Discussion » Nonsense » Take a Taxi in China - see your life play out

  • Steven Ritter
    Steven Ritter wrote:
    Taking a taxi in China may be the most death defying experience a foriegner can do. A bit more thrilling than the most exciting roller coaster ride, more thrilling tan taking a bungee jump....folks, people ask me about amusements in China, and the first word that I think of is TAXI.

    I have had the pleasure to take a taxi in USA, England, Russia, Jamaica, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, and maybe 6 other countries...and while it was pretty terrifying in Russia, nothing beats the heart attack one receives in China!! Fortunately, now I have been to Beijing, Chengdu/Sichuan, Shanghai/Suzhou/Hangzhou 5 times this past year and am ok now.

    First, I was told it was very difficult to get a license to drive, that the manual was very thick with rules, the driver training exhaustive, and the penalties severe if problems are caused. In every city I have visited, maybe I have seen 20 police..half of which were at the airport.

    Second..traffic lites seem to be suggestions, not neccessary to really stop. Driving in the opposite lane is ok if not too busy, just merge back when it gets crowed. People on motercycles, mopeds, bikes, tricycles, and whoa if you are a pedestrian are all targets for the kamikaze drivers. Going up on sidewalks is ok...going like a bat at of hell is ok...no speed frreeways remind me of the autobund in Germany. Why put in traffic lines??...they are to be run over. 3 cars will always go in the space of 3

    Seems to me the craziest of all drivers reside in Sichuan, but I can attest they are crazy nation wide! In Chengdu, I saw my life in front of my eyes 10 days from the airport to my former gf's college. My pants almost were wet. Scary...this beats our Halloween.

    That said next time I go to China, I will take taxis (and buses) of course. I am used to the thrill. The amazing thing I noticed that there are very few accidents (that I observed. Its as if there were anti-magnets.

    Just some obeservations..so love China!
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahaha ... and that was a "legal" taxi, right? Try the illegal ones, or even the "tricycle" ones, and you will hope that you have walked instead ... at least, your legs wont shake that much ...
  • Steven Ritter
    Steven Ritter wrote:
    Oh I have taken the motorized and bike tricylces maybe 15 times. my fiancee almost forbids it, thinking it suicide. I have only taken legal taxis so far......Can't imagine it being more thrilling..my next blog/discussion will be on horn honking..so annoying but funny. And I am in such great shape, having walked many miles in China!!!! I remember them wanting to charge double for tricycle for my weight of 92kg hahahah he ended up charging regular prices.
  • Steven Ritter
    Steven Ritter wrote:
    I have driven professionally for 25 years (own my own airport servicesdelievery company of 50 drivers) and at 58 have had my drivers licesnse for over 42 years, and may have driven over 2 million miles in life. I have never had one accident in all those many miles. Thank you God!! I have been to many countries and naturally make driver observations

    The Chinese in my opinion drive with an interesting reckless abandonment. This is partly because China seems to not control its roadways in law enforcement like the western world. The police seem to respond only to traffic accidents. In America, the citizens tend to obey the driving rules and laws for fear of police traffic enforcement (traffic fines are costly and could jeapardize wheter one can drive). We seldom honk, drive in our own lanes, respect the traffic lites and signs, and guess what.....give the right of way to any pedestrian on the streets.

    We are just in a different culture..I am not stating good or bad, but the differences.

    Zhaohong, I agree with you. Even I might be nervous at first driving (short term). My fiancee wanted to know if she should get her drivers license in China before coming to USA...NO WAY..I don't want her to pick up the bad habits that would get her killed in America..

    Still love China a lot!
  • Steven Ritter
    Steven Ritter wrote:
    Good for you Joseph. I wonder how well drivers from China adjust to USA. Say, I would rather drive in China than England...never mentioned their driving always on the left side!! Wonder how that started?? I would never get used to that!
  • Steven Ritter
    Steven Ritter wrote:
    Great for your dad! In my 42 years of driving experience and 25 in a proffessional mode, I have driven millions of miles, with not 1 accident and just a few traffic tickets. I have driven over 120 (193 k.p/h)miles per hour in both my state of Virginia and in the desert of Arizona in the past. I wouldn't do that now...you go straight tp jail. like you, I tend to go 5-10 miles over now. Safety first.

    I am proud of your dad...yes, that is an accomplishemnt.
  • Luke
    Luke wrote:
    I disagree with Sichuan having the worst taxis having been to Wuhan a number of times. I once had a driver who overtook someone who was overtaking another car which was overtaking another car which was overtaking another car (i.e. going two lanes over on the opposite side of the road into incoming traffic).

    First post too, hi everyone!
  • Steven Ritter
    Steven Ritter wrote:
    Luke, I haven't made it to Wuhan, but from what you tell me, they are crazy there as well......it is all cultural I have concluded. We would be nervous in any city.
  • Luke
    Luke wrote:
    Actually after a while I stopped worrying about car taxis, they generally go slow and I haven't seen many major crashes. Motorbike taxis are a different story though...
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:
    Ummm...I rarely heard of any fatal accidents happended in major cities of China, so...hope you get used to it soon, Steven, haha. Actually most fatal accidents happend in inter-province highways and express ways, and if happend in major cities, mostly involves drunk drivers--that's why I give my 100% support of the reclassification the act of drunk driving under the category of criminal law!
  • Steven Ritter
    Steven Ritter wrote:
    I have ridden a motorbike taxi..and it seemed to me that was the most vulnerable. Of course the poor pedestrian crossing the street is always at risk.

    DF..you mean people drink than drive in China...really??!! It can be a big problem anywhere. In America it is considered a serious offense with jailtime given more and more frequently...as it should...Thank god for the many police we have in USA looking for drunk and erratic drivers.

    Luke..I am with you now. What the hell! Ride the taxi and close my eyes - kidding!
  • Ecce Marce
    Ecce Marce wrote:
    Luke: Beijing taxis are just slow because there is too much traffic jam. But everywhere else it is simply horrible. The story that you told about Wuhan just happened to me in Guangzhou some time ago. And after doing so he crossed a red light with 80 km/h. That time I promised myself to do more homeworks and to be able to tell the driver that this is insane...

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