Punishment for knowing the way

On my way to a friend’s birthday party yesterday evening. The address I told the taxi driver was 朝阳路, 五环外。 [Chao yang road, outside the 5th ring road]
And then told him I would tell him how to go from there.

First of all I live north east, between the 4th & the 5th ring roads. And the first thing the taxi driver says is ‘shall we take the 4th ring road?’

To which I said ‘but the 5th ring road is just behind us, why don’t we just go for that?’

To which HE said ‘humfff’   (He was not impressed with my logic, that if we were going outside the 5th ring road anyway, we should not go inside it in order to go back out)

So… he did what he was told and took the 5th ring road.

But he didn’t seem happy with it, even though there were very few cars on the 5th ring road and we could power on down without being impeded.

And then what did he do?  Instead of getting off at Chaoyang lu, (the simple direction would literally just have been 5th ring, get off at Chaoyang lu….keep going for a bit, and then stop, done, arrived at destination)

So instead he decided to get off a good 3 big intersections beforehand, and onto a highway that would begin taking us to the 6th ring road.

Basically I was getting the feeling that this guy didn’t like the 5th rind road, and would prefer to either use the 4th or 6th , anything but the 5th. But whatever.

All the while I’ve got my phone open to the map page, and the gps is calculating the best way to go each time, every time he makes a wrong turn it calculates the next quickest route.

So now as he’s powering towards the 6th ring road, I say. ‘look we can still take this road, and we can get there’

To which he is like… ‘oh ok.’  (a blank look creeping over his face)

We turn right into the street…and its just jam packed with traffic…  traffic that’s not even moving.

And after 5 mins of me thinking…well this is clearly a failure, and waiting for him to realise that and turn around…..to which he never does, I say ‘errr….how about we take the next road? Because this road is blocked isn’t it?’

To which he says ‘ yes…..ok.’

So we take the next road  and don’t forget if we just stuck by the damn 5th ring road , we’d be there by now, and as it turns out this next road is still heavily swamped with traffic.

So he’s now on a mission… a mission to get himself stuck in traffic. .  In fact I think he was on this mission all along , and he was trying to punish me or something.
Punish me for the simple reason of knowing that taking the 5th ring road was the best idea.

Well, we finally got to a traffic light to which the traffic was once again block, like we were the 2nd car waiting at the red light, and after it had gone green, the first car didn’t even make it over the intersection.

To which it would be obvious to everyone except ironically a Beijing taxi driver…from way back, that this route wasn’t going to work.  So I showed him the map, and said, ‘look if we take a right here…where there is NO traffic, then we can take a left a bit later, zig-zag our way down to the right road’ (showing him the gps map.

And he’s like ‘ ahhh but I don’t know if I can get through there… at least this road goes to where we need to go’

To which I’m thinking ‘well the damn 5th ring road got to where we needed to go, but you didn’t take that one now did you?’

And then I said to him ‘ yes, but you can’t actually go down this road, because there’s too many cars.  You see…cars’ (pointing at the cars in front of us)

And he said ‘but I don’t know if the road you’re pointing to allows us to get out the other side’

Me thinking ‘what the fuck do you think I’m pointing to?  Its not some hand sketch that I’ve drawn out, this is a map.. a MAP, have you heard of it?  The MAP says that there’s a road that we can access, and the MAP is MAPPING out exactly how we should go’

Said ‘but look at the map’

And he said ‘ ok. We ‘try’ ‘

Me thinking ‘ try?  Wtf? Try? Of coruse we bloody try… in fact it’s the only option unless we want to just sit here for the next 3 days? What kind of fucked up logic, fucked up reasoning is that?? Huh?  We’re stuck in completely non-moving traffic, and yet you think that is a better option because it definitely gets to the place you want to go …despite the fact that you CAN’T actually get there because its blocked… and you resignedly ‘try’ a route which is proven on a real-time gps guided map to get there by another route?’

Fucktard!

Eventually he got to the place. Only because I might have shouted at him one more time.

