For old Taiwan-hands, the island's traffic serves as the best metaphor for society there: it lurches between extremes of Hobbesian chaos and paralysis. Drivers either rush frenetically with little regard for others or get stuck in traffic jams of epic proportions, all the time emitting dangerous pollutants into the air everyone must breathe. A superhighway may have six carefully demarcated lanes, but at any time there seems to be a minimum of ten discernible streams of traffic, as vehicles weave in and out, honking, bullying, dodging and frequently colliding. A frontier ethos still rules in this parvenu society, where 25 years ago motorcycles began to replace bicycles, and now privately-owned cars including all the priciest prestige models from around the world, are ubiquitous, riding and parking wherever their drivers feel able to stake out a claim. Sometimes it seems as if everyone is on the move, or trying to move, unwilling to yield to others, treating strangers with shocking incivility.