Friday, November 08, 2013

Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium: Road Rage

Sorry I'm late in posting this week.  Sometimes I write early and then schedule it to be published.  Sometimes I forget to schedule it, and it is published days early.  I never seem to get it right.  Anyway....I'm learning....

I don't think there is as much road rage here in China as there is in the U.S.  Part of the reason is that no one follows the laws here.  In America, you expect everyone to follow the laws, and if someone doesn't, you get upset.  If you are driving in America, and someone in front of you is driving slower than the speed limit, people get upset and yell!  When it is safe to pass, they pass them and turn and look angrily at them as they pass.  Here in China, no one expects anyone else to follow the speed limit, because here, the speed limit is, in their mind, a suggestion.  So you could be driving down the highway here, and actually come upon a car that is totally stopped in the middle of the road.  You can't get upset at them because the poor dear probably had to make a phone call, or blow their nose, or consult their map.  So instead of getting angry, most drivers just quickly swerve in front of the car right next to them in order to get around the stopped vehicle.  And since the laws are merely a suggestion, if they can't swerve around the car next to them, they could just drive on the shoulder for awhile. 

I mean, would you really get upset at the driver who missed his exit, and now needs to back up on the freeway so that he can go back the half mile to the intended exit?  Or how about the farmer who is driving a electric cart, and doesn't want to have to go all the way up to the next exit in order to go home, so just drives the opposite way on the freeway until he gets back to the exit he wants?  Can you blame the poor man?  Why get angry at him?  He is just trying to get home.  And there are probably several millimeters between him and you, and also a few millimeters between you and the car next to you, so why complain?  Just grip the wheel tightly and speed up as you pass. 

About the only time I see drivers get angry here is when those pesky pedestrians get in the way.  I mean, who do they think they are?  Yes, their "walk" signal is lighted, and they are in the crosswalk, but drivers have the right of way, don't they?  Hmm....was that the way it was in America?  It's been so long, it's a distant memory now.  And besides, if they don't want to get hit, they should run, right?  So who can blame the taxi driver who is just trying to get his fare to the requested location as fast as possible.  He has to make a living after all!  So his occasional outbursts at people walking RIGHT IN HIS WAY, are justified. 

I do think I'm getting used to the traffic here though.  I don't grip the seat as tightly as I used to.  Sometimes I even mentally congratulate the taxi driver for having gone in to the bike lane and driven around all of that slow traffic.  I just wonder what kind of a driver I will be when I get home to America......
Check out what the other consortium members have to say about road rage:
Rummuser, Anu, Ashkok, Gaelikka, Grannymar , Padmum, Magpie11, andAkanksha,Will Knot, Maria the Silver Fox, Anki, Nema Noor Paul Plain Joe, and Rohit, Black watertown, The Old Fossil, our newest member MAXI! and last, but not least SHACKMAN! :)

4 comments:

Maria Perry Mohan said...

How very strange. I'd have expected the Chinese to be very disciplined and organised, like worker bees or something. I was obviously wrong.

Grannymar said...

Driving in China sounds very like driving in India. Thankfully in Ireland, the majority of people behind the wheel, drive according to the rules of the road.

Vid said...

In the Philippines all the roads are so poorly maintained and crowded that the cars are always going slow enough to stop for pedestrians. Nobody minds if you jaywalk.

Rummuser said...

The things that you write about are phenomenon that you can see on our roads too!