And in the end he said ‘慢走‘ which means go safely kind of thing, but the literal translation is ‘slowly go’

To which I prevented myself from shouting at him saying ‘ slowly?  Motherfucker, I can’t go slowly anywhere now, because its exactly the fact that you were so fucking slow in the first place for why I have have to run everywhere now…..you fuckface!’

But I didn’t … peaceful music….peaceful music.

I swear Chinese driving is exactly like drunk driving sometimes.  Like the meticulous overly drunk kind,…where you’re going way too slowly and edging your way into traffic etc. …
You can do it. It IS possible, but the reaction times…the amount of thinking that goes on….is just not sufficient for what I would consider is proper driving.

The fact that everyone is driving this….painfully however, means that they never go that fast, and the crashes when they happen…and oh yes, they happen…are not so bad. (or not as bad as you think it would be given the amount of retardation. )

Helmet safety, convenience is key

Yesterday coming back from huairou 怀柔,
I saw a guy not wearing his helmet, but he had it resting on his right wing mirror.

So not only was he not protected, he couldn’t see what was behind him.

Brilliant!

Another guy a few days ago had his arm through his helmet and then he was gripping onto the motorbike like that, and of course not wearing it.
Inconveniencing himself and not being protected.  The best of both worlds.
Well done good sir, well done.

Link

slow doesn’t = safe

Why On Earth Would You Ban Electric Bikes Before Cars?

Yeah… better read the article before you read this.  But it relates to an article I posted before with regard to a Chinese article attacking motorbikes for Electric motorbikes problems called ‘禁摩限电’ – literally ‘Ban motorbikes, limit electric scooters’

I originally thought this article was written by a foreigner, as it was posted on a foreign wechat subscription account.

The writer states, quoting some Chinese article written about the issue previously.
According to a news report, they (e-scooters) are banned for the following reasons: 

(1) They can cause traffic jams. 

(2) Some people use electric bikes as a “taxi” to make money, which is illegal.

(3) Because they are very fast, they often cause traffic accidents. 

(4) Most of them are not licensed and hard to govern.

These, the writer infers are not good enough to ban the bikes.

True, these are not good enough reasons to ban e-bikes, because they should not be banned.

But the simple fact is, (which the article the author quotes conveniently left out) is that in #3 ‘they are very fast, they often cause traffic accidents’ is not the reason why they cause traffic accidents.

电动车祸

This leads me to believe the writer of the article quoted was a Chinese person, and the fact that this writer didn’t correct them, then they must also be Chinese.

Why?

Well because of a general mentality here that:
driving fast = unsafe,
not that    driving unsafely = unsafe.

It infers that driving slowly automatically = driving safely.

No. That’s complete bullshit.

If that was true, it would mean that old people are the best drivers.
And I think we can agree that that’s plainly not true.

If you drive slowly but run red lights… it doesn’t mean that you’ll be safe from the car that has right of way going 80km/h going through the green light as they crash into you.

That right there should be logic.

A lot of electric scooters consistently run red lights, and consistently break traffic laws.

We could assume 2 things from this.
1.) Because they don’t have to get a license for the e-scooter, they actually don’t know what the traffic laws are… although you could argue of course that its common sense, or
2.) Because laws are hardly ever enforced here… they learnt, ‘hey if I can get away with it…let’s go for it’

So, solution?   Enforce the damn laws.
Make an example of all those retards that can’t figure out simple common sense.

Sure if you want to commit suicide then go for it.. but please don’t endanger everyone else.

Next time someone runs a red light. Electric scooter gone. Impounded, destroyed.
And you may be thinking…‘Why don’t they just make it a fine, maybe impounding bikes is too harsh?’
Trust me on this, if they can’t figure out that their life is worth more than the 10 minutes they save from running a red light, then they might need a fairly harsh lesson.
Also, if its just a fine some people will inevitably dress up as police and just collect ‘fines’ from all the e-scooters.  (and there’s a lot)
Or 100 kuai on the spot fine enforced by a team of police with the impound truck nearby.
They could literally enforce that in many places each week and keep it a regular thing.

