How To Make the Insane Traffic In Beijing Just A Little Bit Crazier…

…Just add water. Today we had the most significant rain since I arrived. I’m guessing a 1/4-1/2″ fell in total throughout the day. Not much really. However, it appeared to snarl traffic even worse than usual. The horn-blowing was non-stop all day and incessantly insinuated itself in the English lessons on our 6th floor office.

I went outside around 1pm and the traffic was jam was so extraordinary, I had to take some photos. The below pictures are of the intersection just outside my office. I keep telling anyone/everyone who plans to visit to gird themselves for something that is completely outside the experience of any American. You cannot cross almost any street in Beijing in the casual, almost automatic way it’s done in most American cities. New York, perhaps, in comparison to every other city may take some thought and care but if you think you’re an expert pedestrian because of your experience with NYC traffic, you are woefully mistaken. One misstep here and you could truly be sorry. I finally figured out that unlike in America, here, the operator of any vehicle including bicycles, are not responsible for the safety of pedestrians. It’s up to you, the walker to avoid getting run over. That means looking in both directions continuously as you navigate (you don’t walk across any street; you navigate) your way because up till and including the last step onto the sidewalk, you have vehicular traffic of all manner coming at you from all directions. Even then, you may still almost collide with a motorcyclist who also would like to avoid the cars by using the same sidewalk.

The good news is that after a while you begin to figure out how all of this works and soon, just like me, you too will be able to navigate an intersection or crossing without “waiting for Godot” to arrive and create an unobstructed path.

Vladimir:Well? Shall we go?

Estragon:¬†Yes, let’s go.They do not move¬†

They are in Beijing.

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That’s my office building, U-Center, in the background.

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At first I thought that the snarl was due to an accident and the drivers were out of their cars to inspect the damage. No, this driver was simply bored and wanted to stretch.

At first I thought that the snarl was due to an accident and the drivers were out of their cars to inspect the damage. No, this driver was simply bored and wanted to stretch.

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1 thought on “How To Make the Insane Traffic In Beijing Just A Little Bit Crazier…

  1. Sounds like Athens. I almost got killed thinking I could walk out into the crosswalk with a taxi coming. Literally escaped within an inch! Then the cab driver jumped out of his car and started yelling at me and raised his fist. Stathis had to calm the guy down or that would be that.

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