Chinese Traffic

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Chinese traffic is one of the most insane things I've ever seen. Cab drivers don't so much as use "a" lane, as they do gently glide from side to side on the highways. People change lanes without looking, and get so close to each other that every single time we merge I'm sure we're going to hit somebody. Most of the time when I ride in a taxi I sit in the back and close my eyes. I tell the taxi driver where we're going and then I trust him to take me there. Many of the taxi drivers here are crooked, and there's always someone who doesn't have an official taxi tag that wants to take you places.

If people think that taxis in the states are a ripoff, China is their dream. Last weekend I went to a mall (which was ridiculously expensive) and the 30-35 minute taxi drive was 32 yuan, which was then split 3 ways, for a grand total of abou 1 dollar 33 cents per person. It's hard to believe that someone who works as a taxi driver in China would ever be able to afford the things in the mall we went to. Most of the western stuff (Nautica Clothes, etc.) was even way too expensive for me... meaning it was relatively priced to how expensive it is in Asia.

On the streets is where most "normal" people want to shop. People sitting infront of touristy wares yell out "Hey Lady, Look at These" in really bad english. Some have even gotten a clue and thrown in some spanish "Look here! Busca aqui!". Once you find something you like, it's pretty easy to bargain with the person. They'll type a price on a calculator, say, 150 yuan, and you will say "tai gui le" which means "too expensive". You then take the calculator, or if you trust your Chinese, respond with a price you think is fitting. For example, a buddy of mine bought a bag last weekend, and after the merchant told him 150 yuan, he said he'd pay 20 for it. They finally settled on around 70 if I remember correctly.

Anyways I just got out of class and am rambling, so I'll write more when something of interest actually happens. Oh, on a side note, if you have the chance to watch real Chinese acrobats, do so because they're amazing.


another thing, being white means EVERYONE in china wants to stare at you, and consters with really poor english will always try and strike up conversations with you. last weekend I had a guy start asking me stuff in english and just followed me all around the mall trying to talk to me. people in china dont seem to have much shame about getting in an american's face if they think they can get money out of it. once last weekend when someone told me something i said "lo siento, solo puedo hablar espanol"... ha, try and poorly learn another western language to bother me in.

oh, sorry for the typos in the post >_< i didn't proof read it.

cool. :) Keep writing! I wanna hear more.

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May 2009

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