Sure, police would be told that their mid-morning nap in their squad cars would be cancelled, but their mid-afternoon nap would probably still go ahead as planned.

Maybe the police can get a bit of respect back from actually doing their jobs for once?

Oh also in the article is.. ‘the effect on the delivery business’

Yeah deliveries are going to be slower.
Is this a bad thing though?
We’ve got used to quick deliveries by way of 电动 idiots braking traffic laws… but this was always going to be too good to be true.
On the plus side, maybe we won’t be stuck in traffic for 40 minutes each day coming home from work because hundreds of douchebags think delivering parcels 10 minutes quicker is an acceptable pay-off.

“you were going too fast”

…Well that puts my total crashes in Beijing at 5 maybe.
(all not my fault… but obviously they still happened)

Some idiot just ran a red light and pulled out in front of me and obviously I emergency braked but still hit him and went over the handle bars onto the bonnet of his car and the first thing he says to me is:
“you were going too fast”
No man. I was going the speed limit which was 70, and you ran a red light.
I’m pretty sure the running the red light is more the cause of the fucking accident.
Plus its not like you shouldn’t have seen me… the bike had its headlight on, orange wheels and a large foreigner on it.
So wtf were you doing?
….Can …I take a guess?
Were you playing with your phone?

Anyway he goes “is there anything wrong with your bike?”
Err… no.. I guess not
(looking at the oil patch on the ground…probably coming from my bike)
(and him looking at his crumpled bumper and scratch on his bonnet)
“well you can go then”

What some of you may be thinking is ‘Yeah…thanks for the permission…’

But in reality Thought …Cool… as I know foreigners usually don’t get out of these things easily even if its 完全 (completely) not their fault.
So I pushed the bike off …and now it is sitting in a parking lot.
I tried to start it immediately afterwards and it didn’t start. But after pushing it to the parking lot and having a proper check…it now starts.

Handle bars are bent, but it starts, and other than a few scratches there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it.

I can hear a friend in the back of my mind saying… ‘you maybe should have anticipated some dickwad to play with their phones and run a red light and cut across you’
And to be quite honest… yeah I think he is right.

But the intersection was a big intersection 2 lanes, hardly anyone on the road.
Which means it is worrying either way.
I essentially have 2 choices.
1.) I have to expect that level of complete incompetence and negligence and to know that I won’t be able to drive the fun but normally safe way in order to ‘take into consideration this level of incompetence’, or…
2.) I will ride around in a normal way, knowing that there could be at anytime some dickwad that does completely the wrong thing, and it doesn’t matter if you’re doing everything right… because he/ she will find a way to make sure that even though you’re doing everything right you will never be able to avoid his/ her level of idiocy.

I’m really annoyed I didn’t wear my camera on my helmet today.

I’m sure the bike is fine.. just a few scratches. And I’m fine….my neck hurts a little but, I’m sure I can sleep it off … if it still hurts after the weekend I go to the hospital for a checkup.

Comment from a friend upon hearing the story:

“What a dickbag”

Link

The politics of motorbikes in China

北京要开始“禁摩限电”新政策了! [article]

Beijing to start ‘Prohibiting motorbikes & limiting electric scooters new policy!’

Why?

This entire article is about electric scooters breaking the rules, and generally being the dickbags that they are, and in fact the one scene in which they show a motorbike rider, he is sitting patiently at the lights waiting for it to turn green.

In this article basically they say that in Shenzhen they’ve just introduced a law that will fine people driving scooters when they break a traffic law.

From which you’re left thinking… This wasn’t being done before?

And then they have the audacity to put motorbike riders and electric scooter drivers into the same basket.  Oh yeah they’re all bad.

Why is the title ‘Prohibit motorcycles, and limit electric scooters’?

If they show the video of all the electric scooters breaking all the traffic rules, and motorbikes doing nothing of the kind, why crucify motorbike riders?

