Home > Transit, Uncategorized > Xin Nian Kuai le!

Xin Nian Kuai le!

Hey Everybody!

Xin nian kuaile means happy new year! Though here, that “New Year” is all but only Western, and the party in Zhuhai was, in a word, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzed….

In order to properly introduce the Chinese experience, rather than be selfish and focus on the stories of my own daily life, I would like to inject some more focused cultural studies to my weekly(ish) e-mail. I wrote this handbook on the bus, while smashed like a bookend between a middle-aged Chinese man, and a young female students, both asleep. One on my shoulder.

This is a guide to driving and traffic related rules in Southern China:

  1. The instant the light turns green, lean on your horn.
  2. If a giant tour bus crosses three lanes of heavy traffic, it’s your own fault if you run into it
  3. If in crossing three lanes, as said bus driver, you discover your lane ends abruptly or unexpectedly veers to the right, stop driving and lean on your horn. No one, but no one, will honor a turn signal.
  4. It is your duty as a citizen of the harmonious society to honor any and all honks. Unless you don’t want to.
  5. Speed limits in the left two lanes are higher than those in the right. Therefore, all drivers in the right lane are permitted to stop as quickly and as many times as they desire.
  6. The more expensive your vehicle, the faster you are permitted to drive (true in every culture).
  7. Bike lanes are for bicycles, motorbikes, pedestrians, fruit carts, acrobatic street children, men with big-balled gibbons on leashes, parents kicking their children, defecating, piles of rubble, and taxi cabs driving against traffic (etc) ONLY.
  8. If someone in one vehicle hits your vehicle, do NOT pull to the side of the road. Leave your vehicle, make sure your entire family leaves your vehicle, and argue in the middle of the road about which drivers’ fault it was. In order to save face, the bigger the crowd of indifferent bystanders, the louder you must shout and the more widely you must gesticulate.
  9. If you, as a fruit or knick-knack vendor, see a crowd gathered in the center of the street, you may cross in front of any and all oncoming vehicles to take entrepreneurial advantage.
  10. Traffic should drive in the allotted lanes on the right side of the road—that is unless someone cuts you off. In this case, you may drive in the oncoming traffic lane in order to reach the left turn signal before them and teach them a lesson.
  11. Red means drive slowly through the busy crosswalk.

That’s all for now, folks. If you want to check out pictures of Christmas, look at http://www.flickr.com/photos/41955516@N04/ and if you want to read some old blogs (especially those of you who are newbies—hiiii!!!) check out https://oolalang.wordpress.com.

I promise you’ll like it.

Love you all and happy new year all over again!


Categories: Transit, Uncategorized Tags: , ,
  1. Rosemary
    January 7, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    I feel you, Emily. When in the P.I., we also had the added danger and excitement of driving up on wagons drawn by carabau (water buffaloes). No lights, no reflectors, so BIG. Ah, good times in the rice paddies.

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