The logic of driving safely in China

We just finished a team building sports event at work, and the plan was , that everyone would pile in the cars and we’d all go off and have dinner together.

Only 1 person knew how to get there, so obviously we’re doing the whole follow the leader jobby.

Suddenly one of my colleagues says ‘can I have a go on your motorbike’ to which I said ‘sure.. ‘ , because he said he’s ridden one before, or his family used to have one or something along these lines.

So I’m on the back with the helmet… because I didn’t plan for this so just because he says he wants to ride doesn’t mean I’m going to grant him everything here.

Anyway, I thought that when people say, ‘I know how to ride a bike, my family had one’   then… , you know,… they actually do know how to ride the bike.

Ah… now I know differently.

This sentence could mean anything from… I’ve ridden one without a clutch, …I can ride an electric scooter, I have ridden a real motorbike once…therefore I am an expert, or maybe genuinely (& rarely) …they actually do know how to ride a bike.

This was not one of those cases.

First of all, he starts in 2nd.

He asked me…if I really wanted to, could I set off in 2nd?

To which I said ‘..yeah technically you can set off in any gear, but its not good for the bike.’

Turns out he just heard ‘yeah…’

And …so off he started in 2nd,

I’m always willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt… but I think that’s beginning to change.

So …simple idea, follow the cars in front. There were 3 cars, and we were following the 2nd one…. But by the time we got out of the sports complex we were already in last position.

Turn right, and then turn left at the traffic lights…however somehow my colleague that was driving…is somehow in the right hand lane at the traffic lights he’s supposed to be turning left at.  And I’m like ‘you know we’re turning left right?’

‘Oh yeah, ok.’

I’m starting to think that he thought I knew where we were going, not that we were following  the 3 cars.

But anyway.

He proceeded to drive…poorly  would be a good way to put it. Dangerously would be another, maybe more precise way.

Starting in 2nd at every traffic light, changing quickly up to 4th or 5th gear, in 4th gear at 40km/h… on my bike you should be in 2nd. Not looking in his mirrors or checking blind spots, riding way to close to the side of the road, and then going 80 in 5th and not changing up to 6th. , oh and then …seemingly forgetting to put the clutch in to change gears…so thinking he has, but in fact he hadn’t…so revving it in 4th.

Also generally when you come to traffic lights you use engine braking, therefore you’ll be in the right gear when you get to the traffic lights and its safer because you have more control of the bike… but oh no, not this guy.
Late braking, sharp cornering, just putting on the back brake….arriving at the traffic lights in 4th gear.   …oh my god.

Anyway, I was shouting at one point… ‘you have to start in 1s !!’, …probably at the time that he’s trying to pull off the traffic lights in 4th.   And saying things constantly like ‘watch out’, ‘there’s the cars, they’re going left…they’re going straight now’

Needless to say after one particular episode of me saying you got to go faster… you’re going to lose the cars we’re following’ and him saying ‘ are we going left?’

‘What?  No, we’re following the cars…’

And then we lost the cars… they had gone through 1 set of traffic lights, and had turned left at the next one or something, but we didn’t know any of that because my colleague had got himself stuck behind a truck.

Anyway, finally we get to the 1st set and he says, ‘where do we go?’

Well I don’t know, YOU lost the cars you idiot.

But of course I didn’t say that… I said, ‘ok stop, pull over, and I’ll ring someone’  (I had to turn on the indicator …oh and the light at the start…because clearly its more safe if people can see you, especially if you are a black bike on the side of the road, at night. And many Chinese drivers don’t have their lights on either.


Finally got the directions, at which point I said ‘right, I’m driving’  and he genuinely looked surprised.

Which I would have laughed at given the context, but I was too angry for that.

As I was driving, and him on the back with my phone giving me directions, to which he managed to say something like… ‘you took a wrong turn’   with me thinking… who the fuck is looking at the map, and meant to be telling me where to go? huh?