And more to the point, why make the penalty for driving a motorbike greater than the scooter if they’re not the ones doing anything wrong.

Surely that’s retarded right??

“Look at all these scooters… all these bastards… I know what we’ll do…I know what the solution is, we’ll ban motorbikes”   “and we’ll limit scooters”

看!那些电动车都不遵守交通规则,所以我们应该禁止摩托车!

看!空气污染这么严重, 所以我们应该禁止飞机!

“Look the air is full of pollution. I know what we’ll do, we’ll ban aeroplanes.”

The reasoning behind these 2 sentences honestly uses about the same logic.

Also how about the police just do their damn jobs in the first place and enforce the laws that they already have?

You don’t have to make a new law, if you make a new law and that one is not enforced then what do you think that is going to achieve?

By the way you can restrict motorbikes quite easily but not so much electric scooters.

Motorbikes need petrol, if you make it necessary for all petrol stations to check for drivers licenses then for those that don’t have them… (that have not gone through the proper procedures to be able to drive a motorbike), then they won’t be able to get petrol, and then they can’t drive.

I realise it’s not going to stop everyone, but it’s a 70% kind of thing. Because its then up to the petrol stations to enforce this. But somehow in this crazy world that we call China I somehow believe petrol station attendants can enforce the regulations better than police can.

But for scooters…what are you going to do? Go into people’s houses and ask people for their license as they’re recharging their batteries?  No.. you can’t do that.

I have heard there’s such thing as a ‘Beijing traffic safety certificate’ (北京交通安全证)that electric scooter drivers are supposed to have, but how are you going to enforce this?
I heard it when I was studying for my motorbike transference license, when I was at the Department of Transport & Licensing in Beijing asking all the necessary questions of what was needed.

But the fact that no one else has heard of it kind of shows how much this decent enough policy was enacted.

So what are they planning in Beijing then?

10 major roads are going to be restricted, mainly Changan avenue though… look that one up people, you know its significant for a reason but you won’t know why until you look it up.  (the one that goes past Tiananmen Square)

And …and this is the big one, there will be a 20 rmb fine for those people that are caught not obeying the rules.

20 rmb you say?  Holy shit, well that changes everything.
[Oh, for my Chinese friends, that’s sarcastic…. 我讽刺说啊]

That’s utterly ridiculous.

Let me just tell you that this kind of logical thinking (or rather lack of logical thinking)… to see a situation like this and then just ‘apply a new law because that will fix everything’  is not how Chinese people in general think. This is a gov. mandated thing, and most likely as well it’s a reporter trying to make a name for herself. While she only caught proof of electric scooters breaking the law, as the video shows, unfortunately as the news is also the mouthpiece of the gov. she also has to reflect their broader policy. Ie. ‘We don’t like motorbikes. ’

Why?  I haven’t found a reason to that yet.    Maybe some member has a vendetta against motorcycles.

But anyway this is the Chinese conversation I had with a Chinese friend after reading this article. I apologise for my Chinese, sometimes its not always awesome.

我= Me  她= her

我:This is more against scooters right? Because in the one 镜头你能看到一个真的摩托车,他在红绿灯等变绿灯。我觉得只有电动车的问题不是摩托车
她:对呀,骑摩托车的人都有驾照,那些骑电动车的就不一定了 但是我不太明白,那个文章里面只说了电动车的问题,没有提摩托车,但是为什么标题说“禁摩限电”?
但是我觉得禁止电动车不对,有的人买不起车,骑自行车又太远,他们只能骑电动车。买得起汽车谁愿意骑电动车啊!
不能因为电动车不遵守交通规则就不让骑电动车,应该让骑电动车的人考电动车驾照,有了驾照才可以买电动车。
政府的工作是加强管理,不能一出问题就禁止
我:对,我完全同意,除了一个方面。不一定所有摩托车有驾照。除非你fangce 说 unless you said this sarcastically
她:不是啊,我说骑摩托车的人都有驾照,骑电动车的人不一定都有
我:还有对,我不知道为什么他们只想禁止人骑电动车,as you say, 不是电动车是这样的人
她:对,不是电动车的问题,是人的问题

