China Observations – CRAZY BACKWARDS!


I think I’ve said this before- but one of my favorite “games” while traveling is trying to figure out how to do the things we do back home.

Like driving.

I wanted to make a comparison- and yea… China is up there as far as terrible (fatalist) drivers.

According to Wikipedia, China has double the number of road fatalities (or more than double??? I was told there would be no math today)… Maybe there’s a reason….?


Another article from my aunt.

My father used to say that if you dug a hole deep enough, you’d come out on the other side of the world – in China – where they do everything upside down. Here are a few head-scratchers!


Let’s start with driving! I don’t know if the Chinese are on the World’s Worst Drivers list, but if they aren’t, they should be. For instance, they have a lot of trouble with TURNING. There are left hand turning lanes that are on the extreme right hand side of the road. If you had to reread that to clarify the picture, I don’t blame you. Turning LEFT from all the way on the RIGHT, and in front of every other lane of traffic. Wow. Whose bad idea was that?


Then, there are the right hand turns at a red light. Well, okay, we have them at home, right? But here? No one comes to a full stop (heck, they don’t even pause) and they don’t check for oncoming traffic from the left. And, alarmingly, drivers here make the turn as fast as they can. If a pedestrian, an electronic bike, or another car is in their path – too bad!!! Someone swerves or gets hit. Traffic is a living, breathing, ever-changing entity. If you value your life – you’ll stay out of its way!


And the last of the absurd TURNING choices is: you want to make a right hand turn at a red light — BUT there is a car in front of you that wants to turn left. Stuck behind this pesky car wanting to turn left? Not at all! You are (apparently) permitted to pass this car on the LEFT, YES THE LEFT, in order to cut in front of it and make your right hand turn. Does anyone else have a headache?


The lines on the highways (indicating the various lanes) are completely ignored by one and all. I wonder if there is an actual law that states: if you aren’t changing lanes every 10 to 15 seconds you aren’t creating your necessary share of terror and confusion.   During this zigzagging, blowing the horn is mandatory and it means one of three things: Don’t Even Think About It. Move Over I’m Cutting In. Or, Don’t Say You Haven’t Been Warned. Those interpretations are based on the number of times the horn actually blew.


The malls have been selling parkas since the end of September. We are on the same latitude as Savannah, Georgia. Parkas? Really? Well, this Minnesota girl is not going to argue with the retailers who sell these large poofy clothes. No, the problem is with my apartment. There isn’t a closet in the entire unit. Where would I hang it? put it? hide it? And all seven units on each of the 18 floors in all seven buildings (within our gated community) will have the same problem. Did any investor, designer, architect, engineer actually think about the fact that people with parkas – or families with lots of parkas – might actually move in?


And, now that we are approaching a season where you MIGHT want to wear a parka, the school has filled the pool with water. September’s eighty degree weather wasn’t appropriate for a dip in the pool, but late November’s fifty-five degrees is just perfect?


This evening I stopped by the local store to buy a few things for dinner, and Jim requested I buy some dark beer. They only sold one kind and the label described it in English as: Selection of imported high quality barley, used the Dutch brewing technology, feel fresh vitality.


The product’s name? REEB. My dad said the Chinese do things upside down. Maybe he meant backwards?





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