Anyway, he’s now on the back going… ‘slower slower , its coming up… ‘ to which I’m thinking… we’re in complete darkness.. and we’re looking for the restaurant in a shopping mall… how about we slow down when we can see the shopping mall?   But no, he wasn’t having an of that..

Finally got to the restaurant but now, because I was driving… my other colleagues all think it was my fault. Anyway…

Someone inevitably asked how was my colleague’s driving, did he drive fast?  To which I said ‘no’.. but thought, fast isn’t the question…unsafe is more the question, and that answer is definitely yes.

And then they asked my colleague how was my driving, to which he said ‘fast…I think when its night time you need to be more safe’

Safe?  Safe?  Wtf man?  How do you have the audacity to comment about driving safely when it was you that couldn’t concentrate on following 3 cars, and driving at the same time, in fact you couldn’t even concentrate on driving safely at all.

Plus in my opinion…to a point anyway, driving fast doesn’t have anything to do with driving safely…

And on the flip side, just because someone drives slowly, it doesn’t mean that they’re a safe driver.

I’ve got family members that proves that not to be the case.

I mean by that logic, old people are fantastic drivers… and I’m pretty sure that’s not true.

Driving safely is more about actually concentrating on your surroundings.. being familiar with your vehicle and…actually driving safely… not about speed. (again within limits)

He said to me… ‘I think you should drive more slowly, considering that its dark. ‘

True, I was going 90-100 in an 80 zone, but … it was a 2-lane major road, separated by a barrier from the other side… with no other cars on the road, and I was on the outside lane so that if someone did pull out.. I had enough distance.

Don’t forget he is saying this , knowing that he had just been driving  really slowly, next to the curb, had just lost not 1, but 3 cars he was meant to be following and was completely willing to drive without lights on or use indicators…in the dark.

Idiocy. Pure idiocy.

I realise if everyone is driving slowly, there is less chance of big crashes… but that doesn’t mean there’s less chance of crashes full stop.   Because even though they’re driving slowly…they’re also driving incredibly unsafely.

Most people are on their phone when they drive, I’m sure many people have bribed there way to pass their license, if you learn how to drive a motorbike in china.. they don’t actually give you any real lessons…, I’ve seen people reading books…actual books in stop start traffic.. and as I was finishing the rest of my journey last night I saw another motorbike driver using his phone whilst turning a corner.

I don’t even know how that Is possible… I mean sure he was driving slowly… (and for once he actually had the green light)  but… I don’t think it can be said that because he was driving slowly he was driving safely.

I’ve often heard that Chinese people  just have a different logic than other people.

I think no.
First of all some Chinese people have ‘normal logic’.  Few, but some,

And no. logic is logic, if you’re given all the same information.. logically…provided you’ve thought about things rationally…you should come to the same answers.

And this is clearly not the case.

The only way that this IS the case, is that sure, they’ve got the same information…but they haven’t provided rationality to their thinking… and therefore have come to a different answer.  ie. the wrong answer.

Let me just say though in summary….the stereotype is definitely true.


tipping in australia

Article about tipping in Australia

It’s amazing to see that so many people actually support tipping in Australia.

I find it very interesting that L C Stanton says that he/ she finds it suspect about tipping not being part of our Culture when until recently fine dining wasn’t part of our culture either

What should we be adding all the shitty culture, along with the nice culture?   Culture is Culture! It’s all good right?   No. that’s just not true.
The Chinese have a culture (albeit thankfully dying out now) of spitting on the streets and letting their children take poos into rubbish bins in public, or smoking in elevators with children inside….. Culture, culture….all culture is good!…  [Sorry China- you just make it too easy]
Or Saudi Arabia has a ‘culture’ of not allowing women to do pretty much anything, having placed womens rights far below that of a mans’   Culture is culture.
Man what a stupid dim-minded comment.