(I might have said I know some people that don’t have their Chinese motorbike license, so not ALL motorbike drivers have their license)
她:好吧[Sweat] “骑摩托车的人应该都有驾照”,重点是应该
我:我听说电动车应该已经考了一个交通安全证,但是对这个没有人执法这个规则
对,应该 这是关键词
但是为了一个摩托车他们会…. (and then speaking about the ability to enforce a motorbike through filling up with petrol, but for a electric scooter you can’t do this)

她:交通安全证 可能是一个好方法,但是执行起来可能有点困难,就像你说的,他们不需要加油,没有人能监督他们。 但是如果卖电动车的人跟买车的人要驾照或者交通安全证,可能会好一点儿,就行药店卖的处方药一样
但是也可能有的人有驾照,然后他就帮别人买电动车
或者,谁买的电动车,就登记谁的名字,以后如果出了事故,就让这个人赔
我:但是应该跟摩托车一样,如果你 break the law, 犯规很大
她:对,加大对电动车违法交通规则的惩处力度
我:Or…. or…. 或者警察可以开始做他们的工作,就执法现在的交通规则。我们不需要一个新的 规则,如果执法现在的规则就行。
因为如果他们说,OK现在我们发了新的规则但是也没有执法,终于是这样的问题

她: “ 因为如果他们说,OK,现在我们发布了新的规则,但是还是没有执法,那问题还是一样的。 ” she is correcting me to make my Chinese more awesome

 

I hear this countless times by the way, “oh I don’t like politics, I’m not really that interested in it”

Do… you not understand what the word ‘politics’ means?

Its important because its about how the country that you live in is governed, what rules are made, and how these rules will affect your life.

I think that’s pretty important.

And pretty damn easy to take an interest in.

A stupid motorbike rule, policemen not doing their jobs, laws not being enforced because it creates confusion and somehow the people that run the country like it that way, retarded new laws being made….this is all politics!

Not interested in politics? Don’t understand it?  You can understand this right? You’re angry at this right?  You’re already well on your way to getting involved in politics.

Hooray!

A normal drive to work…..what did I see?

So what did I see on my drive to work this morning?

Yep, that’s right I drove the shitbox to work today

(It’s a bike that a friend gave me when he left Beijing.  Its actually a lot of fun to drive, but it’s seriously dodgy)

Anyway:

  1. a van driving the wrong way down the Jingmi lu (The major non-expressway road going out to the North-East, that pretty much follows the airport expressway)
  2. a car parked on the round-about (like in one of the lanes of the round-about)
  3. the normal collection of 电动车s (electric scooter things) not paying attention to traffic lights.
  4. 3 cars that despite seeing a yellow light and that the road was blocked on the other side…decided to proceed into the intersection anyway
    (I shouted a lot at them…. & I swear the guy had more reaction to the fact I was a foreigner speaking Chinese than that he was doing anything wrong, or what I said made sense)
  5. Oh and 2 guys sharing a bicycle that fell off it at traffic lights (nearly into a ditch)

– & every single motorbike that I saw was more or less obeying the traffic lights. …well done motorbikes!

… Why oh why did I think… mmm no I won’t put the camera on my helmet this morning?

 

The 4th point really highlights the lack of either special awareness and / or the lack of social awareness here/ social civility.

Why?  I mean I realise that sounds a bit harsh, but basically many people just focus on themselves, to the point that they really don’t think about their surroundings because…that thought literally hasn’t popped into their minds.

This is essentially the reason why they live up to the stereotype that the Chinese are terrible drivers.

Not all of them obviously, but the ones that are seriously make up for the ones that aren’t.

