Saturday, December 29, 2007
Traffic’s a bitch!
Chinese cyclists rule this city. At least they think so. Six months ago I decided to be a part of the chaos and bought myself a bike.
During my six months in the traffic I have realised a few things (some I already knew, but...):
The traffic here is mad, frustrating, dangerous, and it doesn’t make any sense at all! Nobody follows the even most obvious traffic rules (like stopping when there’s a red light) and when I once slipped and fell with my bike right in front of a car, all the driver did was to honk!! (Not helpful, man!)
As if that's not enough, there are a lot of other, slightly annoying things about this city's traffic. Here are a few of my biggest dislikes:
* People that ride on the wrong side of the road (Every second cyclist or so)
* People that tries to overtake you when you’re on a very narrow road (especially older men loves doing this).
* Chinese men on motorbikes who enjoy scaring you by honking when they are right behind you (those ones who then turn around and give you the blinking eye are the worst!)
* Drivers that think it’s hilarious to see a western girl on a bicycle (don’t ask me why, maybe it’s my own personal style?) and therefore want to drive slowly behind you rather than to overtake you.
* Couples riding bikes next to each other and holding hands (Suicidal)
* Taxis and buses (please don’t kill me because you are in a hurry. Please, PLEASE!)
* Pedestrians (why do you have to walk ON THE BIKE LANE?!)
* Pedestrians/cyclists/dogs (yeah, even the animals here knows nothing about traffic!) crossing the roads without looking if there’s a car/bike coming.
* Older men that like to “secretly” race with you. I am not in the mood for this sort of madness –ever!
* Older women who likes to ride their bikes in the middle of the lane rather than on the right side.
* People riding on the wrong side of the road (WHY?!? Just tell me WHY!!!)
* Traffic guards (they always continue to yell at me in Shanghainese even though I have already yelled back –in Mandarin- that I don’t understand what they are saying!)
The other day I realised that my bike rides have turned me into quite a bitter person. Before I used to find cycling relaxing and enjoyable; now I am like this tensed, angry girl who curses in three different languages when riding her bike (this has been my opportunity to learn all those bad words in Chinese) and who shows no respect to anyone or anything. In other words; I’m acting like the Chinese cyclists. (Only difference is that they don’t curse in three different languages. They honk instead).