Simple fact, as the author said. America doesn’t have a minimum wage, (i really thought it did, but i thought it was really low)

This is something that you expect from a highly capitalistic country that many domestic policies are influenced by mainly (not all) but mainly retarded or perhaps very smart but immoral Republicans.   Also one that seems scared about the word ‘Socialism’ but is also in awe of all the things that Australia provides to its citizens, despite it actually coming from a Socialist way of thinking.

The point is, that in America you have to provide good service otherwise you don’t get tips… in Australia you have to provide good service otherwise you get fired.

Restaurants should include all service fees into the price of the meal, so as to not deceive the customer and to make it more transparent to avoid corruption and what not. Something that again the US is not so great at.

To those people that say high class restaurants’ waiters/ waitresses deserve a tip, because that is their reward- no. their reward is that they’re getting a better and more valued experience than those working in the local mc donalds or cafe. This goes on their resume with pride.

Australia’s system is designed to be our own, one relatively free from corruption and fair to the majority of people.

Yes America has tipping as a ‘custom’, but why?  Because of their unfair system towards minimum wage workers.

Should we be celebrating this and wanting to mimick this into our own system?  Definitely not.

If you’re a tourist and don’t know any better…. sure. But even then… don’t people play by the rule ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’??

JH   seems to put it well ‘We have no reason to import this bizarre US tradition which is just a band-aid to deal with their dysfunctional way of remunerating people.’

Shitness & un-originality of music videos in china

Its like 80% of music videos play out like this

1.) There is a couple and they love each other, everything is easy at first
2.) Then the couple have a fight
3.) and then the girl runs away….being a little bitch
4.) it starts raining…. and she gets really angry… now she’s in the rain and doesn’t know what to do
5.) the guy decides to chase after her with an umbrella..
6.) …..but then to show her his love….he drops the umbrella & now he is also getting wet…. (because, you know…apparently this makes him a man)
7.) As he’s wet in the rain but didn’t have to be, and had come to find his child of a girlfriend….this is what shows her that he really does love her… and then they live happily ever after

But I guess that’s what you get when you grow up in an education system that doesn’t stress creative thinking.

Passive aggresive un-needed insults

In my experience Chinese people seem to be pretty good at ‘by-the-way insults’

For example–

“hey you’re pretty good at Chinese….. you’re so much better than john.”

(Johns sitting right there)

With John thinking….wow, you just gave a compliment to someone, and apparently you couldn’t resist insulting me in the same sentence….. what a dick!

“I can’t understand at all”

“I can’t understand at all”

Heeerr….   Bullshit!

If someone makes the effort to try to speak your language, the least you can do is try to understand what they’re saying.

Again this is conditioning, something that (unfortunately) chinese people learn from a young age…. Everything has to be perfect.  –  rote learned to be perfect.   If it’s not perfect you get a zero and you fail.

So it’s the same requirements that they instantly put on foreigners trying to speak their language.  Despite the fact that when they try to speak English we make every effort to understand what they are trying to say… and at least guess given the context as to what their meaning might be.

Because to say ‘that doesn’t make sense at all’  well that would just be plain rude wouldn’t it?

Saying something like that would diminish confidence for the person trying so hard to speak to a point where no communication is possible.

This might have something to do with why integration is very difficult between Chinese and the rest of the world.

Anyway,   a friend recently told me this.    I said a sentence… which was more or less correct….i will admit not 100% correct, but more or less.   And he said “that doesn’t make sense at all”

No…… if I were speaking Swahili to you, that wouldn’t make sense at all     so you can understand that when he said this, I looked a little bit offended.

I then proceeded to ask him..    “[word]….. shenme yisi? (whats the meaning of ….)    …[word]….. shenme yisi? (whats the meaning of ….)    ; [word]….. shenme yisi? (whats the meaning of ….)”

He knew all of them.

And “you know if i combine these words, with these words it = this meaning right?”


“And these words with these words = this meaning”



… so in fact what you should have said was ‘I understand , but your sentence is not quite right”     compared to “that doesn’t make sense at all “… it’s a big difference.   Plus a big difference to how you affect the others’ feelings.

