Don’t Be Deceived!

The first time I heard this song played in the streets of Taipei I was so excited to discover that Taiwan, like so many American neighborhoods, had ice cream trucks! What a fun way to practice ordering in Chinese! I promptly walked across the hall in my dorm to ask if anyone else wanted to get their 50 Kuais out and order some with me.
I was disappointed to hear from my friend, who is half Taiwanese and has spent summers, vacations, etc., in Taiwan, that what I heard was NOT an ice cream truck. REALLY not an ice cream truck. What I heard was a trash truck… But why would a trash truck need a theme song? In Taiwan one does not simply leave the trash to be picked up mysteriously, and without thanks. If you want to be rid of your garbage you must wait outside for the truck and help load it yourself (by this time, of course, you’ve already separated everything completely into recycling, trash, and compost… the compost truck follows close behind the trash/recycling truck, often with it’s own slightly different theme song.) The song helps people know when the truck is on its way and to be prepared. Every trash truck has the same song and you will always hear it before you see it! I don’t think a day has gone by when I haven’t heard this tune, but I no longer think, “Ice cream!” I wonder what will come to mind when I hear a real ice cream truck when I come back to the States…

I’ve been trying to catch this clip ever since I first heard it but was never prepared in time to catch it! I finally got this video clip in Hualien this weekend (a county on the east coat of Taiwan famous for its scenery)—it turns out Taipei City isn’t the only area that uses this system! If you ever come to Taipei you will, with out a doubt, hear the trucks—don’t expect any ice cream!