Thursday, November 25, 2010

Been Here Too Long

I feel that I have been in China a bit too long. Why is this so? Well frankly it has to do with how normal it feels to drive in this country. Don't get me wrong there are still many things that confuse me about driving in this country but as I have gotten used to some of the quirkiness I have also become able to predict some of the more scary behaviors of drivers. The prime example is the taxi driver who blatantly runs a red light zooming through the intersection on his cell phone ignoring pedestrians in the crosswalk. Well not really ignoring them but moving just enough out of the way to not hit them but close enough that you can smell the tea in his thermos.

I have become so accustomed to driving in China that I don't notice the little things like cars driving on the sidewalk that I used to. Also I have started to drive more like a Chinese driver. I have not started to drive on sidewalks myself but there are times when I do some of the more scary things that are similar. What I have noticed though is that it is a cause and effect situation. They say that you can tell an American driver from almost all others because they are the only ones that will stop at a sign in the middle of an uninhabited desert. Certain things have just been ingrained into my psyche that are not customary to China. However the cause of many of the strange habits that we see are not based on a lack of laws but mostly a lack of enforcement. It is the lack of enforcement that doesn't stop people from stopping in the middle of an intersection blocking oncoming traffic. However it is totally acceptable to try and cut through the traffic in the intersection in order to get to the other side. Being a little bit more aggressive in your driving habits will get you a lot of headway through dense traffic.

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