The point is, that in China there is a difference (compared to other countries) with how people speak and how ‘polite they are’  it is very direct in some aspects and then very indirect in others.  But to for-go simple politeness; to not think about the feelings of someone that is talking to you….that’s just bad. And to claim as is often the case, “oh but it china it’s just like that”.  Well that just shows that people are not thinking for themselves, you don’t all have to be impolite insensitive people, you could make a slight effort.

For example if someone said that to YOU, I’m pretty sure you’d be pretty offended….so don’t say it to other people.

That’s what the golden rule is all about.

Or…. Are you too stupid to figure that out for yourself too?

If you’re going to be rude and not care about hurting the others feelings, how about you just take it all the way?   “what you just said…its shit, diareahea from the mouth…I can’t understand anything man…give up on this language and then kill yourself for your shame”


Against the tide

Again something that a Chinese friend told me.  Obviously a bit more educated than the ones in this story.

It is definitely something that many westerners here feel intensely as well.

A chinese friend was describing to me how pissed off she gets when people seem to be spacially unaware of their surrounding and seem not to be able to have a basic grasp of logic in 2 situations.

  • Elevators
  • The Subway

Let me explain.

Most people…. This should be common sense,  are aware that if you have a space that is already full of something, … if you want to add more things, you have to first take out some of the stuff that is already in there.

Obvious?  No?

No.       Not to a lot of Chinese people apparently.

Coming down in an elevator,  finally reach the bottom floor, my friend tries to step out of the full elevator only to have some dick-nugget push his way inside the elevator.


And the people behind him, see that this guy has got in… and then they rush in as well….i guess assuming that if they don’t they may miss the elevator or something.

The guy and the other people are now frantically trying to push the elevator buttons, but can’t because the people that were meant to get out first, could not because of these dick bags.

Now my friend has to push past these morons trying to get out, ….plus as well they look at her as if she is the one doing something wrong.


Subways…   wow.  This happens en-mass.  IMG_20131209_080903crp

Do you know what this is a picture of?

The transport services have barred the entrance to the subway station, and will only let 60 people in every 5 minutes…   because, people en mass haven’t been able to figure out this basic process of queuing and this ‘first out, then in’ principle.

Fascinating to foreigners that are looking at it from the outside.…

.. but completely aggravating to the foreigners and Chinese locals with enough common sense to do the right thing.

Between some foreigners I know, it has become a bit of a game, that if one of these illogical nut-jobs, that can’t seem to figure out this basic principle tries to go in before they try to go out, they simply hip and shoulder these people…   at least thinking to themselves that given the situation, their reaction is completely justifiable.

I think a few of them get particular satisfaction when it is an old annoying, spatially unaware Ayi or granny.


Everywhere around China there exists these shops… small shops, selling clothes usually.. I’m not entirely sure because to be honest I’ve never been inside them.

Why have I never been inside them?

-Because of their chosen method of enticing customers to their store.

They will have one giant speaker out the front, playing some sort of much too loud and obnoxious music.  … there is no stereo- balanced kind of sound… it’s just all the music coming out of one speaker.

Oh and they will either have that, or just a bunch of fuyuans (service workers) clapping their hands loudly and occasionally shouting at passers-by.


What the fuck are they thinking?     What?  The people passing by will want to get away from this god-awful noise…. And surely the only escape path is into the store??


A Chinese friend recently explained to me that it DOES actually appeal to some people.

My first reaction was… what? Like the Ayis, and da Shu Shu’s that are also very loud and obnoxious and must think something along the lines of ‘well … I’m loud, … and they’re loud… so, me and this store are a perfect fit!’

Apparently…. And I take this with a pinch of salt, apparently in Chinese culture , if places are too quiet, then it is seen as less attractive.

In my view however, these kinds of stores are getting attention for the wrong reasons.   Just as shit stores with shit marketing techniques.

Not all attention is good attention!

What my friend says explains the premise of how a lot of Chinese choose restaurants to go to.

In their mind, if the restaurant is busy and noisy, it must be really good.