It explains so many things.
-Talking on the phone (hey it’s them and their friend… this is the most important thing in the world to them…who cares about the traffic outside)

-Stopping for no reason no matter where it is, round-about, or even 3rd ring road….for no reason. (just because something of importance was happening to them or was about to happen to them.)
I’m pretty sure the round about guy stopped to buy fruit, and the 3rd ring road guy… I have no idea…and he was in the fast lane too.

– As above crossing traffic lights on the yellow light even when they know they can’t get across.  (it’s about them…they need to get to the other side, it doesn’t matter that other cars who have paid attention to the flow the the traffic lights are meant to provide will be blocked)

-The 电动车 dian dong che s that go through red lights, or sit at intersections blocking all traffic everywhere… and seem to have no idea how much it is affecting other people. (They really have not considered it… the thought hasn’t even popped into their minds)
This is why they will cut across massive intersections interrupting people that actually HAVE the green light….because hey… 200 cars don’t matter…as long as I get where I’m going quickly.

Trust me… there are way more examples of this being proved true.

See our justification section as to why this is the case.

There is a reason, and logically it makes sense, but there won’t be anyone admitting to this for a long time, especially not the gov.

Image

best ‘Chinese’ paint job ever

multi coloured car1multicoloured car 2

I saw this car a while ago, wow, just wow.

Originally it drove past a friend and I as we were walking on the street but I was too slow to get my phone out of my pocket.  But then as we rounded the corner at the next intersection there it was.

(I had to make these pictures full-size because otherwise the fluorescent yellow stripes ‘extenuating the lines of the car’ on the silver are not so clear)

The owner was just inside a store as I was taking pictures looking at his car with pride, clearly thinking ‘yeah my car is cool…so cool even a foreigner is taking pictures of it’

Yep, although I’m not sure cool is the word.

He’s clearly seen all the things he’s wanted, matte paint job, chrome finish, the style where they highlight the lines of the car with reflecting stripes, and thought…I like all of these, but I can’t just settle on 1, so I’ll have everything…all on the same car.

That’ll impress everyone.

And what a car as well, a Ford Focus hatchback…keeping it cool all the way.

You definitely take more than a first glance with this car…so I guess it’s got that going for it.

Just to show you that not all those who go out of their way to make a stand oualright looking cart paint job in China manage to make it look like shit.  Here’s a VW Scirocco from Chengdu, i think it looks pretty decent.

 

开灯!

The one day that I HAD to drive to work last week, was the one day that it snowed in the whole work week and it snowed heavily.  The roads were dangerous because of the snow, it wasn’t completely snowed over, but it was slippery enough, but the real problem was that because it was snowing so much it was covering up the visor of my helmet so quickly that I couldn’t brush it off fast enough.  Adding to the fact that I couldn’t see so well was that it’s Beijing and of course its polluted and snowing the sky was a mix of grey-white, and many cars despite the fact that visibility is as low as it could be many cars didn’t have their lights on. I hate it when cars don’t drive with their lights on, which in China can be pretty much all the time, regardless of the situation.

Now this is nothing so new in China because technically the government says it’s illegal to drive with your lights on during the day, even for motorbikes, and as I assume logic would mean this excludes  exceptional circumstances…who knows what this could be. (pollution, raining, snow/ dust storm, government induced thunderstorm to wash away the pollution)  Either way people don’t really follow every rule that the government sets, they usually do whatever the hell they want, which means that they’re not using their lights simply because of their own reasons.

Their own idiotic reasons of course.

What they’re actually thinking of course, is ‘well I don’t need my lights to see them, because I can see them already’
And you know why you can see them?
Because they have their damn lights on!
And you know why people are going to crash into you?
Because you don’t have your lights on, and we can’t bloody see you.
This is probably the reason why these very same people never indicate when they turn corners.
‘I don’t need them, because I can see what I’m doing’

Yeah but that’s not the point!
The point is that other people can see you so that they know how to act around you

Bloody morons.

This makes me think, if we know how drivers think …or rather don’t think, what is the government thinking when they say you can’t drive with your lights on?
Are they trying to get people into accidents?