Shanghai Traffic

I was walking the street and as normal trying to avoid all sort of vehicles bumping into me. All went well. At times the little green man was lighting up and I had to wait until the red guy was back before starting to walk. Other times I was stuck in the middle of the road and pretended to live the life of a traffic agent.

Occasionally I heard a shout from behind which made me freeze at the spot so the bike could continue its way on the sidewalk. There were even moments I hid between other pedestrians when crossing the street so they would be my buffer. I must admit that is not very brave behavior but I am sure my insurance company loves it.

Then it happened. I was crossing yet another street, then backtracking and decided to give in to the BMW that wanted to use the same stretch of the road. The BMW stopped though. The driver nodded, gestured with his hand that I should continue my journey on the zebra crossing.

This made me very insecure, was someone playing a trick, was this a Chinese version of candid camera. If I did continue, would the car suddenly accelerate? I calculated my chances, nodded back friendly and gestured him to go first. It’s too dangerous to get used to this kind of politeness.

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3 Responses to “Shanghai Traffic”

  1. Derrick Cope
    August 5th, 2005 22:08

    Yes, this has happened to me before. The driver and I were both motioning to the other one to go. i must of stood there for about 30 seconds before I realized the guy was trying to be nice. A similar thinh happened to me on a trip to San Francisco, I realized that I have lived in China too long.

  2. aline
    August 8th, 2005 10:16

    the BMW stopped? I’m surprised.. I hate crossing the streets in Shanghai… i feel like i might get hit by a car at any time…

  3. Des
    November 20th, 2006 11:05

    Ha, great post but you obviously haven’t taken the China Drivers Exam… >

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