(not just that the restaurant is JUST busy and noisy)

Same as if there is a big queue, people assume that the food there must be absolutely amazing…

Not necessarily.

I have seen people queuing up in a place called Gulou dong da jie, at some sort of bread bar/ noodle snack bar.  The shop was very small, and these people were queuing up 50-60 meters down the street.  Some of the people joining the queue came from the direction of the end of the queue and I’m pretty sure ..were not even sure what the queue was for, but obviously thought to themselves  ‘a queue for this long has to have something amazing at the end of it… if I waste time going to the front to actually see what I’m queuing for… I’ll waste time..   better not do that’

… you know… instead of queuing up for 30 mins, without actually knowing what you’re queing for… because that wouldn’t be a waste of time at all.

The worst way to say hello

This is what one of my Chinese friends told me recently.

She was walking down the street, and there was a man  (Lao Ye Ye-  old grandad kind of dude)  walking towards her.

This man was coughing and snigging and whatever the action is when you’re drawing up a massive lugie from your throat.
Now this man had ages of time to …I don’t know spit on a tree or something,  or in a bin or something…  but instead chose to .. at the moment of passing, spit right next to her.

WTF?  Was her look in her eyes, mentioning something like ‘gan me?’

And this man just kept on walking…  not a care in the world.

What …a …..dick!

Walkie talkie phones

Needs picture

I see this often here in China.   To be honest this does happen in other countries as well, most often by the most retarded of people.

In China, as you’ll all be glad to read, its one very specific demographic, that is of the Ayis.

Oh sorry, .. what is this problem I’m talking about?

The phones.

They tend to hold out the phone at arms’ length and shout to the receiver…

….probably because the person on the other end of the phone is another Ayi, who is also doing this.

It seems like these people are incapable of understanding how basic communication works over distances.

It is reasonable in China, in terms of culture that is, that people don’t seem to have what the western world would call ‘an inside voice’.

As in, outside… sure.. shout, because there’s so much other noises going on… mostly because other people are shouting.

But inside…  when you are standing 2 meters away from someone…. You don’t need to shout.   This should be common sense.   And maybe it is in china, it’s just that people have got far too used to doing this.

So the phone.
Even simple people should be able to understand this, but if by chance not..  and for all those Ayis and Shu Shus out there, then let this serve as a basic guide:

At the bottom of the phone there is a microphone…. That’s where you speak..
And… at the top of the phone there is a speaker.   The speaker is where you listen.

Now, you should hold the speaker to your ear, and the microphone nearby your mouth.
That way,   you can carry on a normal conversation without having to shout because the other persons’ voice goes directly into your ear, and your voice goes directly into their ear.

The benefit of this kind of setup is that you don’t have to forcefully share your conversation with all those that are around you, and… they can’t hear the possibly secret conversation that your friend may be imparting to you.

Wonderful right?

So if you… Ayi or da Shu, decide to start shouting into the microphone…  (in obviously a public environment.. as you often do.. like a bus or something)     then this goes directly into the person on the other end of the phone’s ear.

Do you think they would like that?   I’m guessing no.

They then in turn have to hold the phone away from their ear… (especially if they haven’t somehow worked out that there are volume controls on the side of the phone…. Yay more stupid people)
And because of this,  have to return the favour by shouting back.

Now Ayis, and Shu Shus,   I realise that everyday you’re doing this anyway…    but.. do you know what the problem with this is???

It pisses off people around you!

People on the bus are sometimes trying to sleep, hold up a normal conversation, or just trying to concentrate on which stop they have to get off at.
But they’ve got some illogical, uneducated, ill-mannered, spatially unaware Ayi or Shu Shu, shouting without actual need on the telephone.


It seems these people are so inconsiderate of the people around them.

It seems… they are just incapable of thinking about how their actions might affect other people.

Illogical?  Stupid ? OR both?

These are the same Ayis that practice techno street dancing that manage to piss off people en mass nearby any large square.    But more about that later