When I first arrived into the heart of China in 2007 and I found myself right in the centre of Beijing it used to take me ages to navigate my way across the many lanes of traffic. I would only use the pedestrian crossing points and even then with the lights in your favor you still had to avoid the continual flow of traffic from side roads. I am reminded of the lack of discipline amongst the many road users here on a regular basis and this evening as I was returning to the school from my evening meal a motorbike hit a pedestrian on a pedestrian crossing. Luckily nobody looked to have any serious injuries; I think the only damage was to their pride as the pair of them picked themselves up off the ground. I left them to it as a sizeable crowd was developing to witness the arrival of the police should they be deemed necessary.
The rules of the road here are very vague to the best of my knowledge, my thoughts on crossing the road are if it is bigger than you or likely to be going at a speed fast enough to do you some damage then get out of its way. I now cross the road with the confidence to know how it is done in some safety, one lane at a time if need be but still constantly looking all around me for the unexpected.
Whenever I take the bus into the city I get on at the first stop so am always guaranteed a seat, usually be the second or third stop it is standing room only and on occasions traveling back I have had to stand most of the way back. Not the most pleasant of rides but a lot cheaper than taking a taxi. Whenever I take my seat on the bus on the way in you can almost guarantee the seat beside me will be the last one to be taken. Maybe I am a little scary to the people here with very little hair on top my head and considerably more in the form of a beard. Very few Chinese men have sufficient facial hair to grow beards so maybe it is strange to them.
This weekend as I rode the bus into the city and we passed through one of the other smaller towns on route picking up even more passengers in what seemed to be an already full bus we passed a location of what looked to be a wedding reception being prepared for later that day. All the tables were decorated and the finishing touches were being put to a table or two outside. This was clearly for some of the areas elite or at least its richer citizens. On the bus returning a few hours later and passing another reception this one clearly for the working classes, with no table decorations and seats arranged within inches of the road. As I was heading towards the bus stop in the city one of the students from the school where I work spotted me and asked what I was doing and where was I going, he had an impromptu English lesson for about an hour as we slowly crawled out of the city and headed back to the school. The reason for the slow crawling traffic was a smash between a bus and a taxi, » Read more: How to Safely Cross the Street in China