanese grandmother can be found down any alleyway in Yonghe City and probably most across the rest of Taipei County. She prefers sitting to walking, and lucky for her, there are plenty of pieces of furniture littering the alleys. When questioned about her name by awkward Americans, the Taiwanese grandmother shakes her head and shoos them along to class.

The violent damsel and the whipped boy: These happy couples are most often seen on weekends, freed from the bonds of school uniforms, wrapped in each others’ arms. Until, that is, whipped boy says something to displease violent damsel and she comes up swinging. Not with her purse, mind you, because whipped boy is holding that. Maybe that’s whipped boy’s plan all along…

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